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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I've Read This Year...

From The Broke and the Bookish 
Hello!

On today's top ten Tuesday, the theme is top ten books I've read this year. I'm going to restrict this to top ten books that I read for the first time this year and even that is difficult to do! I'm also not including books that are primarily photographs.



The War that Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan

Why I liked it: History and historical international relations is my background in academics. I loved Paris 1919 and knew that I had to read this. It's fascinating to discover the decisions and events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, that led away from peace, toward escalated tensions and ultimately war, especially now that it is the centenary of the beginning of WWI.









A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

Why I liked it: I loved the British Museum when I went and told my husband that I could camp out there for about a month just exploring everything. This book takes 100 objects from the British Museum collections and explains the history of the world, across cultures and geography.










Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Why I liked it: Art is one of my interests. Typically, a left brained activity, it was very interesting to learn the science behind the mind and to approach drawing from a new angle. By practicing new exercises, I do feel that I made advances in my drawing. A new way to learn about something is always exciting- especially when it works!








A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Why I liked it: Motivation is something of interest to me, as a person, but also an author. It is essential to create believable characters. Life and actions are motivated by fear or by love. All choices stem from which direction we're moving toward and what are motivation is: fear or love. The goal is returning to what is true: love.









Washington by Ron Chernow


Why I liked it: This was the longest book I read this year (at over 900 pages) and details Washington's life from his birth through his entire life. Washington leaps from the page, a full-bodied character- complex and interesting, a man of his times and an enduring legend in ours.










Juliet by Anne Fortier

Why I liked it: This is the kind of story I like to read and to write- a beckoning of the past intermingling with characters of another age. Mystery, intrigue, suspense, and inspiration from Shakespeare all interact with a timeless tale of love: Romeo and Juliet.











An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Why I liked it: This is a fictional account of The Dreyfus Affair and the anti-Semitism that surged through France in the late nineteenth century. It is told from the point of view of the commanding officer that was responsible for condemning Dreyfus and then the change of heart in the aftermath and the secrets that he unravels.











How to be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

Why I liked it: This is a practical guide of all components of Victorian life, especially for the middle and lower classes. Schooling, clothing, food, work, even dreaded wash day- it's all included. This has become research for some of my writing this year.











The Story of the Jews by Simon Schama

Why I liked it: As mentioned above, history and historical international relations is my academic background. I find it really interesting when history shows the overlaps and interactions of various groups of peoples. This is what is accomplished in this book- how the Jews affected and were affected by the different geographies and people of over 2000 years from 1000 BCE to 1492 CE.









The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Why I liked it: I'm becoming a Ray Bradbury fan. Last year I read my first Bradbury: Something Wicked this Way Comes. So this year I read The Halloween Tree. I then read his short story collection: The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 is high on my list to read soon. The Halloween Tree tells the story of Halloween through time, spanning cultures and continents.







Bonus- The magazine that I read
National Geographic

Why I like it: History, science, art, culture, and more. This is the magazine that I read and look forward to it arriving each month in the mailbox!










What are your top books you've read this year?

My best to you all,
Megan

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