I thought it would be fun to go through my booklist from this year, and jot down the ones I liked best. I didn’t plan on any particular number and was quite surprised that my top favorites amounted to ten. I’ve added what I originally wrote about them. They are listed in the order in which they were read.
3. When We Were the Kennedys: a memoir from Mexico, Maine
by Monica Wood
This is a book I really loved. Beautifully written, honest story, has some similarities to Rick Bragg's The Most They Ever Had which I wrote about three years ago. It tells of a mill town, and a family trying to make it after the bread-winning father dies. More here. It is written about a time when there weren't very many families lacking one parent. I can't praise it highly enough. Wonderful.
4. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection - book 13 in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
by Alexander McCall Smith
I am so happy in the company of Mma Ramotse et al. In this book, the author of Precious' guidebook for her work comes to Botswana. He is surprised at the esteem she feels for his book. Excellent, as always.
by Jean Webster
13. Dear Enemy
by Jean Webster
Dear Enemy is a sequel to Daddy-Long-Legs. Both epistolary novels, though with different letter writers. I was so interested reading about life 100 years ago. When I was a girl I read a book about Jane Addams and Hull House. I was so impressed by it that I can still remember where the book was in my library. These books are set during that same Progressive Era in the US. Loved, loved, loved these books. I couldn't stop talking about them. They make one feel that all good things are possible.
29. Stillmeadow Seasons
by Gladys Taber
I first read Stillmeadow Seasons in 2002. My quote book has many offerings from this book, and I've jotted down several more that will appear in my letters at the appropriate time. The book is divided into months, beginning with April and ending with March. Some of her books are divided into seasonal chapters while others are monthly. The monthly ones begin and end variously. She wrote two things in the October chapter, not related to the month especially but interesting to me. One was:
We had two kinds of lettuce when I was growing up. Leaf and store. Now in my salad bowl I may toss two kinds of endive, Oak-leaf lettuce, Bibb, braze beauty, New York 12, and Mayking.
Remembering the book was published in 1950, I was startled to read this. I grew up in the 1950s, and all that was ever on our table was iceberg. It was only in the 1970s that I discovered dark green leafy lettuce that actually had flavor! As I have said, many a time, this is the wonder of reading old books.
The second noteworthy passage was about fire:
In the dry season we watch the sky anxiously for smoke. Forest fires are the great enemy. … Fires do not start by themselves, and when I think of the devastation a single tossed cigarette can do on a dry roadside, I feel positively murderous. … All modern cars have ash trays, so motorists do not have to fling their glowing stubs to the grassy roadside.
Which got me thinking; now cars do not have ashtrays (notice how the spelling has turned into one word since 1950). And still there are lots of smokers. What do they do with their 'glowing stubs?' Toss them out, I'd guess.
As I finished Stillmeadow Seasons, I wondered if Gladys, wherever she is now, can see me, 63 years after this book was published, living much the same life she was living back then. I hope so.
45. Remembering the Bones
by Frances Itani
I did a full book report on this, and you may read it here.
48. Up, Back, and Away
by K. Velk
And this one I also did a separate post on here.
52. Old City Hall - book 1 in the Old City Hall series
by Robert Rotenberg
A complete book report on this here.
by Stacey D. Atkinson
This is a great book about a young woman living in a fishing village in New Brunswick Canada. Highly recommended, and stay tuned for a book report in the new year.
78. Provence, 1970
by Luke Barr