Brobdingnagian Book List

This is my list of books finished this year. 

I confess: I love reading good books, scanning book lists, shelving books, reviewing books, buying books, browsing books, swapping books, talking books, foisting books on innocent victims, borrowing books from trusting friends, stacking books, schlepping books everywhere I go, interrupting my husband’s thoughts to read a section aloud, fantasizing about walls of books, dreaming about having read every book I own. Riiiiight.  

Click on the title for more information about the book.  If you have questions, ask in the comments section.  Click here to check my reviews.

Books to Help Me Teach
A Natural History of Latin
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
On Writing Well
The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life
Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct

Wendell Berry
Jayber Crow
Andy Catlett: Early Travels
Hannah Coulter: A Novel
Nathan Coulter: A Novel
Remembering: A Novel
Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World

England & Scotland, nonfiction
Some Lovely Islands
Romantic Scotland (Country Series)
Life of St. Columba
In Search of Ancient Scotland, A Guide for The Independent Traveler
My Love Affair with England: A Traveler’s Memoir
England as You Like It
England for All Seasons
Rick Steves’ Postcards from Europe

England & Scotland, fiction
Wives and Daughters
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street
Winter in Thrush Green
Excellent Women
Quartet in Autumn
Inklings (The Oxford Chronicles)
Expectations (The Oxford Chronicles)
The Other Side of the Dale
Over Hill And Dale
The Monarch of the Glen
The Pillars of the Earth

Anthony Trollope
The Small House at Allington
Phineas Finn: The Irish Member

Literary Fiction
Evenings at Five
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Road

Christian Books
The Bible (didn’t get through it all)
Letters of Samuel Rutherford
When Life and Beliefs Collide
The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath
By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling for Women
The Shack

Children’s Books
The Shield Ring
Dealing With Dragons

Much Depends on Dinner
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Lavender: How to Grow and Use the Fragrant Herb

Southern Fiction
Home to Holly Springs
Mama Makes Up Her Mind

Mark Helprin
The Pacific and Other Stories
A Soldier of the Great War

Three Cups of Tea

Three Men on the Bummel

North of Ithaka
The Island

Tipperary: A Novel

The Guns of August
The Zimmermann Telegram
The Rage of Nations: The World of the Twentieth Century
To the Last Man
The Yanks are Coming
All Quiet on the Western Front
A Month in the Country
No Graves As Yet
Shoulder the Sky
Angels in the Gloom
At Some Disputed Barricade
We Shall Not Sleep
Back to the Front

North to Freedom
Dandelion Through the Crack
The Zookeeper’s Wife
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


23 thoughts on “Brobdingnagian Book List

  1. I used to love listening to Baily White on NPR (Mama Makes up Her Mind).  How did you enjoy the book?  I didn’t realize that the movie David started out as the book North to Freedom.  I’ll have to look further into that one.Thanks for this list.

  2. These kinds of conversations are what I most miss since I’ve been working outside thehome. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll get my school life together enough thatI can enjoy the reading life once again. Many times I feel that I ammissing out on life because of working. Now, about The Shack–haveyou posted about this? If not, will you briefly review it, both prosand cons. I am aware that the book exists and have only heard negativecomments about it from one teacher but a lot of positive comments aboutit from a few students. That incongruity makes me wary about this”modern day Pilgrim’s Progress.” What does my dear friend Carol say?YOUR comments are the ones I trust!Sometime this past year I heard a Diane Rhem show with the author of Choosing Civility. I put the book in my Amazon wishlist but have not ordered it yet. Was it worthwhile? Thank you, Carol, for taking the time for Magistramater. You’ll never know how much you have added to my life through it! ~Janie

  3. What a list!! WONDERFUL.I love that you called ‘Home to Holly Springs’ a Southern book and not a Christian one.. though Jan Karon has done more to encourage and deepen my thinking about faith, life, and the Church than any ‘Christian’ fiction ever has [with the ONE exception of Dee Henderson… but even those aren’t much more than an episode of Law and Order… I love to read them, though, for a moment of escape!] Happy New Year!!Warmly….Steph

  4. @DebD – I enjoyed Mama Makes Up Her Mind but it didn’t make me jump up and down with glee.  I suspect Baily White is more interesting to listen to than to read.  Or, perhaps, better consumed in small bites (which you would get on the radio).  I read North to Freedom after watching I Am David;  They were both excellent.  I think I’m going to buy I Am David to have around the house for my grandsons.  @godsfarmgirl – Choosing Civility was one of those books I discovered browsing the stacks of my local library.  Here’s a good indicator of my opinion: I wrote five pages of notes in my journal from the book.  Forni loves quotes and he picks excellent ones to grace his book.  For example:  “The word listen is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words.  One word is HLYSTAN, which means “hearing.” The other is HLOSNIAN which means “to wait in suspense.”  Listening, then, is a combination of hearing what the other person says and a suspenseful waiting, an intense psychological involvement with the other.”  ~ Robert BoltonThe Shack:  It’s a quick read and probably a book you should be familiar with if your students are referencing it.  There is nothingNOTHING – remotely Bunyanesque about this book.  Oy!  I appreciated Doug Wilson’s review the most, because he recognizes the pastoral flavor of the writing which resonates with so many people.  It is easy to lamblast the theology (the writer advocates individualism, is very anti-church, and what he does with the Trinity is monstrous) but Young’s writing touchings a tender ache in many readers, really in anyone who has ever been hurt. And for most in our generation, so compelling is the emotion engendered by reading this book, that they really don’t care if the book is “off” or “slightly off.”  

  5. @wonderloveandpraise –  Steph, you are the prize at the end of the treasure hunt.  Finding you at QL (which is where I found Janie above several years ago!) has been a joy this year of blogging.Several books could be placed in multiple categories; it was fun to weigh and balance before deciding where to place titles.  See what a nerd I am? 

  6. You are a regular *bibliovore* and it makes me happy 🙂   You read it first, then I read only the ones you like.At any rate, I had to look up your adjective…. ’cause I didnt recognize itCould it be?*Brobdingnagian * *b* instead of *g*   Or is yours a *Tolkien* word? Wondering in GA  

  7. So, not Tolkien, but Swift 🙂 I cant keep up with your pace, but I sure do enjoy your reports, comments, and recommendations.  When will you have the chance to read to new Noah and his cousin, Preston.BTW what does Gavin have to say about all these babies?

  8. Carol, the very length of your list makes my head swim! But it is wonderful that you can read and absorb so many books and I admire your ability to do it. Also I have bought and read a number of books that you have mentioned through the year, and very much appreciate reading your opinions of them.You have yet to recommend one that I did not totally enjoy.

  9. Wow!  I used to read a lot more than I do now. Any advice on how to read when kids are little?  The bathroom has been good but now that the kids are starting to use the potty the books disappear. I’ve sacrificed reading for knitting lately. Maybe it’s time to try to do both!  🙂 

  10. @hiddenart – Gavin loves his little brother Preston. He has wanted a baby for a while. He was at my house the day Preston was born.  We were talking to “Aunt Taryn” and he said, “We got our baby today…did your baby come too?”  @mamapiano – Thank you for your kindness.  I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the books I’ve recommended.  I still need to read Acedia.@chils – so what Australian books would you recommend?  I’d love to know!@hopeinbrazil – Hope, I’d start with his collection of short stories called That Distant Land.  You will meet at the main characters of Port William, Berry’s ficticious town. @KC_SAHM – I used to read a lot while I nursed.  But there are seasons in life, and I can read much more because my children are grown.  My suggestion is that you read the best quality of stuff.  Skip magazines, newspapers, and find a book with short chapters.  Many children’s books are excellent writing which can fulfill two purposes: developing a love of reading in your children and nourishing your spirit. @unckristenmarie – Thanks, Kristen.  You encourage me, too.

  11. Patrick White,  a dramatic writter who had won 1973′ Noble Prize.And Bryce Courteney, he writes a lot of impressive fition and on-fition books. Colleen McCullough, Morris West, just name a few. I will put some book reviews about Australian books in my blog,but it take times. Now I am reading some story about China~~~

  12. I very much like how you organized your list.  Did you consciously organize your reading for the year, or did it serendipitously flow?I’ve read 18 of the books you read this year.  I have Susan Allen Toth’s 3 books about England, but have not read them yet.  Also have the Anne Perry book, No Graves Yet, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma and want to read them this year.I’m so glad to know another Trollope fan!  Years ago Steve, the kids, and I were driving from NC to FL to visit my husband’s family. I was reading The Small House at Allington and Steve asked me to read aloud to keep him awake as he drove. I did, and the children started listening, too.  We weren’t able to finish it on the trip, so I finished reading it to myself the night we got home.  The next night, Steve got the book and stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to finish it. (And he was still on active duty in the USMC then and had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to go to work!) I woke with a start when he threw the book on the floor. In a disgusted and disappointed tone he said, “I don’t like the ending!  I wanted them to get married!  That’s why I finished the book.”And you like Barbara Pym!  Pym’s books are my second favorite comfort-read after the books by Miss Read.I’m looking forward to seeing what you read this year!

  13. @LauraLLD – I didn’t organize my reading that way.  I have a little book where I keep track of my reading.  As I looked through it I got a piece of paper and played with different categories to place them in.  We took a trip to Scotland and England this year, so that informed many of my choices.  I loved reading Susan Allen Toth’s books.  She probably influenced our decision not to go to London and spend time in other places.  I would like to go to London some day, but it needs a trip all its own.  All I can say is this:  any fan of Anthony Trollope is a friend of mine!  I’m so glad he’s written so much.  I have so much to look forward to.  Sigh.  I love my life.

  14. I love how you section out your books by country and subject. And I’m impressed by your list! I’m curious about Three Men on a Bummel now. (What a title!)BTW – I’m in OR also. Maybe I’ve mentioned that before. At any rate, howdy neighbor and Happy New Year to you!

  15. @Carrie, Reading to Know – I like reading around the world.  I love books which submerge me into another culture.  I don’t think I knew you were an Oregonian.  I’m over on the eastern side of the state.  Tongue in cheek, I tell folks that we’re closer to Boise than we are to Oregon.  Three Men on the Bummel is a sequel to Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.  It reads like P.G. Wodehouse.  Goofy humor, understated British wit.  Lots of fun!

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