Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 Top Ten Books

It's time now for the Top Ten List from 2008.

#1. Best of the Best: Romans Commentary by James Montgomery Boice

I have been making my way through these four volumes over the course of the past year and can say without a doubt that these books have had the most impact on my life of anything I've read this past year.

Boice's commentaries are broken into very manageable sections, easy to read in 15-minutes. His theology is solid and thought-provoking while at the same time explained so that any lay person can understand it.
2. Best Novel -- Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Everyone I've talked to that has read this book loves it! Written during WWII, by a woman who was evenutally killed in a concentration camp, this book gives a firsthand look at what the German Occupation was like for those living in Paris and the surrounding countryside. Nemirovsky was a very talented writer and that is evident in this novel.

3. Best Cookbook -- Once Upon A Tart by Mentesana and Andureau

This cookbook is filled with beautiful photos, delicious recipes, and engaging commentary. The recipes are from a famous bakery in New York by the same name and include soups, sandwiches, salads, muffins, cookies, scones, and similar items. I'm looking forward to getting a copy myself someday!

4. Best Parenting Book -- The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson

This book is all about being a Christian mother. All of Sally Clarkson's books have been wonderful encouragements to me. She knows how to challenge, inspire, and encourage. She also loves to drink Yorkshire Gold tea! :)

5. Best Christian Book -- The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

This books explores the topic of "the Sabbath" and what that means for a Christian. This is a subject I have thought long and hard about over the years and am always looking for books that expound the subject. This book was balanced, challenging, and refreshing.

6. Best Travel Memoir -- Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

Travel memoirs are one of my favorite genres. Turnbull was fascinating and funny as she described what it was like trying to learn to live in Paris as a Parisian would.

7. Best Historical Fiction -- My Antonia by Willa Cather

This book has been around for many years but I had never heard of it until a friend mentioned that it was her favorite. Set in Nebraska in the late-pioneer era, it tells the story of pioneer life through the recounting of one life in particular -- Antonia. I love reading about what life was like "back then" and this book did a good job of making the pioneer life come alive.

8. Best Food Book -- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle -- by Barbara Kingsolver

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle tells the story of Kingsolver and her family as they decide to eat locally for one year, and grow as much of their food as possible. Since I love to read about food, I enjoyed all the descriptions of what they grew and how they cooked it. Is this kind of life possible for most of us? No. So, one learns some new things, tries a few things, and then lets the rest go.

9. Best British Book -- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer/Barrows

This was a fun read, once I got past the letter-style and became attached to the story. It tells of life during WWII on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. Since I love WWII, Britain, and history, it was a perfect fit.

10. Best Homeschooling/Creative Book -- The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule

I didn't read too many books in this category, but did enjoy The Creative Family. I read Amanda's blog daily and love being inspired to draw, sew, cook, paint, and otherwise create with my children.
Well, there they are. Looking back over my list of books read this year I felt that I hadn't read as many "wow, that was a terrific book" kinds of books. Makes me feel a bit like all that reading was for nothing. However, many of the books I read I chose to read to find out what they were like. And I did.
Looking ahead into the next year I want to be a bit more picky about the books I read, so that at the end of the year I'll have more on that "wow" list than this year. I would like to read more in the American History genre since I am weak in that area. I would also like to explore more of the Classics and am currently reading "Introduction to the Classics." In preparation for teaching Indiana History next year, I want to begin reading up on that topic as well. We'll see how it goes. Reading is such a wonderful adventure!


Monica said...

Thanks for the list, Heather. I really enjoyed reading your recommended book on hospitality. Now I have some others to add to my list. I have a difficult time choosing fiction so I'm thankful to have a few suggestions.

Also, I just moved North and South up our Netflix list. I'm hoping for a snowy cold Saturday sometime to watch it in full length. Would it be suitable for Hannah and Lydia?

Rachel L said...

What a nice collection of books, Heather! I bought the Creative Family on your recommendation last year and I'm enjoying it too. I like the look of that American pioneer book too.
Rachel L

Amy K said...

I'm glad you posted this! I've added several to my list. I got The Rest of God once from the library but had to return it because it was due. I'll have to try round two. :)

Ruth MacC said...

Hi Heather,
looks like you have ben busy rading all those books. I bet the series on Romans was good.

We finished a series of books for Sean. It is a set of 5 called The Viking Quest and they were very, very good.

It would be a good series for boys and girls. Sean rad some of them and Niall and I read some of them out loud. We finished the last book last night. Look it up on the net and see what you think? However, they are really for children 10 years and up, but it might be one you could look into in the future.

May God direct you and bless you this year in all that you read.

And many, many thanks for visiting Sean on his blog!


Ruth MacC said...

I forgot to say, the book is written by Lois Walfrid Johnson and published by Moody Publishers. It's about a Viking raid on Ireland where a Christian girl gets kidnapped and taken to Greenland and other countries. Of course she eventually gets home but the author has read up a lot about the whole Viking thing, Leaf Erickson. (First man to discover America, he was saved in real life)

A Little Bunny said...

ive been reading a lot lately (to the detriment of my blog) but another good food book is the omnivore's dilemma. i havent gotten very far but its along the same vein as animal veg. miracle. check out the bread bible when you have a min too..i want the cake bible next (to the detriment of my waist line..heehee)!