This year I really tried to read at least two books a month. As it turned out, I read 39! It feels good to complete and surpass a goal. There were many books that I really enjoyed, a few that I dropped or just skimmed and one that I threw across the room. But, I won't bore you with an entire list and will just share a bit about the top five that made my favorite list. These are not in order of most to least favorite...that's just too much thinking to do...so here goes in random order:
Persuasion by Jane Austen
I think I liked this Austen novel even better than Pride and Prejudice. The unfulfilled longings of both main characters, Anne and Capt. Wentworth, were palpable from page one. Years earlier, Anne had been persuaded to break her engagement to Captain Wentworth because it was deemed an inappropriate match. She eventually finds the courage to stick a finger in the snotty eye of Victorian manners and be true to her feelings. True love finally triumphs...doesn't that always make for a lovely story? And, of course, Austen's language and turn of phrase is simply luxurious.
The One-In-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
Touching and heart-warming. In order to earn a Boy Scout service badge, a young boy does chores for Ona Victus, 104 years of age. They develop a very charming relationship...then one day the boy does not show up. A few days later, the boy's father arrives to finish his son's chores. He learns more about his son and about himself as he too develops an unpredictable relationship with Ona. Don't miss this one!
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
This book was on my to-read list for a long time. When I finally got around to reading it, I was so glad that I did. It was fun and touching at the same time. Bernadette Fox, the title character, is absent for most of the novel. Instead the bulk of the plot revolves around Bee, Bernadette's 15-year-old daughter, who is trying to find her mother who simply disappears from the cruise ship that is taking them on a tour of Antarctica. Hence...the title. I so enjoyed this book, that I am eager to read Semple's most recent book, Today Will Be Different.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
OK...so I must confess, I truly do love all things Jane Austen. So, when I saw that Eligible was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I just had to read it. I must admit, I was anticipating a fairly silly story...how can you transplant those Victorian manners to 2016? But, I was totally delighted by the story. A good story is a good story...great characters transcend time periods. Nuff said!
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
A book about a bookshop? You betcha! What more could a book-lover ask for? How about a book about a mobile bookshop, run by a librarian who has been put out of work because libraries and paper books are being digitally replaced? How about a book set in a secluded village of Scotland where the residents are starving for books? Jenny Colgan has given us book -lovers a book to hug!
So, that's my top-five list. Hope some of these titles might spark an interest for you. I'd love to hear what you felt were your top reads of the year. Leave a comment. I'm making up a new to-read list for 2017 and could use a few new suggestions! Happy Reading Everyone.