Today's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books I've read this year. Talk about a challenge! I've picked a few top reads. I've liked many books this year. These are some stand-outs. I've restricted my list to authors that I don't know in real life. They follow no particular genre and span both non-fiction and fiction, just as my reading list does. They are in no specific order.
1. The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag
This book was delightful- magical realism, strong characters, a literary connection and an interwoven tapestry of story lines.
2. Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
I've read the first three so far in this series of female detective Maisie Dobbs. The books are set in WWI to the 1930s. I'm looking forward to reading more in the coming year!
This book is a long view of history, a very long view, beginning with prehistory and stretching into predictions for the future. It examines why the world is arranged the way it is.
4. Doing good better: How Effective Altruism can help you make a difference by William MacAskill and A Religion of One's Own: Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World by Thomas Moore
I read these books in a row and their messages flow together. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God and love others as you love yourself. A Religion of One's Own covers the first half. It encourages everyone, regardless of whether they are a member of a particular religion or not, to seek God in the everyday of life. It is about diving deeper into religion, but with scope for what that means to the individual. Loving others as yourself comes from Doing Good Better. Many have said that loving others as yourself means to sacrifice yourself, but this is loving others instead of yourself or more than yourself. The commandment says love others as yourself. Doing Good Better accomplishes this beautifully. It shows how we can have the most impact on helping others in the world (even saving lives!) by living lives that are fulfilling and complete ourselves.
5. July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin
WWI and its after-effects continue to effect the world today. July 1914 examines those early rumblings of war, what decisions were made, what could have gone differently and a sequential build-up of the events as they happened.
6. On this Holy Night: The Heart of Christmas by Max Lucado, Rick Warren, David Jeremiah, John Maxwell, Jack Hayford and Bill Hybels
Some of the most well-known Christian authors contribute to this collection of Christmas readings. Topics include having a "Mary" Christmas, what happens when you find a manger after following a star and examining Christmas through looking at a manger scene and its elements.
7. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Living by the sea means that seagulls flying above is an everyday occurrence. I had heard about this book for awhile and was interested in it. When I had the opportunity to read it this year, it didn't disappoint. At its heart, it's about reaching higher and soaring for your dreams.
8. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B.White
Once there was a swan who couldn't honk and so he learned to read and write. Yes, you read that right. He goes on numerous adventures, full of heart and hilarious happenings. This book is from the author of Charlotte's Web and my grandparents sent it to me, because of the swans that live near my house. It was simply delightful!
9. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
I know Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls and I'm thrilled to know that there will be more episodes in the coming year. This book did not disappoint. Lauren can act for sure, but she can also definitely write. This is the story of a struggling actor in the 1990s in New York City, trying to make it big. One of the most valuable pieces of advice in the book is "Just keep filling up the pages"- which means to keep filling your calendar with events that you are doing. Sometimes dreams take time to happen. The important thing is to just keep going, keep doing, keep filling up the pages.
10. National Geographic...
Every month, the National Geographic subscription from my grandparents arrives in the mail. It's a great combination of science, history, international relations and art. In short, it's pretty much perfect for me.
What are your top picks of 2015? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?
My best to you all,