For the Love of Books, Year in Review

A Decade of Reading| 2010-2019

The 2010s have been a formative year for me as a reader.  I’ve always loved books but I haven’t always been a reader.  It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and was able to choose the books I wanted to read that I truly became a voracious reader.  Then in 2011, I got a part-time job at my local library.  Through that job, I discovered new authors, new series, and even genres I’d never really considered before.  I also met many book lovers like myself.  One of those booklovers, a fellow librarian, introduced me to Goodreads.com and even though I had to leave the job when life intervened, I continued to make discoveries.  In 2015 I started this blog for a couple of reasons but mainly because I missed sharing my passion for good books with the patrons and librarians at work.  It has been a joy share the ups and downs of the reader’s life.  As the decade comes to a close, I thought I’d take the time to review some of the best and most important books I’ve read over the past 10 years.  I’ve tried to narrow it down, but I’ve read a lot of great books during the decade so bear with me.

Romance:   Sometimes you just need the comfort and escape of the modern fairytale quality of a good Rom/Com.  I discovered, however, that not all books that can be categorized as Romance fit into the mold of that stereotype.

Historical Fiction:  I love learning about history and while I understand that Historical Fiction takes liberties with the facts, it is a gateway to learning the true stories behind the fictionalized versions.  And who doesn’t love being transported to another place and time?

Fantasy:  Of all of the genres I read, this is the one about which my feelings have changed the most.  As a child, while I loved a good fairytale story, I tended to gravitate toward the wit and realism of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby series and then the young adult fiction of Judy Blume where the characters and their situations were recognizable.  Then came Harry Potter.  Ever since reading that seminal series, I’ve been searching for more Fantasy fiction that captivates me as Harry’s world did.

Children’s Literature:  It’s okay to look back when it comes to reading.  Whether it’s revisiting an old favorite or discovering a classic I’d missed when I was younger, there is nothing to warm the soul like reading a good children’s story.

  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
  • The Star Seed by Mary Alice Fontenot *
    • This one, in particular, transports me back to my childhood.  The author was a local woman who made yearly visits to my elementary school where she would usually read from one of her Clovis Crawfish books.  I loved this sweet telling of the Christmas story as a child but it is difficult to find so a few years ago my friend surprised me with a copy for my birthday ♥.
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Western:  Since reading Lonesome Dove in college, I’ve been on the lookout for another as transporting as that classic.  Plus, when I find a good one, I get to share it with my father and sharing a good book is always fun.

Wide Open
Well-written western about a real-life incident

Mystery/Thriller:  Mystery is another genre I don’t read too much of though I do enjoy the occasional cozy mystery, particularly one set in Britain.  There are a few exceptions though.  I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.

Chick-Lit:  This is another genre that gets a bad rap but it is my favorite genre so it hurts when people put it down based a few crappy wannabe Chick-Lit novels.  I know about those; I’ve read more than my fair share of them.

Women’s Fiction:  Women’s Fiction, to me, is basically the Judy Blume books I loved as a teen all grown up, dealing with issues that all women face from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Fiction:  Some books just don’t fit into the mold of any one genre but I had to mention them.

Classic Literature:  These are the books that have endured in our hearts and minds for generations and make their way onto every must-read list ever compiled.

Miscellaneous: 

 

Mystery, Reviews

Review: And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

I found myself referring back to this (frankly sick) nursery rhyme, which the killer used as a theme to his diabolical scheme, throughout the book in an attempt to guess who was next to die and how it would happen.
Agatha Christie is brilliant! I’ve read a couple of her Miss Marple mysteries before and enjoyed them but And Then There Were None is something entirely different. This novel is no mere mystery; it is a psychological thriller filled with suspense and second guesses. I was on the edge of my seat throughout and by the time the number of guests/victims remaining was down to four, I had to put the book just so I had any hopes of sleeping soundly that night (I’m not particularly brave). It didn’t help. Like with Blore, every sound I heard as I lay in bed that night was some villain coming to murder me in my sleep. Thank you, Agatha Christie!

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