December Reads


Here’s what I finished in December!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (***) – Beautifully written and so disturbing to me. I have intense feelings on all the questions and ideas this book raises. I can’t wait to go through this with my teen and discuss. I will say having learned a little about Mary Shelley beforehand helped me approach this book. I’m glad I didn’t go into it completely blind about the author’s background.

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones (****) – Very fun!!! It took me a bit to get into it, but then I really enjoyed it. Wizard Howl shows up in a hilarious disguise in this unique adventure. In some ways, I liked this one better then Howl’s Moving Castle.

Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones (*****) – 6 stars…best book on writing (especially for children) I’ve read, I think. I’m starting right back over. These are speeches and essays by Wynne Jones on writing and I found a kindred spirit in this book.

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (****) – Amazing and very weird. I’m going to be thinking on this one for awhile! This was a modern retelling of a few myths/ancient stories all melded together. This definitely isn’t for everyone, but I found it interesting.

The Stillmeadow Road by Gladys Taber (****) – This one took me a long time, but full of gems one comes to expect by a friend like Gladys. A sad overtone to some of this title as her longtime friend, Jill dies, and she flounders about a bit. Her dogs are a big part of her life, which sometimes seems out of proportion to reality. But I suspect it’s just me, as I have many children to care for, so the excessive care of dogs seems overwhelming to me. Ha! A few of my favorite quotes from this one:

“Perhaps maturity is realizing this childish self but not letting it dominate situations. Or perhaps it lies in accepting life as it is without rebellion…There is only today and what we make of it. We may still be happy, in one sense of the word, but we do not look for perfection ever after. The other side of this coin, is that we value more what happiness we may have instead of dreaming ahead for the ultimate.” p. 216

“But since we have just so much time allotted us, some of it should be spent in reflecting, and some in pursuits which have nothing to do with our daily lives, such as enriching our spirits with music, nourishing our minds with literature, enlarging our horizons by looking at great paintings. Because life isn’t a business, it is a precious gift.” p. 200

“Faith runs like a golden thread through our lives.” p. 204

I love how the Stillmeadow books are set up by months. Ideally, I’d love to read these and recommend taking these titles over a year, a month at a time. I have a new-to-me one for 2020!

The Holy Bible (*****) – finished Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Acts, and Romans.

{What a great year of reading! I have many half finished and unfinished reads, but overall, really enjoyed my pages this year. Having a new baby this year definitely slowed me down a bit, which is a good thing, I think, and I did read a lot of middle grade which is my favorite for relaxing.  I completed quite a few on this list of books on my shelf I was hoping to get to, but not all of them. I will hopefully be back NEXT week with my plan for 2020! I have some ideas to streamline my reading and to help me with my toppling TBR.}

How was your reading year?


9 thoughts on “December Reads

  1. Admirable diversity. Taber is on my TBR. Frankenstein is not Boris Karloff, that’s for sure! Lovely that you placed some of the most inspiring chapters of the Bible in your list. My list will forthcoming next month—next year!


    1. I do read a weird array of things, that’s for sure, Pam! I haven’t done well with modern fiction, though. I just have a hard time finding things that aren’t totally jarring to my old-fashioned sensibilities. I love diverse voices, but very much dislike being lamblasted with modern issues. So far what I’ve tried to read of modern lit doesn’t have the timeless, universal quality to it that so many older things have!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful quotes from Gladys Taber. Another one to add to my TBR list.

    My reading year was strange, having read many books I never would have wanted to read, but were related to my season of life. Oh, well. I was able to enjoy some good books, too, though. Have you ever read the Life and Diary of David Brainerd? I think you would like that one, Amy. I finally finished Augustine’s Confessions, something I’d picked up and set aside often in the past two (?) years–I could easily fill a commonplace with just that book. A Million Little Ways is another one I think you would really like; it’s a great writing book.
    God bless you LOTS in the New Year, Amy! I am looking forward to reading your thoughts in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and Sherry. I just LOVE that first quote by Taber. Wow. About maturity. I really think there’s a truth in what she said. I read some of David Brainerd’s writings at private school in HS…but I’ll look at the one! Thank you for your comments, Sherry! And Happy New Year to you too!


  3. I had a mixed reaction to Frankenstein, Amy. It was weird but well written as you said. I thought it was over the top emotionally & got a bit tired of all that. Will probably be reading it with my daughter this year so I’m intrigued as to what she’ll think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that was creeped out by Frankenstein! Yes. Have you guys read the Deadliest Monster? That’s why we are reading it in the first place. So we had those to books under our belt to understand.


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