About this time last year, I said I wanted to up my Goodreads game. I joined Goodreads eons ago, then never used it. I'm still not using it a lot. I rarely interact with other people there, and I keep forgetting about the social media aspect of it. I do log most of my books there now, partly because I'm a visual person and I love seeing this little grid at the end of the year. :)
Some of my favorites from 2019:
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The River by Peter Heller
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Compelling stories told in gorgeous prose. Whenever I read Leif Enger, I repeatedly bother people around me with, "Hey! Stop what you're doing! Listen to this sentence."
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Why We Dream by Alice Robb
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In Memory of Bread by Paul Graham
Insightful, intriguing, and interesting. (And we found a new way to make gluten-free birthday cake, so huzzah.)
Favorite Spiritual Writing:
The Thorny Grace of It by Brian Doyle
Stumble by Heather King
No one could write like Brian Doyle did. His prose and his insights bowled me over every time. And then there's Heather King — Doyle wrote the foreword for her Stumble; he clearly knew a kindred spirit when he read one. ) I'm so sad that he's gone. I pray that Heather King will be around for a long time to come.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
Dandelion Wine touches something in me; it's that nudge to remember that we're really alive, and to ask ourselves what we're doing with that knowledge. When You Reach Me is a little bit of brilliance that I appreciate more every time I read it. I miss Nora Ephron, so I just have to reread her and laugh out loud every now and then.
Favorite Books Middle Grade or YA:
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Daddy Longlegs by Jean Webster
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
I love that my daughters (adult and almost-adult) still recommend these books to me.
Favorite Book About Education
The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
And not just because I work for her these days as a writing coach. It's a terrific book full of the kind of stuff that our homeschool has been full-to-brimming with for almost twenty years. I've always smiled and nodded at Julie's philosophies: "Yes, us, too, Julie, us too!"
Least Favorite Book:
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Oh. Dear. This kind of thing just isn't my genre, I guess.
What did you read in 2019?