Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reading Update, Plus What I Read in 2020

I have read 97 books this year, and it's looking as though that will be my total. If I finish another one, I'll add it to the end of this post. 


Here are the last few I finished:


Book #90 of the year was The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi. I read the first book in this series, Ship Breaker, in 2012. I read the third, Tool of War, in 2018. When I first went looking for it, my library didn't have the second book. I'd really recommend reading these in the correct order, but I do love the whole series. It's not at all my usual kind of thing; it's violent and post-apocalyptic. But it's so well done, vividly written, and fascinating. I reflected a bit about this series (or at least the first and the third books) here.

 

Book #91 was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis. I don't need to read this because I practically know it by heart, but I did enjoy reading it again; it had been a few years. 


Book #92 was The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank. For the last few years, I have read a play based on this book with my eighth graders. I was quite surprised, rereading this after many years, to see how much the play adds to the original. But the simplicity of the book is its strength.

 

Book #93 was The Beloved Disciple, by Beth Moore. This is a study of John from the Bible.  Moore writes about John as a character in the gospels, an author of the book of John, John 1, 2, and 3, and the book of Revelation, and most of all, what he called himself, "the beloved disciple," or "the disciple Jesus loved." Moore's inimitable style is fully on display here, and if you've ever seen her in person or on video, you will certainly recognize her in her writing. Here's a taste: "What use would God have had for Paul if he had simply turned out to be another James? Another Peter? Another John? His mission was distinct. And so, Beloved, is yours. God knows what He's doing! Trust Him. God is busy making you someone no one else has ever been."

 

Book #94 was I'd Give Anything, by Marisa de los Santos. In this story, Ginny Beale looks back on her high school days and remembers what a daring, carefree person she was back then. Her friends called her Zinny, and she was fearless and inseparable from her best friends. All that changed in one night, and now she hardly recognizes who she has become. Can she figure out what happened? Can she be that old self again? And how can she deal with the current heartaches of her life?


Book #95 was All We Never Knew, by Elena Aitken. Maren thinks her life is perfect, but there's a lot she doesn't know about what's really going on. A lot of events take place in this story that are life-changing for all the worst reasons. Once she finds out all she never knew, nothing is going to be the same.

 

Book #96 was Writers and Lovers, by Lily King. I read King's book back in 2015, and found it thought-provoking and fascinating. It was inspired by the life of Margaret Mead. (Unfortunately I didn't write a review of it.) I had tried to read this one before at least once, and given up because I couldn't get into it. I'm glad I tried again. Casey is trying to be a writer, and also trying to have a long-lasting relationship. Both are not coming easily. This book has a lot to say about creativity and writing, about writers and how they respond to one another and to their own success or failure, and about how hard it is to find someone to spend your life with. It's really worth reading.

 

Book #97 may be the last book I finish this year (or will it be? Stay tuned to see if I add any more books at the end!). It was A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer. This is a Beauty and the Beast story, but there's a lot in it that's unexpected. One really good thing about this YA series is that  Kemmerer is already finished writing it, so you won't be waiting around for a year to read the next one. I've already got the next one downloaded from the library and have started it. That's a pretty good indication of what I thought about the book! (The second book is called A Heart So Fierce and Broken and the third is A Vow So Bold and Deadly, coming out in January 2021.)  

 

Here are the rest of the books I read this year:

Books #1-#8 

Books #9-#14

Books #15-#26 

Books #27-#33

Books #34-#44 

Books #45-#50

Books #51-#57 

Books #58-#63

Books #64-#71

Books #72-#78 

Books #79-#85 

Books #86-#89

And scroll up for #90-#97.

 


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