Book #38 was Dr. Thorne, by Anthony Trollope. I am loving these Victorian novels about clergymen.
Book #39 was the long-awaited Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey. I've been enjoying Sarah's blog for a long time, and I liked this book, too. It isn't the last word, of course, on the subject, but I like her approach. "People want black-and-white answers," she writes, "but Scripture is rainbow arch across a stormy sky. Our sacred book is not an indexed answer book or life manual; it is also a grand story, mystery, invitation, truth and wisdom, and a passionate love letter. I've abandoned the idea that my job is to get the absolute, 100 percent right answers on everything."
Books #40 and #43 were both by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, both about Thomas Cromwell. I am not sure what keeps drawing me back to the story of Henry VIII and his times, but somehow I can't look away from the fascinating, horrible tale. Mantel does a fabulous job of showing Cromwell in all his complexity, but I do wish she would use quotation marks consistently and quit switching tenses. Reading these was sort of a weird combination of breathless admiration of a brilliant writer and annoyance as I wanted to take my red pen to her prose. Oh well, just call me pedantic, but also call me a Hilary Mantel fan.
Books #41 and #42 were both specifically Advent titles, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas, by John Blase, and Opening the Stable Door: An Advent Reader, by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher. Both were quick, easy reads, and both helped me focus my scattered attention on Advent this year.
Book #43 was another quick read, but a helpful one from a writer I have loved for years, Philip Yancey. This one, The Question that Never Goes Away, is his most recent response to the problem of evil, and it includes his visits to post-earthquake Japan; Newtown, Connecticut, and Sarajevo. Highly recommended.
Book #44 was another Trollope title, Framley Parsonage. Only 43 Trollope novels to go!
Here are the other books I read this year:
Books #1 - #6.
Books #7 - #14.
Here's a link to my post about Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist, my eleventh book of the year.
Here's Book #15, Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions, by Dan Brennan.
Books #16 - #23.
Book #24, Middlemarch, by George Eliot. (Surely this one counts as several books, and can boost my total from 45 to closer to my unreached goal for this year, 52.)
Books #25 - #32. (In this post I continued my annual tradition of getting the numbering wrong.)
Books #33 - #38. (Yeah, the numbering in the post doesn't match.)
So I read 45 books this year. This was a rewarding reading year, a satisfying mix of professional reading, reading about faith, and juicy novels, both YA and books written for people closer to my own age. I didn't include all my re-reads, and I didn't include books of poetry. I'm looking forward to another year of books in 2014!
Here's a link to some other people's reading lists for the year.
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