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Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Reads of 2011

Sorry there aren't any pictures. When I try to put in the cover images, Blogger won't let me publish.

The following reviews are taken from my reviews written at the time I read the book.

#10 A Daughter's Inheritance(Broadmoor Legacy #1)

This is a great story; romantic, clean, and heartwarming.

The setting of the book was so important to the plot, that it was a little jarring when the setting completely changed. I felt like I didn't know the characters (except Jonas) outside of Broadmore Island and somehow I expected them to be different off the island.

This book made me think a lot about social classes. Classes must exist if anyone wants to experience something nice or luxurious. For example, the wealthy can only have a fancy party if there are poorer people who need the work to prepare and serve the food, etc. I have only been able to enjoy cruises because there are people poorer than me who need the money and are willing to work the crummy cruise line jobs. I am sure that most of my clothes only exist for the same reason If we were all truly socially and economically equal, we would all have to be working class, without luxuries or nice things. (Unless we all agreed to take turns serving each other...ha!) Rich only exists if there is poor and vice versa. Does this mean that I will stop wearing mass produced clothes or taking nice vacations? Probably not, but it was interesting to think about.

#9 Soul Surfer
The movie inspired me so much that I had to read the book. If you choose to read it, expect the writing of a 14 year old. It's not literature, and told a little bit out of order but a true-to-self autobiography. Bethany is so inspiring. I admire her faith, and how she is not afraid to share it with the world. I could learn from her.

I read the edition that has updated information about the movie and writing added by Bethany 5 years later.

#8 Good Brother Bad Brother

This book was a unique perspective on a subject that I am fascinated with (the assassination of Lincoln). It's a good, easy read instead of a convoluted history book. My only complaint is that every once in a while there were some poorly written, juvenile sentences that reminded me that this isn't a scholarly book, but was written for a younger audience. If you are at all interested Lincoln's assassination, I recommend this book.

#7 Newspaper Blackout
I was so intrigued by this when I found the website that I requested my local library purchase it. They completed my request very quickly so I got right to work reading the book. I am not into poetry at all, and I read this book in one setting. I didn't like the sexual nature of some of the poems, but others were clever, though-provoking, or downright funny. I am going to be trying my own version of blackout poetry ASAP.

#6 Heist Society

I read a review on this book that said something along the lines of how this book is very refreshing because of the vast number of paranormal and dystopia books in the young adult genre right now. I concur! I wish I would have read this book a little slower and took in the details better. It is along the same lines as "Ocean's Eleven." Very enjoyable, but I have a hard time with the morals. I don't like stories where you are rooting for the main characters to commit a crime or some other immoral act. BUT I am not sure if what Kat did in this book would be considered 'right' or 'wrong.' All that aside, it was a lot of fun.

#5 A Christmas Carol

I finally read A Christmas Carol. It was just as good as I had hoped. I really love this story and the message it teaches us about Christmas, worldly possessions, and how to treat other people.

#4 Food Rules

This book had the most impact on my life this year. The author offers 3 simple rules to eating well (eat real food, mostly plants, not too much) and many small rules to go with it. Husband Spencer and I have adapted many of these rules and are eating better as a result. I also used this is the text to teach my jr high health class instead of using my traditional lesson plans and it was a big hit! If you are looking to eat healthier in the coming year, I would totally read this book!

#3 The Fifth of March

I really loved this book. It opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of the Boston Massacre that I wasn't familiar with. The author did a great job of telling the historical story by interweaving fiction. I will be changing the way I teach about this subject because of the book.

I really wish that there was a part at the end that separated the fact from the fiction. Matthew Kilroy was really one of the accused soldiers. But I wasn't sure about Rachel Marsh. According to this website, she really was an employee of the Adams. I think the fiction part was their relationship.

#2 The Swan House
Apparently, I failed to actually write a review of this book. I read it because it was free on Kindle and it was soooo good. I purchased the second book as well. It's about civil rights in the south in the sixties.

#1 Fablehaven series

These really are a great set of books. I was so sad when the last one was over! They are so full of adventure and really capture the imagination!

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