The year in books

With Christmas and year’s end approaching, I feel inclined to make a list of my favorite books of the year.  These are not necessarily books published this year, but the ones I read for the first time and adored!!!

Juliet by Anne Fortier
This book takes place in my beloved Siena, Italy.  It follows the ancestors of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the inspiration for which may have come from a true family rivalry that existed in Siena, not Verona.  A lovely, exciting, and beautiful tale.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
A great many people have heard of these and read these.  I didn’t bother to read any of them until a few weeks ago.  They.  Are.  Fantastic! A futuristic, totalitarian society in which every year children must be offered to a game where they must battle to the death.  On television.  These are very good, but if you are looking for an uplifting, happy-go-lucky book, these are not for you.  But, if you want some books that wrench your heart a bit and have good storytelling, read these! Read them anyway.

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley
I found this years ago on the “free books” shelf at the school library.  It is a mystery, revolving around a bookshop in New York City.  Written post World War I, it does have a bit of anti-German sentiment, which is never enjoyable.  However, it is overall delightful.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Though plays are meant to be seen not read, due to a lack of Shakespeare plays being performed anywhere these days, I will read them.  And love them.  I have seen the Kenneth Branaugh movie version, which was most humorous.  Reading it, however, allowed me to catch a great many more lines to laugh at.

Into the Wild by John Krakauer
A non-fiction book about a college graduate who donates all his money to a charity before taking off into the West.  Chris McCandless was discovered dead in a bus in Alaska.  This book recounts all that has been discovered of his experiences from when he left school, until his death.  It is a very interesting, though slightly disheartening book.  Those who have a secret (or even not so secret) yearning to disappear into the wilderness should beware of this book.  Though it ended badly for McCandless, reading about everything else seems to instill a greater desire to go explore.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Simple and magical, this book focuses on a small town in North Carolina, the town boasting all manner of delicious barbecue.  The town has multiple mysteries that reveal themselves to each character through delightful means.  If you have a weakness for cake, be ready to bake after reading.

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
The first in a series I have yet to finish, a prince is betrothed to a princess who shares a big secret with her hound.  The prince also harbors a secret, which he debates revealing.  Falling into that realm of fairy tale, it is wonderful.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
A book describing our country’s current state of food disrepair.  Besides describing what is wrong with our food, and how it got that way, Pollan gives advice on how to survive on healthy and real food, despite the prevalence of bad food.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Taking place in Jackson, Mississippi in the midst of the civil rights movement, this book follows three different women: two are black maids who work for white families, the third a privileged white woman who does not hold with the same traditions of her town.  One of the best books I have ever read.  I read it twice this year.

On the Divinity of Second Chances by Kaya McLaren
I don’t quite know where to begin with this book.  It is one of those books that is just beautiful.  I love everything about it.  Absolutely everything.  The characterization is incredible, the story marvelous.  Just read it.

Well, that’s about all I can remember.  Next year, I think I will make a list as I go because I don’t remember what I read at the beginning of the year.  Hope your year was full of good books like mine was!

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