Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Books I Enjoyed During 2015

                   Books I Enjoyed During 2015

 I try to read at least one book a month. If a book is not catching my interest I will abandon it. Later it may be easier to read, or not. Some books change my life and some entertain me. Some leave me wanting more and others leave me uneasy. Here are a few that seem to be important from 2015.

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

  I feel strongly about this book. When I read it, listen to it, and art journal the main principles it is a five star book. I used it as my 31 Day In October subject on my blog. Click here to see an overview of my writing.
    “The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.” 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

   This book is a boost to my creative life. I found myself reading passages before facing an empty canvas. 

“You're not required to save the world with your creativity. Your art not only doesn't have to be original, in other words, it also doesn't have to be important. For example, whenever anyone tells me that they want to write a book in order to help other people I always think 'Oh, please don't. Please don't try to help me.' I mean it's very kind of you to help people, but please don't make it your sole creative motive because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.” 
Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

   This is the tenth in a series about Gamache, a Chief Inspector of the Sureté de Quebec. The characters are rich and so well developed. I look forward to each new release.

“After spending most of her life scanning the horizon for slights and threats, genuine and imagined, she knew the real threat to her happiness came not from the dot in the distance, but from looking for it. Expecting it. Waiting for it. And in some cases, creating it. Her father had jokingly accused her of living in the wreckage of her future. Until one day she’d looked deep into his eyes and saw he wasn’t joking. He was warning her.” 
Louise PennyThe Long Way Home

A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
    I so adore the stories of Maisie Dobbs. Set in the World War I era in England, each book reveals mystery and growth for Maisie. I have loved them all.  

“Sometimes she thought she could see that good heart beating, and realized that more often now she looked for goodness in a person, sought it out and found it comforting.” 
Jacqueline WinspearA Dangerous Place

On Being A Writer by Krocker and Craig
    We used this book as a syllabus for writing together on Kate Montaung's blog in August and September. It remains a resource for me as I continue to write.
 "Writing requires a flow both inward and outward of ideas, thoughts, and stories."
               On Being A Writer, Kroeker and Craig

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

        This one is just fun. 

“How can I not believe that there is a God who exists and loves, when the people before me are infused with that love and pour it out daily?” 
Katherine ReayDear Mr. Knightley

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

   A period book with fascinating characters and a plot that leaves you waiting.

“Fear is worse than pain, I think. Pain is centralized, identifiable, and wanes as you wait. Fear is a heaviness you can’t wriggle out from under. You must simply find the will to stand with it and start walking. Fear does not start to fade until you take the step that you think you can’t.” 
Susan MeissnerSecrets of a Charmed Life

Happiness For Beginners by Katherine Center

    This book was a modern tale of finding where the bavery lies in a young women's life. The main character goes on a survival trek to prove to herself that she has grit. 

“Well, for example, happy people are more likely to register joy than unhappy people. So if you take two people who have experienced a day of, say, fifty percent good things and fifty percent bad things, an unhappy person would remember more of the bad.” 

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander

I am almost finished with this memoir from a famous black poet. She writes with just insight and emotional strength about her husband, who passed away suddenly and left her bereft. The language is breathtaking.

“The story seems to begin with catastrophe but in fact began earlier and is not a tragedy but rather a love story. Perhaps tragedies are only tragedies in the presence of love, which confers meaning to loss. Loss is not felt in the absence of love.” 
 Elizabeth AlexanderThe Light of the World: A Memoir

The Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith Jr.

I cannot fail to mention the book which I read every year. If I read it, listen to it,  pray about it, and art journal it, it is my number one five star book.

“I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.” 

                                 I hope to read at least twelve more in 2016.


  1. Thanks for sharing! We have some overlap in our lists. :-) I've heard such great things about Rising Strong by Brene Brown as well. Happy reading for you in 2016!

    1. Thanks, Kate, and I appreciate you giving us reasons for sharing.

  2. Glad to see that your read On Being a Writer too!

  3. I knew we both are fans of Brene Brown but now you have me adding Big Magic to my list too. It sounds like something I NEED. Love these kind of shares. Thanks!

    1. Yes, Ive had several new books added to my shelf today. (To read shelf, that is)

  4. Thanks for sharing your list. I was meaning to tell you that I got Rising Strong for Christmas. I've been wanting to read it since your 31 Days series. I also recently downloaded Big Magic and The Gifts of Imperfection on special offer, so I'm hoping to read all of these in 2016.

  5. I will so enjoy learning what you think of these books.

  6. I think you're the fifth person on Kate's link up that mentioned Dear Mr. Knightly--I'll have to check it out!


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