Via Broke and the Bookish
Ten (or Less) of the Best Books I've Read Recently
If I consider only what I have read in 2016, then I definitely do not have ten. It has been a slow go this year. However, there are a few that have remained in my memory or were great experiences:
Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Well, of course these three make my list. The first is pure joy, the middle is pure anxiety, and last one is exhausting, in a good way. Nonetheless, all are wonderfully written, express truth and liberty in youth, and paint a portrait of wild America in her infancy.
The Institutes of Christian Religion - John Calvin
I really have no interest in Christian-themed literature, non-fiction or fiction-based, especially self-help books. Blah! But if a work is written by an early Christian theologian, philosopher, or leader, then it is sufficiently classical to me, such as Calvin's. I read an abridged version of this.
The Seven Storey Mountain - Thomas Merton
This recent autobiography reminded me that I really love reading about the lives of other people, even of people I know nothing about - such as Thomas Merton. I especially enjoyed his journey all over Europe and his interest in solitude. I was living vicariously through him.
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas - Gertrude Stein
Again, just a biography, and such a strange one; however, it was a lot of fun to travel all over Europe with Gertrude and Alice. I think I gave this book a few stars on Goodreads, but it has been growing on me since I read it.
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
I think I have a special place in my heart for Virginia Woolf. She speaks my language, even though sometimes I do not understand her. I think I relate to her emotions, as seen through the thoughts of her characters. To the Lighthouse is no exception.
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
This one I hesitated to add to my list; however, because it redeemed itself at the end, I was able to appreciate it. Even in my genuine struggle, I have to admit it was effective. Maybe I will try to read it again another time.