Book #24 of the year was Fairest: Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story, by Marissa Meyer. Although I've enjoyed this whole series, I found this one hard to read. We're in the head of such a very unappealing character, both horribly insecure and chronically manipulative. I could hardly finish it, but I did.
Book #25 was An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, by Barbara Brown Taylor. This is about how connected our bodies and souls are, and how we can find God in the details of our everyday life. I enjoyed it and found it thought-provoking.
Book #26 was Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline, by Lauren Winner. Famously, Winner converted from Judaism to Christianity, and this book is about the aspects of Judaism that she misses in her adopted faith. I've read several of Winner's books - my favorite is her newest, which I read in December - and liked them all.
Book #27 was Picture Bride, by Yoshiko Uchida. This was a gift from my husband. It's the story of a woman who travels from Japan to California in 1917 to marry a man she has never met. There were many Japanese women who made this journey, and subsequently got caught up in the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two. This was an intimate and heartbreaking story.
Book #28 was We'll Always Have Summer and book #33 was It's Not Summer Without You, by Jenny Han (yes, I read them in the wrong order - these are books three and two of the trilogy that began with The Summer I Turned Pretty).
Book #29 was Every Living Thing, by Cynthia Rylant, a book of short stories about animals.
Book #30 was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne. I'm reading this with my seventh graders right now. The story is told from the point of view of a naive 9-year-old whose father runs the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Bruno lives next door to the camp, and befriends a prisoner who is the same age. Though the book is childishly simple in its style, it packs a wallop. It's quietly devastating.
Book #31 was A Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George. I love these novels about Lynley and Havers, mostly because of the character development of the police protagonists. This one was a particularly difficult case to read about.
Book #32 was Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys, the third dreadfully depressing book in a row. This one is about a tragic event in World War Two. If you read Sepetys' first book, Between Shades of Grey, be prepared for more of the same: doomed protagonists living through unbearable circumstances. Almost too much, and I really needed the lighter fare of Jenny Han after this.
Book #34 was Rob Bell's new book, How to Be Here. This was so good, and I am going to read it again immediately.
Book #35 was a devotional that I downloaded and started reading the day it came out, last March 10th. So yesterday I finished reading it. The book was Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist. Although I enjoyed the book, I hadn't realized it was a devotional, and that most of the material was from her previously published books, all of which I had read. Still, it was presented in a nice format, and I liked reading a bit of it each day through the year.
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