Favorite Books Read | 2o19

At the close of 2018, I found a handful of posts in the blogger world batted around discussing and sharing the list of books read for the year and goals for the next year. All that led to wonder about how many books I read in the course of twelve months, and so I decided to create a list and discover the answer. 

About half way through the year, however, I realized how boring a post of just a plain list of books would be and I abandoned the idea, and keeping record fell more and more out of habit, only remembering every once and a while and adding what I could remember for personal records.

That is until a friend a couple weeks mentioned she was writing a list of favorite books read during the year and why. I promised to make a list too and began coming back over the year in my mind and finishing the overall list, so then I could work it down to just favorites.

The list grew. And grew. And grew. (If I calculated correctly, I read 63 books.)

It was pretty easy at the start to knock out huge chunks at a time. My friend and I first set the rule, that only books first read in 2019 can be included (farewell rereads of amazing books from 2018) and then there were a nice amount of school books that I enjoyed but probably wouldn’t read again, (goodbye Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and then there were books that I just didn’t enjoy that much.

By the end I had twenty-two novels on my list. My friend only had six. Including one I wrote. So really just five.

At that point my friend said to try to at least get it down under twenty.

So with some more careful carving, I reached seventeen and then fifteen.

You will notice though that I snuck in a couple nods here and there to some of those novels that “aren’t part of the list.” Please take note. 😉

With that! Two more things to be aware of:

Note #2: While I enjoyed these books, I would not necessarily suggest them for everyone. Make sure to check content warnings before reading any of them.

Note #3: These books are not listed in any particular order or ranking.

Oh and! Note #4: I had a lot of fun with this. I plan to start making this tradition each year. Feel free to steal this idea from my friend too. 😉

  • Adorning the Dark  by Andrew Peterson

I was excited to get a Rabbit Room gift card for my birthday, and with it I preordered this book (though apparently I did not get a true pre-order copy that glows in the dark…?) Once it arrived, it did not take long to read, it’s fairly short, but I found myself wanting to take just one chapter at a time. Most books I find on writing – or even just a set of prose attempting to capture writing – falls into the same endless circles that are worn to the point of sickening to hear over and over again, but I found this book different. It has a very personal feel to it, and captures the process of writing so incredibly well yet in a very uncliched and realistic way. It had some helpful nuggets and had some beautiful thoughts. 

(Also as a side note if you ever have the opportunity to order a book from The Rabbit Room store instead of Amazon, I 100% recommend it. The updated status texts for your order make it worth it.)

  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Another book on writing though this one is specifically about screenwriting. I heard about it from a novelist who said it is a good book for writers in general and checked it out from my library. I found it extremely practical, insightful, and fresh, even though I don’t have any grand plans of writing a movie script any time soon. I especially like the first section that talked all about developing ideas and writing “loglines” (one sentence story ideas summaries). I had never heard the technical term before but I realized I have often tried to write them, and his advice in doing so was super helpful. I also want to try his ideas on plot structure sometime. The notion of writing plot points on index cards and taping them to the wall is especially appealing.

  • All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstien

This book was fascinating. I had been wanting to read it for a while (held out because of content issues) but finally got around to it, and didn’t put it down for a week. The true story about the Watergate Scandal written by the two reporters who sniffed it all out and published in the throws of it all, it’s both gripping and informative. I had heard a lot of things here and there about Watergate, and had even seen the original file cabinet that was broken into in person, but had never really understood what happened. Turns out a lot happened. And it also gave a picture of journalism and the true power of words. It can be hard to follow at times with all the names that I didn’t grow up hearing in politics, but thankfully they include a list and pictures. 

  • Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Either you hate it or you love it. I loved it. The old classic, slow perhaps, and yes, just an old man out at sea trying to catch fish, but I found it a very raw and realistic depiction of the straining human nature and its limitations. It’s a sobering novella, but I think in a good way. Also. Manolin. 

  • Letters From Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien

I was volunteering at my local library (during the summer) when I spotted this treasure on the shelf. After I finished my shift and had a while before I was going to be picked up, I went back, found it, and retreated to a corner to read. I loved every moment of it. It’s so sweet and magical, filled with clever illustrations and quirky handwriting that all tie into the story that arches over a couple years worth of letters to the Tolkien children. The unique take on the North Pole and the personable characters such as the Polar Bear and the Christmas elves, are all fresh and quaint, and the actions and events related within the notes are both comical and enduring. Every page is overflowing with creativity and beauty. The best word to describe the book, I think, is “delightful.” I would love to make reading this a yearly tradition with a mug of hot chocolate in hand and before a roaring fire.

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I had watched the movie first a couple years ago, and then found a nice copy of the book for cheap at a thrift store and bought it. The story was just as sad as I remembered, and the ending still hit me as hard as the first time experiencing it. I love the first person narrative, the struggles and emotions experienced, and still think it is a very clever plot (but a very sobering one, in the same way as The Old Man and the Sea.) 

  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

This book, suggested by a friend, I read all in one quiet afternoon sitting – it’s a fairly short story, but truly a beautiful one. I cried when I finished it, partially because of the deep sadness in it, but mostly because of the breathtaking ending which was so overwhelmingly simple and enchanting. “Enchanting” is probably a surprising but encompassing description of the book, even though it is placed in a very plain, rough rural town, filled with plain, rough, everyday life. The characters themselves are very plain and simple in a realistic way, but the journey they took me on, was in no way plain.

  • Circus Mirandus and it’s sequel The Bootlace Magician by Cassie Beasley

These books. I adore them. I really do. I have ranted about it. And the relationship between The Lightbender and the boy…. Just – wow. My heart is stolen. Forever. I’m never getting it back. 

The creativity. The quirky voice of the narrator. The sweet, simplistic but breathtaking beauty of it. And the illustrations. Everything. I loved it all

I read the first book over a trip to Philadelphia for my older sibling’s college level Mock Trial competition. At first I was a bit embarrassed to be seen by the smart, advanced mock-ers (yes that’s what we call ourselves) carrying it around between rounds, but by the end I didn’t care. It’s the kind of book that is called a “children’s book,” but that you find and can never let go of – especially as you get older, like Winnie the Pooh. The second book came out this year and I borrowed it from the library as soon as it was available. 

But to top it off? When I was in Nashville at a huge warehouse of used books, I found a gorgeous hardback copy of Circus Mirandus. I don’t think I stopped hugging it until I had to hand it to the man at the counter in order to buy it.

( ^ see?)

Also: A very good, similar type of book I read this year, which I loved, is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, because Glerk. And Fyrian. 

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I don’t even know where to start with this one. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. It’s thrilling. It’s fascinating. It’s epic. It’s emotional. It’s scary. It’s so life-like in its characters and their actions and reactions even as it’s placed in space in a battle against aliens. And I found myself not wanting it to end. I made the mistake of starting it in some spare time one afternoon and then finding myself altogether too caught up to do anything but read it until I finished it around noon the next day. And the ending? Wow. Just… wow.

Interesting note: it reminded me of one of my favorite reads from 2018, Starship Troopers, (which (also interesting fact) I had expected to be completely different than it actually turned out to be.) Early sci-fi with themes of challenging philosophy I guess…?

  • Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt 

Okay though. This book is fantastic. A friend (and both her mom and brother) suggested a handful of Gary Schmidt’s books to me. I first read The Wednesday Wars (amazing!) and then Orbiting Jupiter (good too), but in the end, I had to pick Okay For Now as my favorite. It’s such a wholesome, good novel, about a boy in a dysfunctional family learning about life and creativity and love and friendships. It’s extremely well written and paced and also very cleverly entwined around James Audubon’s bird paintings. I absolutely love the relationships developed through the story and how the characters change. It’s just such a good book.

I look forward to reading Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy next via said-friend’s mother’s suggestion.

  • American’s Favorite Poems collected by Pinsley and Dietz

Here is another book I found at the thrift store, a nice condition hardcopy, for $2. What made this book unique as compared to any old used-copy collection of poetry discovered on a sagging shelf, is it’s set up. The two editors had hundreds of Americans send in their favorite poems and explain what it means to them. Every poem is prefaced with a name, an age, a location, and a paragraph of story connected to the poem. It has a large variety from all kinds of poets and all kinds of styles, and it manages to make every one of the poems so meaningful, setting them in lights I would have never thought of. With the wide variety, I also found new favorites such as Refugee Blues, a haunting poem I ended up memorizing for a presentation. 

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This book I struggled with. I don’t think I’ve still gotten over the ending. I didn’t cry. I was too numb. 

The novel switches to and fro from the perspective of two characters – a German orphan boy and a blind French girl around the time of World War II. The prose is lovely, and while the main characters muse a little here and there about a memory, I had no problems with becoming bored. It is the sort of book that wastes no scenes or words, and that with the first words you know the author took up the task of writing it with such respect and love and carefulness.

I loved the storytelling and the characters. though I sometimes wondered if the latter was a good thing. 

Overall it is a chillingly beautiful narrative, raw in its handling of humanity and emotions. It reminded me in some ways of The Book Thief. 

  • And finally – what I will try to sneak in as “honorable mention,” – Shaun Tan’s The Arrival

Honorable mention? The reason? Because technically I did not read this book. I experienced it. 

There are no words, only pictures. But breathtaking sketches at that. They all link together and unfold the story of a man leaving his wife and young daughter to make a new life for them across the ocean in a strange foreign place with strange and confusing contraptions and creatures. It’s everything… fascinating, scary, exciting, lonely, strange, and hopeful, and overall it’s really beautiful. 

And then right now I’m currently reading Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card.

A glimpse at my TBR (to-be-read) List:

  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The rest of the Wildwood Series (I’ve only read book 1 so far)
  • Ender In Exile by Orson Scott Card
  • T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

What books did you read in 2o19? Which were your favorites? Any suggestions for my 2o2o TBR list?

(*all pictures beyond the one with my hand in it, taken from Amazon or other internet locations* :))

54 thoughts on “Favorite Books Read | 2o19”

  1. Those stories sound fantastic! I’ll definitely be adding Letters From Father Christmas and All The Light We Cannot See to my TBR. Right when I saw this, I tried thinking of all those awesome books I read last year, and I could NOT remember any of them. This is why I keep track of them all in Goodreads. xD But luckily, I just recalled one, called The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep. It’s about this person who can summon characters out of books, into real life, and it’s just a SPECTACULAR blend between our world and the written world. I highly recommend it. Highly. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really are! I hope you enjoy those two. They’re great. 🙂
      Oooh. That one sounds interesting. I have read a book before about a person who could read characters out of books (Inkheart) and it was okay, but nothing spectacular. The only reason I read book two was because of one particular character I adored (who was then *coughs* killed. *cries*)
      I’ll have to see if my library has a copy. Thank you for the suggestion!


  2. I absolutely love end of year book lists! Helps me sort out my TBD… 🙂

    Wow! You’ve read Ender’s Game! Ender Wiggin is my No. 1 most-relable fictional character. Period. He thinks in the same brain waves I do (except I’m not a genius as he is). We’re both INTJs, and it’s very rare to find accurately depicted INTJs in fiction (Christopher Nolan’s films do a rather great job though).

    You may or may not have heard of this (I mentioned in in an SE post last year): I highly recommend this companion book called ENDER’S WORLD, a collection of essays from various people (cience fiction and fantasy writers, YA authors, military strategists(!!)) about the book/story, and edited by OSCard. It’s *hard* to find a copy of this work, but thriftbooks.com has a reasonably priced used copies (https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/enders-world-fresh-perspectives-on-the-sf-classic-enders-game/477685/#isbn=1937856216&idiq=11887970)
    Anyway, Ender’s World helped me flesh out elements of the original story. Also, it’s always good to see the same story from different people’s perspectives and how much the story helped and amazed them, right?

    Do you plan on reading the rest of the Ender saga (albeit they *are very different from Ender’s Game and Ender in Exile, since they are feature Ender as an adult, etc.)? Have you heard of the Ender’s Shadow saga (about Bean)?

    Some of my best reads from 2019:

    – THE FIDDLER’S GUN by A.S. Peterson (You’ve probably heard of this one since you follow The Rabbit Room. 🙂 I love the historical setting of 1700s America War for Independence Era, and piracy is so adventurous and fun. I can’t get that scene in which Fin shot those British soldiers one by one with THEIR OWN MUSKETS lined against the wall out of my mind. Light read and very fun – Peterson has such a talent for a great humorous voice as the author (reminds me of Mark Twain and classical American adventures).

    – MISTBORN and The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. I haven’t finished the third book in this trilogy yet, high fantasy, very original and interesting magic system, Sanderson is considered a must read for fantasy readers – some content though – see PluggedIn reviews for those – Elend is my favorite character and all the characters have wonderful arcs and journeys.

    – THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. By Edith Wharton. Classic high society New York novel, very sobering story and themes and a tragic heroine; Wharton’s elegance of prose is my ideal writer’s voice

    – THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. It’s Dostoevsky – need I say more?

    – CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. WWII historical fiction featuring espionage, courage, a captured female Scottish Special Operations Executive agent telling her story and friendship with a female British air pilot, it’s the first YA historical fiction I’ve read that’s JUST SO GOOD. Heartbreakingly good. Very interesting and creative way of storytelling as well – akin to stream-of-consiousness and perhaps unreliable narrator/s. Also great initiative for me to research some WWII stuff – airplanes, women’s roles, British intelligence, etc.

    – A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Sidney Carton is the no. 1 redemptive character. And oh that ending!

    Have you read any of these?

    (And do you have a Goodreads account I may be able to connect up with? So we can talk bookishness more constantly 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So do I! Plus I also just enjoy hearing people rant about books. 😉
      I wasn’t completely sure what personality type Ender Wiggin is, but that makes a lot of sense! I probably would have guessed one letter off or so.

      Yesssss. I have a vague memory of you mentioning it, but since I hadn’t read Ender’s Game yet, I think I brushed it off and forgot. But now! Oooh. I am going to have to get my hands on that copy.
      I hope to read more Orson Scott Card, he was become one of my favorite authors now! I have heard a lot of people warn that the rest of Ender’s series is “different” but I still want to try it out.

      Yes, I have heard of Ender’s Shadow series! I just read the first book and it was amazing! Not quite as good as Ender’s Game in my opinion (and heaven forbid someone read that Ender’s Shadow first!) but it was still fantastic. I hope to continue that series as well.

      I read Fiddler’s Gun this year and its sequel actually! WHAT?!? That scene! That scene made me. so. MAD. 😆 It was late and I told myself I was going to read one more chapter… and then it was that chapter. I think I stayed up until three in the morning, frantically turning pages and mentally screaming at her.
      For some reason I did not enjoy those books. And the ending was so tragic. Idk. I guess I didn’t find any redemptive or any insight from that one… (plus. I was just plain mad. XD) I guess you’ll have to convince me why I should have liked it. 🙂

      I have read Tale of Two Cities and oh my goodness Sydney Carton. I read it for school a month or so ago and I had forgotten how much I love his character. Just… aslkdjfalskdjf. ❤ ❤ ❤ (‘nough said)

      I have been wanting to read Brandon Sanderson, but I didn't know where to start. And The Brothers K. is already on my tbr list. I just need to find the time. ( *glares at calendar* )

      The House of Mirth sounds interesting. I'm adding that one to my list as well.

      I do not have Goodreads, unfortunately. (Or maybe fortunately the reason being the reason I don't have any "social media accounts" that of time management. 😛 ) But ey. Story Embers. You can tag me and rant about why you like Fiddler's Gun. 😉

      Thanks for the suggestions! I look forward to reading them. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My source for Ender’s MBTI analysis is here: https://mbtifiction.com/2014/08/01/enders-game-ender-wiggin-intj/ (this site also includes a very much more in-depth view on MBTI in general – see https://mtbifiction.wordpress.com/the-book-addicts-guide-to-mbti/?preview=true&preview_id=3837&preview_nonce=c4b6ec77a4

        Yes! Let me know when you’ve read Ender’s World – SO much to discuss there. 🙂 I certainly recommend OSC’s Enderverse books, but I can’t say much about his other books since I’ve not read them and have not heard anything about them in my sphere of influence. If you do though please let me know what you think of his fantasy works etc.

        Whoa – that scene made you MAD? I thought it was a rather exciting scene of self-defense (actually when I read it I went all into Director’s Mode and was like, hmm… that’s prime material for a great action scene :P). Plus, I’m all for the Americans in the Revolution, so I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy for those British lads who were keen on assaulting civilians (Fin, Bart). (Recently I’m watching the Poldark series and I, surprising, do like Ross even though he WAS a British soldier in the American Revolution.) I did have some issues with the Fin-Peter romance line – it didn’t feel too real for me but I suppose that wasn’t really the focus of the first book. I’ve yet to read the second so I can’t say much about the ending…
        I’ve also started to listen to A.S. Peterson’s reading of the book (PLUS extras!) on https://omny.fm/shows/fin-s-revolution (His narrating voice is quite good 🙂 I have to admit I’m biased for all things American Revolution and sea adventures…..
        So what about the book was distasteful for you?

        Have you seen the screen adaptations for Tale of Two Cities? I saw the 1989 version (hard to come by now but I found a copy in the library) with James Wilby as Carton and THAT ENDING SPEECH WAS SO HEARTBREAKING. The B&W version is supposed to be really good too but not as detailed as the 1989 – I’ve yet to see it. Got to give it to Charles Dickens for being a talented wordsmith.

        I recommend starting off with Mistborn series – it’s not as long as, say, the Stormlight Archives. (Also whenever you read Sanderson, go to his website – he posts wonderfully informative/interesting commentaries chapter by chapter… like about how he came up with this or what was changed during editing and etc. 🙂 I do like how Sanderson’s lighter in content issues compared to a lot of other works in the secular fantasy market.

        Have you ever heard of or used Librivox.org? They have free audiobooks (no account needed) for public domain works. I’ve listened to this version while putting away dishes in the morning before work (which I find to be a very efficient way of doing chores and cross more classics off my TBR) and the narrator, Elizabeth Klett, does such a wonderful job dramatizing all the different characters voices. I also find her voice pleasant and sweet to listen to. https://librivox.org/the-house-of-mirth-by-edith-wharton/ (Hint: the right side has a box called Links, the Internet Archive link goes to an auto playlist). I’ve also listened to Elizabeth Klett’s readings of Jane Austen works and some others. Also, Librivox stores some audiobooks that feature a full cast – those are really fun too (like for Pride and Prejudice, or the Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde).

        Aww sure! I’ve been neglecting SE forums of late. I’ve been busy working and also planning this Project Pursue Wisdom review/blog site (which I paid for last fall but haven’t really invested time in it yet). Be sure to tag me on SE if you find something interesting you think I should join in. 🙂

        (Forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been wanting to read Save the Cat for forever… heard rave reviews about it but yet have to convince my library to lend me a copy soon!! 🙂

        Just curious, what are some book and movie review sites you’d recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, that’s fascinating! I started to look around the site and I must say, I love how much they have about Inception and other Christopher Nolan films. 😆

          Sure, I’ll let you know when I get around to those! Hopefully soon, but if I were to guess it might be a year until I do. Probably earliest would be the summer. 😛

          Haha, I am for the American Revolution as well. Who isn’t? 😉
          But yes! It did make me mad. I guess I didn’t see it as much as self-defense, they were disarmed when she shot them.
          Yessss I saw that podcast when it was started and am subscribed but due to time, I haven’t gotten to listen to any of them. Perhaps I’ll start at the beginning sometime this year and make it a habit. I really liked the idea of listening to his voice reading it, and the bonus materials sounded really interesting.

          I have a vague memory of watching a movie adaption of A Tale of Two Cities, but I’m not sure what year it was. Probably that one.

          Oooh. Interesting. I love learning quirk, specific things like that from authors. I definitely will check his website out.

          Hahaha, I knew that you were cooking something up. When you subscribed to my blog it had a link to your WordPress profile which had a link to your site. I was super excited to see it! I remembered how good you were at suggesting and “dissecting” (so to speak ha) books from conversations on Story Embers. I think I got the award of first subscriber but I’m still waiting for the first post. 😉

          Honestly, I don’t follow any book or movie review sites. The extent of reviews in my feed is from the occasional post here and there from a blog I follow, or from World Magazine’s monthly issues and their podcast The World and Everything In It which has a movie review every Friday.

          Beyond that, I’m just waiting for some very thoughtful person to start a good site that I can go to for that. *coughcoughhinthint* 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yeah… currently I’m a bit torn between setting up my site as a blog-centered reviews (meaning you’ll get updates on whatever post I publish), or just create new pages for each review (or put it under a “Project” on WordPress), and then post up a page every two weeks or month about the “Wrap-Up” in which I recap what I have reviewed/watch/goings-ons. Also, writing reviews that fulfill my expectations is *not easy*. 😦 I’m struggling between being too rambling and being too formal.
          Oh well… I’m currently working on a set of reviews, then I’m going to post them up as articles as a batch, and then poke around my website settings to see how they are, and then I’ll do a blog update with links to each of the reviews. (Hints: The Man Who Was Thursday, The Man From UNCLE 2015, Poldark Season 1, Johnny Tremain the movie, and maybe polish up The House of Mirth review/discussion)
          What do you think?

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Hmm, so I thought about it and I think making a page for every single one would take up too much time. I can also speak from experience that I don’t read every linked “post” in wrap up posts because I usually don’t have time right then and there. Thankfully for most of them I’ve already read every listed post because I’ve been following them and reading them over the month.
          I think too that if you do pages then if someone tries to search for a particular book/movie in your archive it wouldn’t work as well.
          But they both have pros and cons.
          Maybe what you could do is have a wrap up subscriber email at the end of each month…?
          I know a lot of bloggers use Mail Chimp and that it’s free if you have less than 100 subscribers.
          Aaaah I resonate with the being too formal vs. rambling. I feel like I flip-flop on that all the time. I say do whatever fits the vibe you want, but also whatever fits your style most. So maybe a mix? I don’t know. If you figure it out let me know 😝
          Oooh. I have read The Man Who Was Thursday and Johnny Tremain. I look forward to reading your reviews on them and hearing about the others!! 😄

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Oh also, if you ever have any questions about WordPress or if you ever are stuck and need encouragement, let me know! I’ll gladly cheer you on and brainstorm ideas or just listen to any frustrated rants. 🙃


  3. The Bridge to Terabithia, I have a love\hate relationship with that book. I like the story, but the end is so sad. I read the book on Christmas and cried for 15 minutes. :p One new series I found and loved this year was The Weaver Trilogy by Lindsay A. Franklin, the last one comes out in May and I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaaah BUT THE END IS THE BEST PART. The scene with his sister. Just 😍😍
      Oh well. I get the love/hate thing. 🙃 I’ll respect that. 😜
      I have heard of that series but haven’t got my hands on any copies yet! I’ll have to see if my library has them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. YASSS!!! I LOVE this. 😍
    Sounds like you read many wonderful books in 2o19! I haven’t read any of the ones you listed so my 2o2o TBR list has grown. 😂
    ohmyword “The Arrival” sounds so adorable!!! 😭❤️❤️
    I always love hearing about people’s favorite books of the year. This post was glorious!! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear I hope your list isn’t too big now… 😬😂
      You’ll have to let me know if you get around to reading any of them!
      Yes. The Arrival is really fantastic. 😊
      Thanks, my friend! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad you did a review on ” A Bridge to Terrabithia “. I have been wanting to read that book, however I feel I must prepare myself based on all the things people say about the sadness of it. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s probably a good idea! Be prepared, but don’t numb your feelings. You’ll want to experience all the feels. 😉
      You’ll have to let me know what you think of it once you read it!


  6. Wow. That’s a beautiful collection of books!! I love Bridge to Terabithia and the Old Man and the Sea. Circus Mirandus, Life of Pi, All the Light We Cannot See, and Adorning the Dark are all going on my tbr! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Evelyn, awesome list of books! I loved Adorning the Dark too.
    But I must warn you.
    DO NOT read Ender in Exile right after Ender’s Shadow, please don’t. You’ll spoil the whole series for yourself.
    Chronologically, they go like this: Ender’s Game, A War of Gifts, Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight, Ender in Exile, First Meetings, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind
    The order I read them in (in 2019 — and they’re some of my favorites from that year) is Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight, Ender in Exile, First Meetings, A War of Gifts
    I recommend the order I read them in, but whatever you do, DON’T read Ender in Exile until AFTER Shadow of the Giant. Or it won’t make any sense and will spoil all of Bean and Petra’s story for you.
    Wow, that was long. I hope it made sense and I hope you very much enjoy the amazingness that is the Ender series.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aaaaah okay! You are not the first person to say that too me. My brother read Ender’s Game, Ender in Exile, and then Speaker for the Dead and he keeps trying to drop subtle hints to show off that he knows more than me. 😆
      I know some of the rest of the story, (Ender’s Shadow kinda did give away Bean’s death *screams*) but I’ll definitely stick to your list. I’m pretty scared all the sequels will begin to go downhill though… I am tempted to let it be and not read the rest! 😛
      But then. Ender’s Game was fantastic. And Ender’s Shadow was just a hair below that, and sooo
      How can I resist more??

      Thanks Maya! That was super helpful. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ahhh I’m sorry that it was spoiled for you. And I hope you very much enjoy the entire series because it’s awesome. My favorites are Children of the Mind and Shadow of the Giant, so let me know when you get to those!!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The last week of December, your sister gifted Camille and me an award-winning book, Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan. The young but strong heroine’s life takes twists and turns which keeps the reader interested until the end. It caused me to providentially reminisce about my visits to Africa. It has great descriptions of the African flora.
    Loved reading your post. Of course, I lived when the Watergate scandal was our evening news story. Yes, I agree, words have power: Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds interesting! I’ll have to check to see if my library has a copy.
      Yes, and I guess I’ll grow up and get to say that about something else. 😛
      Proverbs 15:4 is such a good verse!
      Thanks GranAnnie! ❤


  9. Ack, SO MANY GLORIOUS BOOKS! Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas is indeed delightful– I stumbled across it years ago and I enjoyed it, but I had all but forgotten about it. Thank you for reminding me of it!
    Wow, that Circus Mirandus copy IS gorgeous. I also really like the cover of Bridge to Terabithia! I haven’t seen it before (that is, that particular cover) and it’s beautiful. I read the book several years ago and it was so good.
    I LOVE Okay for Now! The three Gary D. Schmidt books you have read are my absolute favorites by him, and all three are among my favorite books of all time.
    Ender’s Game! That book impacted me in a big way, and I still love it so much. I enjoyed Ender’s Shadow as well, though I haven’t read the other books.
    I know what you mean about All the Light We Cannot See. It was good, but also, that ending. Definitely numbing.
    The Arrival looks intriguing! I will have to look it up.
    Some of my favorite books from 2019 include House Arrest by K.A. Holt, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly by Rebecca K.S. Ansari, and Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo. I would recommend any of them (and also every other Kate DiCamillo book ever written).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It’s is such a delightful little thing.
      I know right?!? I almost want to paint the cover and hang it on my wall haha. I love the colors and the fantastical elements.
      YES. Okay For Now is fantastic. I was blown away with it. Have you read any of his other books beyond those three?
      Okay wow, same though. Ender’s Game has completely got me rethinking stories and how to write novels. (And as I plot my newest one, I keep coming back and realizing the subconscious parallels between it and Ender’s Game and having to strike them out. *screams* 😆 😛 )
      I remember reading out See You in the Cosmos in your blog post and looking it up! I haven’t checked it out from the library yet though. I’m going to add it and the others you mention to my tbr list.
      Goodness, Kate DiCamillo is a genius.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have read several Gary D. Schmidt books aside from those three. Let’s see if I can remember them…The Sin Eater, Straw in the Gold, What Came from the Stars, Trouble, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, and Pay Attention, Carter Jones. I didn’t really get The Sin Eater or Straw in the Gold, honestly. I liked What Came from the Stars and Trouble, but I couldn’t stand the end of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Pay Attention, Carter Jones is probably my favorite after the top three that we already talked about.
        Haha, I did the same thing after I read Ender’s Game! I have a short story in one of my notebooks that is a loosely disguised Ender’s Game rip-off. I wasn’t trying to copy it, but that’s what happened.
        Awesome! I would love to hear what you think of any of those books when you get around to reading them!
        She is. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gary D. Schmidt has written a book called The Sin Eater? Fascinating. I had to take a second look at that because for a moment I thought you had said “The Last Sin Eater.”
          Hmm. Couldn’t stand the end of Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy? Oh dear. I bet it’s tragic. No wonder that friend and her mother said they thought I would like it. 😆
          I feel like I need to have a trip to the library and haul all these books home now for a Saturday afternoon or something. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Sounds like a splendid idea. There’s nothing like a good sized stack of excellent books and a free afternoon in which to read them. 🙂
          (Also I just read another Gary D. Schmidt book called First Boy which was kind of like a Gary D. Schmidt version of a spy novel- so, there were spies and one or two car chases, but also cows.)

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Fun post!! I love reading and writing posts like this. 🙂
    Ahh, I’m SO excited to read Adorning the Dark. And Okay For Now, and Letters From Father Christmas! They all sound SO SO GOOD.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would recommend: *unfurls list*
    The Silmarillion
    OH MY GOODNESS EEEEEP I read this a few months ago and aaaaah I loved it sooo much!!! It gives you an entirely new perspective on elves (In LOTR, they’re so peaceful, and then in the Silmarillion, they’re just “MURDER EVERYTHING”)
    The Mysterious Benedict Society
    Aah I love this series!! It’s so fun and I…may or may not have cried reading The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.
    And Then There Were None
    If you want a really creepy book, read this. I think it’s the best murder mystery I’ve ever read, and it’s also absolutely terrifying. There’s a huge twist in it you’ll never expect! This is one of my top favorites.
    Someone Named Eva
    This is a short, easy-to-read book, but I really like it. It’s about a Czechoslovakian girl in WW2 who is taken to a Lebensborn center in Germany because she fits the Aryan race Hitler began. I’ve never found another book from that perspective and it’s very interesting.
    The Archives of Anthropos
    This is a series a lot like Narnia, so if you like that you’ll probably like this series. The best book in the series is probably the third one, The Tower of Geburah. To be honest, I read that one first, and the rest of the books still made complete sense. Just saying.
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    I read this only recently, and it was as good as I had heard. It’s a book you get into quite easily.
    Les Misérables
    I’m currently reading this and I really like it so far (perhaps because the musical is so awesome). 🙂
    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
    I read this three years ago and loved it. The beginning is a bit slow, but it gets better and better.
    The Golden Goblet
    This book is quite a good and interesting mystery set in ancient Egypt! It’s been a while since I’ve read it, though, so I don’t remember quite all of it. I do know I liked it a lot.
    A lot of people say this is a really creepy book, but I found it extremely good and not terribly creepy. I’ve read it several times, as it’s not a long book, and each time I’ve enjoyed it more and more. It really makes me think.
    Ella Enchanted
    This is yet another Cinderella story…but this one is so different from the rest! It’s a really clever book, and the characters are fantastic! This is one of my favorites, honestly (the movie did not do the book justice).
    Welp, this was quite a list. But eeey, books are great!
    Happy reading, with whatever book you read next!


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