Read in 2016

Some commentary was written as I finished. Mostly leaving these unedited because, 2016.

  1. Elijah in Jerusalem by Michael O’Brien. Dreams and visions. Encouragement to see truth/discern.
  2. Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper. Entertaining, but lacking any depth behind its mysteries. They felt arbitrary.  I think this series is insidiously against a Christian worldview and I will be evicting it from my library.
  3. The Bible. Green and orange ESV journaling
  4. Sand by Hugh Howey. It was a creative story that I read quickly and for which I eagerly anticipate a sequel. However, the high profanity and sexuality content were disappointing, so I cannot recommend this book as highly as I did Wool.
  5. Invasive Procedures by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnson. I read it in less than a day, so it’s certainly a page turner. However, its bioengineering is much more far fetched (and, frankly, ridiculous) than I was hoping for.
  6. The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead
  7. The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead
  8. The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead
  9. Early Christian Writings
  10. Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
  11. The Shadow Lamp by Stephen Lawhead
  12. Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
  13. Phantastes by George MacDonald. Not my favorite MacDonald, despite CS Lewis’ high praise of the novel. I’m not sure where the plot was going.
  14. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. I borrowed this one on a lazy trip celebrating graduation. It’s set in a dystopian future following a band of Shakespearean actors. I devoured it in two days, but the ending felt anticlimactic.
  15. Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. An enjoyable novel at the intersection of old books, the Internet, and mystery. The narrator reminded me of Odd Thomas.
  16. Island of the World by Michael O’Brien. Gut wrenching. Hard and absolutely beautiful. A novel of crucifixion and resurrection. It follows Josip, born just before WWII hits Croatia. I devoured it and sobbed through my last day of reading it. I would like to read it again more slowly.
  17. Fatal Tree by Stephen Lawhead. I think he didn’t really know how to end a delightful series. The first ones were page turners. Different from Lawhead’s usual subject matter and certainly interesting. However, I was disappointed in the last. It felt like it was finished by a different author.
  18. Saint Odd by Dean Koontz. Gripping. Rarely has the death of a character been so sweet.
  19. Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz. Enjoyed it – devoured in one plane ride on the way to Ireland.
  20. Strangers and Sojourners by Michael O’Brien. Similar to Island of the World in that it follows one character’s entire life through the large changes in the 20th century. This one follows a young female teacher who moves out west to the frontier. That’s a plot that I’ve read a lot of, but O’Brien puts his characteristic spin on things and it was wonderful. Would have cried much harder at the end had I not been in an airport (on my way back from Ireland). This novel was less overtly Catholic/Christian than his others.
  21. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Every November, terrifying horses come up from the sea on the island of Thisby. People catch them and race. Everything I wanted out of a book when I was young.
  22. Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. Read with Lindsay. Still very good. Convicted by thoughts on posture during prayer, being too content with spiritual troughs, something dull distracting you from prayer or sleep, and Ch 24 – spiritual  pride.
  23. Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. I have been giving this to various people lately (our confirmation students, for one) and decided it needed a re-read. It was interesting (and slightly confusing) to read it concurrently with Screwtape.
  24. New Testament via church
  25. Letters of St Patrick. The two surviving writings of the great Irish saint – his Confessions and letter to a king. Written at nearly the same time as Augustine’s confessions. Good – some parts very familiar, some ancient and foreign.
  26. The Shell Collector by Hugh Howey. Meh. Cool premise, a plot that turns predictable, and a few chapters that need to be skipped for adult content.
  27. Anne of Ingleside by LM Montgomery. Lovely. The kind of mother I want to be.
  28. My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. To cry with.
  29. Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberley Hahn. Not quite what I expected.
  30. Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey. Lighthouse operator in space. Felt like it could be in the Ender universe. A bit dark, but enjoyable. Not sure how I feel about the moral decision at the end.
  31. Halfway Home by Hugh Howey. People on a colony ship wake up before they’re fully grown and have to deal with a hostile planet and, possibly, computer. And each other. Engaging read. Again questionable on the morals propounded.
  32. Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. Read in preparation for a work retreat. First book like this I’ve ever read.
  33. Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. Sequel to My Name is Asher Lev. In this one, the orthodox Jewish artist is grown up, raising children, and is pulled back into his Brooklyn world again. Quite good, as you’d expect from Potok.
  34. Christmas Playlist by Alistair Begg. Discusses the four biblical Christmas songs – Mary, Zechariah, the angels, and Simeon.
  35. Beginner’s Guide to Photography
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