Year in Review

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My blog posts are a little wonky right now. This one wasn't supposed to go live til today, so apologies if you've already read it.

2010 was a great year for books. I didn't get to read as much as I would have liked, but I still found lots of good stuff out there. Let's talk faves. Here are a few of mine.

Favorite Christian Fiction Book: I couldn't possibly narrow it down. As sure as I picked one out, I'd offend a friend or forget a good book. But I liked Stars in the Night and The Mailbox, which were new releases. And I read some older ones I enjoyed like Reconstructing Natalie and Stretch Marks. Stretch Marks is by Kimberly Stuart, and if you haven't read her, you are missing out on one funny, real lady. I don't think there's anyone out there funnier than her. I got to preview her Feb. 2011 release, Operation Bonnet, and laughed out loud so many times. I also enjoyed YA novels by Nicole O'Dell and Stephanie Morrell and am excited to see what these ladies have up their sleeves for us next. I know I'm forgetting someone…

Favorite YA Book: I think Hush Hush is probably the one that had me turning the pages and staying up way too late on a school night. It wasn't my sort of book, as it's about a girl who (maybe) falls for a fallen angel (I'm not really into paranormal), but I couldn't put it down. It made me miss my old English teacher days, so I took off my speech teacher hat and just did a book talk in my classroom. It was checked out of my library within seconds. My students love it. Anna and the French Kiss is another one. It's rated PG-13, so be warned. But I thought the PG-13 moments were so realistic to teens, especially teens staying at an American boarding school in Paris. Without their parents. Where anything can happen. What I loved about this book was that it wasn't dark and depressing, which is all the rage right now in YA. It was happy and chick-litty and funny and real, and I'm so glad that a book like that is getting GREAT buzz. It's about time we brought funny and light back. And no vampires! Nobody working on Lucifer's payroll! No werewolves or other men with excessive body hair!

Favorite Christian Fiction Cover: Hand's Down, Cara Putman's Stars in the Night.

I'm also excited about her next book, releasing in early 2011, Ohio Brides. I think that's a beautiful cover as well.

Favorite General Market Book: Probably Fixer Upper by Southern girl Mary Kay Andrews. There's always a piece of Tybee Island or Savannah in her books, and I am always sad when I read the last page. I read this one on the beach in Tybee, a vacation I took with my mom and aunt, and aside from having to drive an SUV the size of a semi-truck, it's definitely one of my favorite memories from 2010.

Favorite Nonfiction Book:
I usually have a fiction book going, something I read quickly, and then a nonfiction book, something I read s-l-o-w-l-y. I wish the whole world would order the Paleo Solution. This will bore you, but it's some convicting info about why we should all (not just celiacs) avoid grains, beans, sugar, and dairy. I know I talk about trash food ALL THE TIME, but I'm actually more of a 80/20 eater. Eighty-percent of my diet is organic meat, fruit, veggies. The problem is that the twenty is total JUNK. And much more fun to discuss. I mean, what's the thrill in saying, “Oh, my gosh, I just had the best free range chicken?” Zero.

I'd mentioned earlier in the year that I loved In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. GREAT book. (In an award's ceremony held earlier, this book also received a trophy for longest title.) My friend Lizann directed me to this book, and I'm beyond glad. It's about how we are to live big huge lives for God and attempt to do the impossible because that's where our faith grows and where God wants us and uses us.

I think This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett is good. It's told in little vignettes, and I don't know that I made it through one without tearing up.

I also liked Clean by Alejandro Junger. It's not about vacuuming and dusting, but it's a hardcore approach to resetting your body's ability to heal itself and just act normally. GREAT GREAT GREAT information in it, but so far, I can't talk myself into doing the 3 week diet. It's intense. Like drinking your veggies intense. I'm not into liquefied anything. Unless it's ice cream transformed into a shake. Or chocolate from a fountain. But veggies? Can't do it yet.

Books I Didn't Get to Read In 2010,But Sure Will in 2011: Faithful by Kimberly Cash Tate, Sabotage by Kit Wilkinson, Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck. I hear raves about them all.

All right. Your turn! Feel free to answer any of the above.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Jenny B Jones - December 29, 2010

Reposting this comment on behalf of Jenny Earl:
Nobody has posted here, and I am feeling badly that this post will feel left out.

This was a year of obsessive fiction reading for me…not so much anything else. I was introduced to Charles Martin this year (his books, not the man). Loved all that I have read by him so far. He is great at telling a layered story with that blessed wow factor of making me go, “HUH! Didn’t see that coming!” I love that in a book. Even though the books have been out for years, this year was the year I read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. I was completely unprepared for how great it would be (the 1st 2 books especially) and how much it would have me looking at our own culture and God.

I have to force myself to read nonfiction. I am not proud of that fact and it makes me sound not so intellectual (with good reason). I reread some favorite parts of The Hiding Place by Corie Ten Boom. Does that count? Oh, and some magazine articles and the Bible – a nonfiction best seller, I might add.

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Ruth - December 29, 2010

I loved Stars in the Night! It was the first book that inspired a “casting call” post for my blog. I really hope Cara Putman writes another romantic suspense like it – it was SO good!

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Timothy Fish - December 29, 2010

My favorite book of 2010 falls in the non-fiction category. It is “Whosoever Will” from B&H Academic. If all you read is the first chapter on John 3:16 it is worth the price of the book.

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Jenny B Jones - December 29, 2010

Timothy, I’m always looking for a new nonfiction Christian title.

Ruth, the book just BEGGED for a cast, didn’t it? When I was reading it, I could see everyone so clearly in my head. Like an old movie.

Jenny Earl, I have GOT to read Charles Martin. I hear nothing but good things about his books.

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Ashley in Adventureland - December 29, 2010

Oh may, so many great books from this year! My fave Christian YA was definitely the Sierra Jensen series by Robin Jones Gunn 🙂 Love her. Nonfiction wasn’t too big with me this year, but Rachel’s Tears was one fabulous one, I read the whole thing in one sitting-mainly because I bought it as someone’s birthday gift and had to give it to them the next day-but it really was splendid! 😀

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Mattie - December 30, 2010

It was kind of shocking to me that I read a lot of nonfiction this year…
But my favorites were Manhunt by James L. Swanson (I think) which was aboutthe Lincoln assassination and the 12 day search for John Wilkes Booth. It’s almost like a real story but itwas all real events.
I can’t wait to read some of the books from your post! 🙂

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PPD - December 30, 2010

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PPD - December 30, 2010

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Allie Smith - December 31, 2010

my favorite Christian fiction of 2010…uhhh…is
that even possible to pick???i kinda went on a jenny b. jones kick this year,soo ya.i guess So Over my Head was a favorite of mine.i really read it like 50 times.but i also really enjoyed The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter.while extremely unrealistic,it also had some good lessons.and it’s got me prayin very hard for a guy like that. because i don’t believe they exist anymore!!!
sigh…

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Hannah - January 3, 2011

My Favorite Book/ Books this year were probably The Mark of the Lion series by and Francine Rivers AND Redeeming Love, Also by Francine Rivers. Both book/books were recomended to me by a friend and they really were great! They are pretty dramatic and romantic (sometimes) Redeeming Love is great. That book showed me how great God’s Love is for us and just showed me the essence of Love. I Loved that Book! 🙂 (it also had me crying through out the whole book)

Looking forward for Save the Date! I’ve got my Barnes and Nobles giftcard ready! Only 28 days!

Have a great Year!

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Abbigail - February 15, 2011

Kudos to you for rereading (parts of) The Hiding Place! Great book! And the Bible, of course! 🙂

My favorite books for 2010…hmm…I’d have to say The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble was one of them (about the Salem witch trials, the author’s own family history, I think) and also To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker was another – gotta love the romance! Another favorite was Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson which was inspired by the author’s family history…can’t wait for the sequel!
…(Insert drum roll here)…
And, of course, my absolute favorite book that I read in 2010 was So Not Happening by- uh, well, YOU!!! Luv ya!
-<3-Abbigail

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