I hope you all had a very merry Christmas.  Ours began with a live cello carol concert and included the opportunity to serve Christmas dinner at the community kitchen where my nephew volunteers.  Although the church was packed, there were actually more hands than work to do, so after a while Porter and I found ourselves part of the entertainment:  singing Christmas carols for an appreciative audience.  That was great fun, though pehaps a litte too much of a workout for my throat.  Now we're enjoying the peace and rest of a Christmas evening at home.

But on to the business at hand.

I may have to amend this if I finish another book before the end of the year, but since I made my 52-book goal and have lots of other things going on this week, I'm going to go ahead and publish my 2014 reading list post now.

It's amazing that I can read at a pace of a book a week and still make so little progress on the shelves and shelves of unread books lining our walls.  Some are gifts, some are books I bought because they looked promising, and most are from the many boxes of books I brought here when my father moved out of his large home into a small apartment.  All of the books are ones I want to read, eventually.  But a book a week is only 52 books read in a year, and what with all the new (to me) interesting books that come to my attention, plus books that are so good I want to reread them on a regular basis, the "unread" stack is growing rather than diminishing.  Yet I keep on keeping on.

One particular feature of 2014 was the beginning of my determination to read all of the books written by Scottish author George MacDonald, in chronological order of their publication.  This is an ongoing project, as there are nearly 50 books on that list.  I didn't make this decision until April, which resulted in my reading a one of the books twice—once early in the year, and once when it came up in its chronological ranking.  I have no problem with that.

I own beautiful hardcover copies of all these books, a wonderful gift from my father, collected over many years.  I would prefer to be reading them book-in-hand, with my family all reading around me, enjoying a toasty fire in the fireplace or cool back-porch breezes.  But in reality, this year I have read most of the MacDonald books on my Kindle (or the Kindle app on my phone), in spare minutes snatched here and there from a busy life, or in the few minutes between crawling into bed and falling asleep.  George MacDonald's books are public domain and thus free on the Kindle, and are very good material with which to end the day on an uplifting note.  This also liberates other time for reading books that I only have in physical form.

Here's the list from 2014, sorted alphabetically.  A chronological listing, with rankings, warnings, and review links, is here.  I enjoyed most of the books, and regret none.  Titles in bold I found particularly worthwhile.

  1. 2BR02B  by Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Adela Cathcart  by George MacDonald
  3. Alec Forbes of Howglen  by George MacDonald
  4. Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood  by George MacDonald
  5. At the Back of the North Wind  by George MacDonald (read twice)
  6. The Blue Ghost Mystery: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #15  by John Blaine
  7. The Brainy Bunch  by Kip and Mona Lisa Harding
  8. The Caves of Fear: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #8  by John Blaine
  9. David Elginbrod  by George MacDonald
  10. The Egyptian Cat Mystery: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #16  by John Blaine
  11. The Flaming Mountain: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #17  by John Blaine
  12. The Flying Stingaree: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #18  by John Blaine
  13. The Golden Skull: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #10  by John Blaine
  14. Guild Court  by George MacDonald
  15. Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People  by Calvin R. Stapert, audio book read by James Adams
  16. Half the Church  by Carolyn Custis James
  17. The Hobbit  by J.R.R. Tolkien
  18. The Jungle  by Upton Sinclair
  19. Life of Fred: Australia  by Stanley F. Schmidt
  20. Life of Fred: Cats by Stanley F. Schmidt
  21. Life of Fred: Dogs by Stanley F. Schmidt
  22. Life of Fred: Edgewood by Stanley F. Schmidt
  23. Life of Fred: Farming by Stanley F. Schmidt (all the Life of Fred books are worthwhile, but I particularly enjoyed Edgewood and Farming)
  24. The Life of Our Lord  by Charles Dickens
  25. The Locust Effect  by Gary A. Huagen and Victor Boutros
  26. Melancholy Elephants  by Spider Robingson
  27. The Miracles of Our Lord  by George MacDonald
  28. The Mysterious Affair at Styles  by Agatha Christie
  29. Not Exactly Normal  by Devin Brown
  30. The Peculiar  by Stefan Bachmann
  31. Phantastes  by George MacDonald
  32. The Pirates of Shan: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #14  by John Blaine
  33. The Portent and Other Stories  by George MacDonald
  34. The Princess and Curdie  by George MacDonald
  35. The Princess and the Goblin  by George MacDonald
  36. Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood  by George MacDonald
  37. Robert Falconer  by George MacDonald
  38. The Scarlet Lake Mystery: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #13  by John Blaine
  39. The Seaboard Parish  by George MacDonald
  40. The Secret Adversary  by Agatha Christie
  41. The Shadow Lamp  by Stephen R. Lawhead
  42. The Silent Swan  by Lex Keating
  43. Smuggler's Reef: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #7  by John Blaine
  44. Something Other than God  by Jennifer Fulwiler
  45. Sometimes God Has a Kid's Face  by Sister Mary Rose McGeady
  46. Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets  by Michael Smith
  47. Unbroken  by Laura Hillenbrand
  48. Unspoken Sermons Volume I  by George MacDonald
  49. The Vicar's Daughter  by George MacDonald
  50. The Wailing Octopus: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story #11  by John Blaine
  51. Wool Omnibus  by Hugh Howey (Wool 1 - Wool 5)
  52. Your Life Calling  by Jane Pauley

Onward to next year!

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 10:46 am | Edit
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Congratulations!



Posted by Janet on Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 8:08 am
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