As the year winds down, I look back and reflect on my resolutions from the beginning of this year. I can't believe all that has changed -- how I have grown in my relationship with my Creator, my husband, friends, new and old. Of course, I have been blessed with wonderful memories to reflect upon, but in this post I'd like to reflect on the reading I've done.
You see, this year, I actually kept a New Year's Resolution all year long. I read 100 new books. That is, books I'd never read before. It wasn't that hard, really, because I love to read so much; it was more of an excercise in being intentional in my reading choices and sometimes sacrificing other little pleasures (at the start of 2006, that would have been Sodoku, at the end, it is blogging) when I was tempted to lay down my book. I tried to read a variety, and I only chose to read things that I knew I could (would?) finish. That means no dabbling in reading parts of interesting historical or theological books. Only titles I could read cover to cover. I made lists, each month. And now it's the end of the year. . . and I'm done.
I have made some of my favorites into links, so if you are interested, you can check them out, too. I thought it would be tedious to read reviews for each one, so I've spared you that! I also gave some awards to the best of the bunch. I am sure most of you will read this list and say "What? You've never read THAT before?" But, no. I haven't. These books are all new to me. There are probably another dozen or so that I reread this year, but they don't count. Here is my list (in no particular order):
1.Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (I'll be honest, I listened to this one on Audio Book -- 36 hours!!) This is the winner of the
"Best New Fiction Award"
2. Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper winner of the "Inspired Me the Most Award"
3. 1776 by David McCullough winner of "Best Non-Fiction Award" ~Pictured: we see the famous Fort Ticonderoga that I read about in 1776~
4. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
6. The Hound of Baskerville by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (not a fan, so much)
8. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
10. Dancing Through Fire by Kathryn Lasky
11. The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delany
12. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne Winner of the "Make me Laugh Out Loud Humor Award"
13. Be Still my Soul by Elisabeth Elliot
14. Two Hearts Praying as One by Dennis Rainey
15. Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
16. The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townely
17. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (recommended to me by Mary Coffman)
18. The Power of Reading by Stephen D. Krashen
19. Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
20. Redwall by Brian Jacques
21. Mossflower by " "
22. Mattimeo by " "
23. Mariel of Redwall by " "
24. Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright Winner of the Gretchen Neisler Award for Excellence in Children's Literature
25. Return to Gone-Away Lake by " "
26. Thimble Summer by " "
27. Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Whalen Turner
28. Boys and Girls Forever by Alison Lurie (big disapointment!)
29. God's Guidence, Finding God's Will for Your Life by Elisabeth Elliot
30. Jess by Mary Casanova
31. Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo Winner of the "Most Recommended to Others Award"
32. Small Steps by Louis Sachar
33. The Witches by Roald Dahl Gretchen Neisler Excellence in Children's Literature Honor Book
34. End of the Spear by Steve Saint
35.Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl Winner of the "Surprise, I liked it!" Award (recommended to me by my friend Christen)
36. The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot
37. The Stolen Sapphire by Sarah Masters Buckley
38. Secrets in the Hills by Kathleen Ernst
39. Criss Cross by Lynn Rae Perkins
40. Peril at Kings Creek by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
41. Homeschooling for Excellence by David Colfax
42. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall tied for "Best New Children's Book Award"
43. Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles tied for "Best New Children's Book Award"
44. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
45. Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
46. Manhunt, the 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
47. Secure in the Everlasting Arms Winner of the "New Favorite from a Favorite Author Award"
48. Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix
49. Minuk, Ashes in the Pathway by Kirpatrick Hill
50. Bone, Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith (the only graphic novel I'm counting, there were several others, but they weren't this long)
51. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2 thumbs down)
52. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Winner of the "Best Classic Award" read my review from an earlier blog
53. Caddy Ever After by Hillary McKay
54. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry
55. Pirates! by Celia Rees
56. Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
57. A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot
58. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
59. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller
60. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
61. An Echo of Darkness by " "
62. As Sure as the Dawn by " "
63. In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham
64. Understanding Muslim Teachings and Traditions by Phil Parshall
65. Sold! by Patricia McCormick
66. In My Father's Houseby Corrie Ten Boom
67. Tramp for the Lord by " " (I get such waves of summer memories when I just think about these books!!)
68. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
69. The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith Winner of the "Most Contriversial Award" . . . but I LOVED it.
70. The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward
71. Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson
72. Parables of the Cross by Lillias Trotter
73. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper
74 - 84. Lemony Snicket #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 Read about my Evening of Unfortunate Events
85. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne Winner of the "You Got Me with that Ending!" Award
86. Parables of the Christian Life by Lillias Trotter
87. Discipline, the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot winner of the "Sure to Step on Your Toes Award" :)
88. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
89. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
90. The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susannah Clarke
91. Dorie, the Girl Nobody Loved by Doris Van Stone (recommended to me by G-Knee)
92. The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
93. The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
94. The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Frank E Basilweiler by E.L. Koningsburg
95. Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller
96. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
97. Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
98. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
99. Mimosa by Amy Charmichael
100. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman