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Books I've Read

Several years back a friend told me how many books she reads in a year.  I was astounded and wondered if I came anywhere near (I don't!).  But I started keeping track of the books I read and found that I average about two books per month.   I thought I'd share my list from 2009...the good, the bad, and the indifferent.  I don't know why, when there are so many books to be read, I read bad and indifferent books.  I just have this self-imposed rule that if I start a book I have to finish it....give it a chance, maybe it will get better.  There have been occasions where the book was so trashy that I quit reading it, but otherwise I pretty much always finish a book.  So here you go....hope you get some ideas for reading material for yourself!

January 2009
Serving God on the Christian School Board by Roy W. Lowrie  Obviously this book has a limited audience and I'm pretty sure you'd only find it interesting if you serve on a Christian School board.  But if you do, I highly recommend reading it.  It's short and won't take more than a couple of evenings to read.
Searching for Eternity by Elizabeth Musser.  This was pretty good, especially since the main character was a third culture kid and a lot of it took place in France.  If you're looking for a good light read I would recommend this, but I would have to give it an average rating.

February 2009
The Persistent Journey by Eleanor Rowe  This is an autobiographical work by a friend of mine.  It was very good, but is published privately and so I don't even know if you can find a copy of it. 

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell.  This book is all about otters and was fascinating.  It got a bit long and boring in parts but overall was good. Apparently it is a movie as well.

March 2009

Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs is a book I highly recommend to anybody who is married or engaged or even dating.  

 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a pretty intense book, but I highly recommend it.  It deals with doing something wrong (or NOT doing something) that changes the course of somebody's life.

April 2009
 A Song I Knew by Heart by Brett Lott is the story of a mother and daughter-in-law who are left without their son/husband who is killed in an accident.  It is a modern day story of Ruth and Naomi and it was a pretty good book. 

May 2009
It Happened One Friday by Max Lucado is a good read, but you find yourself wanting to read it slowly in order to take in all the vivid word pictures he is painting.  It would be a good book to read now in these days leading up to Easter.

 Comes A Horseman by Robert Liparulo was a good book if you like intense action and thrillers.  I remember liking it pretty well, but I honestly don't remember what it was about, so I think it is one of those books that you can't put down while reading it, but it doesn't stick with you once you're finished.

 The Celebrity by Robert Elmer.  What can I say?  It was a feel-good book, but pretty dumb.

June 2009
 The Inklings by Melanie Jeschke was a book I had mixed feelings about.  I enjoyed the picture it paints of Oxford, especially since I'll be there in a few weeks!  The story itself was good, but some aspects of the plot got tedious.  The main characters, who fell in love, kept having the same misunderstanding over and over.  Once would have been a good part of the plot but it got old when it happened numerous times.

 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Paul Borthwick.  Uh, I was bored and this book was on the shelf so I read it because it was the best choice I could find.  I don't think I learned anything.  Maybe I already have a really simple life.  Maybe I am simple.

July 2009
 Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer.  If you like books about the Amish, this is pretty good.  It is different than most as much of the story takes place outside of the Amish community.  It was kind of depressing, though.  I'm guessing a sequel is coming to tie up a lot of the loose ends.

August 2009
 Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay.  This was one of Oprah's Book Club books.  I don't know what Oprah was thinking (not that I really care what Oprah thinks!).  This book was awful.  It was horribly depressing.  Don't waste your time.

 Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.  I   HIGHLY recommend this book to anybody....women especially....who is too busy.  It is written for people who think they have to DO something and forget about their relationship with Jesus in the process.  This was one of the best books I read all year.

 White Orchids by Grace Livingston Hill.  Grace Livingston Hill wrote her books in the 1930's, so her books take you back in time to a more genteel day.  There is always somebody rich, somebody poor, a dear mother, an major misunderstanding, and a reconciliation.  If you want romance and a light, easy read and if you don't mind reading old-fashioned books, you'll enjoy a good Grace Livingston Hill once in awhile.  And they're always clean, even if they are a bit hokey!

September 2009
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore.  This book was excellent.  It's a true story of a very unlikely friendship.

 The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright.  This book is about a somewhat dysfunctional family and the letters the dad wrote to his wife each week.  It was an ok book, but not wonderful.  I can't give rave reviews about it, but I didn't hate it, either.

 Abduction by Robin Cook.  I am normally a huge fan of Robin Cook's medical thrillers.  But I HATED this book!  It was so weird.  But if you like science fiction, give it a try.  I don't like science fiction so that probably explains why I didn't like this book.

 The Secret by Beverly Lewis.  This was pretty good, but it seemed kind of less realistically Amish than other Beverly Lewis books.  There is obviously a sequel coming as the book ended in what appears to be the middle of the story.

October 2009
 Bryson City Tales by Walt Larimore.  This was a beautiful book, and is a true story.  If you like stories about medicine and/or about small towns this comes highly recommended.  I loved this one.

 A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishamel Beah.  This was another of my favorites of the year.  Not because it was easy to read or made you feel good.  On the contrary, it was very sad, but not without hope.  More can be found at this web site: A Long Way Gone.

Ponammal: Her Story by Amy Carmichael.  This is a very old book and no longer in print.  It is Amy's telling of an Indian girl who came to be Amy's right-hand "man".

November 2009

The Case of the Slave Ship Amistad by Mary Cable.  This book was very scholarly and difficult to read.  Truthfully, I liked the movie a lot better than the book!  The movie did a great job of helping me understand the book.  This is a story we should all know about, but unless you like history written in a scholarly manner, just watch the movie (but not with kids present!).

 13 Steps Down by Ruth Rendell.  This is a psychological thriller.  It was creepy, but I definitely couldn't put it down.

December 2009
 A Dangerous Silence by Catherine Palmer.  This was a Robin Cook wanna-be.  It was pretty good....kept me turning the pages, but not as good as most of Robin Cook's books.



P & S Maxwell said…
Great idea to share what you are reading. I have kept a log of books I have read since arriving in NIger. I read a lot more here.
Thanks, I'll have to see if I can find a few in the library.
Hannatu said…
Shannon, I did get some of those books from the office library.
Dusty Penguin said…
Hey, can you bring the Eleanor Rowe book with you? I'd love to read it.
podso said…
Thanks for the good list. We're reading Same kind of Different...for our next bookclub. So many have recommended it. I wonder if that Bryson City is Bryson City, TN (the cover sort of looks like it). I also used to read a lot of Robin Cook; wonder if I could handle one today! And, sigh, White Orchids...that is one of my favorite GLHs...I read all of my grandmother's (who probably owned them all from the time they were written) when I was a teenager and would have a week at her house with nothing else to do but read!
RobertElmer said…
Thanks for giving THE CELEBRITY a try. Yes, it's probably in the "feel good" category. Sounds as if you might prefer one of my weightier novels, though? :-) Try LIKE ALWAYS, which tackles difficult issues, or my new historical called WILDFLOWERS OF TEREZIN. Blessings, Robert Elmer

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