2021

This is a photo of my great-granddaughter Raegan reading.  Below is my rating system, which is totally subjective.
10 ~ Loved it!!  Couldn't put it down!!
9 ~ Excellent!
8 ~ Very Good
7 ~ Good
6 ~ Above Average
5 ~ Average
4 - Struggled to finish, but not worth it
3 ~ Annoying ~ a waste of time
2 ~ Poor
1 ~ Pitiful!
0 ~ Awful!!  Don't bother
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish ~ one I abandoned
* Nah ~ I don't recommend it
January

1.  Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith ~ by Anne Lamott, 2005, memoir, 7/10
"I live by the truth that 'No' is a complete sentence.  I rest as a spiritual act" (p. 174).

"...the desire to change changes you..." (p. 221).

"When you're kind to people, and you pay attention, you make a field of comfort around them, and you get it back — the Golden Rule meets the Law of Karma meets Murphy's Law" (p. 261).

"Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity" (p. 295).
2.  Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint ~ by Nadia Bolz-Weber, 2013, memoir, 8/10
"I hadn't learned about grace from the church.  But I did learn about it from sober drunks who managed to stop drinking by giving their will over to the care of God and who then tried like hell to live a life according to spiritual principles.  What the drunks taught me was that there was a power greater than myself who could be a source of restoration, and that higher power, it ends up, is not me" (p. 48).

"I realized that sometimes the best thing we can do for each other is talk honestly about being wrong" (p. 107).

"I long for black and white, I really do, but that's not how I experience the world.  I continue to learn, over and over again, that there are often more than just two possible labels for things" (p. 137).
3.  The Last Original Wife ~ by Dorothea Benton Frank, 2013, fiction (South Carolina, Georgia), 6/10
"There was little doubt as to who was really in charge.  Maybe I needed a dog.  But then did I really need another thing to boss me around?" (p. 116).

"I'm not coming back.  I'm sorry to tell you this in an e-mail, but I just don't feel like hearing you scream at me ever again.  Ever." (p. 170).
February

4.  The Forgotten Orphan ~ by Glynis Peters, 2020, fiction (UK, Canada), 9.5/10
"Her cruelty of depriving a child the comfort of family was beyond comprehension, but only a heartless woman would split up twins" (p. 248).

"Maisie knew her duty and calling was to ease the pain of others" (p. 306).
5.  The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek ~ by Kim Michele Richardson, 2019, fiction (Kentucky), 9.5/10
"Pa, people want the books.  It's my job to tend to the folks who are hungry for the learning."
He lifted the courting candle.  "A woman ought to be near the home fires tending that."
"But if I marry, the WPA will fire me" (p. 5).
March

6.  Dust Tracks on a Road ~ by Zora Neale Hurston, 1942, autobiography, 8/10
"Born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida, when she was still a toddler" (loc. 4879).

"Over a career that spanned more than thirty years, she published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles, and plays" (loc. 4874).

"When Zora was there, she was the party. . . . She would sometimes write in her bedroom while the party went on in the living room" (loc. 4907).

Hurston's footnote:  "The word Nigger used in this sense does not mean race.  It means a weak, contemptible person of any race" (loc. 5101).
7.  I Know a Wee Piggy ~ by Kim Norman, illustrated by Henry Cole, 2012, children's book, 9/10
  
8.  What's Left Untold ~ by Sherri Leimkuhler, 2019, fiction (Maryland), 7/10
"May I offer you some tea?"  The way she pronounced it — "tay" — made me smile (p. 207).
9.  My Life for Yours ~ by Vanessa Carnevale, 2020, fiction (Australia), 10/10
"I am the one who should have been around for my wife and unborn son.  Instead, I was having drinks in a hotel in Singapore while my wife's health was deteriorating so badly she could die" (p. 73).
10.  Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances ~ by Linda Francis Lee, 2011, fiction (New York), 10/10
"Emily ... seemed aware only of whoever was talking, as if she were listening in a way that most people never did" (p. 3).

"Lillian Barlow had never been a woman interested in self-reflection.  Was she afraid of what she would find?  Or did she already know, and didn't like what she saw?" (p. 156).

"I knew your mother.  She might have been half visionary, half nut job, but she wasn't afraid to speak her mind." ... "I had never heard anyone encapsulate my mother so perfectly" (p. 195).

"I realized by watching you grow up that books could make a difference.  More specifically, children's books could change the world" (p. 276).
11.  Idia of the Benin Kingdom ~ by Ekiuwa Aire, illustrated by Alina Shabelnyk, 2020, history for children (Benin), 9/10
"In her [Idia's] dream, a woman was fighting in a raging battle.  Arrows zipped through the air at her from all directions, but they missed. ... Quickly, the dream changed; the battle was over, and the brave woman helped to heal those who were hurt by mixing herbs and potions and making the wounded fighters feel better with a single touch" (np).
12.  The Last Letter from Juliet ~ by Melanie Hudson, 2019, historical fiction (England), 8/10
"Juliet was a pilot ... She flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary during the war.  They used to deliver all the aircraft from the factories to the RAF" (p. 24).

"Sure enough, between cockamamie (ridiculous; incredible) and codswallop (something utterly senseless) I found coddiwompler: someone who travels in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination" (p. 62).
13.  Vintage 1954 ~ by Antoine Laurain, 2018, fiction (France), 9/10
"Arpajon’s theory is this:  UFOs don’t travel through space, but through time" (p. 95 ).
14.  The Buddy Bench ~ by Patty Brozo, illustrated by Mike Deas, 2019, children's book, 8/10

15.  Everybody Needs a Buddy ~ by James Preller, illustrated by Stephan Gilpin, 2019, chapter book, 9/10

"So if a kid feels lonely or left out, he can sit on the bench and someone will come over," Deon said.
"He or she," Kym corrected.
"The bench acts like a signal," Lizzy said.  "Everybody needs a buddy" (p. 41).

16.  That Book Woman ~ by Heather Hensen, illustrated by David Small, 2008, children's fiction, 9/10

17.  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 ~ by Beverly Cleary, 1981, children's book (Oregon), 10/10

18.  Right Now, I Am Fine ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10

19.  Right Now, I Am Brave ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10

20.  Right Now, I Am Kind ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10

21.  The Irish Inheritance ~ by M J Lee, 2016, historical fiction 4/10
"The Easter Rising still strikes a chord of heroism in Ireland, and in the rest of the Irish diaspora, today.  It is remembered as the beginning of the road to Irish Independence" (p. 319).
April

22.  The Bookshop of Yesterdays ~ by Amy Meyerson, 2018, fiction (California), 7/10
"Yesterday's Bookshop," I said.  "It commemorates the past but acknowledges that we aren't still living in it" (p. 309).
23.  Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky ~ by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer, 2001, children's history (Kentucky), 7/10
"Magazines were far more popular than books, especially 'practical' magazines such as Women's Home Companion and Popular Mechanics.  The mountaineers were hungry for ways to improve their lives, and they found the magazines on home health care, cooking, agriculture, child care, parenting, canning, hygiene, hunting, and machinery particularly helpful" (p. 33).
24.  One Little Act of Kindness ~ by Susan Salidor, illustrated by Natalka Soiko, 2020, children's, 8/10
"One little act of kindness can go a long, long way.  Two little acts of kindness can brighten anyone's day."  (Includes music for the song.)
25.  The Lost Stetl ~ by Max Gross, 2020, historical fiction (Poland), 4/10
"What's the delusion?"
Dr. Polus sighed almost imperceptibly.  "He thinks he's an eighteenth-century Orthodox Jew from an imaginary shtetl in the forest" (p. 94).
26.  The Lost for Words Bookshop ~ by Stephanie Butland, 2017, fiction, 7/10
"I'd left care, when I was eighteen.  I had been so determined that I was on my own: once my parents had gone, I was someone no one wanted.  And I made it so" (p. 312).
May

27.  The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae ~ by Stephanie Butland, 2018, fiction (Scotland), 8/10

Ailsa (who had a heart transplant) emailed Seb (who had a cornea transplant):  "Did you surgeon [REALLY] use the words 'keep an eye on it'?  One of my consultants used to say 'pump' instead of 'heart.'  As in:  'you have to put your pump into it.'  I'm not sure what the point was but it made me laugh" (p. 150).

"I wanted to call you Ailsa, for my mother's middle name and because I'd looked it up and it meant 'victory'..." (p. 295). 

28.  How to Keep House while Drowning: 31 Days of Compassionate Help ~ by KC Davis, 2020, self-help, 8/10

"Although it looks like a lot, there are actually only 5 things in any room:  (1) trash, (2) dishes; (3) laundry; (4) things that have a place and are not in their place; and (5) things that do not have a place" (loc. 137).

"Remember that anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed" (loc. 377). 

29.  My Only Child ~ by Sam Vickery, 2020, fiction, 6/10

"I understood now how secrets, even kept with the best intentions, could corrode a relationship" (p. 260).

30.  If She Had Stayed ~ by Diane Byington, 2020, fiction (time travel), 8/10

"None of the sharing-the-same-body thing [with her younger self] made any sense.  It was strange that Tesla hadn't written much about the weird melding process" (p. 219).

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