First off, December reads.
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand - Really, so many people have already seen the movie (or read the book) I suppose any sort of plot summary is superfluous. Let me say, though, that I read this straight through in about two days. It was both difficult to read in sections, and impossible to put down. The depth of man's depravity is only exceeded by the limitlessness of his resilience.
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room: Daily Family Devotions for Advent, Nancy Guthrie - I will happily use this devotional again next year. The daily readings are thoughtful without being sentimental, and the questions and suggestions for activities included at the end of each day are suitable not only for families, but for adults of all walks of life as well.
Furniture Makeovers: Simple Techniques for Transforming Furniture with Paint, Stains, Paper Stencils and More, Barbara Blair - Hmm. This seems to be written for someone who intends to refinish/change up furniture often, rather than the casual weekend crafter. There are great lists of supplies needed for specific types of projects, though those lists tend to be very product and/or store specific (so much so, one wonders if she got endorsement deals to write the book). A decent reference, but not really what I was looking for.
Inspired You: Breathing New Life Into Your Heart and Home - Marian Parsons - This was more what I was looking for in a furniture and home changing book, I think. Lots of before-and-after shots, some suggested projects and walk throughs, all given with a serving of home making philosophy. A favorite quote:
"Keep in mind what is at the heart of hospitality – love. Any act of hospitality, no matter how big or small, will be appreciated by those on the receiving end of that action. Don’t let an imperfect house, imperfect cooking, or an imperfect family prevent you from sharing that love with others. Some of the humblest forms of hospitality can also be the most impactful."
A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, Sophie Hudson - This was a reread, but a sweet one. Ms. Hudson tells tales of growing up in a small town in the south, family and faith.
With these five, my total for the year stands at fifty-nine books read (though not listed separately, the Elmo Jenkins trilogy is counted as three books), more than meeting my goal of a book per week. I make no representations about the quality of my reading this past year, but at least my nose was more consistently in a book. I didn't realize how much I'd missed that.
For 2015, I'll be slowing things down a bit. The backlog in the Kindle hasn't gone down all that much, with most of the stack consisting of non-fiction. For 2015, I plan to aim at a pace of two non-fiction books per month, for 26 in total. It will be an exercise in discipline as well - no new nonfiction in 2015. Anything that looks interesting goes on the wish list, and if next December 31st I can still remember why it is on the list, I'll pick it up.
Happy reading, 2015!