December is more than halfway through, so I guess this list is now in order. I’m hoping to finish at least two more books before the year is done, but I’m not sure they’d rank in the top ten anyways. (Now I’ve said this I’m certainly doomed to find them to be my absolutely most favorite books in the universe.)
The goal this year was to read 36 books (3 books a month). I recognize this is a small potatoes goal in the world of bookworms, but let’s look at all the plates I’m juggling, shall we? (Why am I feeling the need to defend myself? I don’t know.) Actually, looking at all the plates would be boring, so let’s look at the biggest, shiniest ones.
- Motherhood. I have three children aged 5, 2, and 11 months that are home all day.
- Work. I work part time from home and I’m pretty sure it’s eating away at my brain. Or I have zombies for children.
So, can we all just agree that three a month is pretty good for me? Okay, thanks. Now that we’ve acknowledged that, let’s give me a huge round of applause to myself for reading 60.
I only had nine 5-star reads this year, so my tenth book on this list will be the 4-star read that got the closest. These books will be listed in no particular order (except the 4-star at the bottom). Let’s get started.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling.
I reread the entire Harry Potter series this summer, and this book still remains my favorite. It’s just a bit different from the others with less focus on Harry’s connection to Voldemort, and it introduces my favorite character: Sirius. Can we all agree the movies do not pay enough attention to his character?
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling.
This is my second favorite in the series. I love Dumbledore’s Army so much. Harry gets a little obnoxious in this one (you can read that as: I want to smack Harry’s face more than once during this book), but I try to be understanding since he did undergo some trauma at the end of the previous book.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is my most recent 5-star read of the year. I loved the message of this story so much, and I loved how simply it was portrayed. I felt like I was reading my personal self-help book in a way. I felt encouraged and persuaded to chase my dreams no matter the obstacles. Watch out little demons disguised as my children!
4, 5, 6. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy; The Penderwicks on Gardam Street; The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
Guys. I absolutely fell in love with this family this year. These books are adorable. They’re a middle-grade series that I would say any age could enjoy. I had this book on my TBR list for years and just got around to it a few months ago. Imagine all the moments of joy I have missed out on with this family in that time. If you want a modern day, younger, Little Women of sorts you should give it a try. Please do!
Sidenote 1: There is another book in the series called The Penderwicks at Point Mouette that I gave more like 4 stars to. Still adorable, but I didn’t love it as much as the others.
Sidenote 2: The Goodreads picture for the second book was incredibly grainy and tiny, so it’s not featured here.
7. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
The whole time I was reading these books this summer I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to be able to read these with my girls when they’re older.” They’re just sweet stories inspired by the author’s life. I haven’t had a chance to read all of the books in the series yet though I fully plan to. The other books I gave 4 stars to because they were adorable, but the first one was absolutely great!
8. These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
Had I been listing these books in any particular order, this one would have been first. I was so skeptical going into this book, especially when I heard it was going to be a romance (imagine with me a romantic scene involving people that speak like, “These is my words.”
Woman: I love yer farmer’s tan.
Man: Yer so perty.
Man: ‘Spect we should git married now. ), but I am so glad I gave it a chance. It has become a personal favorite of mine that I plan on rereading several times in the future.
9. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book will sock you in the gut a little bit. I’ve heard from two different people that lost a parent to cancer about what this book meant to them, and I appreciate hearing that so much. I won’t say anymore in case you haven’t read it, but it’s a great story with unique illustrations.
10. Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
I had so many 4-star books it was hard to pick, but I finally went with this one. I enjoyed the way the story was told, the general writing style, and I liked the main character so much. I didn’t love the youngest character in the group. I was quite put-off by her generally and feel that must have been the biggest reason I couldn’t give it full stars.
Did you guys meet your reading goals this year? What were your favorites? Did you have many rereads?