The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. This was a read-aloud I did with the girls last spring and it was hands-down my favorite fiction of the year (either adult or children). We have now read this book of hers and The 5 Children and It and E. Nesbit hasn't disappointed yet.
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson (Boomama). I've read Boomama's blog for several years now and her book, which is a series of essays on southern family life and food, was just wonderful. I literally laughed out loud multiple times when reading it. I loved reading about some of her family memories and recipes and it reminded me of some of my own that I need to write down to share with my own kids (though I don't have aspirations of a book!)
Best new (to me) author:
I read Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse on Amy's recommendation and I'm looking forward to reading some more of her books this coming year (I hope!) And I get to reread this one and host it for the Reading to Know book club in March which I'm very excited about.
Book that made me cry / Book that made me laugh out loud:
Both of these would go to A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet. I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Seriously.
Book that changed my perspective on something:A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman. This book surprised me with how much I resonated and needed its message. To very briefly sum up: it encouraged me and nudged me to think about what inspires me and how I love creating. That that is something that God put in me and I need to be thinking about how I can use that for His glory. I'll be revisiting this book again.
Best homeschooling book:
Did I read a homeschooling book this year? I don't think I did, unless I reread The Core by Leigh Bortins and didn't record it. I'll be rectifying this in 2014.
I was not impressed with Divergent by Veronica Roth. (I may be the only person who thinks that). I read this book to find out what the fuss was about - it was popping up on blogs everywhere I turned. Without giving away too much for the two people out there that still haven't read the book, I found it very violent. More so than the Hunger Games. And where the main character of the Hunger Games found herself in a situation where she had to defend herself, she didn't seek out violence. This character did. That turned me off from the series. I don't anticipate reading the rest of it.
Best surprise plot twist:
I don't know if this would qualify, but I was surprised with how much I enjoyed Redwall by Brian Jacques. I had a hard time putting down book 1 in the series, and went on to read books 2 and 3. The series goes on (almost) forever so it will still be there when I feel like going back to it.
Most disappointing / Most over-hyped:
By far, both the C.S. Lewis books that I tackled this year stretched my reading chops. This summer I read Out of the Silent Planet and it took me quite a while to get into the story. (And wrap my brain around the fact that it was written by the writer of Narnia!) Secondly, I just finished The Screwtape Letters. That book was amazing and so chock full of stuff that I probably should have read the book with a notepad handy. I did better when I read it out loud to Travis on a recent road trip as it helped me concentrate more. Another book I should probably go back to sooner rather than later.
I've been eyeballing this book for sometime and finally picked up a used copy and devoured it in about two days. I think the reason that I loved this book so much was her writing style. She wove stories from her family and life seamlessly together and tied it with food and memories in a way that sucked me in completely. Such a good writer.
Best young person's book:That's a hard choice, but I'm going to go with the fourth book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. I've enjoyed books 1-3, but it felt like book 4 picked up the pace and bit and tied up a few loose ends (though there are still many more that makes me anxious for book 5!)
Book I’ve been meaning to read for years and finally got to:
The Wind in the Willows. I read and hosted this for the 2013 Reading to Know book club this summer and was glad to check this one off my list finally.
Best book on homemaking:
This seems to be another category noticeably missing from my list. A-hem.
Book I have recommended the most this year:I don't know that I recommended much of anything from this year, but I've loaned out my copy of The Core to at least one (if not several more) folks this year.
Best philosophical or spiritual book:The Screwtape Letters, hands down. I've got big plans to read more C.S. Lewis in 2014!
If you wrote a bookish wrap up post for the year, please let me know! If not, what was your favorite book that you read recently?
Prompts borrowed from Sarah at Amongst Lovely things. Amazon affiliate links used throughout this post.