The 2018 Books


When I was a kid, I loved to read. Inhaled books right and left. Then, when I was newly graduated, married, and started having babies, I didn't know what to read so I really didn't read much at all. A few years ago, I wanted to change that, so I made a rule that the only time I could eat chocolate was if I was reading.

So I started reading a lot.


Ahem.

Now that I've built the habit of reading back up, I don't have to follow that rule anymore. (Meaning, I let myself eat chocolate anytime now.) Sometimes, we have to reward ourselves for good habits. Eventually, those good habits become a reward in themselves. (But chocolate always helps.)

I kept a list of all the books I read in 2018, and when I look back over it, I'm so thankful for those books! Some of them helped me, some changed me, some taught me, and some made me fall on my knees before God. It was a hard year to live through, but I'm much more human now. I didn't realize until I started writing this post that most of my books had a common theme, and it's kind of depressing. The common thread is the hopelessness and helplessness of man's condition. My year was pretty hopeless and helpless as well, but I didn't stop there. I learned about the glory of God. It is part of His Glory to be hope and help. I am much more secure in the uncertainties of life now! These were good lessons for me to contemplate last year.

Pre-Reads

These are the books I read for the kids. I don't count read alouds in my list (I'm not sure why), but I do count the books that I read for them. I read the 100 Cupboards series by ND Wilson. They were so fun and also very scary. Eowyn read these and loved them. I read the Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers for Gideon. It's so perfect for boys. He finished the trilogy. I finished the Wilderking books with Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson. The kids had already read these, but I had to finish the series for myself. It's so, so good! I also read Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books. I thoroughly enjoyed them but had put them on hold for the kids. 

Non-Fiction/Educational


Literature


My book club started out our year with Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. These were probably my favorite books of the year. It's a set of three books that cover the life of Kristin, from childhood to old woman. It's a book that I grew old with. I lived her life, her mistakes, and then (hopefully) gained some of her wisdom. I loved them. I was so glad when I finished them and realized I don't have to make the same mistakes anymore.

My other favorite of the year was The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss. I actually read this one twice! He made me ask so many questions about the meaning of life. I eventually came to the conclusion that we can't work for the outcome or for our own glory; everything we do must be for the glory of God.

I also really loved, loved, loved Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory. It's just beautiful and I highly suggest everyone read it.

Then I read The Oxbow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. I could have thrown this book across the room. I cried and I got so mad! But I also think it's an important book that looks at the mob mentality and the necessity of law. Plus forgiveness and emotion and humanity. Oh, it's brilliant but it'll make you furious. I think it's especially important for young men to read.

I was introduced to several new-to-me authors this year. Willa Cather's My Antonia is so lovely. Chaim Potok's The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev were new worlds for me. Gene Porter Stratton's The Girl of the Limberlost was delightful (and now I like moths). Emma Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel was fun and dramatic.

I had to reread some Lewis books, of course. I read Till We Have Faces and The Great Divorce.  Marilyn Robinson's Housekeeping (another reread) and Lila were thought-provoking looks at home life. Another one that aided me in my homemaking and mothering was A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle.

Finally, I read a few classics to start to round out my own education.



That's about it for my list. What was your favorite book of the year?

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