Between read-alouds, the boys reading out loud to me, and my own personal reading (and not counting picture books read to Carolyn), we read over 50 books this last calendar year! Here's a round-up of our favorites...
Favorite books of the year:
"I liked the book because of Virginia's stories (particularly when Alexandra purposely drives a bike into the trash cans), Patel's visit, and the book from Virginia."
"I liked the book because Widge decided not to steal the play, and because he got the book away from Falconer."
Favorite book of the year:
"Lincoln Noah Stonewright has gone to Barrow, Alaska, to look for his uncle Jack James. There he learns that a whale named Nukik is coming to him. Just before this is fulfilled, he finds his uncle. I liked this book a whole bunch. I think I will read it a few more times."
Favorite books of the year (in no particular order):
Identity Theft, edited by Melissa Kruger
There are so many quotes to pull from this book so I'll share the one from the introduction that explains what the book is all about.
Our three enemies - the world, the flesh, and the devil - all seek to discourage and dishearten us from living in the fullness of who we are in Christ. The world wants to conform us into its mold, our flesh craves self-glory, and Satan reminds us of past sins and present failings in an attempt to paralyze our faith.... Our identity in Christ is a fixed anchor guiding us through the changing seasons and circumstances of our lives as women.
Born A Crime, by Trevor Noah
I read this for book club and did not expect to be blown away by this story. It is absolutely stunning.
Neighbors and relatives used to pester my mom. "Why do all this? Why show him the world when he's never going to leave the ghetto?" "Because," she would say, "even if he never leaves the ghetto, he will know that the ghetto is not the world."
But I'm consumed with regret for the things I didn't do, the choices I didn't make, the things I didn't say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. "What if..." "If only..." "I wonder what would have..." You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
In society, we do horrible things to one another because we don't see the person it affects. We don't see their face. We don't see them as people. Which was the whole reason the hood was built in the first place, to keep the victims of apartheid out of sight and out of mind. Because if white people every saw black people as human, they would see that slavery is unconscionable. We live in a world where we don't see the ramifications of what we do to others, because we don't live with them.
Endurance, by Alfred Lansing
This historical account of Shackleton's voyage in the arctic is gripping and far more enjoyable than I expected it to be.
Many of them, it seemed, finally grasped for the first time just how desperate things really were. More correctly, they became aware of their own inadequacy, of how utterly powerless they were. Until the march from ocean camp they had nurtured in the back of their minds the attitude Shackleton strove so unceasingly to imbue them with, a basic faith in themselves - that they could, if need be, pit their strength and their determination against any obstacle - and somehow overcome it.
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, by Lesley M.M. Blume
One of our read-alouds from the 2018-2019 school year. Like Neph, I loved Virginia's stories and the predicaments in which the sisters found themselves. The relationship between the younger Cornelia and the ailing older Virginia is also very endearing.
She paused. "Notice I didn't say that story endings should be tidy, Cornelia," she added solemnly. "Very few stories have tidy endings, or entirely happy ones. But a story can have a positive ending without it being wholly happy. The one that I'm writing now has just that sort of ending. I know that it's going to be sad, but good things will come of the events in it."
Now that you know what we read and loved in 2019, we'd love to see what made it on your list. Comment below with your disappointments, surprises, and/or favorites!