2018

Cady reading a decade ago
My rating system (and it's all totally subjective)
10 - Loved it!! Couldn't put it down!!
9 - Excellent!
8 - Very Good
7 - Good
6 - Above Average
5 - Average
Anything lower ~ "nah" or Not my cuppa tea
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish
January
January favorite (#1)

1.  To Be Where You Are: A Mitford Novel ~ by Jan Karon, 2017, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"What is your hope,' said Paul, 'for any ministry you may undertake?"
"To help people love God so they can learn to love themselves and each other."
"Is that it?"
"Yessir.  Essentially."
Father Brad looked pleased, even paternal.  (p. 231).
2.  The Donkey's Dream ~ by Barbara Helen Berger, 1985, children's, 7/10

3.  Five Fortunes ~ by Beth Gutcheon, 1998, fiction, 7/10
"Carter and Rae, arm in arm in their sweat clothes, were singing 'Sisters ... Sisters ... Never were there such devoted sisters...'  Apart from the fact that Carter was eight inches taller and thirty years younger than Rae, they were quite convincing" (p. 68).
4.  Do One Thing Different: And Other Uncommonly Sensible Solutions to Life's Persistent Problems ~ by Bill O'Hanlon, 1999, psychology, 8/10
Summary of Solution Keys (from p. 198)
1.  Break problem patterns.
2.  Find and use solution patterns.
3.  Acknowledge your feelings and the past without letting them determine your actions in the present and the future.
4.  Shift your attention.
5.  Imagine a future that leads back to solutions in the present.
6.  Change problem stories into solution stories.
7.  Use spirituality to transcend or resolve problems.
8.  Use action talk to solve relationship problems.
9.  Perform a resolution ritual to resolve unfinished issues from the past.
10.  Develop stability and connective rituals to prevent problems and create connections.
February
February favorite (#8)

5.  Lewis Grizzard on Fear of Flying ~ by Lewis Grizzard, illustrated by Mike Lester, 1989, humor, "not my cuppa tea"
"Avoid pouting pilots and mechanics named Bubba" (on the cover).

6.  The Bookshop on the Corner ~ by Jenny Colgan, 2016, fiction (Scotland), 6/10
"And as Nina looked around the little village in the sunshine, she couldn't help but notice something.  Everyone was reading.  People out in their gardens.  An old lady in her wheelchair by the war memorial.  A little girl absentmindedly swinging on the swings, her feet dangling, completely engrossed in What Katy did" (loc. 4145).
7.  News of the World ~ by Paulette Jiles, 2016, fiction (Texas), 7/10
(p. 113)  He felt Johanna tugging at his sleeve.  He looked down.
She held up one of the shotgun shells.
It was loaded with dimes.
He stared at the shell resting on Johanna's outstretched palm.
Then the Captain reached out for it even as another round smashed into the front of the stone in front of him.  He jumped but didn't duck.  He lay back and hefted the shell.  The dimes fit perfectly into the paper tube of a twenty-gauge hull.
Well, I'll be damned.
It was very heavy.  He looked at the cap.  She charged it with the powder charger.  He saw her work the thumb lever that gave out twenty grains at a time:  one, two, three, four, eighty grains of powder.  A heavy load for his old shotgun.  The Captain tossed the shell full of dimes up and down in his hand and smiled.
This is amazing, he said.  He laughed.  Ten years old and a wizard of field expedience.
8.  The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World ~ by Peter Wohlleben, 2015, biology, 9/10
"And what if you cut a tree down?  Is it then dead?  What about the centuries-old stump I introduced you to at the beginning of this book that is still alive today, thanks to its comrades?  Is that a tree?  And, if it isn't, then what is it?  It gets even more complicated when a new trunk grows out of an old stump.  In many woods, this happens all the time" (p. 80).
March
March favorite (#11)

9.  A Reckoning ~ by May Sarton, 1978, fiction (Massachusetts), 8/10
"I'm trying to reckon everything up.  I don't 'do' much anymore, but I think a lot" (loc. 1475).
10.  Letters from Skye ~ by Jessica Brockmole, 2013, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
"I never would've conjured up an image of an entire store filled with nothing but books" (loc. 1252).
11.  The Story of Arthur Truluv ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2017, fiction (Missouri), 9/10
"Well, this is just fine!" Arthur says.  "I'll get some wood and we'll build a fire that day."
"I'll get a wreath for the door," Maddy says.
Gordon, sitting next to Arthur, meows.  People think cats don't want to join in, but they're wrong.  (p. 198)
12.  Ilsa ~ by Madeleine L'Engle, 1946, fiction, "nah" (depressing and it just ended)
"Oh, let's be honest, Henry," Myra said.  "You sit around and listen to a lot of conversataions that aren't meant for your ears and you know it.  So do I.  Why shouldn't we?  We're both shadows."

"I―I never mean to listen.  I don't do it intentionally.  I―I just forget to go away," I stammered.  (loc. 5884)
13.  We Are All Made of Stars ~ by Rowan Coleman, 2015, fiction (England), 8/10
"Shadow, the very unofficial hospice cat, has emerged out of nowhere again.  Pitch-black with no markings at all, and huge emerald green eyes.  No one knows where he comes from or when he will come.  He just appears when he pleases, knowing that when he does he will be made a huge fuss of by everyone who meets him.  He's large, clearly looked after by someone, someone who probably has no idea of the humanitarian (or feline-tarian?) missions he goes on throughout the day" (p. 19).
14.  Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne ~ by Wilda C. Gafney, 2017, religion, 8/10
"Jezebel is perhaps the most infamous Israelite queen ... In some contexts, her name is synonymous with women who wear makeup, red lipstick, red anything" (p. 240).

"Jezebel is the power of the throne; she is not the power behind the throne.  So when the story of Elijah butchering her prophets makes its way to the palace, the king's immediate response is to tell Jezebel (1 Kgs. 19:1).  Jezebel has not usurped Ahab's authority; he has yielded it to her" (p. 242).

"Remarkably, Jezebel is literate and writes the letters necessary to exercise her will (1 Kgs. 21:9-10). ... No other women in the Scriptures are described as writing" (p. 243).
15.  An American Marriage ~ by Tayari Jones, 2018, fiction (Louisiana, Georgia), 9/10
"Roy," I said, wondering aloud.  "Tell the truth.  Would you have waited on me for five years?"
He twitched that same shrug.  "Celestial," he said, like he was talking to someone very young, "this shit wouldn't have happened to you in the first place" (p. 283).
APRIL

16.  Perfect Little World ~ by Kevin Wilson, 2017, fiction (Tennessee), 8/10
"What are we to each other?"
"Brothers and sisters?" David offered.
"Maybe more like second cousins," Benjamin said.
"I think it's more like the cast of Gilligan's Island," Alyssa said.  "We're these random people who ended up stranded on an island together" (p. 158).
17.  A Soft Place to Land ~ by Susan Rebecca White, 2010, fiction (Georgia, California, New York), 8/10
"Robert didn't go to an office.  Or rather, his office was in their home on Mars Street.  It was the nicest room of the flat, with a gas fireplace and two walls of bookshelves.  The walls were painted a deep red, and whenever Ruthie went in there she felt warmed, as if she were sitting by a fire" (p. 125).
18.  Little Stories for Big People ~ by Sol Gonshack, 1976, vocabulary (65 stories good for ESL students), 7/10
12 ~ Keeping Up with the Joneses
28 ~ The Lemon (a car)
35 ~ The Eager Beaver
61 ~ The Worrywart
63 ~ The Absentminded Professor
19.  No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters ~ by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2017, essays, 8/10
"I got a questionnaire from Harvard for the sixtieth reunion of the graduating class of 1951. ... 'In your spare time, what do you do? (check all that apply).' ... What do retired people have but 'spare' time? ... The question remains:  When all the time you have is spare, is free, what do you make of it? ... What is Harvard thinking of?  I am going to be eighty-one next week.  I have no time to spare" (pp. 3, 6, 7).

"I don't know what it is I've done all my life, this wordworking" (p. 52).

"Why are things as they are?  Must they be as they are?  What might they be like if they were otherwise?" (p. 83).
20.  Alaska's Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers ~ by Nick Jans, photos by Mark Kelley, 2005, travel (Alaska), 9/10
"A notable fact of both Sawyer glaciers is the relative abundance of deep-blue ice ― formed under greater pressure and generally older than the lighter shades.  The blue color also contributes to the spectacular array of free-floating ice of all sizes ― from massive icebergs to low-lying 'growlers' to the minor chunks dubbed 'bergy bits'" (p. 27).
21.  Two by Two ~ by Nicholas Sparks, 2016, fiction (North Carolina), 8/10
"I danced with my daughter.  She swayed and bounced and held my hands, revealing flashes of the young woman she would become, and the innocent girl she still was.  It was, I realized, the first dance I'd ever shared with my daughter" (p. 377).

"On Monday, London's last day of school before winter break, I finally got around to the Christmas list that Vivian had left me. ... Tuesday, December twenty-second, was London's last day of school before the winter break, and that was when I planned to wrap all the gifts" (pp. 438, 440).

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