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My Book List for 2015

 I read 50 books in 2015. When I counted up my list I had to go back and re-count because I've never read that many books in a year, at least not since I started keeping a list. I think it was in large part because we had a stay-cation this year, so I did a lot of reading during that month.

I will not do a book review of all 50 books, so don't despair. I just want to talk a little about my top 10 favorites, and then just list the rest. These aren't listed in any particular order, mostly just by the date when I read them (January at the top of the list, December at the bottom).

1. When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell
This was one of those books that when I closed it at the end, I felt like I was saying good-bye to people I knew. The characters, the plot, the setting....all were so well-crafted that I felt like I was there witnessing the story. It felt true to life, showing the stress of setting up a homestead in Colorado and the toll that takes on a marriage, hiding lies, and finding redemption. Apparently this book is a sequel to another, but it reads well without ever having read the first book.

2. The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
This is a well-written book, exploring a cross-racial relationship in the deep south in the 1940's. There were a few mild cuss words and a "fast-forward" sexual scene that prevents me from a whole-sale recommendation. But it was very well written, reminds us of our history and the abuses of which we as a country have been guilty, and was difficult to put down. I really enjoyed this book. It looks like most of Ms. Samuel's novels are pretty sleazy, so I haven't bothered checking out others of them.

3. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
While the writing style isn't my favorite, with lots of flowery descriptions, I loved, loved, loved this book. I was challenged to adapt an attitude of gratitude. Any book that moves me forward in spiritual growth is a good book.

4. Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber
I reviewed this book on my blog here, so I won't say more, other than that this may have been my favorite book of the year.

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5. Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses by Bruce Feiler
This is another one I reviewed here on my blog.
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6. The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr
I have read three of Mr. Starr's books in this series and have enjoyed them. I got another one on my Kindle as a Christmas gift that I'm looking forward to reading. This series was reviewed here.

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7. Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy  
This book gives some really helpful and practical hints about getting more done more efficiently in less time.  Of course, the author makes it sound like if you do everything he says, you'll be wildly successful, seemingly never taking into account that things happen that are out of your control and may not turn out just as you plan. I've reviewed this book here.

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8.  Boaz Brown by Michelle Stimpson
Written by an African American, Ms. Stimpson gives a fresh perspective on racial prejudice.  The main character meets a man who she refuses to acknowledge as the man of her dreams because he is not the “right” color.  Once she acknowledges her feelings for him, she has to face the disapproval of her family….but their reasons are deep and complicated.  Ms. Stimpson is not only humorous at times, but also deadly serious, giving us much to think about regarding prejudice, love, and forgiveness.

9.  I Believe in the Holy Spirit by Michael Green
I plan to do a more in-depth review of this book and a few others soon.  So for now I’ll just say that if you would like to do a more in-depth study of the Holy Spirit, I would recommend this book.

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10.  The Land Between:  Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion
Rev. Manion recounts a real-life experience, either of his own or of somebody he knows personally and then builds on that to look more closely at the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness and how we can apply those experiences to the difficulties we may be going through.  This was a practical and encouraging book.

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And the rest of the books I read, with an occasional additional note, are:
11. Trophy Child…Saving Parents from Performance….Preparing Children for Something Greater Than Themselves by Ted Cunningham
12.  Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler – I have to admit I read most of this in 2014.
13.  The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian – This almost made the top 10 cut.  If you have adult children and if you are a praying parent, make sure you read this book.
14.  Dreaming of a Father’s Love by Sharon A. Lavy
15.  A Plain Scandal:  An Appleseed Creek Mystery by Amanda Flower
16.  The Choice by Robert Whitlow – I like everything I read by Robert Whitlow, so this almost made it in the top 10 as well.
17.  The Life and Prayers of Saint Joan of Arc by Wyatt North
18.  I Called Him Dancer by G. Edward Snipes
19.  Tell Your Time:  How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free by Amy Lynn Andrews
20.  Pretense by Lori Wick
21.  Spiritual Warfare:  The Battle for God’s Glory by Jerry Rankin
22.  In Between by Jenny B. Jones
23.  Just One SIMAIR Story by Rich Schaffer -- Review here.
24.  Rhythms of Renewal by Letitia Suk
25.  Lily Cigar by Tom Murphy – Don’t waste your time or your money.  Review here.
26.  The Strength to Stand, My Cancer, My Blessing by David Adams -- Review here.
27.  Forgetting Tabitha: The Story of an Orphan Train Rider by Julie Dewy – Don’t waste your time or money.  Review here.
28.  Be Joyful by Warren Wiersbe
29.  A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel by Mel Starr
30.  A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr
31.  In Name Only by Ellen Gable
32.  America the Beautiful by Ben Carson -- Review here.
33.  Telling God’s Story by Preben Vang & Terry Carter
34.  The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
35.  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
36.  Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell -- Review here
37.  A Love for Delicious by Cynthia Hickey
38.  Someone’s Daughter:  In Search of Justice for Jane Doe by Silvia Pettem
39.  Take One by Karen Kingsbury
40.  The Servant:  A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership by James Hunter -- review here
41.  The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
42.  The Vow by Kim & Krickitt Carpenter – If you’ve only watched the movie, you’ve got to read the book.
43.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Dickens never fails to delight me.
44.  Bill Bryson’s African Diary by Bill Bryson – This was a disappointment as it’s basically an advertisement for CARE.
45.  Forgotten God by Francis Chan
46.  Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin
47.  Encounters with Strangers by Nubia DuVall Wilson
48.  Daughter of Twin Oaks by Lauraine Snelling
49.  Near to the Heart of God:  Meditations on 365 Best Loved Hymns by Robert J. Morgan
50.  The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by R. A. Torrey