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Reader's Journal 2016



It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love it when we share with one another what books we have finished.  Here are my reads for the year, starting with my top picks.  If you wrote a list of the books you read this year, please feel free to link to it in the comments below. (My list doesn't include my Bible reading, CM's 6 volumes, or the books I read in our school. ) Surely we will then have many ideas for some serious mother culture in the new year!


1. The Lighted Heart by Elizabeth Yates
Beloved author Elizabeth Yates writes the true story of her marriage to Bill and their exciting life.  Bill went blind and everything changed - for the better! I thought this was a remarkable account of how a seeming tragedy opened up a full and beautiful life for both of them.


2. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and Murder of a President by Candice Millard
This book is a fascinating account of the life and assassination of my favorite president, James A. Garfield. (Doesn't everyone have a favorite president?) Millard's recounting of the brokered convention where Garfield is nominated was surprisingly one of the most suspenseful things I have read in a while. Real life usually is.


3.Silence by Shusaku Endo
This book changed me.  It made me examine my faith and look at life differently. I am thankful that my husband read it, too, so that I could bounce my thoughts off of him as I read. There were times that I just had to put it down as it was too intense. I don't know that I will see the movie as I am still reeling from the reading. Would make a great book discussion in Sunday Schools, quite frankly. Website for digging deeper and discussion!

4. Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura
Perfect follow-up to Silence.  Makoto takes us into Japan and helps us make some sense of the culture and traditions that were part of Silence and still relevant today. And I really did wonder why Anne of Green Gables was crazy-popular with the Japanese.  Now I know. The first third of the book was a little slow but it picked up after that.


5. The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner
Loved this memoir.  Especially the part about how the Wizard of Oz drew him to Christ.  Really. I've been on a Buechner binge ever since reading this.


6. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 by Joseph Loconte
The title pretty much sums up what this book was about, but I loved it because it gave me the context and zeitgeist of when Charlotte Mason lived and wrote. The way she writes about heroism is challenging to me as our culture has changed so much. This book helped me understand this more clearly.

Here is the full list:

Destiny of the Republic by Millard
Charlotte Mason: Hidden Heritage and Educational Influence by Coombs
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
River of Doubt by Millard
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Parables of the Cross by Lilias Trotter
Sabbath - Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller
Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Mrs. Appleyard and I by Louise Andrews Kent
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Pioneer Girl - The Annotated Autobiography editor Pamela Smith Hill
Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
The Daughter of Time by Joesphine Tey
The Lighted Heart by Elizabeth Yates
The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner
A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
Gold Cord - The Story of a Fellowship by Amy Carmichael
You Are What You Love - The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly
The Magnolia Story by Gaines

Warmly,

Nancy

Past lists of reading goodness:
2015
2014
2013
2012

25 comments:

  1. Great list,... so glad you read Loconte's book. Emma's professor!

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    1. And thank you for recommending it! Emma is surely blessed - I bet his class is fascinating!

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  2. My children and I shared our favorite books of 2016 here: http://homeschoolinglargefamilystyle.blogspot.com/2016/12/our-favorite-books-read-in-2016.html

    Your list is interesting. I have not read even a single one of them. I kept a personal reading list for 3/4 of the year and at 75 books I decided to stop keeping track. It was interesting to look back at my list though!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your list, Tristan! I enjoyed seeing what your family's favorites were this past year. I agree, going back and reviewing the list is always interesting and satisfying.
      Warmly,
      Nancy

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  3. Hi Nancy, I love your list of books here. I'm especially interested in reading Silence & Silence & Beauty, to gain more knowledge on the Japanese culture as my friend has invited me to go to Japan with her in 2018. I also love the sound of A hobbit, a wardrobe, and a great war. All added to my book depository wish list. :)

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    1. That's quite the friend you have, Sarah! After reading Mako's book, I would love to visit there, too. I really learned so much from both of those titles.
      Warmly,
      Nancy

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  4. I loved reading this, Nancy. Fascinating snippets! Silence has been on my list forever...sounds beautiful but hard, so I've hesitated reading it. Thank you for your thoughts on it. Here's my list of favorites for '16 :) - https://hearthridgereflections.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/2016-favorite-reads/

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    1. Dear Amy,
      Yes, most definitely not light reading. Ohhh, I'm heading over to your place for more inspiration!
      Warmly,
      Nancy

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  5. I know next to nothing about Garfield, Nancy, so I find that title particularly intriguing. I have been interested in the Hobbit/Wardrobe/Great War book for over a year, so it has shot back to the top of my list again after seeing it here. Vinegar Girl has been in my sights since the summer, but I keep resisting. Is it worth giving it a slot in my reading schedule for 2017 in your opinion?

    This was a Reading Year of several firsts for me. The first time for reading Anne of Green Gables - so glad that grievous error is now rectified. I finished my first Goudge - Scent of Water - which left me wanting more. My first year in many without a Charlotte Yonge book. I must correct that for 2017. Finally, it was my first time reading Kipling for myself (vs aloud to my children). That was in the form of Kim and I fell in love. As much as I loved I Promessi Sposi, which immediately preceded Kim in my 2016 reading, Kipling's Kim was the cherry on the top of my 2016 books.

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    1. Dawn,
      Thanks for sharing a bit of your reads from this past year! Okay, so Vinegar Girl was a huge disappointment for me. WORLD magazine said it was their top fiction pick for the year AND it was based on The Taming of the Shrew - what's not to love? It felt forced, chippy, and often just trite. Started strong with a delightful character and then... I really didn't care how it ended. (And I wondered if anyone was going to ask about it!)

      Warmly,
      Nancy

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    2. What a let down that must have been, Nancy. Thank you so much for preventing me from making the mistake of giving it a slot next year, though. I, too, had heard about it via WORLD. I immediately put it in my Amazon cart, but refrained from actually purchasing b/c I was afraid your experience might be mine. I don't think I'll even go the Audible route based on your review. I read two other former WORLD recommended titles in the area of current events this year - America in Retreat and Defeating Jihad - and was very pleased with those titles. However, I think a Charlotte Mason manner of living and immersion in truly good books has ruined me for many so called "books of the year" in the fiction category named by non-CM sources:).

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    3. Yes, I think that's exactly my "problem", Dawn! I have really enjoyed many recs from World...and strongly disagreed with others. Thanks for the frank discussion!

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  6. I love your list!I will link to mine once I return from my trip and write it. I have to say, though--I can't post yet anyhow, because 2016 isn't over. I still have 48 hours left to finish my books!! ;)

    Silence intrigues me. I had never heard of it until last week when I read a brief review of the film. I'm adding that to my already-growing 2017 list now!

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    1. Dear Polly,
      I look forward to seeing your list! Yes, Silence is a hard thing to read but totally worth it.

      Merry 5th day of Christmas,
      Nancy

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  7. Thanks for reading my post; I always look forward to yours!
    Happy New Year!
    http://putonthearmoroflight.blogspot.com/2016/12/reading-in-2016.html

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    1. Dear Janet,
      May you be blessed to have another rich feast of reading in the New Year! Thank you for sharing your fantastic list.
      Warmly,
      Nancy

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  8. Destiny of the Republic really sounds like something I'd enjoy! Garfield is a president I know nothing about but I think I'm really going to enjoy learning more about him. Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed reading through your reader's journal. I'm so glad people do this at the end of the year! After not posting a list for several years (although I've kept one almost every year) I did publish a list this year. http://flareoflight.blogspot.com/2017/01/2016-reading-recap.html

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the link! Millard also wrote River of Doubt and I really loved that one, too. It is an amazing story. Off to your place...

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  9. I was inspired to write out my list! So many interesting books to read, so little time...I have ordered The Lighted Heart and am looking forward to reading it!

    Here is my list. :) http://dutchrush.com/2017/01/crazy-marys-2016-booklist/

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    1. Dear Mary,
      Yeah! Yes, I kept imagining what it would have been like to be that couple. Let me know what you think of it! I'm off to read yours now...

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  10. I am always looking forward to your list. I am glad to find in it Silence, which I intend to read in 2017, and other books you introduce us to.
    My list and favorites of 2016, https://silviacachia.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/favorite-2016-reads/

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    1. Thank you, Silvia! I am off to look at your list now.

      Happy New Year!

      Nancy

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  11. I finally posted my 2016 list. :) Here it is! http://thejoyfulhouse.blogspot.com/2017/01/2016-reading-list.html

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    1. Thank you, Polly! I will go read your list now...

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  12. Well, I'm not prepared enough to have my list ready, but I loved reading yours! :) I really want to read H is for Hawk. I think you mentioned it at LER? I've heard lots of great things about it.

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