Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read Recently

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.

4 comments:

  1. I love your TTT, it's such a varied mix! Gertrude Stein's book sounds fascinating as well, I've added it to my TBR list :-)
    Happy TTT!

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    1. Thank you!

      Just a head's up: Stein's book was really different than your typical autobiography. But it was interesting enough b/c it has history and art and literature and travel. So if you like that stuff, the weirdness of the book won't bother you too much.

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  2. You just can't beat the Little House books for nostalgia, laughter, sadness and life lessons. I must do a re-read of them at some point. I was really surprised to see North and South on your list. I loved it but I understand that the seriousness of it, and the bleakness of the north could be off-putting. I'd still like to read something else of Stein's. It will probably cause my brain to explode but I'm interested nonetheless. :-)

    I enjoyed reading your list!

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    1. I know! I can't believe I added N&S. But I believed that if I posted this w/o adding it I was untruthful. I knew it was good; I was just angry while reading it. Reading while angry may cause false judgments, and it did. So I had to redeem it. Know what I mean?

      Anyway, you almost made me spit out my coffee w/ the brain explosion comment. Oh, that woman is nuts!

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