2017

Shelby reading in 2015
My rating system
10 - Loved it!!  Couldn't put it down!!
9 - Excellent!
8 - Very Good
7 - Good
6 - Above Average
5 - Average
Anything lower - Nah (and all of this is totally my subjective feeling about a book)
* DNF - Did Not Finish
JANUARY
January favorite (#3)

1.  Why Are There More Questions Than Answers, Grandad? ~ by Kenneth Mahood, 1974, children's, 10/10
"Why did Moses supposes his toeses were roses, Grandad? ... Does dirty water need a bath, Grandad? ... How big is a hole, Grandad? ... Why does a potato have eyes but no nose, Grandad?"
2.  The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived ~ by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, 1999, psychology, 8/10
"When children ask about something, even if it makes you uncomfortable, tell them the truth" (p. 135).

We should visualize what we hope for, because "we experience everything that we claim is true" (p. 136).
3.  Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race ~ by Debby Irving, 2014, race relations, 10/10
We white people should choose "conversation starters that have nothing to do with identifying a person by where they're from, what they do for work, or any other sorting and ranking criteria."  For example (from p. 215):  "So what was the most interesting thing that happened in your day today?"
4.  I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark ~ by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, 2016, children's biography, 9/10
"You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another.  Disagreement with creaky old ideas.  With unfairness.  With Inequality.  Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed.  She has objected.  She has resisted.  She has dissented.  Disagreeable?  NO.  Determined?  YES."
5.  That Old Cape Magic ~ by Richard Russo, 2009, fiction (Massachusetts and Maine), 8/10
Heresto  pands  pen  d
asoci  al  hourin  har
mles  smirt  hand  funl
etfri  ends  hipre  ign
bej  usta  ndkin  dan
devil  spe  akof  no  ne.  (p. 68)
6.  Holding Up Your Corner: Talking about Race in Your Community ~ by F. Willis Johnson, 2017, race relations, 9/10
"People who are hurting
need to be affirmed in their hurt;
people who are angry
need to be affirmed in their anger" (pp. 54, 60).
7.  The Virgin Blue ~ by Tracy Chevalier, 1997, fiction (France), 8/10
"As yellow is always accompanied with light, so it may be said that blue still brings a principle of darkness with it.  This color has a peculiar and almost indescribable effect on the eye.  As a hue it is powerful, but it is on the negative side, and in its highest purity is, as it were, a stimulating negation.  It appearance, then, is a kind of contradiction between excitement and repose."
— Goethe, Theory of Colours
FEBRUARY
February favorite (#8)

8.  The Whole Town's Talking ~ by Fannie Flagg, 2016, fiction (Missouri), 9/10
AND SO IT ENDS...
Or maybe not...
What do you think?
9.  The Golden Son ~ by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, 2016, fiction (India), 9/10
10.  A Spool of Blue Thread ~ by Anne Tyler, 2015, fiction (Maryland), 7/10
11.  The Perfection of the Morning: An Apprenticeship in Nature ~ by Sharon Butala, 1994, memoir (Saskatchewan), 9/10
"I had set out on one life as a young woman of twenty-one; I had struggled down that path for fourteen years when suddenly I had come to a gaping hole, an impassable, black abyss into which the path had broken off and disappeared.  I looked back, but the path I had walked on for so long was now filled with cracks and obstacles and places where it was obliterated.  I could not go back; I could not go forward.  I had closed my eyes and leaped, and when I opened them again I found myself in another country where I didn't speak the language or know the customs, where I was an outsider, an intruder, an alien, where I was alone" (p. 66).
12.  Stress: The Good and the Bad ~ by Paula Ceccaldi, Agnès Diricq, and Clémentine Bagieu, 2001, health, 7/10
"Stress... the positive rather than the negative" (p. 83).
MARCH
March favorite (#18)

13.  Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals ~ by John A. Buehrens, 2003, religion, 7/10
"Discussion of God in terms of absolutes has more to do with Greek philosophy than with the Bible.  The Bible as a whole seems interested not in God as absolute, but as relational; not as static, but as dynamic; not as impassive, but as affected by what we humans do well or ill or leave undone" (p. 105).
14.  Secret Sister ~ by Emelle Gamble, 2013, fiction, 9/10
"...an illogical karmic wrinkle in the universe enveloped my life..." (Epilogue).
15.  Whisper My Secret: A Memoir ~ by JB Rowley, 2012, memoir (Australia), 8/10
"Shhh.  That's a secret. ... It's all right.  It's not really telling if you whisper.  You can whisper my secret" (p. 59).
16.  The Art of Crash Landing ~ by Melissa DeCarlo, 2015, fiction (Oklahoma), 7/10
"They say you can't take it with you when you go.  but we all know that's not entirely true.  You can carry your secrets to the grave" (loc. 787).
17.  Ask Him Why ~ by Catherine Ryan Hyde, 2015, fiction, 8/10
"So I kept the truth ― one that might have helped him understand ― to myself.  And that, I now realize, is how you start the pattern of silences.  So innocently and on such a small scale, and then once you open the door for them, they barge in and take on a life of their own" (p. 230).
18.  Beneath the Surface ~ by Heidi Perks, 2016, fiction (England), 10/10
"There was definitely something not right about her mum's story.  The way she so readily proffered information, a story so carefully structured that it left Hannah wondering what was really going on. ... And the truth was, Hannah didn't believe a single word she had said" (Loc. 2647).
19.  Enzo Races in the Rain! ~ by Garth Stein, 2014, children's, 8/10
20.  Girl at War ~ by Sara Nović, 2015, fiction (Croatia), 8/10
21.  The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity ~ by Martin Palmer, 2001, religion, 8/10
ORIGINAL NATURE, NOT ORIGINAL SIN
"One core concept that shapes all the liturgical Sutras is that of original nature.  This is radically at variance with traditional Christian thought, which has tended to emphasize the defects of humanity: the fault of Original Sin.  In China, the tables are dramatically turned.  The Church of the East broke away from the West just in time to avoid the magnificence and the curse of St. Augustine of Hippo, who took the basic notion of original sin and built it into the destructive force it was to become.  In looking at the theology of the Church of the East, we can see what Christianity without St. Augustine might have been like" (p. 175).
22.  Tao Te Ching: A New English Version ~ by Stephen Mitchell, 1988, religion, 9/10
"Those who know don't talk.
Those who talk don't know" (56).
Po Chu-i, poet and stand-up comedian, wrote,
"He who talks doesn't know,
he who knows doesn't talk":
that is what Lao-tzu told us,
in a book of five thousand words.
If he was the one who knew,
how could he have been such a blabbermouth?  (p. 85).
23.  Two Tyrants: The Myth of a Two Party Government and the Liberation of the American Voter ~ by A.G. Roderick, 2015, politics, 9/10
"Educational accomplishment, social mobility, and economic stability should be bastions of American achievement" (p. 7).
24.  The Boy No One Loved ~ by Casey Watson, 2011, memoir (England), 9/10
"If there's one thing that absolutely must come out of this is that he knows there are people here who love him unconditionally, and that we will always be here for him.  Always" (p. 269).
25.  The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer ~ by John Dominic Crossan, 2010, religion, 9/10
"I would find in that prayer what the historical Jesus stood for ― or knelt for" (p. 7). ... "Could it be that love is a style or mode of justice, so that you can never have either alone?" (p. 189).
26.  Finding Jake ~ by Bryan Reardon, 2015, fiction (Delaware), 9/10
"...neither Jake nor I talked to anyone else while at the bus stop.  Thinking about how easily my daughter melded into 'the group,' I wished, not for the first time, that I could be more like her.  I also wished (although I would never admit it) that Jake could be more like her, too" (p. 125).
27.  Girls Will Be Girls ~ by Franklin Folger, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, cartoons, 6/10
Woman standing in front of seated women, all wearing hats, at a meeting:  "Since many of you applauded when it was announced that we have a large deficit in the treasury, I feel I should explain what that means" (p. 64).
APRIL
April favorite (#30)

28.  Keeping Sam ~ by Joanne Phillips, 2015, fiction (England), 8/10
"Just how much else had her amnesia made her forget?" (loc. 278).
29.  Windless Summer ~ by Heather Sharfeddin, 2009, fiction (Washington), 8/10
"It was July, 104 degrees that afternoon on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia River in eastern Washington State" (p. 1).
30.  Little Boy Lost ~ by J. D. Trafford, 2017, fiction (Missouri), 9.5/10
My father took a deep breath, and then he walked toward the door.  As he went into the hall, he turned around.  "I fought the battle over segregated lunch counters and the right to vote, but this is different."  He pointed at me, lying injured in bed, my face swollen and cut.  "The White Only signs have been taken down, but they're still there.  This is your fight now" (p. 57).
31.  The Color of Hope: A Color of Heaven Novel ~ by Julianne MacLean, 2013, fiction (California and Massachusetts), 8/10
"I longed for a sibling, but I knew I didn't have any because I'd been told my real mother never had any other children previously" (p. 36).
32.  Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever ~ by James Wallman, 2013, economics, 7/10
"The runaway success of consumerism is now not only causing what may be irreversible climate change, for instance, but also, which is perhaps worse, the greatest extinction of plant and animal species since the dinosaurs died out" (loc. 764).
33.  As the Poppies Bloomed: A Novel of Love in a Time of Fear ~ by Maral Boyadjian, 2015, fiction (Turkey/Anatolia), 9/10
"The Turkish government had separate laws for the Christian citizens than for the Muslim" (p. 15).
34.  Daddy's Girl ~ by Lisa Scottoline, 2007, fiction (Pennsylvania), 9/10
"They're law students.  They should be interested in justice."  "No, they're interested in law, and there's a difference" (p. 10).
35.  A Weekend Getaway ~ by Karen Lenfestey, 2014, fiction (Indiana), 9/10
"You need to balance planning for tomorrow with enjoying what today has to offer" (p. 283).
36.  The Other Queen ~ by Philippa Gregory, 2008, fiction (Great Britain), 9/10
"She [Queen Elizabeth I] and her archadvisor Cecil have such suspicious, embittered minds that they have imagined their own undoing and so brought it about.  Like fearful, suspicious people always do, they have dreamed the worst and made it real" (p. 157).

"How can we have fallen so quickly into such suspicion and fear?" (p. 396).
37.  The Muralist ~ by B. A. Shapiro, 2015, fiction (the United States and France), 9/10
"Alizée taught me that just because there aren't any objects in a painting, that doesn't mean there isn't a subject.  She said you're not supposed to recognize what's in it as much as feel the artist's emotion" (p. 302).
38.  The Chamberlain Key: Unlocking the God Code to Reveal Divine Messages Hidden in the Bible ~ by Timothy P. Smith, 2017, religion, 8/10
"...Genesis 30:20-23 ... was the only place in the Scriptures that displayed a highly improbable biographical connection to me and my family (my father having six sons and a daughter and I also having six sons and a daughter)" (p. 183).

"When some Jewish communities in Europe were compelled to convert their synagogues into Catholic churches during the Inquisition, they replaced the Torah ark with a statue of the Virgin Mary to represent the ark, or physical vessel, of the Word of God" (p. 204).

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