This is actually a pretty easy post for me to write. I’m on Goodreads, so I just need to go look at the books I read this year and see which ones I rated the best. This year, of the twenty-five books I read (I took a summer break, so my numbers aren’t what I wanted), I gave eight of the five stars. In no particular order, they are:
- Run, by Ann Patchett – This one was more than a little unusual for me. As a rule, I don’t like literary fiction. I much prefer popular fiction. I had to read this one for a book group at the library, and was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. Patchett’s story of family, politics, race, and class is simply extraordinary.
- I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do), by Mark Greenside – I actually just finished this one today. A memoir about an American’s adventures in the northwest of France, I simply couldn’t put it down. It was very refreshing after so many books about Provence and the south of France.
- The Sword of the Templars, by Paul Christopher – The first book in Christopher’s Templar series, this is high action/adventure with a religious/mythical twist. Clearly, it’s the beginning of a great series. This is also the only series from which I read more than one book this year.
- You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier – One of the few technology related books I read this year. It was worth it, though. A discussion and critique of how decisions made in the beginning of the digital age are shaping our culture now, for better or worse.
- The Mischief of the Mistletoe, by Lauren Willig – I was walking past a Holiday books display in our library and just happened to see this one. I checked it out and read it in just a couple of days. If you like Regency fiction, clean, with just a bit of comedy, you’ll love this book. I don’t know if the rest of the series is as good, but I’ll be finding out.
- The Templar Cross, by Paul Christopher – The second in Christopher’s Templar series, and just as good as the first. I know from experience that not all sequels are as good as the original book. That’s not the case here.
- Austenland, by Shannon Hale – An amusing light romantic comedy about an American girl who goes to England for a vacation at a Jane Austen “theme park.” Not really like Jane Austen at all, but very good if you take it for what it is.
- The Evolution of Faith: How God is Creating a Better Christianity, by Philip Gulley – One of the best books on Christianity I’ve read in some time. Also, Quaker pastor Philip Gulley is one of my favorite authors. His Harmony series is excellent.