Reading Recap 2017

I got reading glasses this year. They make me feel delightfully nerdy and like I’m a genuine bookworm.

 

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I also got goodreads! I thiiiiink I’ve mentioned that before, but in a post all about books it’s worth mentioning again, right? I’m Aberdeen on there, and I’d love to see what you’re up to in the bookish realm.

Normally, I do a big end-of-the-year wrap-up post where I recount what I accomplished in terms of writing, blogging, and reading. However, the only thing I did much of on that list this year was reading. Which of course calls for a big long post about BOOKSES PRECIOUS. Who’s complaining? (That was a rhetorical question. *shoos away all complainers*) I’m going to share my thoughts on my favorite two books in each of these categories: fiction, nonfiction, and fantasy. I’ll also list some honorable mentions because we all know I can’t pick favorites. And of course there will be quotes.

Also, this post is really long because once I start blabbing about books it’s hard to stop. *sheepish grin* Feel free to just jump to the genre that interests you or skim through to see the titles or something. And do tell me what you’ve read this year or what you think of the books I highlighted in the comments.

{fiction}

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Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

I don’t know what to say to do this book justice. It’s one of those rare but beautiful books that makes me both laugh out loud and cry real tears. It’s that kind of book I want to write someday. I think I can say that it’s my favorite book of the year. I know, I know, I just did the unthinkable and picked a favorite. It feels kind of scary to do so, but this book is that good. It wasn’t perfect; there were a few plot things that felt off to me but the rest of it was so storming good that they didn’t affect my overall opinion.

This is the story of Doug Swieteck. Another book by Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars, which is also an all-time favorite of mine, introduces him as a jerky bully. In this book, we find out why Doug is such a jerk. But we also find out that he’s more than a jerk. But you can read about the plot in a blurb online. Here’s what this book is really about:

It is about the power of art—how good art can relate to and change your life and how making art yourself can heal you. It is about how are are people are broken but how that isn’t all of their story. It is about family and friendship. It’s about the race to the moon and the Vietnam War and John Audubon’s paintings of birds. It’s about how flat-out astonishing the gift of being able to read is. It’s a book about hope in a deeply messed up world.

I love Doug’s voice. It’s so realistic and yet unique—somehow Schmidt is able to show him maturing without making him way too wise or thoughtful for his age or personality. I’ll never hear the word “terrific” without thinking about Doug. I love how there are so many great adults in his life (which is nice, because there are also a few horrible ones). And can I just say that I love that Doug loves the Yankees. PINSTRIPE PRIDE, PEEPS. Also, alliteration.

Basically, if you read only one of the books on this list, this would be a good choice.

Mrs. Daugherty was keeping my bowl of cream of wheat hot, and she had a special treat with it, she said. It was bananas.

In the whole story of the world, bananas have never once been a special treat.


Mr. Ferris didn’t say anything the whole time. He sat next to me and listened. And when I finished, I looked at him.

He was crying. I’m not lying. He was crying.

I don’t think it was because how hard I hit him.

I know how the Black-Backed Gull feels when he looks up into the sky.

Maybe, somehow, Mr. Ferris does too.


My brother looked at me. I looked at him.

Sometimes- and I know it doesn’t last for anything more than a second- sometimes there can be perfect understanding between two people who can’t stand each other. He smiled, and I smiled, and we put on the Timex watches on, and we watched the seconds flit by.

It was the first watch my brother had ever owned.

It was the first watch I had ever owned.

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The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

I had a really tough time choosing between this one and Howards End by E.M. Forster. If I could assign books to certain personality types, Howards End would be for INFJs. Not that you can’t enjoy it if you have a different personality obviously, but the themes this book explored resonated with me so deeply. It was like it was talking directly to me.  Anyway, lest I be accused of cheating by talking about two books in one section, let’s move on.

The Way We Live Now is a huge hunk of a book but I sped through it. I seriously couldn’t put it down, guys. His writing reminded me of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. Basically, if you’re a fan of any 19th-century British literature, you’ll love this. I’m not going to try to lay out the multitude of characters in this book and ho yeah yes oh Yeah no boldw they are related, but there is one person you should meet: August Melmotte. Fabulously rich, he arrives in London from France with a murky background that everyone is willing to overlook in hopes of earning some monetary favors. All the various romances and escapades swirl around him, and the varied threads of every character’s life all become wrapped around the question: How did Melmotte get his money? And how will the answer affect them?

There’s something for everyone in this complex and fast-paced novel (yes, classics can be fast-paced). There are politics, relationships, ethics, intrigue, and a fascinating portrayal of the English upper-class in the 1800s. I personally found his descriptions of Americans hilarious and also rather interesting. For most of the book I was facepalming over the characters’ ridiculous choices but I promise, the ending is worth it. Not because everything ends happily but because it makes you think. Each story line has a different lesson to ponder, a different character that surprises you. If you read this book thoughtfully enough, you may begin to see that the way we live now is not so different from how Trollope’s characters live.

As long as there are men to fight for women, it may be well to leave the fighting to the men. But when a woman has no one to help her, is she to bear everything without turning upon those who ill-use her? Shall a women be flayed alive because it is unfeminine in her to fight for her own skin?


A liar has many points to his favor—but he has this against him, that unless he devote more time to the management of his lies than life will generally allow, he cannot make them tally.


Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it.

Honorable mentions:

Howards End by E.M. Forster

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

{non-fiction}

Some of the most impactful nonfiction books I read this year were rereads, so I’m not including them on the list. Never fear, for I also read a lot of great new stuff. Here they are.

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The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Okay. This book. I’m in love. It’s the kind of book that takes over my world and gets me super excited. It’s the kind of book I can’t stop talking about, as I am sure my family can tell you. Basically it’s the story of an college crew team trying to not only become the team to represent America at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin but to beat the elite German team. Sure, it seems pretty obvious what the result will be since there’s a whole book on it, but Brown’s genius is that you are on the edge of your seat the entire time. It’s incredibly suspenseful. And he’s not making up any of it. The obstacles these boys had to face are staggering. Many times I wanted to go look up this story in a history book because I thought there was no way that this could actually be true.

Brown does something really smart and powerful by following one of the boys, Joe Rantz, for the whole book. Joe’s story is hard and tragic in many places, but the struggles he endured just emphasize the extraordinary character and strength of the boys, as well as the importance of the team and the Olympics to them. The book is compelling because we care about Joe, because we have seen what he has gone through and what crew means to him.

Obviously, the Olympics race is more than just one team against another. It’s two sets of philosophies and ideas pitted against each other. It’s America versus Nazi Germany, and we all know what that means. For Hitler, it’s a chilling foreshadowing of what is to come—although of course he doesn’t see it that way. Brown does a great job describing the political and cultural ramifications of this race without overdramatizing it. He also describes the sport itself clearly so that I could appreciate the events of each race without getting lost in obscure terms.

This is a book about hardship and how it can make you or break you. It is a book about the beauty of struggles, about the heroism of the average, unpolished kid. It is a book about brotherhood and community and how we are stronger together. It’s about freedom versus tyranny and how in the end, the good guys always win.

I listened to the audiobook of this (I need to do a post on audiobooks sometime), so I don’t really have any quotes recorded. My deepest apologies. *formal bow*

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Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy

I think I finished this book on New Year’s Day 2017. Yeah. If I had been a few hours quicker, it wouldn’t be on this list at all. But I’m glad it is, because it deserves a chance in the spotlight. In a lot of ways I can’t relate to Christie. I’m not a mom with young kids, and I’m not refurbishing an old house that will become my permanent home. I’m a teenager who’s moved her whole life. But I can relate to Christie’s heart. Her longing for a belonging place, her desire to find meaning and beauty in the little things, her awareness that she’s living in a story.

Christie takes us through the four seasons of her first year at Maplehurst, an old house in Pennsylvania they want to make into their home. While she does share details about her gardening and renovations and efforts to connect with the neighbors, this isn’t a book about fixing up a house. It’s a book about, well, her thoughts on life. I feel like I’m describing this terribly. It’s not a book that is easy to describe. It’s written in beautiful prose, simple and thoughtful and poetic. Her words remind me of a window at dawn; a clear pane of glass with golden light shining through.

I love how Christie rejoices in the material things about her, like a good meal or fresh soil, while also living with an eternal perspective, interpreting everything through the lens of the hope she has in Jesus. She isn’t preachy; she is real. Her book is soothing and yet deeply moving and inspiring. It came to me when I needed a vision of what my life could be, a promise that I could find meaning in the littlest moments. Thank you, Christie.

For this is no ordinary house. This is no pile of bricks and mortar. This is an outpost of the kingdom of heaven, and a star has risen overhead.


I know myself fairly well. I know that I do not like crowds. I do not feel comfortable strangers. I struggle, mightily, with small talk…. To put it simply, I am afraid. I am lonely, yet I want only to be left alone.

But the kingdom of God is pretty much the opposite of alone. Also, in the kingdom of God, there is this voice saying, “Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, do not be afraid.”


Some might say Maplehurst falls short of the ideal beauty I glimpsed in my dreams. But this allegiance to “ideal” beauty is a form of blindness. It is a refusal to lift the veil of everyday life in order to see the glory of God.

Honorable mentions:

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

Behold the Lamb of God by Russ Ramsey

{fantasy}

In some ways, this was a slim year for fantasy because I didn’t read much of it. But it was actually a great year for fantasy because the stuff I did read was absolutely AMAZING. Like two-new-favorite-series-of-all-time amazing.

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Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I honestly can’t believe I read this. More than that, I can’t believe that it’s now on my top-five fantasy series list. I wrote about my Harry Potter journey in this post, but long story short, I wasn’t allowed to read this—or even super interested in reading it—until this year when I realized a) it’s not an evil series and b) it’s actually one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

At the risk of sounding really cliche or obvious, reading these books was magical. I can’t really describe what I felt while reading them; it’s an indistinct rush of thoughts and feelings. It’s the same way I felt when I discovered Lord of the Rings for the first time. Readers live for that kind of experience, the enthralling and all-consuming plunge into another world. When I finished the last book, I ached. I ached for more of the characters, for more of the world, for more of this beautiful story.

Let me just say that Rowling’s world building flabbergasts me with its brilliance. I’ve always considered Brandon Sanderson to be the best world builder, and I still think he’s one of the best. But what Rowling does that is unique and powerful is that her world, although entirely magical and filled with immensely creative details, feels familiar. It feels cozy and real, and most of all, it feels like home. I never expected that from these books about sorcerers and dark lords. And it’s not just that it is set in our world. There are plenty of fantasies set in our world that still feel bizarre and alien. This one is different. You might get your mail by an owl or learn how to cast a patronus in school, but there is still mail and there is still school. Sure, there are magical rules to abide by, but the deeper rules, the rules about life and love and people, those are the same.

Two further notes for the Christians out there who haven’t yet read this series:

  • If you’ve never tried Harry Potter because of theological concerns, I would recommend this post by Andrew Peterson. And I would say, at least give it a try. Give it a honest try. In my experience, everyone who condemns it hasn’t read much of it, and those who were skeptical but tried it are never skeptical for long. This isn’t to encourage disobeying your parents if they don’t want you to read it or refusing to listen to your conscience or anything. But before you completely disregard something, make sure you know what it is actually about.
  • I do admit that there are still some issues in these books that require discernment. No book is perfect; no one will ever agree perfectly with a single book. Personally, I’m going to wait to handle my kids  this series until they’re in middle school just to make sure they have the maturity to distinguish between the sorcery condemned in the Bible and the “sorcery” in Harry Potter (I put it in quotes because it’s really nothing like the sorcery in Scripture).

*agonizes over this for 20 minutes because there are TOO MANY GOOD QUOTES OH MY STORMS*

It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay…


Of house elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped.


“But why’s she got to go to the library?”

“Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron, shrugging. “When in doubt, go to the library.”

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The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

Um, wow. This series is one of the best things that happened to me this year. I had heard about it a couple of years ago and tried one of the books (which, I have since found out, was actually the fourth book) but just couldn’t get into it. As has happened to me many times with other books, I decided to try the series again and this time, I couldn’t stop reading (might have helped that I started with the first book).

It blew my mind, guys. From what I’ve heard, it has that effect on a lot of people. Seriously though, if you love surprise twists, complicated plots, and mental gymnastics, this is for you. At the end of every single book, Turner fiendishly takes everything you think you know and turns it upside down. And yet, suddenly everything make sense. You know that Sanderson quote, “there is always another secret”? That could sum up these books.

But for me, the real treasure in this series is not the stunning plots, fascinating political machinations, or even the great writing. It’s the characters. I love these characters so. much. Eugenides, also known as Gen, the cleverer-than-Sherlock-Holmes yet surprisingly vulnerable main character, silently but irrevocably stole the place of my favorite male character. I can’t really say more because of spoilers but yeah, all the other characters have captured my heart too (with a few exceptions).

If you don’t like traditional fantasy or anything that feels unrealistic or creepy, you have to try these books. They shouldn’t be labeled fantasy at all. It’s misleading. The world is very similar to ancient Greece but with a few twists—primarily in its technological advancements. There is no magic or elves or strange powers you were born with that destine you to save the world. The only supernatural element is that of the pantheon of gods that rule over the world, but they appear rarely. When they do, they are strongly reminiscent of our world’s Greek and Roman mythology.

Okay, now to find some quotes that aren’t super SPOILERY GOOD GRIEF. But the spoilery ones are so beautiful, it’s killing me. Just please go read this series guys.

“He would have been a better man under different circumstances.”

Gen looked at him. “True enough,” he said. “But does a good man let his circumstances define his character?”


“From shadow queen to puppet queen in one rule,” he whispered. “That’s very impressive. When he rules your country and he tells you he loves you, I hope you believe him.”


She thought of the hardness and the coldness she had cultivated over those years and wondered if they were the mask she wore or if the mask had become her self. If the longing inside her for kindness, for warmth, for compassion, was the last seed of hope for her, she didn’t know how to nurture it or if it could live.

Honorable mentions:

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan (there is a magical component woven throughout this whole story but for the majority of the time it feels more like normal historical fiction so I’m not sure if it really belongs in this section?? I think it’s technically magical realism, for whatever that’s worth. Anyway, regardless of the genre, go read this masterpiece.)

Annals of the Western Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

What were your favorite books of the year? Which of mine have you read? I’ve missed chatting with you guys—let’s remedy that with lots of book talk!

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27 thoughts on “Reading Recap 2017

  1. Love this post! I haven’t read Howard’s End, but I didn’t care for the recent tv mini-series. I’m sure it wasn’t done justice. We used to read an Edith Wharton short story in E3 called Xingu which is funny, and I do love the film version of Age of Innocence! Your review for The Queen’s Thief series intrigued me. And did you know Ursula K Le Guin just died? Would love to read more by her and many others. ❤ ~ MsG

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I’m Grace, and I’ve been following your blog for a while but have never commented. However, I’d love to begin joining the conversation, as I really enjoy your posts. 🙂

    To start, you just made me very interested in reading The Queen’s Thief series and Howard’s End, neither of which I have read or heard of before. They sound super interesting and thought-provoking and I’m glad you shared them with us! As a matter of fact, the only book/s on your list that I’ve read are the Harry Potter series, but it was so long ago that I really only remember the movies. 🙂 I didn’t do too much reading of my own in 2017, but my favorite would probably have to be Taking on Giants by Joe Portale, an autobiography by a modern missionary to much of the French-speaking people of the world and who later trained and prepared young people to be missionaries as well. Anyways, I’ve missed your postings and loved seeing which books were your favorites of the year!

    Thanks,
    Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Grace! I’m so honored that you enjoy my posts and that you’ve stuck around even though I haven’t been posting as much. =) I hope you find and enjoy the Queen’s Thief and Howard’s End. They are definitely thought-provoking. Taking on Giants sounds really interesting. I’ve read several missionary biographies, but they have always been about missionaries in the past. I’d love to read about a more modern one. If you’re into missionary biographies, I read a good one this year called For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton about Eric Liddell, an Olympic runner who later was a missionary to China during World War II. Thank you for commenting!

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      1. Oh, thank you! I’ll have to look into that one. I’ve read a bit about Eric Liddell, but it was a few years ago, so I wouldn’t mind reading more about him. 🙂 Plus, I’m of the opinion that one can never read too many missionary biographies 🙂

        Also, I’m sorry for how long it took me to reply! I thought I had hit the “notify me” button, but apparently I had not. 😝

        Grace

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  3. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh you have just exploded my TBR. But that’s a good thing because now I have more books to read?? I guess??? Also, I fully agree with you on the Harry Potter count and I really need to finish that series.

    Of course, all of this is once I finish Oathbringer. *screams*

    Also, you got Goodreads!! Yayyyyy! *goes off to follow you on there*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely a good thing. *aggressive nodding* *tries to ignore thoughts of my own giant TBR* Yay, I’m glad you agree, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it when you finish the series. =D Oh goodness, I’m sure Oathbringer is consuming all (or a lot of) your reading life. 0.o

      Haha, I am forever forgetting which friends I have followed on which sites. xD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay that opening GIF ❤ Howard's End has really been appealing to me, mainly because I heard there was a show or movie or something that will hopefully (!) be coming to the USA soon? I'll have to check out the Anthony Trollope book, too! I've heard SUCH good things about The Boys in the Boat, but I haven't picked it up yet.

    I'm so glad you read Harry Potter! My parents had the exact same approach to the series and read the first book together to assess it. All the outrage in the Christian community peaked their attention xD But they came ot the same conclusion: it's not teaching the occult or witchcraft. The magic is just an excellent story device 😉 I'm so glad you enjoyed them. My dad read them aloud to us, so I need to read them for myself now hehe.

    Thanks for sharing the recap! I hope you have a great 2018. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m glad someone commented on the gif. =D I think you would like Howard’s End. Ooh, really? I must go to look into that. YES The Boys in the Boat, do yourself a favor and pick it up soon. *apologizes for the bossy enthusiasm*

      I totally agree. The magic is just a part of the world, not some creepy spiritual thing. xD And thank you! I hope you have a wonderful 2018 too. <

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  5. I’m SO excited about all these books to add to my TBR list. Harry Potter has been sitting around for the last two years and I still haven’t gotten around to it. (after all this college application stuff is done I will, I promise).
    I read Echo this past year & am working on Daring to Hope right now. Echo was definitely one of my favorite reads – the prose is beautiful and it’s all woven so well together. Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl was also one of my favorites this year (I think you recommended it a few years ago) and it was just as good as you said. 🙂 My other favorites of the year are Ruth Chou Simon’s GraceLaced book (it’s gorgeous and filled with so many good truths) and Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover. It’s a kids book & is centered mostly around family and basketball, but he writes in a poetic style that’s so fitting and absolutely brilliant.
    Happy New Year! Hoping that 2018 is filled with much joy & blessings for you. ❤

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    1. Yay!! It makes me happy went people add books I love to their TBR lists. =D Ooh, enjoy HP. It’s one of the series that I’m really jealous of anyone who gets to read it for the first time.

      Yessss Echo was amazing. I agree, I love the writing and how the different plot lines came together. ❤ I'm glad you liked Stargirl! And oh my goodness, I actually got GraceLaced as a surprise for Christmas. I've only paged through it so far, but it looks stunning. I love that it's got both great art and great content. *hurries off to add The Crossover on goodreads* Honestly, kids books are starting to become my favorite books because they can be so deep with so few words compared to long adult novels. I feel like the shorter length forces the authors to pick the very best words and focus more on their prose.

      Thank you so much! I'm praying the same for you. ❤

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  6. I’ve had Goodreads but this year I’m actually using it. Mostly as a way to keep track of books I want to read. xD Several of these books are now on my want-to-read shelf, so thanks!! And I should reread Queen’s Thief now that there are more books out. I think I read it when my library only had 1 through 3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the want to read feature on goodreads is probably the best thing about it. Although maybe not, because it’s dangerously easy to expand my TBR list. xD But yay, I’m glad you want to check some of these out! And you should reread those. In my opinion, the first three are the best, but the next two are still amazing. It’s just that she sets such a high standard in the first three.

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  7. I’m also reading Harry Potter for the first time this year! I’m only on Book 2, though, because C.S. Lewis and review books took priority. (No regrets; Lewis is, of course, magnificent; Turtles All the Way Down was surprisingly deep; and Weave a Circle Round is, as one reviewer put it, “audaciously realistic fantasy” and, as I put it, deep and funny and exciting and relatable and everything I could’ve wanted it to be.) But so far I’m enjoying them. My only issue is that I’ve heard so much about them previously that I have trouble separating the canon from other peoples’ headcanons.

    Also, YES. YOU READ QUEEN’S THIEF! I agree with basically everything you said about it and it’s one of my favorite series ever and YES. I’m so glad you read and enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, cool! Yeah, that’s the problem with coming into a fandom this late. xD Whenever you finish the series or even just the next book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. =D And goodness, Weave a Circle Round sounds amazing. *scuttles off to goodreads*

      You know, I first heard about the Queen’s Thief from you. After it didn’t click for me the first time, you mentioned it again on your blog and I decided I really had to try it again. So thank you so much!!

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      1. Well, I just finished Azkaban and it’s officially my favorite book, even though the suspense was ruined by the fact that I know who Black is. Sirius and Lupin are probably my favorite characters now, just saying. And YES, Weave is amazing!

        You’re welcome! I’m glad the recommendation finally stuck and you enjoyed the series!

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  8. HARRY POTTER! 😀 That’s one of my formative fantasy series, and I still love so much about it, especially the characters. And I want to read more of the Queen’s Thief series! I read THE THIEF two years ago and was so impressed with the worldbuilding and the plot twist near the end. Very few YA novels feature an unreliable narrator, and Gen is a fantastic example of when it works.

    Where do I start with my favorite reads of last year? Well, my favorite brand new book was The Stone Sky, the finale of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy, and my favorite previously published book was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I also read four books by Victoria / V.E. Schwab and loved each and every one. Her stories are so inventive and fun, and her character are so realistic – you sympathize with them despite their flaws.

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    1. I know, I think it’s a formative series for a lot of people, so I’m really glad I finally got to experience it and join in the love. =D The characters are truly great. Oh my goodness, you really should read more of the Queen’s Thief! The worldbuilding and plot twists in the first one barely scratch the surface of what happens in the rest of the series. And yes, she nailed the narration in The Thief.

      Oooh, I’ve been wanting to read V.E. Schwab’s books so this is a good reminder to actually go do that. =D The Broken Earth trilogy sounds really good too.

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      1. Oh, you bet I’m planning to read more of the Queen’s Thief series. 😉 There are three other series I’m hoping to binge-finish this year, and once those are out of the way The Queen’s Thief will be my next priority.

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  9. Dearest Abby,

    I read HOWARDS END when I was a freshman at Wellesley and I read AGE OF INNOCENCE and THE BOYS IN THE BOAT with my book club. Tanith loved all of the Harry Potter books. She used to get Uncle James to drive her to the book store at midnight the first moment a new book was arriving. I loved reading the biography of Katherine Lee Bates that I gave your mother for Christmas. I also read WHAT HAPPENED by Hillary, but you probably do not like Hillary. Right now I am reading a collection of the works by George Orwell. He is a fantastic writer and his grammar is impeccable. When I read modern works I wonder if there are still editors. Everything from the nineteenth century is so perfectly written but this is not true of what is written today. There are so many grammatical errors which drive me crazy!

    Happy New Year and I am so glad you have started posting again!

    All my love,

    Grammy

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  10. ALRIGHT FIRST OFF Okay For Now is sooooo good. I’ve cried sO MANY TIMES OVER IT i mean really??? I’m so glad it’s your favorite. ❤
    Yes to everything you said about Harry Potter. Just yes. And I love the Queen's Thief books!! I haven't quite finished the series yet, but the King of Attolia stole my soul and I actually bought the fifth one because it's so beautiful. 😀 😀 What was your favorite book of the series?

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT?? Man it’s just so beautiful and heartrending all at once. I’m so glad you’ve read it and loved it too. So my favorite book is the King of Attolia because I think it has the most complex plot and some of the best character development and just so many epic scenes AHHHHHHH. I just love the way Costis’ perception of and relationship with Eugenides changes. ❤ What about you? Have you read the fifth book yet?

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      1. yaASSSS King of Attolia’s been my favorite so far, too!!! Like you said, such character development and sO mANy GoOd SCENES. I haven’t read the last two of the series let, but I’m looking forwards to them!!

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  11. Great post!
    The part on Harry Potter especially interested me. First, thank you for sharing the article by Andrew Peterson– truly excellent!
    Secondly, I too only watched the Harry Potter movies in Spring of 2017 for the very first time. Do you watch Blimey Cow? Well, they are a Christian YouTube channel and are truly genius! Anyway, in one of their videos (a continuation of the series “You Know You’re Homeschooled…”) they said, “You know you’re homeschooled if the magic in Harry Potter is considered bad, but the magic in the Lord of the Rings is considered good.”
    My mom and I will always joke with this because it is SOOOO TRUE among like-minded believers! I love fantasy and wow! The first time I read and watched the Lord of the Rings will forever be etched into the forefront of my memory. That trilogy will forever have a special place in my heart!
    But, last Christmas my older brother got the entire Harry Potter movie DVD collection on Blu-Ray. Of course we had to watch them, right?! 😉 Well, we did and I whole heartedly agree with you. I didn’t want to like them but I quickly got hooked. In fact, once we finished the series we quickly started it over again. I read the first book as well, but am not an avid reader when it comes to fiction and so preferred the movies.
    I have felt rather torn because, like you said, the series is not perfect. It is flawed in many areas (though I must say, the magic didn’t bother me nearly as much as the teen romance!). Not to mention, I’ve grown up not watching or reading Harry Potter.
    However, I came to this conclusion: It’s just like any other movie or book. Is it distracting me from my First Love? Is it putting evil thoughts in my mind? Is it consuming my thoughts?
    It’s so important to remind ourselves that ALL we watch, read, listen to, etc. must be evaluated and prayed over.
    I loved reading all of the books you’ve read here. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, I do watch Blimey Cow! I know what video you’re talking about, and I thought it was really funny too. I find it interesting that a lot of Christians freak out about Harry Potter just because of its reputation but they let their kids read a lot of other books with much worse morals and content (such as stuff with inappropriate romance, bad language, or blurred lines between right and wrong). Like you said, I think we have to evaluate every book for ourselves about how it will impact our relationship with God. I also agree, I found the romance more bothersome than the magic. =P And I had the same experience with Lord of the Rings! No matter what other fantasy—or any books for that matter—I read, LOTR is always my favorite. ❤

      Thank you so much for commenting! I loved hearing your thoughts. =)

      Liked by 1 person

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