2017's annotated book list

As like last year's list, I will annotate this one as necessary. Also, I will ** any book I recommend. This doesn't mean that the other books were horrible, just that they were average, and if you were having to actually purchase your books, rather than checking them out of the library, these would be worthwhile to add to your library. I will link to any previous blog posts, if I wrote about them at another time.

1. The Little Paris Bookshop - Nina George
     Enjoyable, though vaguely annoying underlying theology which makes me hesitant to add the asterisks.
2. Mine in China: Your Complete Guide to China Adoption - Kelly Mayfield **
     If you are adopting from China, or interested in adopting from China, you need to pick up my friend Kelly's invaluable book.
3. The Relic Master - Christopher Buckley
     The blurbs all stated how extraordinarily funny this book was. I read the whole thing, waiting to laugh out loud. I believe the reviewers' senses of humor must be very different from mine. That said, it was a really interesting work of historical fiction. It was a little rawer than I usually read, so if you don't mind that, I recommend it.
4. Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences - Kitty Burns
     I love sentence diagramming. I loved it as a child; I love to teach it to my children. If you are geeky in this same way, you will like this book.
5. The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love - Melissa Fay Greene **
     I loved this book. Read it. Read it if you like dogs. Read it if you have children with special needs in your life. Just read it.
6. The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and in business - Charles Duhigg **
     I also loved this book. It was fascinating to read, and made me look at what I do and what my children do with different eyes.
7. Shattered - Dick Francis
8. Tree of Freedom - Rebecca Caudill
     Tea time read aloud.
9. Second Wind - Dick Francis
10. The Edge - Dick Francis
11. Wild Horses - Dick Francis
12. The Insanity of God: a true story of faith resurrected - Nik Ripkin **
     An extremely powerful book, as the author talks with those who have been persecuted for their faith. Highly recommended.
13. To the Hilt - Dick Francis
14. Odds Against - Dick Francis
15. Flying Finish - Dick Francis
16. Knitlandia: a knitter sees the world - Clara Parkes
17. Blood Sport - Dick Francis
18. Rat Race - Dick Francis
19. Cocktails for Three - Madeleine Wickham
     Evidently this book was such fluff, that I have no recollection of it what so ever. I think this was at the beginning of the moving mayhem.
20. Bernese Adventure - Jane Shaw
     Tea time read aloud
21. The Whistling Season - Ivan Doig **
     Set in Montana, with the main character being the master of a one room schoolhouse. I fell in love with the author and the characters.
22. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish secrets to happy living - Meik Wiking
     I know A. named her Great Dane, Olive, but I've decided if I ever have a Great Dane, I'm going to name him Hygge.
23. What it Really Takes to Start and Run a Horse Business... and how to do it right the first time - Sheri Grunska
24. Miss Bunkle's Book - D. E. Stevenson
     Fluff. Fun, but fluff.
25. The Body Keeps Score: brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma - Bessel van der Kolk **
     If you are interested in the brain at all, you will find this book fascinating. If you have anything to do with children, particularly ones from hard places, you need to read this book.
26. The Metabolism Plan - Lyn-Genet Recitas
     Snake oil, with a side of bait-and-switch.
27. Then There Were Five - Elizabeth Enright **
     A tea time read aloud. It is part of the Melendy Family books.
28. The Decider - Dick Francis
29. Miss Bunkle Married - D. E. Stevenson
      More fun fluff
30. Traumatic Experience and the Brain: a handbook for understanding and treating those traumatized as children - Dave Zigler
31. 101 Things I Hate About Your House: a premier designer takes you on a room-by-room tour to transform your home from faux pas to fabulous - James Swan
     I don't think the author and I would get along, nor would the author love my house. And I'm good with that.
32. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: how a few simple lessons transformed nine culinary novices into fearless home cooks - Kathleen Flinn **
     This was great. It was like a combination of cooking lessons and transformation stories, with a hint of worst cooks in the world. Fun and educational.
33. The House Always Wins: America's most trusted house columnist's guide to creating your (almost) perfect dream house - Marni Jameson
     I have no patience with people who take months to pick out the exactly right shade of paint, and have that be their sole purpose in life for months at a time. Especially when that same person going on and on (and on and on and on) about how they just don't know what they're doing.
34. That Quail, Robert - Margaret A. Stanger
     Tea time read aloud, while we were waiting for our own quail to hatch.
35. Troublemakers: lessons in freedom from young children at school - Carla Shalaby **
     An extremely powerful book, that will cause you to rethink what you mean when you use the work, 'troublemaker'.
36. The Overflowing Brain: information overload and the limits of working memory - Torkel Klingberg
     Interesting if you are a brain geek.
37. English Creek - Ivan Doig **
     Also set in Montana, but with a different set of characters. I fell in love with these characters, too.
38. The Cozy Life: rediscover the joy of simple things through the Danish concept of hygge - Pia Edberg
39. The Learning Brain: memory and brain-development in children - Torkel Klingberg
     More brain geekiness
40. Dancing at the Rascal Fair - Ivan Doig **
     The second in the English Creek trilogy
41. Organized Simplicity: the clutter-free approach to intentional living - Tsh Oxenrider
42. The Sound of Glass - Karen White
     Chick lit
43. Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
     More chick lit
44. Saving Grace - Katie Fforde
     Fluffy chick lit (I believe I was in the middle of packing)
45. Work Song - Ivan Doig **
     The second book with the some of the same characters from The Whistling Season
46. The Thin Woman - Dorothy Cannell
47. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome **
     Tea time read aloud. I've now read it out loud three times, and it doesn't grow old.
48. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
     Flavia de Luce
49. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mewed - Alan Bradley
     More Flavia de Luce
50. Murder with Peacocks - Donna Andrews
51. Murder with Puffins - Donna Andrews
52. Down the Garden Path - Beverly Nichols
53. The Widow's Club - Dorothy Cannell
54. The Ides of April - Lindsey Davis
     A new series with the detective being the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, for those who are familiar with those Roman mysteries.
55. Enemies at Home - Lindsey Davis
56. Wired to Create: unraveling the mysteries of the creative mind - Scott Barry Kaufmann and Carolyn Gregoire **
     I found this a really interesting book to read.
57. Deadly Election - Lindsey Davis
58. Swallowdale - Arthur Ransome **
     Tea time read aloud. The second Swallows and Amazons book.
59. The Story of the Amistad - Emma Gelders Sterne
     Tea time read aloud
60. The Graveyards of the Hesperides - Lindsey Davis
61. The Venetian Bargain - Marina Fiorato
     Historical fiction about Venice. Actually much more accurately, extremely romanticized historical fiction about Venice.
62. The Secret of the Andes - Ann Nolan
     Tea time read aloud
63. Sweet Thunder - Ivan Doig **
     The third book following The Whistling Season
64. Red Shirts - John Scalzi
     If you enjoy Star Trek, you will probably find this book a lot of fun.
65. Horse Keeping on a Small Acreage: designing and managing your equine facilities - Cherry Hill
66. Complete Horse Care Manual - Colin Vogel
67. The Dante Connection - Estelle Ryan
68. Silver Pigs - Lindsey Davis
     Having read all of the new series, I wanted to refresh my memory of the first one.
69. The While Rider - Witi Ihimaera
     Tea time read aloud
70. When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters: an emergency survival guide - Marion Edwards and Ahza Moore
71. Still Life - Louise Penny **
     The first of the Inspector Gamache mystery series. Much meatier than usual mystery fare.
72. Shadows in Bronze - Lindsey Davis
73. The Braque Connection - Estelle Ryan
74. Venus in Copper - Lindsey Davis
75. A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny **
76. The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny **
77. The Return of the Twelves - Pauline Clarke **
     Tea time read aloud

So I know I said I read 78 books, but evidently I cannot number correctly, because it's really 77. I can tell it was a vaguely stressful year by the number of candy books I read. That would be all the mysteries, plus some actual chick lit, which I don't usually touch. It's kind of fun to go back and relive my year in books. I see each of the titles, and I can usually visualize exactly where I was and what was going on in life when I do. I hope some of you will pick up the starred books. They are all really worth reading.


L Urban said…
I love Ivan Doig. Did you know he graduated from Northwestern? Thanks for reminding me about the Whistling Season. Read it a long time ago and now I want to revisit it.

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