The Reading List… 2015.

I’m just going to dive right back into blogging with an easy topic – my current reading list. It kind of looks like this…

toppling-books


 Disclaimer – it’s long… I’ve been hibernating since the New Year (my #1 reason for loving winter is the guilt free day long reading binges). I have devoured many, many books… here’s the low down:

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(Side Note – this list is not in the order I read these books. I often have 2 or 3 on the go. Classics are especially hard to get through because they require reflective thought throughout the book – not just at the end – and I read fiction at random, where as non-fiction books are usually added to a self-education plan I’ve set up for myself, based on my life and needs at that time)

Fiction:      I have to preface this with – I find I go on tangents in Fiction…the current one is Historical Fiction. I have been lost in several eras of history…and I’m loving the understanding it gives me for all sorts of issues even today.

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett…I’ve waited 2 years for this one to come out and after seeing it in the fall did not even hesitate to plunk down the cash, bring it home and immediately begin reading it. It did not disappoint.  It finished up the Century Trilogy which covered WWI and WWII in the first 2 “tomes” and they are gigantic, but awesome. This 3rd novel covered the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement up til the last decade or so. (Disclaimer – these books are not nice, they are messy, dirty and violent. So is history. They deal with controversial aspects of history and the heros and villains  with creativity and the author’s perceived authenticity)

Code to Zero also by Ken Follett…an older spy novel of his (2000) covering the Cold War Era (think 1958). The story follows the events surrounding the initial stages of the space race between the US and Russia. It’s a cross between the Bourne Identity and the Jack Ryan novels. A good read.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…this novel covers the Legends Camelot. Merlin, Arthur, the Nights of the Round table and all, but from the female character in the leading role. Interesting Perspective.

The Ancestors of Avalon also by MZB…covers the Legend of the Lost City of Atlantis and the survivors establishing a new colony in ancient Britain. The pre-cursor to the aforementioned mists of Avalon.

The Firebrand also by MZB… a stand alone novel covering the Iliad aka the Trojan War, again with a female character in the pivotal role. I really enjoyed this one due to my persona interest in ancient Greece, mythology and the settlement of the Mediterranean during the Greek Dark Ages.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin…I loved this simply for the similarity to the story of Cora from Downton Abbey. If you love that TV show, you’ll love this book. America  in her Golden Age and Britain during the years at the turn of the century late 1800s to early 1900’s. A great read. If you find the age of the Robber Barons interesting, you’ll enjoy this book.

Anything by Francine Rivers – I have to mention here that I cannot honestly remember which of her books I read between October and February, but I know there were several (the reason for this, is that I borrowed them) – One Series covered from pre WWII – through to the 90’s) a mother and daughter saga – there was another one, and I reread the Scarlet Thread, which flipped between the pioneering days on the Oregon Trail and present day California…I love her books, my all time favs being the Mark of the Lion trilogy which I read last year, and they still haunt me. This year I am haunted by…

Redeeming Love also by Francine Rivers – The story of Hosea and the prostitute Gomer but during the Californian Gold Rush. Wow. What a beautiful picture of redemption and Grace.

New York by Edward Rutherfurd…this novel covered the development of NYC from it’s humble beginnings as an Indian Hunting ground in the 1600s through to present day. Glorious, so very interesting in the character of the city as a stand alone but also as a reflection of the development of America.

(Side note: I have found that the movies, documentaries, and supplimentary reading (ie. news articles, etc) have been reflective of my reading – for example, I watched the entire series The Men Who Built America (Robber Barons), The Secrets of Highclere Castle/ Downton Abbey, Henry the VIII’s Castle, the Tudors, Call the Midwife, Marco Polo, Generation Earth – ie – the World’s Tallest towers/ bridges, etc, The Book of Negroes – and they all in one way or another intersected with my reading…just thought that was interesting)

Non – Historical Fiction…

Bones Never Lie…Kathy Reichs…if not the most recent, one of the most recent releases (2014). Never disappoints. These books are a good single day read when I need a break. Love them.

Grave Secrets…Kathy Reichs…one of her older ones (2002) – found it in a pile at a $1 book sale and realized I’d never read it. Another good quick read.

Agenda 21 by Glen Beck…if you love the Hunger Games/ Insurgent Books – you’ll like this…until you get to the end of the book – then I’m warning you, you’ll crawl around conspiracy sites, looking for the truth. A slightly disturbing read.

Non Fiction (Again, in no particular order)

What a Difference a Mom Makes by Kevin Leman…I loved this book. It is a mess now, I’ve written in it, highlighted entire chapters, and shared a bunch of quotes. I will be started a book study with a bunch of moms of boys this spring. If you are a mom of boys…you must read this book.

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister…a practising nun, Joan’s insights to the church calendar and how it is designed to enrich the believer’s life as an individual and as a member of the larger body. Having spent a good 2 years deeply immersed in the study of the home/ simple/ organic church movement and worked through many of my issues with the institutional church, I found this study of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary time both fascinating and inspiring. I have no intention of joining a Catholic or Orthodox congregation, but I have certainly developed a deep respect for the original intention in their worship.

Grace Upon Grace by John W. Kleinig…I think after all is said and done, I read this about 3 times in a row. Especially the first 3 chapters. It was mind/spirit blowing. Written by a Lutheran theologian, I’m still munching on it honestly. I keep putting it on the shelf and then taking it back down to reread something. It was that timely and thought provoking to me.

Bread and Wine by Shauna Nieguist…my sister lent me this one to read. After about 2 chapters I went online and ordered my own (so I could write in it) and I also purchased one for a friend. It’s been a long time since a book could make me messy cry. This one did. It also touches on some of my favourite subjects – hospitality, food, friendship, family, community. It’s another one that doesn’t stay on the shelf.

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The following Books I am in the Middle of:

Tablegrace by Douglas Webster – On the art of Hospitality in the Christian Life

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman – Explores the corrosive effects of the media on a democratic society.

Raptureless & The Art of Revelation by Jonathan Welton – an ancient and non-conformist study on the End of the World (according to the Book of Revelation…well kind of)

Orthodoxy by G K Chesterton – It’s on almost all the top 10 must reads for Christians…I shouldn’t really have to explain any further.

The Best of Lewis Carroll…Poetry anthology. Thought I’d reread Jabberwocky and then kept going. Good poetry is weird like that.

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Finally, these books are next (as in on my side table waiting for me to begin…

The Princes of Ireland…another historical fiction by Rutherfurd

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist…predecessor to Bread and Wine.

City of God by Saint Augustine…yes the classic, because I feel like stretching my mind even more (Once I’m done with Chesterton)

The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis…because I haven’t read anything of his since the Screwtape Letters 2 years ago, and that’s just wrong.

Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday…the hubby picked this up for me, thought I’d enjoy being enraged reading about the true stories of how media manipulates the masses….he knows me so well.

Where There is Love, There is God by Mother Theresa

Common Roots by Robert E. Webber…I read his series on Worship a long time ago and wanted to take a deeper look.

The Richest Person in the World by Stan Toler & Debra White-Smith

God Enters Stage Left by Tim Day

not a fan. by Kyle Idleman

A World Full of God’s by Keith Hopkins

The Fort by Bernard Cornwell

The Help by Katheryn Stockett

Reference Books:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks – a Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond – one of my fav. Christmas presents. I love the pictures, the recipes, the stories. Love it.

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett – I’m convinced this is the no nonsense route to reclaiming my health and a trim figure, once I commit. Therein seems to be the problem.

Congrats, you’ve made it to the end of this monster post! You deserve a snack for your effort! Try the recipe book, it has some great ideas – haha!

Again, this list will change. Nothing is static in my world…the snows will thaw, and I just won’t have the time to roll through so many books,but a girl can hope. Hope you’ve been inspired, or your interest has been piqued a little and that you’ll savour these last few weeks before the thaw, with a couple of great books.

xoxo

Mama T

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