The official reading list for 2015

February 2, 2015

I know it's February, but our book club is still finishing up a couple books from 2014, including Fahrenheit 451 (never read this before; great discussion) and now Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.

So next Monday we will be starting the official 2015 list, voted on by the 11 of us. Out of about 50 nominations, we whittled it down to these 21.

 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett  
 Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas            
 Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

 What’s in a Phrase?: Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre  
 The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton **

 The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour

 First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn **
 First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen
 Lila by Marilynne Robinson **
 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
 A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman  **  
 The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton

Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church by Philip Yancey **     

 Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

 Henrietta’s War by Joyce Dennys    
 Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

 Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (I've read this before)

      Miracles by Eric Metaxas   
 Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham

Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh      

Quite a diverse list. I'm looking forward to most of them, especially those I've starred. There's a couple I wouldn't have chosen to read, but sometimes it's good to read something outside your normal repertoire, no?

We read at a pretty fast clip, about a book every two weeks. But I'm still going to try and fit in some of my own personal reading. Besides trying to read through the Bible again this year, I'm going to try to read more by these authors:

Wendell Berry (in particular, his essays)

P.D. James
Louise Penny
Elizabeth Goudge
and more Miss Read when I want something light and pleasant.

And someone recommended an author named Rumer Godden. And Elizabeth Kostova. And . . . well, you get the picture.

We got more than 8 inches of snow yesterday here in my part of Michigan. Goody. (Really, I mean that.)  The pantry is stocked with groceries, we have plenty of firewood, and the tea pot is on.

My favorite thing ever. Books, tea, and a fire. 

Roasted and ground cocoa beans; 10 calories, loads of antioxidants, 0 sugars, but I have to say, takes some getting used to. If you're expecting hot chocolate, this ain't it!

 Any other book suggestions?


  1. WOW that is such a big reading list! I am going to pin this list and thanks for the recommendations. You and everyone in your book club reads the books at such a fast pace I don't think I would be able to keep up with them all! Have fun going through your list of books this year. We got a lot of snow too but it started to rain today so some of the snow will melt. Have a nice day today.

  2. That's a diverse list. My daughter and I read a lot of books together and discuss them. We have read several of those authors on the list, but other works. My daughter really liked 451, but she also read Brave New World Over and Over. I've heard of the author Metaxas that's a new book.

  3. Deborah: I finally have everything packed for your gift and I lost your address. I am so sorry it has taken so long. If you email your address to me again, it will be out today. I just have been so sick. Thank you so much for your patience. Martha

  4. That's a great list! I wish I could join a book club, but as small business owners, we (Carl and I) spend most of our time at work and this last year has been particularly stressful. I so much love to read and since I cannot find anything on the television to suit myself, reading is my preferred method of relaxation in the evening. I'll have to look up a few of these titles.

  5. That's quite a list! I've read First We Have Coffee. It was wonderful and encouraging. An elderly friend recommended it to me years ago. I bought it when I found it as it is out of print. I hope you enjoy it, and your snow - we have several inches here in Lancaster County - and your tea.

    I'm a new reader of your blog and I am enjoying it very much.


  6. Mmmm... book, tea, and a fire - simply perfect! You certainly have an interesting and diverse list of books - will you be sharing your thoughts on any of them?

    Happy Monday, sweet friend. Hugs!

  7. My mother LOVED the Billy Graham book. She absolutely savored the last few chapters, and has re-read them many times. I hope it gives you as much pleasure!

  8. You're going to be very busy reading this year, Deborah! I need to find a nice book to read while I'm on vacation. I think I'll look at your list again.

  9. Oooo.. I've read a couple you mention, a couple I've wanted but haven't, and others I've never heard of, but I'd love to. What a fun list!

    And I agree there's nothing like a book, a cup of coffee (in my case), and sitting by a cozy fire.

    Thanks for sharing this list.... it's one of those glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.....


  10. Sounds like a wonderful list! I'll be interested to hear the reviews. Reading in front of the fire with a cup of tea sounds heavenly to me! Keep warm and cozy! xo Karen

  11. Dearest Deborah,
    A fire, coffee or tea/chocolate and books - that is pure winter bliss!

  12. There are so many great books in that list. Philip Yancy's was a great encouragement to me a few years ago. Louise Penny, Elizabeth Goudge, PD James, Rumer Godden - you are inspiring me to make a book list of my own.

  13. Yes!!! In This House of Brede by Godden , and The Historian by Kostova. and I did so enjoy Lila. My husband is reading the Lewis' Til We have Faces now. :) Great list, btw.

  14. We finally had a splattering of snow, the first of the season. Such a wide variety of books, interesting to hear what you think...

  15. Hi Deborah, perfectly wonderful list and how cozy sitting by the fire, curled up with a good read. My hubby just started Unbroken. I know you had a good bit of snow. My bil called to say they had 16 inches in Riverview. Stay warm and Happy February!

  16. I highly recommend the movie version of Farenheit 451.The last version we watched also had a very interesting director's type commentary.Regards,Andrea

  17. Now I have a challenge before me - look up the books on this list that I'm not familiar with yet! I'll be looking forward to what you have to say as you read :)!

  18. Enjoy your snow day(s)! They can be peaceful, with tea and a fire and a good read. :)
    Your book club is ambitious. We only did one book per month. I haven't read any of these but I did see the movie Unbroken and it was fantastic. Have a great week!

  19. The book titles really look interesting...all cozied up reading by the fire sounds like a great thing to do when you have 11 inches of snow :) I also have that exact same mug!

  20. Sounds like a wonderfully entertaining list, Deborah, and complemented with a cup of hot chocolate by that cozy fire, makes for a very pleasant snow day!


  21. There is quite the list there and the fire sounds wonderful, warm and cozy. My mom's place has a fireplace. I used to love it when I was a child and they had a fire going :)

  22. So many good books to choose from! I read Bel Canto years ago, Ann Patchett is a local Nashville author and she owns a charming independent bookshop here called Parnassus. One of the very few non-chain bookstores left here.

  23. That's an impressive list! I look forward to hearing what you think of some of them.


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