Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Books of 2015


2015 was the summer of books.  Summer is a glorious time in the Flathead Valley.  It only lasts 72 days but the days are very long at the 48th parallel with only about 3-4 hours of complete darkness.  The people here appreciate summer.  It gets you through a long winter.  This summer was different, though.

I had surgery in early June that required 8 weeks of recuperation.  I was unable to hike, swim, run, climb, do housework, lift things...nothing...boring.  So, I ordered a stack of books.  And I read and read and read.  I haven't read like that since I was home alone with little babies.  These were my favorites of the summer.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
I am not usually a fan of Kristin Hannah books.  They somehow lack a depth that will keep me interested.  This book is a departure from her typical book.  The story of the French resistance through the eyes of two sisters.  It is beautiful, heartbreaking, deep.  I love stories of World War II and this one rocketed up to one of my top 5 books of all time.  Beautiful character development.  I loved it so much I would only allow myself a chapter or two at a time so it would last longer.

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand.
I love a good beach read that takes place in Nantucket.  If you can't get to a place, go there in a book. All of her books are great Nantucket reads.  Not deep but satisfying!

Hannah Colter by Wendell Berry.
This book is a little bit slower.  Berry is a master at character development.  There is no great plot twist or climax like a traditional novel but more of a collection of scenes that highlight a typical era in American history.  Worth reading.

The Paris Wife by Alyson Richman.
Another World War II story about two lovers separated by war.  The fact that people survived such tragedy and heartbreak in their lives just really makes me feel spoiled and entitled.  I loved these characters and their spirit.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub.
I devoured this book.  It is like eating dessert.  A funny, witty story about a dysfunctional (aren't we all?) family on vacation in Mallorca.  Loved every, single sentence and hated it to end.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Sometimes you just want to visit with an old friend.  Fitzgerald is one of my favorite writers whom I love to reread now and then.  Other favorite rereads..Hemingway and Jane Austen.

Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott.
Another favorite from my childhood.  I adore the characters, I feel every single heartache.

As soon as I was released from the couch, the smoke descended from hundreds of forest fires.  Over 70,000 acres have burned in Montana so we choke and cough in our little valley where you can no longer see any mountains due to smoke.  So, we sit inside, ready to start another book :)  What are your recommendations?

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