2014 Book List

  1. War and Peace (books XII-end) by Leo Tolstoy (All of the time it took to read this book was worth it. I think I will frame the running list of characters that I wrote. Skip the final epilogue where they are all grown up. It’s better not to know how dull our favorite people become.)
  2. The Princess Bride by S Morgenstern (Just watch the movie.)
  3. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  4. The Lives of Boyd and JoAnn Stewart by Carol Sanchez
  5. 1808: The Flight of the Emperor by Laurentino Gomes (I only read half. Zzzzzz)
  6. Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen (a busy, busy, quick book that a young kid who hates books might enjoy)
  7. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (a read-aloud for the kids)
  8. The Case of the Baker Street Irregular by Robert Newman (out of print fun)
  9. Middlemarch by George Eliot (I love this kind of literature.)
  10. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien (This was interesting; I didn’t always agree, but it opened my eyes to Western patterns of thought that get in the way as we interpret the Bible.)
  11. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (I couldn’t put this down.)
  12. In progress: Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne (A slow read, but sweet to read someone’s thoughts on faith)
  13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (I don’t know how many times I have read this. I first devoured this book as a teenager at the cabin, keeping lights on until 3 a.m.. Every time I read it, I remember how it felt to be a teenager in love with a book, which is so much better than being an adult in love with a book.)
  14. The Tyranny of Cliches by Jonah Goldberg (I don’t like the scathing tone of the author’s words, but I find myself agreeing with a lot of what he has to say. I loved the chapter where he defends organized religion and the chapters debunking myths about unity and pacifism.)
  15. Dracula by Bram Stoker (Not recommended.)
  16. Coolidge by Amity Schlaes (Wow. Not an easy read, this educated me about a president who was either ignored or lazily maligned in the history classes I took. He was a better man than I thought, and understood the market more than I expected. His predictions for the future of Wall Street, Hoover’s bungling, and a democrat being voted into office as a result, all before the crash of 1929, played out exactly as he said. This book was similar in style but not as well executed as Truman by David McCullough.)
  17. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
  18. Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen (Predictable fluff)
  19. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis (This memoir gave me no real new information about his life, but as always, I found lots of quotable passages. It resurrected many memories of my own early life and teachers. Would we be benefited if we took the time to trace our conversion and include with real honesty the obstacles we faced? I think so.)
  20. A History of the Swedish People From Prehistory to the Renaissance by Vilhelm Moberg (The author is very present in this history and the book feels very conversational. The author loves his people and this warmth is a big change from the aloof narratives that are popular today. He also spelled out the value and plight of women more than I would have expected a man writing the book in the 1960’s. He was my great-grandfather’s age and the book was full of my grandmother’s markings, so reading was a bit like a family reunion. My grandmother, who was the child of immigrants from Sweden and Finland, made special markings for the sections about national character traits, traditions, and superstitions. Perhaps she was finding a cultural source for some of the things she had observed as a child. Interesting!)
  21. My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead (This is a lovely read, well-crafted, and thoughtful. After reading the library copy, I bought my own so I can mark it up. If you haven’t read Middlemarch and you don’t want to read something so longyou could watch it on Netflix and then read this book.)
  22. The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind–and changed The History of Free Speech, by Thomas Healy (Excellent! A perfect mixture of biography, philosophy, and history.)
  23. My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead (Second reading. So good.)
  24. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (Read aloud to Mark.)
  25. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Read aloud to Mark.)
  26. A History of the Swedish People: From Renaissance to Revolution by Vilhelm Moberg (I didn’t enjoy this as much as Volume I.)
  27. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Fantastic. I read this practically in one sitting. It’s like Stargirl, but maybe better. I was worried that the author would make the boy a savant or something. He was wonderfully normal.)
  28. The Doctrine and Covenants