Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book List for 2011

I've finalized my booklist for 2011!  I've chosen 52 books... one for each week of the year... even though I actually will read probably double that amount (a side effect from being an insomniac)... but I have to leave some room for spontaneity, so I'll only pre-select 52. The biblio-snobs out there will notice straight away, the lack of  "important" books... but really, I'm just not into 'pretentious' and life's too short to pretend that I enjoy high-brow reading...although I AM trying to make an effort to read more classics.. anyways, here's the list:

1. Free Range Kids:  Recommended to me by a friend.  I tend to border on being over-protective.  This will probably land up being something I NEED to read.... DONE!  hmmm... well.. what can I say about this one?? The message was great.. I really did NEED to hear/read it. I do err on the side of helicoptering and I really needed to read more about this issue...  The delivery of said message on the other hand was less than desirable.  I found the author's sense of humor to be on the condescending side and hard to swallow....

2. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods : I'm a long time fan of Ms. Fallon's Nourishing Traditions... I've wanted to read this book for a while now.. DONE!  WOW!! Great read! I immediately wanted to make fermented mead since I have everything on hand! But so far, I haven't gotten around to that little project... the sauerkraut recipes sound great too...

3. The Great Gatsby  - A classic I've not yet read. DONE! I initially found this book a bit hard to get "into".  But the more I read, the more thought provoking it became for me.  On the surface, this story is about a tragic love affair (albeit a one-sided affair) between a man and a woman... but we know that on a deeper level Fitzgerald intended the main theme to be an expose on the decaying moral and social values of that era (the swinging 20's).  Personally I think that the ecomomic fallout that occurred in the 30's helped to propel this book into becoming the well-loved classic that it is.  And all throughout the book, it kept occuring to me that this book is SO VERY relevant to us as a society TODAY!! We are on the verge of another economic fallout due to much greed and mismanagement.  Its amazing how things come full circle.  Apparently I'm not the only one to think that we could all benefit from this book's message because a new movie based on the book is set to hit the theatres in 2012!!! Some pretty big names too... Can't wait to see it.  In the meantime, I think I'll plan to watch the 1974 version with Robert Redford.  Great book - HIGHLY recommended!!  Highly gifted writer.

4. Mrs. Dalloway - another classic

5. The Storyteller's Startup Book - I'd like to nurture my storytelling craft which, for the most part, is pretty non-existent

6. Simpler Living: A Back to Basics Guide to Cleaning, Furnishing, Storing, Decluttering, Streamlining, Organizing, and More - to be perfectly honest.. I could easily fill up an entire list of books of this nature and be content... I love 'back-to-basics, sustainable living' type books...  DONE! I found this book to be a waste of time to read, to be perfectly honest.. I don't think out of the entire book that I gleaned even one idea to implement. Would not recommend. There are better books out there.
7. Mere Christianity - C.S Lewis:  this has been on my mental to-read list for a couple of years.. 2011's the year..

8. The Importance of Being Earnest - oh, I have a feeling I'm going to ADORE this classic..DONE! Very witty little piece of writing! Whipped through it in one afternoon while at our campsite beach.  A fun little read...

9. Shannon: A Novel  - I recently read the book "Ireland" by the same author and loved it... hoping this one is as good. Done! Well sort of.  I could not finish it... there was one rather vivid description of a child being very, very severely punished, and I just could not stomach it after that.  This is my own issue though.  And I have no doubt that I would have loved this book if I could have gotten past that one scene.

10. Sarum: The Novel of England - this comes highly recommended from a friend whose favorite author is Rutherfurd.  Did I get that right, Joe? Historical fiction tends to be one of my favorite genres.. I'm sure I'll love this too. DONE!  I finally finished this gigantic book! I really liked it! Learned an enormous amount about the history of England... there is no better way to learn history than through a really great historical work of fiction... and Rutherfurd really did a great job with this book...

11. The Pillars of the Earth - I'm not normally a Ken Follet fan... but this actually sounds interesting! Maybe it'll convert me... DONE! WOW!! EXCELLENT book!! It managed to turn me into a Follet fan!! LOL!! I'm looking forward to watching the mini-series based on the book.  If you like historical fiction, you will love this book!

12. Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria - a topic that happens to fascinate me.. natural remedies... DONE! So glad that I have this secret weapon on my bookshelves..... fascinating read and I learned a GREAT deal!  Some of the alternative I had known about and some of them were new to me.  Luke has never, ever had to take antibiotics and although I would not hesitate to give them to him if they were TRULY needed, this book has given me the confidence to keep doing what I've always done - trying natural alternatives first!

13. A Nest for Celeste  - this will be our family's first read-aloud of the year.  The illustrations look gorgeous.  I think Luke will love this one. DONE! This was one of family read aloud selections.. we really enjoyed it.. the illustrations were wonderful... we landed up learning quite a bit about Audubon... and grew to love the wee little heroine of the story... definitely recommended.. I was quite sad to see that it didn't win a Newbery medal, as I felt it should have.....

14. Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing boys - comes highly recommended. DONE!!  Great reference book that I'll keep referring to over the years. I really liked this one.

15. Celtic Christianity - sounds interesting..

16. The Forgotten Garden - another recommendation.... looks good.  I'll probably land up waiting almost the entire year for it from the library though.. I'm number 392 on the waiting list!! DONE!!  Oh MY! I could NOT put this book down... I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning reading this one... Kate Morton is a new favorite author! Thank goodness my friend loaned me another of her books! :) HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this fiction book.

17. Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do it Ourselves Guide - see my comment for number 6 DONE! Interesting read... not completely unforgettable.. but some good content indeed!

18. Canoeing, A Trailside Guide - I'd like to introduce Luke to canoeing at the campsite this year.  It's been years and years since I've canoed.... DONE!  Great how-to book!!! I'm so wanting to purchase a canoe this year!!!  But I'll settle for at least renting one at the campsite...

19. Failure to Connect - I love reading books that confirm what I already believe! LOL!! I think that this will prove to be one of those books..

20. Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything - looks interesting! DONE! Excellent book... so much so, that I'm purchasing it for our own library... probably one of my favorite books on the topic of homeschooling (maybe even next in line behind Educating the Wholehearted Child!)

21. Simplicity Parenting - this looks good too.. DONE!!  As posted in my August 28th entry, this book will probably prove the book from this list that has impacted my family the most.  many great suggestions in this book with the research to back it up.  Highly recommended.

22. Continuum Concept - I've had this on my to-read list for the last 3 years... I'd kinda like to cross this one off the list... plus it looks good. DONE!!  Absolutely fascinating read.  the kind of book that forces you to think about how the concepts mesh with your own beliefs. I found that I had to jumble very few of the puzzle pieces in my brain to make many of the beliefs introduced in this book, fit.  I even found connections to a couple of my beliefs that were sort of fragmented (I knew that I believed a particular idea, but didn't know how it linked up with these other philosophies). So that's always an exciting moment when you can make a link or a connection!!  It reminded me of the documentary called Babies.... just a really fascinating read.

23. In the Company of Others - oh how I LOVE Father Tim... I miss that character... I was initially discouraged by the lack of good reviews for this book.. but I miss Mitford... I need to reconnect with that quirky community!

24. Educating the Wholehearted Child -new edition comes out in March 2011!! I own the older edition (its my favorite homeschooling book!).. but this one has been totally revised and is supposed to be bigger.  DONE!!  My favorite homeschooling book is now better than ever! Totally impressed.  A must have for all homeschoolers and actually anyone who wants to create a learning environment within their homes and families. 

25. Happy Ever After (4th book in Nora Roberts Bride Quartet) – the obligatory FLUFF!! Enough said... DONE!!  I was so sad to see this awesome series end.  Roberts is SUCH a queen at her genre.  I cannot wait for her next trilogy to come out!!

26. A Wrinkle in Time - this was much loved childhood book... I'm looking forward to re-reading.. DONE! I can't believe how much I'd forgotten of this book! Considering how much I loved it as a child, I was surprised a couple times when I could not remember what would happen next...  but it is every bit as good as I had remembered!  Maybe someday I'll get around to reading the rest of the books in the Wrinkle series!  

27. Books Children Love - this was on my 2010 Booklist and I never got around to reading it.. DONE!  GREAT compilation of children's titles!!  Some titles are out of print, but I respect the author for still including them.  A great book is a great book and still worth reading, even if it takes a bit of effort to track down.  I've already used this book to choose some of our read aloud books.  I have a feeling I'll be referring to this book quite a bit over the years.

28. The Charlotte Mason Companion -a reread for me...  DONE! Definitely among my very, very favorite books on the topic of home learning....I don't think I'll ever tire of reading this book...
29. Anne of Green Gables - another beloved reread.... but after reading Emily of New Moon last year, I've been wanting to reread to see which I love better. DONE!!  Without a doubt one of the best books and series ever written.  As much as I LOVED Emily of New Moon - I still love Anne even more.... I landed up reading the entire series (instead of the first 4 as I had planned).  I think my top spot for my FAVORITE novel now is between Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables.  If you've always thought of Anne of Green Gables as a sweet childhood book - I would encourage you to read (or re-read) the entire series and discover just how gifted L.M Montgomery really was as a writer. 

30. Anne of the Island- I'm going to read the first 4 in the series this year.. and the next 4 in 2012. DONE!! 
31. Anne of Avonlea DONE!! 

32. Anne of Windy Poplars DONE!! 

33. Writing Motherhood - I had a similar book on my list last year... I never got around to reading it.. this one looks good too... DONE!! 

34. A Kids Herb Book - now that John redid the back deck and stairs to access the back yard, we can have our garden again! This will be a great book to share with Luke as we plant the herb portion of our garden... DONE! I'm so glad that I purchased this book.. it will be an excellent book to share in the coming years with Luke.. We love the herb garden portion of our garden, and thanks to this book, we can't wait to plant a few new  herbs in order to make some of the recipes featured in the book!

35. The Reluctant Entertainer - one of my resolutions is to open our house to others more often...and to teach Luke about hospitality...  this will probably inspire me in that respect... DONE!! 

36. Christmas Jars- this looks like quite the charming story! DONE! OH!!! Definitely a charmer of a story!! It will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside for hours and hours after reading it!! And will likely make you want to start a Christmas Jar of your own!!! Its a very quick read that I most heartily recommend!!

37. Sisters on the Fly - this looks like it'll be a barrel of fun to read...  DONE! This was a fun little book to read about a huge movement of women who have taken to camping, fishing, restoring vintage trailers.... the sisterhood theme is prevalent throughout... Many of the women featured were women after my own heart!!  This was a cute, fun-hearted little book!!

38. Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time - I need a refresher course in sewing... the projects in this book look cute.... DONE!  I have not yet made any of the projects.. but the book is perfect for a rusty-beginner sewer such as myself.  The projects are cute and very clearly explained.  One of the simple projects that I've chosen to do over the coming months is to try the Napkins with Mitered corners.  I have some leftover fabric that would make great cloth napkins!  Great book - I would definitely recommend.

39. Mary Jane’s Outpost - I love MaryJane's magazine... and her Ideabook was quite lovely.  Hopefully this book will be as good.

40. The New Handmade: Simple Sewing for Contemporary Style - can you tell one of my resolutions is to sharpen my sewing skills? DONE! I write done, because I've already read through it quickly once.. but it'll be a resource book that I'll need to refer to again and again in the coming months... I have a little project chosen from the book and can't wait to get started... and then I'd like to move onto the next book (below) on my list....

41. Sew What Skirts - and yet another sewing book DONE!! 

42. The Self Esteem Trap - another recommendation from a friend...DONE! Oh, what an important read this was for me... if you too were under the impression that building the self esteem of your child meant including words of praise, telling them how unique and so very special they are, then I'd love to get your opinion after you read THIS book... and yet wow... it makes perfect, perfect sense... what a "ME" focused world we've become with huge senses of entitlement and what a trap we've set... GREAT, GREAT book...I just wish all of the people who aren't into reading parenting books would read this one! (Grin!)

43. Getting Things Done - another reread for me.. this is the geekiest of geeky books.. and its AWESOME!

44. The Storehouse Principle - another reread for me.. I've read this a couple of times already... but I've always found it to be quite motivating.. so its time to read again... DONE! I always find this book so motivating to read... in fact this year, it really kickstarted me into wanting to really buckle down and pay off the debt we had accumulated...   I'll definitely want to read this again at the beginning of next year again..

45. Seasons of a Mother’s Heart - another reread from my favorite author Sally Clarkson! DONE!  There is a reason that Mrs Clarkson is one of my very favorite authors.  She speaks to a mother's heart like no one else.  I speak with perfect honesty when I say that she has been my biggest mentor as a mother.  I feel so blessed to have discovered this Godly woman so early in my motherhood walk!  Her very words leap off the page and envelope you into a sisterly hug.  This particular book was written with homeschoolers in mind, but all mothers will benefit from her godly, warmhearted wisdom.

46. As Sure as the Dawn, Book 3 in the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers - I am LOVING this series.. the first books that I've read of Ms. Rivers! Very good.

47. Same Kind of Different as Me - yet another recommendation.  It sounds powerful. DONE!!  Very powerful story.  Highly recommended. 

48. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where you Are (Ann Voskamp’s new book!) I'm so excited to read this one... Ann Voskamp's blog is one of my all time favorite blogs.  I know that this book will be amazing.  DONE!  Oh to be able to construct even one sentence that would convey half as much as one of Ann's.  My word, but can that woman write!!  I have this habit of putting a book down whenever I need to let a particularly good sentence or idea marinate for awhile.  Well, I must have looked ridiculous because I was putting that book down every minute or so... but then I had to keep coming back for more, so I would pick it back up again, only to read yet another brilliant sentence and had to put it down once more.  Highly recommend this one.  Quite powerful and if it doesn't change you upon reading it - you aren't human.

49. Fresh Food from Small Spaces - I always love to read about gardening in small spaces... since I live in suburbia-ville with a postage stamp for a backyard... DONE! Pretty decent book! I particularly loved the section on sprouting.. the author makes a pretty convincing case of at least trying it... very easy and cheap source of nutrient dense food!

50. The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook - don't know what to say about this one, except I'm sure that the recipes will be delightful... I believe its along the same style of cooking as Nourishing Traditions...

51. The UltraMind Solution - another recommendation from a friend.  DONE! I'm so glad I added this book to my list.  Some crucial information in this book. It is literally PACKED with information... I will need to read it at least a couple of more times to absorb it all..In fact, I have it on my library's Reserve list once more already!  I'm so glad that Integrative medicine is really making its is thanks to experts like Dr. Hyman, for sure. Pretty soon, I hope that it will be the new mainstream! For sure, I recommend this book with two thumbs way up!

52. Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting - and one last recommendation from a friend! DONE!  Great book! So many great ideas about gracious, intentional parenting between these two covers.  Very real and authentic...the authors practice buddhism, so there inevitably were a couple of ideas that conflicted with my core faith beliefs, however I would say that pretty much everything that the authors wrote dovetailed nicely with my own very strong belief that children should be parented with love, dignity and consideration.

Phew.. okay... that's my list.. lets see how many I finish in 2011! Happy Reading!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this every year! It gives me ideas for myself.

I think I will be up for some playdates at Salem's in the near future :)


Trace said...

Thank you Andrea!! And YES, I think gatherings at Salems are in order.. its been a while!
Happy New Years, my friend,

Anonymous said...

Have you read Sarahs' Key? Similar feel to Anne Frank's diary I am thinking. I am on the waitlist at the library for it too. Love peeking at your list of reading, it always inspires me!

Trace said...


Yes I DID read that book not too long ago... a friend loaned it to me... i can't recall if I've given it back to her.. but if you are very far down the waiting list, as I suspect you are, I can always loan it to you... i'll ask her but I'm positive she wont mind!
In any case, I found it to be very good... but some parts were quite difficult for me to read, emotionally speaking...

Karen said...

Hee Hee...I am totally stealing at 6 books off your list to read!! And I was so happy to see The Self Esteem Trap on there- I had heard about this book and then totally forgot about it so seeing it on your list reminded me to request it from the library :)
Also, no need to wait for The Forgotten Garden-I have read it and I will pass it onto you....I am currently also reading The House at Riverton which I'm sure you will like and I will pass that to you too....
AND- please tell Julie I will pass my copy of Sarah's Key to you for her to read :)

frugalhippiebusy said...

Yes, that's right!! :)


Joe said...

I have LOVED The Forgotten Garden too! And it was a special book too because it's the first one I started after Caitlin was born, and I remember actually looking forward to mid-night nursings to keep reading LOL Such a great author, I will have to read her other books too.

I'm really glad you enjoyed Sarum!! If you want to read any other Rutherfurd books, let me know, I have them all (well except New York, it's in digital format) He is such an amazing author (too!) and I agree - his mixture of fiction and accurate historical factoids is absolutely incredible.

Karen said...

I have my own copy of Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing Boys....I am only a few chapters in but I will lend it you when I am done with it ;)