Friday, December 30, 2011

"Wear the old coat, buy the new book"*

The Book Notebook

I've been working on my book list for 2012. Also known as a big stack of books on my bedside table that I am thinking of reading soon. This got me to thinking about the best books I've read this year.

Whenever I finish reading a book, I write it down in "the book book." My sister and I both started these notebooks about 15 years ago. I love having a record of every book I've read since I was 14. Really, I don't know what people do when they don't write down the books they read. You should probably start doing this. :)

a page from the book book

So here's a little review of some of my favorites from 2011. The list of every book I read is way too long (over 80 books. I really like to read.), so I tried to be selective. You're welcome.

I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks

This book is super fun. She's got lots of great ideas for figuring out your style and dressing using basics. I can't help myself: I love books about clothes and this one's great!

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith

I will read everything this man writes. Humour. Great characters. Scotland. Lots of cups of tea. Stories that will make you laugh out loud. I have been following the story of Bertie - a little 6 year old boy with an overprotective mother- for years. Bertie gets signed up to be in the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, even though he's only 6. Bertie's trials at school (his mother makes him wear Crushed Strawberry overalls and hang out with kids named Olive and Tofu). The series is about the tenants of one building in Edinburgh. You will love them all.

Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman

I picked up this book while I was visiting Kate in Texas and 800+ pages and all, could not put it down. The book opens with Sarah telling the story of the deaths of her father and brother and goes on to tell of her life in Baton Rouge during the war. She is described as a "real-life Scarlett O'Hara" and it's so true.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

 After finishing the last Jane Austen novel (I know there's always re-reading- but still. It was a sad day), I've been on the lookout for other British novelists. Elizabeth Gaskell is fitting the bill perfectly. There are BBC miniseries for almost all of her books (Cranford, Wives and Daughters, North and South. Go watch them.) and the books are just as good. Wives and Daughters is my favorite so far. The characterization is amazing. It's like reading about people you know! I was a little worried because the book is unfinished, but the story wraps up decently- and you can watch the excellent movie ending if you aren't satisfied!

The Invisible War by Chip Ingram

 I have loved Chip Ingram since he spoke at my college graduation ceremony. This is one of the best books I've found on spiritual warfare. Basic, biblical...and balanced (yay alliteration!). This is an issue every Christian deals with and Ingram is great at making the issue not blown out of proportion. We're all in a battle and this is a great tool for being armed!

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
 Is there any Christian woman who didn't read this book this year? There's a reason: it's excellent. I'm not going to lie, it took me awhile to get into her poetic style. But I'm glad I did. Ann Voskamp provides great ideas and tools for being thankful for what you have and living in the present. Things I often need to be reminded to do. :) My small group studied this book this year; it was a great book for discussion. I'm currently on about #300 on my list of things I'm thankful for. And counting.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling

My sister just blogged about this book. And I heard about it from her. And borrowed it from her. So, thanks Christy! Really, this book is so funny. Mindy Kaling is a writer (and actress) on The Office. Here's a clip (from the chapter "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities"), after points like:

I Can Borrow All Your Clothes
I Must Be 100 Percent Honest About How You Look, But Gentle
I Can Ditch You, Within Reason...

"I Will Take Care Of Your Kid If You Die
 I can't even write about this, it's too sad. But yes, I will do that. And you will have one awesome little kid who hears endless stories about how amazing and beautiful and perfect you were. Incidentally, you're kid will grow up loving Indian food."

Kelly from The Office: who knew she was so funny?

What books have you read this year? 

Find more awesome 2011 book lists at The Nester.

*Austin Phelps quote


Blondie's Journal said... Reply To This Comment

What an excellent idea...keeping a book log. I have sort of been keeping track on my sidebar, but it's not the same. And it's such an accomplishment to finish a book when our days are so busy and hectic. Finding time is a TREAT!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, I love your blog and signed on as a follower.

Have a Happy New Year!!


kate said... Reply To This Comment

I love everything about this post but especially that Sarah Morgan made the list. I am almost finished with Eating Animals and am about to start on the Bonhoeffer biography which I got for Christmas. I'll let you know how it goes.

I miss you so much & am glad to see what you've been reading/thinking about I can't wait to talk again soon!

Elizabeth@LongToLove said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks for your comment Jenny! So glad I'm not alone in my love for Sophie Kinsella!

GLENDA CHILDERS said... Reply To This Comment

You have totally inspired me, Jenny. I AM reading more books in 2012.

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