Here’s my contribution to Lists Week at the Saturday Review.
Below is a list of the books I’ve read in 2012. Over the past few years I’ve read about a book a week, and this year that number is way down, with a total of only 36 for the year. I like to think that I’ve read more thoughtfully according to this slower pace. It also reflects our family’s movement outward into discovering the natural world around us — hours spent without a book in hand, yet priceless hours that yield permanent results just the same.
16 of the 36 books were fiction; 20 were nonfiction. A few (the Tolkien for instance) were rereads. Almost none of the children’s books and read-alouds we’ve done are included.
I see some familiar authors and some new ones, some familiar preoccupations and some new ones. I find it impossible to rate them; each was appropriate for me at the time I read it. A complete list, I suppose, would include the numerous books the fell by the wayside before I completed them, but who keeps track?
In any case, without further ado, here they are — linked to my reviews.
- Aiken, Joan. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
- Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow.
- Bridges, Jerry. True Community.
- Buechner, Frederick. The Faces of Jesus.
- —. The Storm.
- Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
- Comstock, Anna Botsford. The Comstocks of Cornell.
- Durden, Kent. Gifts of an Eagle.
- Eldredge, John. Walking with God.
- Enns, Peter. Telling God’s Story: A Parent’s Guide to Teaching the Bible.
- Evans, Rachel Held. A Year of Biblical Womanhood.
- Gilbert, Suzie. Flyaway. (Posted at my nature blog.)
- Goins, Jeff. You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).
- Goudge, Elizabeth. Green Dolphin Street.
- Heilbrun, Carol. Writing a Woman’s Life.
- Helgoe, Laurie. Introvert Power.
- Ishiguro, Kazuo. Nocturnes.
- Kinnaman, David and Gabe Lyons. UnChristian.
- Latham, Irene. Leaving Gee’s Bend.
- Law, Ingrid. Savvy.
- L’Engle, Madeleine. The Summer of the Great Grandmother.
- Lewis, C.S. The Discarded Image.
- Lightman, Alan. Einstein’s Dreams.
- Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys.
- MacDonald, George. Unspoken Sermons.
- Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
- Robinson, Marilynne. When I Was a Child I Read Books.
- Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.
- Stott, John. The Birds Our Teachers.
- Taylor, Barbara Brown. Leaving Church.
- Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring.
- —. The Return of the King.
- —. The Two Towers.
- Trollope, Anthony. The Way We Live Now.
- Twain, Mark. Extracts from Adam’s Diary.
- Ursu, Anne. Breadcrumbs.