Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ramble: 2014: A Year in Review

I haven't posted all my reviews for 2014, but I wanted to post my year in review before February or June or something. 

So, here is my report:

1) Goals

I accomplished my goal of reading 150 books in one year. 150! That's 35 more than my previous record of 115 in 2011. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. However, I don't think it's impressive because many of those 150 books were children's picture books. I think next year, I want to concentrate on reading more books of substance, more classics or cozy fiction, and definitely, more books about God. 

2) Themes

There were two major theme's for this year. The first was the Revolutionary War. This was an intentional theme. I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution this year and that only fueled my already considerable interest in the American War for Freedom. From 1776 by David McCullough to Hope's Crossing by Joan Elizabeth Goodman to Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War by Kenneth A. Daigler, I read a nice assortment of historical prose and fiction. 

The second theme was not planned, being quite accidental: life from the viewpoint of someone with a physical or mental handicap. In particular, Yolen's The Mermaid's Three Wisdoms and Konigsburg's Father's Arcane Daughter. Both of these, like Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (which I read last year), helped me adjust my viewpoint, to see life from another's perspective. I intend to be more diligent about reading books on this theme. 

3) Series

I wasn't able to finish as many series as I wanted. But I finished 4:

The 2001 Odyssey Series by Arthur C. Clarke: I read this because of its status as a Science Fiction Great. It was vastly different that I expected, but as good as it was rumored. 

The World's 1000 Best Poems ed. by Berton Braley: Worth reading. I didn't enjoy all the poems, but the wide variety and different styles made this an excellent read. 

The Millie Cooper Series by Charlotte Herman: I read the second book in the series when I was a child, and it made an impression on my. I'd never felt so connected to a character before. But the book wasn't mine, and over the years, I forgot the title and author - but never the story. Kind people on Librarything were able to help me locate this book again, and I bought and read all three. They were as soul-touching as ever and I'm grateful to have them again. 

The Starbridge Series: Of the 7 books, I read the last 4 in 2014. While not every book was amazing, all together they were an excellent sci-fi series, one I recommend to other. Silent Songs was my favorite, with Silent Dances a close second. 

My Top Books of the Year:

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

1776 by David McCullough

A Share of Freedom by June Rae Wood

Miss Buncle, Married by D.E. Stevenson

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson

Sad Underwear and Other Complications by Judith Viorst

Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

The Millie Cooper Series by Charlotte Herman

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dreamby Adam Shepard

Silent Songs by A.C. Crispin and Kathleen O'Malley (Starbridge, Book 5)

The Journal of John Wesley ed. by Nehemiah Curnock

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