Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book List, 2014

A few years ago my daughter chided me that she hardly ever saw me reading.  I took that as a challenge and have been reading ever since.  I usually fit it in during bathroom breaks (which are sometimes longer than needful).

There are comments about some of the books, especially for the ones I really liked (or had a problem with).

Book of Ages:  The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.  Jill Lepore
Benjamin Franklin’s sister, Jane Franklin Mecom, is an unknown:  a common, ordinary woman who lived a quiet life doing what needed to be done to stay alive and help her family.  She just happened to have a famous brother.  I love Jill Lepore’s writing style.  At times poetic, at times crisp, always interesting.  Near the end of the book she discusses the challenge of writing a biography about a person who left nearly nothing behind.  This is one of my all-time favorite books.

The World of Downton Abbey: The Rivalry and Romance Revealed, The Secrets and History Unlocked.  Jessica Fellowes

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt.  David McCullough
Teddy seemed a joyful person, interested, even exuberant, about life and learning.  I came away wishing I could have known him in person.  Teddy stands tall among my “favorite” men of history, as does his father.

365 Thanks Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.  John Kralik
Excellent.  It motivated me to be more grateful and to say so.

Glitter and Glue.  Kelly Corrigan
Her profanity was a problem for me.  (It seems to me that an author cheapens herself, maybe even makes herself seem less intelligent, by using such language, especially when the book is written in the first person.)

A Coal Miner’s Bride:  The Diary of Anetka Kaminska.  Susan Campbell Bartoletti
I have coal mining ancestors so this was of interest to me.  Written for teens. 

Still Life With Bread Crumbs.  Anna Quindlen

The Clock Winder.  Anne Tyler

The Moon-Spinners.  Mary Stewart

Calling Invisible Women.  Jeanne Ray
A light, fun (and funny) read.  Clover walks out of the shower one morning and can’t see herself.  (Have you ever felt invisible?) 

The Ivy Tree.  Mary Steward

Airs Above the Ground.  Mary Stewart

The Stormy Petrel.  Mary Stewart

Thornyhold.  Mary Stewart

Step - Ball - Change.  Jeanne Ray

Nine Coaches Waiting.  Mary Stewarrt

Orphan Train.  Christina Baker Kline

Madam, Will You Talk?  Mary Stewart

A Wolf Called Romeo.  Nick Jans
I enjoyed learning about this legend of a wolf and about wolves in general.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.  Fannie Flagg

The Romney Family Table:  Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes and Favorite Traditions.  Ann Romney  

Fifty Children:  One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany.  Steven Pressman
Excellent.  What a challenge.

A Perfect Day.  Richard Paul Evan

The Care and Management of Lies:  A Novel of the Great War.  Jacqueline Winspear

Big Stone Gap.  Adriana Trigiani

The Book Thief.  Markus Zusak.
About several youth and their families living in Nazi Germany.  There was some blasphemy.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book.  Diane Muldrow

Picture books
Fred Stays with Me!  Nancy Coffelt, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
The Art of Miss Chew.  Patricia Polacco
Because Your Mommy Loves You.  Andrew Clements.  Illustrated by R. W. Alley.

Picture books about potty training.
Once Upon a Potty.  Alona Frankel
I’m a Potty Champion.  Kitty Higgins
The Teddy Potty Book:  Say Goodbye to Diapers.  (No author)
The Potty Book for Boys.  Alyssa Satin Capucilli
My Big Boy Potty.  Joanna Cole
Prince of the Potty.  Nora Gaydos
It’s Potty Time.  Tracey Corderoy
Ian’s New Potty.  Pauline Oud
You Can Go to the Potty.  William Sears, M.D.
Done with Diapers!  A Potty ABC.  Rebecca O’Connell

These Is My Words:  The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901.  Nancy E. Turner
Semi-biographical; based on the life of one of the author's grandmothers.  What challenges she faced!  I liked this quote:  “Mama told me to make a special point to remember the best times of my life.  There are so many hard things to live through, and latching on to the good things will give you strength to endure, she says.”

A Life Intercepted.  Charles Martin
Martin is one of my favorite authors.  His main characters are usually men who, though not perfect, behave in morally upright ways.

She Left Me The Gun:  My Mother’s Life Before Me.  Emma Brockes
Non-fiction about a woman trying to learn about her mother's life.

Paw and Order:  A Chet and Bernie Mystery.  Spencer Quinn

The Snow Child.  A Novel.  Eowyn Ivey

Have you read any good books lately?  Can you recommend one or two?  I'm always on the look-out for a good book to read.



  1. I'm impressed by how many books you've read this year. This frigid weather makes me want to curl up with a good book under some warm quilts and wait for the cold to move on!

  2. What a wonderful list and thank you for sharing it with us! You've given me a nice selection of titles to add to my own list. I want to read Morning's on Horseback right now, but I think I'll put it back for a long trip we have planned later in the year. I'll start with Book of Ages! Have you read :Half Broke Horses:?


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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