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What was the best book you read this year?


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13 hours ago, Robin M said:

Love Sharon Kay Penman...

Based on recommendations on the BaW threads I read her Sunne in Splendor, following Richard III, several years agoI just read her 4-book Medieval mystery series, set during the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine ruling as regent while her son William is king but captured and heldfor ransom in Europe, and youngest son John is angling for his brother's throne. The main character is the fictitious Justin de Quincy who encounters a number of real historical figures in his spying for the queen and mystery-solving... Loved historical setting and the political intrigue/spy stuff in these mysteries!

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18 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

Me while reading this post: Add to Goodreads list...Add to Goodreads list...Add to Goodreads list...😂

Same here....except I go to overdrive and add to wish list and holds list and borrow and .....

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16 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt -- Such a great book if you love music. I didn't know that Linda was hugely instrumental in bringing the Eagles together. This is an amazing read about Linda's life. She doesn't discuss health issues because this book came out before they nailed down her diagnosis. And if you want to read about her boyfriends -- she gives a couple of guys a sentence or two, but this is not a "kiss and tell." It's strictly about how she grew as a vocalist. So good!!

If you like that, you might like this podcast, which did an episode with Linda Ronstadt. (I haven't listened myself, not being particularly musical, but a friend of a friend is one of the hosts, which is why I know about it.)

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2 hours ago, -M- said:


■ The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. I: The Pox Party (M.T. Anderson; 2006. Fiction.) 
 

I LOVED this book! I read it many years ago, but really loved it. So interesting. And it's another book that I recommend that you do not read the sequel. Octavian Nothing ended perfectly. The sequel didn't *ruin* the first book, but it was just not nearly as good as the first.

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My favourites for the year:


YA: Future Girl, by Asphyxia (Asphyxia herself is lovely, but I was impressed with how she wrote dystopia in a hopeful way.)
Fic: I'm part way through Ben Aaronovitch's 'Peter Grant' series and they are such fun. Like a cross between Terry Pratchett and 'The Bill' tv show. Honourable mention to Sholastique Mukasonga. Her book was not fun, but definitely more flavoursome than books about Rwanda written by Westerners, which is all I'd ever got my hands on before.

NF: I loved Dan Barber's 'The Third Plate' so much I bought my own copy to read to my dd. 'Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World,’ by Tyson Yunkaporta gets an honourable mention, along with Nicole Master's 'For the Love of Soil' and 'English Pastoral,’  by James Rebanks. Dan Barber sent me off into a few different books on regenerative agriculture.

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The best non-fiction book that I read this year is an oldie. Kent State by James Michener. We drove through Ohio a few years ago, and needing a stretch, we stopped at Kent State University. We were familiar with the tragic shooting there but the memorial was tremendous. It made me even more curious though. This book was written within a year of the shooting so it gives a feel for what was happening and being felt and thought immediately afterwards. I really enjoyed it.

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Favorite Fiction:
The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich. I wanted to read more Native American authors but wasn't expecting to love this one as much as I did. I love character driven books and the characters in this story are wonderful. There's also a plot (or three) that keeps moving the story forward but the characters made it my top read of the year. Parts of it are based on her grandfather's story of fighting in Congress for his tribe's rights but it's the characters that really make the story. I have a Goodreads shelf I call My Top 100 and this one made it to that list.

Honorable mention - Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo. This one shared the Booker Prize last year with Margaret Atwood (for The Testaments which I really didn't think was prize-worthy). Again, it had such wonderful and believable characters. It seemed like a bunch of short stories at first though there were connections in each story, then it all came together beautifully at the end.

Favorite Nonfiction:
Blowout, by Rachel Maddow. This expose (I don't know how to add accents on my laptop but it's exposay) of the oil industry was eye opening. It's well told and backed by facts. I listened to the audio book and while I don't normally like to listen to an author read their own books, she talks for a living. She did an excellent job reading her book to me. 

Honorable mention: The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, by Ben Macintyre. This was a fascinating story of a KGB agent turned spy for the British during the Cold War. I'm not really one for spy stories but I love history, and this was told in a way that's anything but dry. It's complete with secret signals and a harrowing escape from the Soviet Union. I enjoyed it so much and knew it was something dh would like so I passed it along to him. He really liked it and recommended it to several coworkers. It wasn't as good as Blowout imo so it didn't become my top read but it deserves a mention. This is the only one of these four books I didn't add to My Top 100 but I might reconsider and add it.
 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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Usually my favorite book is the one I just finished reading, such as The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue but I really loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow. I hated when it came to the end and the entire time I was reading it I kept thinking to myself how wonderful it is. It may be that it just hits my favorite genre nerve but I really, really loved it. Oh, and the The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue really was pretty good.

https://www.amazon.com/Ten-Thousand-Doors-January/dp/0316421995

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3 hours ago, Amethyst said:

The best non-fiction book that I read this year is an oldie. Kent State by James Michener. We drove through Ohio a few years ago, and needing a stretch, we stopped at Kent State University. We were familiar with the tragic shooting there but the memorial was tremendous. It made me even more curious though. This book was written within a year of the shooting so it gives a feel for what was happening and being felt and thought immediately afterwards. I really enjoyed it.

Glad you mentioned this as I like that author and didn’t know he wrote about this.

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Oh man. I was really making progress with getting books off my Goodreads “want to Read” list. I read 28 books this year which is a lot for me. (Not much else to do during pandemic.) But now with all these suggestions, my list is getting long again! Jk, keep the suggestions coming! 

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On 1/31/2020 at 3:34 PM, Carol in Cal. said:

I just finished "The Bear And The Nightingale" by Katherine Arden.

 

16 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

You know, there was this trilogy based on Russian legends that I read last winter that was really beautiful and exceedingly well written.  I wish I could remember for sure whether I read it in 2019 or 2020.  If it was 2020, then I did indeed have a favorite book all year after all, albeit a group of three:

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Girl in the Tower

The Winter of the Witch

I looked on your behalf, Carol. As you can see, you finished the first book in January of this (exceedingly long) year.

Regards,

Kareni

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5 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

If you like that, you might like this podcast, which did an episode with Linda Ronstadt. (I haven't listened myself, not being particularly musical, but a friend of a friend is one of the hosts, which is why I know about it.)

Thank you Rosie! I'll definitely listen and full-disclosure: I just love music, I'm not a musician.

Does this mean your friend got to talk to Linda. Wow.

Thanks again,

Wendy

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39 minutes ago, Alicia64 said:

Thank you Rosie! I'll definitely listen and full-disclosure: I just love music, I'm not a musician.

Does this mean your friend got to talk to Linda. Wow.

Thanks again,

Wendy

Not my friend. My friend's friend. She used to work for her.

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I usually read for information, so covid helped me to take a break and take time for myself😉

From recommendations from the WTM site, I read and thoroughly enjoyed:

The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom:    corrietenboom.com: During the Second World War, the Ten Boom home became a refuge, a hiding place, for fugitives and those hunted by the Nazis. By protecting these people, Casper and his daughters, Betsie and Corrie, risked their lives. This non-violent resistance against the Nazi-oppressors was the Ten Boom's way of living out their Christian faith.  (Sadly, this book is sometimes hard to find. I wanted to find new copies for my daughters, but they are hard to find.  One bookstore has it in the Christian section, at another in the autobiography area...

 

The Shack, WM. Paul Young: another true story, yet almost unbelievable encounter with God.  I read this because the setting of the story takes place in my region.

The Turner House:  "It's hard to believe that this moving, beautifully written novel is a debut. In The Turner House, Flournoy tells the story of a large family in Detroit trying to figure out what to do with their childhood home, which has depreciated in value because of urban decay."—Men's Journal, "The 35 Best Books of 2015"  (With 13 siblings in the Turner home, there is much more to the story than this. Also, as white child, I have vivid memories of driving to Detroit  to visit my grandmother, and observing  homes/people in Detroit in the early 70's.  While reading this, I had a better sense of what life was like for some families back then.)

Child of the Crossfire, Alcyon Ruth Fleck, another true story of faith:  Oscar was brainwashed, trained in guerrilla warfare, captured, tortured, and orphaned -- all before he was 10. His quest to find his heavenly Father and earthly father takes many unexpected twists in this true story of survival and triumph. (Amazon)

 

 

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18 hours ago, Nanax6 said:

My list of favorites:

The Lost Book of Names by Kristin Harmel

The Winemaker's Wife by Kristin Harmel 

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Scarlet Sky had me bawling! So good!

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The Plague (Albert Camus) -- Plague, riots, lockdowns. Lots to identify with! Had always been intimidated by this one, but found it very readable.

The Harry Potter series - Now I understand. 🙂 I was encouraged to try "impossible" things.  

Scotland Street series (McCall Smith) - Short chapters (easy to pick up for a few minutes), humanity in it's everyday beauty and hilarity.

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