Thursday, December 31, 2015

All the books I read in 2015

Books I finished during 2015, in the order in which I read them.

For a shorter list of my very favorites, go here.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria by Robert Crichton (Kindle).
Story of a small Italian village during WWII and how they hide their wine from the Germans throughout the war.  This was on a list of supposedly funny books.  I did not find it to be overly funny, although the situation in general could be construed as humorous.  But there was quite a bit of violence in it.  How could it be funny when it includes Nazis?

Love burning in the soul : the story of the Christian mystics, from Saint Paul to Thomas Merton, by James Harpur.  Nonfiction.

Bartleby the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street, by Herman Melville.  (Kindle) Good writing, but utterly depressing and unsatisfying ending.

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse.  (Kindle) Short stories about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves.  Quite amusing.

Reimagining Christianity : reconnect your spirit without disconnecting your mind  by Alan W. Jones.  Nonfiction.

Maisie Dobbs (novel) by Jacqueline Winspear

The Reformation: History in an Hour (Kindle) Nonfiction

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
About a woman who has a chimp for a sister.  Just like a chimp, it’s an unpredictable plot.
Paul Among the People: the Apostle reinterpreted and reimagined in his own time,  by Sarah Ruden.  Nonfiction.  The author re-examines the writings of Paul in light of non-Christian writings of (roughly) the same historical era, to shed light on the culture that Paul was commenting on/resisting against. Not an easy read, in my opinion.

Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening by Diana Butler Bass (Kindle) Nonfiction.

Real Good Church (Kindle) by Molly Baskette. Nonfiction

No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym

Discovering the Other (Kindle) by Cameron Harder – about church renewal.  Nonfiction

Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber.  Nonfiction

Our iceberg is melting : changing and succeeding under any conditions
by John P. Kotter. Nonfiction.  Starring penguins who must learn to change.

Leading Change, by John P. Kotter.  Nonfiction

Leading Change in the Congregation: Spiritual and Organizational Tools for Leaders
by Gilbert R. Rendle

Notre-Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo (bilingual version on Kindle).  Also The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, trans Walter Cobb.

The Bible's cutting room floor : the Holy Scriptures missing from your Bible  by Joel M. Hoffman.   Nonfiction.

My Losing Season, by Pat Conroy.  Nonfiction (memoir). For book club. 

Small victories : spotting improbable moments of grace, by Anne Lamott.  Nonfiction.

Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell.  Not much plot, but some tea drinking.  I enjoyed it.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark.   Excellent writing.  Topic not as compelling. 

I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov.  (Kindle) For book club.  Thought-provoking, but the writing style did not thrill me.

A Red Herring Without Mustard, by Alan C. Bradley (Flavia de Luce Mystery)

Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay. At first I was not thrilled with the switching back and forth of time frames, but the story grew on me.

Sheltering Rain, by Jojo Moyes.  A fine summer read.  The author was recommended on The Crislers blog, but a different book, which wasn’t available at the library.  My other choice was yet another holocaust novel, but I needed something less dooming.

Astro Turf, by M.G. Lord.  A sort of memoir/biography about the author’s father who worked at Jet Propulsion Lab and NASA in the early days.  Biographical sketches of women working in that industry and the author’s own thoughts about women’s rights in that arena.

March, by John Lewis.  A graphic novel about Congressman John Lewis during the Civil Rights era. Contributors: Andrew Aydin, author; Nate Powell, artist. 

American Pastoral, by Philip Roth.  I list this here, although I was not able to finish this book.  Narrator is a curmudgeon and then part-way through, narration gets fuzzy.  Too violent for me.  This was for Book Club.

The Misunderstood Jew, by Amy-Jill Levine.  (Kindle) Nonfiction

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente.  This is a book probably for tweens.  I think I loved this book more than my daughter did.

Wonderstruck: a novel in words and pictures by Brian Selznick.

Sarrasine, a short story. By Honore Balzac.  Nov 1830.  I read it in bilingual (interlineal) French and English.  (Kindle) Translation by Clara Bell 1831. Edited 2013 by Nik Marcel. 

Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson.  (Kindle) For book club.  Nonfiction

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd.

The Clocks, by Agatha Christie

Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett.  (Kindle) For book club. 

The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lippman.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.  (Kindle)

1984 by George Orwell (Eric Blair) (Kindle) Very good, but just as upsetting and creepy as the first time I read it.  


smalltownme said...

You can visit my Goodreads for my list!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I got active on Goodreads this year just so I could keep better track of the books I've read and what I thought of them (because my brain is scarily similar to a colander). I've also managed to find some pretty good recommendations from all of my book-reading friends. Thanks!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

PS: I, Robot on audio tape while driving to Arizona provided a little too much education to my younger son.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Great selections! Did you know that Bartleby the Scrivener was made into a movie starring Crispin Glover? It is very, very strange.

Anonymous said...

Goodness what a list!
I like how you read a mix of fiction and nonfiction.