Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Favorite Books

Reading Ratings of 2015 (Annette’s Reading List)

Below are the books I have read and reviewed in 2015. You can read reviews by clicking on the titles. Choosing a “favorite” is more difficult than it sounds. Each book as its merits.  They all touched me in different ways. I wanted to mark so many more that stood out, but in the end I whittled it down to the top one (or three) in a category. 

 

Click on the titles to read the reviews.


Fiction:


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie



 
Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo


Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
This fun book’s originality and wit stood out and
wins my “favorite book of the year award.” 


 

 
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George








Serena by Ron Rash


The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls


Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

 
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford


Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton


http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/03/swamplandia-by-karen-russell.htmlSwamplandia! by Karen Russell

Although I'll admit there's one part in the book that turned me off, in the end I really liked this book because the setting and premise are so different.  Very original.

 
 
 
 
http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-unlikely-pilgrimage-of-harold-fry.htmlThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

This book was touching (and at times a tad odd), but it really stuck with me.          

 
Action/Suspense:
 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 
http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-martian-by-andy-weir.htmlThe Martian by Andy Weir

All the books in this category were outstanding, but The Martian kept me turning the pages the fastest.


Zorro by Isabel Alende


Memoirs/Travelogues:

 
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

 
Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer

 
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman

 
Tracks by Robin Davidson

 
A Walk in the Woods  by Bill Bryson

Again, all the books in this category were very good, but only Bill had me laughing out loud!


 
Biographies/Historical Narratives:

In this category, I’m not even going to try and decide—all books were excellent.

 
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

What’s not to love about a race around the world?—Set in the 1800s with two women—and all true. 

 
http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/07/into-wild-by-jon-krakauer.htmlInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Sad and unforgettable, this book left a lasting impression.

 
 
 
 
http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-lady-in-gold-by-anne-marie-oconnor.htmlThe Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor

A fascinating dip into history.

 
 
 
Pulitzer Prize Winners:

http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com/2015/02/beloved-by-toni-morrison.htmlBeloved by Toni Morrison

This book nudged past Olive because it was so heart-wrenching and raw.

 
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout

 
Happy Reading,

 
Annette

 


What’s your favorite book that you read in 2015? Post a comment or email:   Readinginthegarden@gmail.com

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Barging Back to the Past (Lost Love)



The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is about bookseller extraordinaire, Monsieur Perdu, whose shop is a barge on the river Seine in Paris.  There, Perdu dispenses books like medicine to his patrons.  He knows just what they need to gain confidence, courage, or combat pessimism. Yet this book doctor can’t cure himself.  For twenty years his heart has been broken by a lost love and yet no book can get him to move past it and carry on with his life.  Then, one day something happens to jolt his senses and he does something wild and unexpected.  He takes off in his barge leaving his old world behind.  Perdu travels south on canals and rivers through beautiful French countryside in a quest to face the truth of his past.  Along the way he picks up some quirky companions who join his journey for reasons of their own.

This book was sad, heart-warming, yet life affirming and amusing and I enjoyed every moment of it.
 
As a side note; this book jolted my own senses.  It revived and strengthened my love of travel, just as A Year in Provence and French Dirt had me dreaming of a trip to France.   

It sparked a few new bucket list items for me.

1.    Find and buy a book from a barge bookshop. (Probably not easy)

2.    Vacation on a traveling barge.

3.    Visit some of the wonderful French towns Perdu stopped at.  

What got me even more excited was an awesome book review by Suzi at Packabook.com/blog in which she not only described some of the destinations in the book she also provided links to restaurants, bakeries, hotels, and barge tours!    Mon Dieu! I’m ready to go!

  


This book met a several of my 2015 Book Challenges: Read a set in a foreign country;  read a book from your local bookstore; and read a novel that has a recipe in it.

Happy Reading,

Annette

Post a comment or email:  Readinginthegarden@gmail.com