I wasn't sure what my "Favorites" list would look like for 2018 since there were a couple of months I couldn't read from my right eye due to a serious eye infection that occurred the week prior to July 4th.
I'm very thankful that my retinal specialist worked to save the sight in my eye, opening his office on the 4th of July just to give me my last set of antibiotic injections. I couldn't see at all from that eye for awhile and even now over seven months later, I still cannot see clearly out of it. Especially when reading.
Since reading was a struggle for so long, I didn't read many books of fiction last year but I did start reviewing again. Just not as many books as before. When I looked through my book journal, I was relieved to find a good amount of favorites read last year. Not as many as usual... but enough.
These are given in about the order they were read, most were paperback or hardback editions but a couple were Kindle (I came to appreciate my Kindle very much since the font could be enlarged easily).
Favorite Books of 2018
I had been curious about this book and when it went on a Kindle sale for $1.99, I snapped it up. This is a fun little book, especially when you can only read a chapter or two at a time. This is considered the "definitive" book on hygge.
If the last book was light, this is just the opposite. I heard about this book after reading an article about it (or in another book?) and the premise peaked my curiosity. What happens if there is an EMP event from the perspective of the Amish, who do not depend on power but are deeply affected by the consequences.
I found this fascinating, it is just a little gritty as one would expect from a novel about society falling apart... but not in a CSI way. However, if you are at all interested in prepping for huge emergencies, then you will read through this as quickly as possible. This is a first novel for the author so it can be just a little choppy at times but he is forgiven.
I accepted this book to review because it sounded fascinating. This is the true story of Kathy and Frank (a couple of years before his death) going to Israel to be part of a tour led by a Bible teacher/pastor who was known for helping Christians understand the Word from a Jewish Perspective. It was a life changing trip.
The co-author is a Messianic Rabbi who offers additional insights into the teaching. This was a faith building read and a fascinating glimpse into the Hebraic roots of the Bible, even the New Testament. The stories will keep you reading!
Info... here. (This link is to the paperback version, due out in March. Hardback copies are available third party and pretty cheap at the moment.)
I heard about this book before it was offered for review and I knew instantly I wanted to read it. I love so much of Madeleine L'Engle's writing but like many fellow Christians, I was confused as to her theology. Sometimes it seemed very conservative and at other times, quite liberal.
In this biography, the author not only writes about Madeleine's life but why her theology seems to differ at times. It's a very interesting read and it helped me understand her more than I did. It is also an honest look at L'Engle for like everyone, she had her faults that caused friends and family to both cringe and laugh about them... and fans like me to overlook her flaws.
I was on the blogger launch team for Book Girl and even then, my daughter had a copy before me. Sarah gave her a preview copy when they had coffee together in Oxford last Spring. So even before reading it, I had heard from Stephanie how good it was. She had saved it to read on the long flight home.
When I finally read it, I absolutely loved it. The title comes from Sarah being raised as a girl who loved books and is partly that story (which is why she called it Book Girl). However, it is also a "book about books" that true readers will come back to over and over. Sarah's writing is always lovely.
If I had to pick a number one favorite book for last year, this would be it. Although a novel about the friendship and marriage of C. S. Lewis and his wife Joy, it is based on the writings of both individuals.
The book opens with Joy's abusive first marriage and her conversion to Christianity. We also learn of her success as a poet long before meeting Lewis. In this story, we come to understand why she was living alone in London for awhile, how she came to meet Lewis and the other Inklings in person, and the events that led up to their marriage.
Honestly, once I got a few chapters into this novel, it was hard to put down. Even though I knew some of the story. Fans of Lewis and the Inklings will find this a necessary read (and it is already my most recommended book in years).
I had been searching for an inexpensive copy of this hard-to-find sequel to Bel Lamington for years and was thrilled to find one last year. Bel and her former boss are now married and house hunting when they find a charming "fixer upper" house within an easy commute to London. This is the story of their settling into married life and a story of house love. The kind of stories I enjoy very much.
I do have some good news for those with a Kindle. I was pleasantly shocked to find out both Bel Lamington and Fletchers End have recently become available at very reasonable prices for the Kindle. Individual links are given below but on the Amazon widget on the sidebar (at the moment), is a link to a Kindle version that contains both books.
Info on Bel Lamington for the Kindle... here.
Info on Fletchers End for the Kindle... here.
NOTE: If you scroll through the "also bought" section, you will find a lot more Stevenson books which have been recently added for the Kindle. Some titles have been available for awhile but it looks like they have added a lot more.
Pastor Jeremiah is one of my very favorite people to listen to on television. This book is about putting on the whole armor of God, especially for the turbulent times we live in today.
As usual, he makes deep theological meaning very easy to read and understand. I passed the book on to my husband to read as soon as I finished it. There are options for a full study guide and DVD for people who want to use this in a group setting but I have just read the book.
If there was a section titled "Most Unlikely Book on My Favorites List", it would be this one. I rarely (as in I can't remember the last time I did) read books by celebrities.
However, I had heard about this book and when I was in Barnes & Noble one day, I looked through it and I admit... loved what I saw. For this book is a combination cookbook/lifestyle book/ personal story and a love letter to southern women.
My mother was from Kentucky, between Louisville and Lexington, and while so close to the northern states... it is definitely southern. I saw my mom in many of the stories Reese tells about her upbringing and what it was like growing up in Nashville.
So when Amazon had both a Christmas discount and a $5.00 off "code", it made the price of the book inexpensive. I used credit to purchase it as a Christmas gift to myself. It has been such an enjoyable read and the recipes are very good. If you live in the southern part of the States or if you just like books about recipes and hospitality... you will enjoy it.
Unlike other books by celebrities I have read (yes, even cookbooks that had smut in them!), I didn't find anything offensive in Whiskey in a Teacup but I haven't read every page. However, Reese is very much the "Southern lady"... even if she now lives in LA. So this book had to go on my Favorites list.
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.
Image: Time For Reading by Judy Gibson