I adore perusing everyone’s reading lists from the previous year, so I thought I’d share mine as well. Though, I warn you, it’s not at all impressive! An infant that woke several times a night for the first half of the year, and the terrible morning sickness accompanying a new pregnancy during the second half of the year meant that any brain cells left for reading were in short supply. But without further ado…
1. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton: If you haven’t read this one, please, please do yourself a favor and put it on your reading list. It is a splendid must read.
2. Praying with Icons by Jim Forest: A lovely gift from Daniel. I learned so much about Eastern Orthodoxy and the beauty of the Christian artistic tradition.
3. Through the Year with Mary by Karen Edmisten: A wonderful collection of quotes about Our Lady, one for each day of the year.
4. Familiaris Consortio (The Role of Christian Family in the Modern World) by Blessed Pope John Paul II: Beautiful and true.
5. Helena by Evelyn Waugh: A hagiography of St. Helena of the True Cross in novel form by the author of my all-time favorite book: Brideshead Revisited. Perhaps it fits better in the spiritual writings category, because it’s not exactly fiction. It is perfectly wonderful and I will read be reading it again.
6. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell: A college professor, mentor, and friend passed away last year. She studied and loved Gaskell’s works and I want to read all of Gaskell’s novels in her honor. Next up: North and South and Wives and Daughters. There is also a delightful (but not very faithful) film adaption of Cranford starring Dame Judi Dench, if you’re interested.
7-8. The Penderwicks, and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall: Get thee to a bookstore and read The Penderwicks! I can’t remember the last time I was so delighted by a book. I didn’t know books like this were still being written. They are “children’s books” in the tradition of Anne of Green Gables. When reading the adventures of these four motherless daughters and their loving, absent-minded father, there was something on every page that made me giggle out loud and get teary-eyed. They are lovely, charming, wonderful books and I sleep better knowing they exist.
9. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James: I am always skeptical of any book that tries to use characters from great works of literature; however, I must confess that I enjoyed this murder mystery starring the characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It was very strange to read inner monologues of Mr. Darcy, though. That really shouldn’t be allowed.
10-12. Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen, and Unconditional Surrender (The Sword of Honour Trilogy) by Evelyn Waugh: Probably the finest work I read this year. It’s very long, very subtle, and very Catholic. The payoff at the end is amazing. Waugh always astounds me in the last few chapters. These characters will live with me forever.
13-15. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: Couldn’t put these down. I actually stayed up until 2am to read them. They are instant gratification page turners, but not entirely without merit.
16-18. Arthur, Pendragon, and Grail by Stephen Lawhead: Admittedly, these weren’t amazing. But I adored the first book in the series, Taliesin, and couldn’t bear not to finish it out. For Arthurian fantasy books, they could be more embarrassing? Maybe shouldn’t make confessions like this on the internet…
19. Re-read: Anne’s House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery: I am incapable of going a year without returning to the world of Anne. I won’t tell you how many times I cried while re-reading this, so don’t ask.
I’m almost done with A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit and I’m partway through The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte and a re-read of Wuthering Heights (before I let myself watch the new film adaption.) On my must-reads for the year are North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Brothers Karamazov.
My favorite reads of the year? Orthodoxy, The Penderwicks, and Sword of Honour.
What was on your reading list for 2012? What was your favorite read? What are you planning to read this year? I love hearing about what you’re reading, so humor me!
(Linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature)