One of my goals each year is to read more, and read more books that are not just entertainment. I did pretty well with that this year...Something about turning 50 just seemed to make my quest urgent. I feel like I don't have time to read "stupid" books; and I've finally given myself the freedom to put one down, or send it back to the library if it seems to fall into that category...A catergory that is solely of my assessment and discretion! And, therefore, I shall leave out my DNF(Did Not Finish) titles, so as not to offend anyone else who might have loved what I deemed "stupid".
1. DECISION POINTS by George W. Bush -- A little too much policy explanation for me to "love" it, but very interesting and enlightening...Behind the scenes information gives perspective.
2. A DOG'S PURPOSE by Malcom Gladwell -- Made me want to believe in re-incarnation...kind of. Nice story.
3. CITY OF MAN by Michael Gerson & Peter Wehner -- A book I need to learn, not just read! Very thought-provoking input on a Christian's engagement in politics, and how that should look. Excellent!
4. BLACK HEELS TO TRACTOR WHEELS by Ree Drummond -- A definite Guilty Pleasure read...So much fun I couldn't put it down sometimes!
5. THE KENNEDY DETAIL by Jerry Blaine -- Excellent! Very informative as to the lives of Secret Service agents assigned to the President, with surprising details about the Kennedy's. What sacrifices these agents and their families make! Also, the ongoing effects of losing a President on their watch...touching and heart-breaking!
6. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Todd Burpo -- Amazing story, and I'm not sure what I think about it -- except that God can do whatever He wants, and reach people in the most unexpected ways. And I do know Heaven is for real!
7. AFTER THE LEAVES FALL by Nicole Baart -- Chick Flick equivalent, just entertainment.
8. THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker -- I have never seen the movie, and always wondered about the story because of Oprah Winfrey. When I caught a show where she talked about how The Color Purple "was her life", I decided I had to read it...and hated it. So sad that people really live like that...
9. UP FROM THE PROJECTS by Walter E. Williams -- His autobiography. What a guy! Brilliantly devious in his younger years, but his choices and character brought him wisdom...A completely different outcome from the previous book...A man I really respect.
10. KNOWN & UNKNOWN by Donald Rumsfeld -- Great book -- though sometimes I felt it was a "long, hard slog" (inside joke) just because of the volume of material. I loved reading the back-stories of what we saw in the news. Mr. Rumsfeld is a brilliant man, with great integrity. He has participated in many arenas of government over the years, and did all well. Another man I greatly respect.
11. REKINDLED by Tamera Alexander -- An indulgent read...another Chick Flick equivalent...but I like this one better!
12. AT HOME: A SHORT HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE by Bill Bryson -- Sometimes tenuously connected stories of the origins and development of things we find in our homes: kitchens, cupboards, toilets, even the house itself...So interesting! Except for the last page, I loved this book.
13. WHEN MONEY DIES by Adam Fergusson -- The story of hyperinflation in Germany after WWI...Terrible times, and there are parallels in our country today. Very enlightening...
14. UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand -- Louis Zamperini: what an amazing man! Until recently, I had not learned much about the Pacific part of WWII...I am awed by what was suffered by our men as they fought and were prisoners there. To remain unbroken is the grace of God.
15. ONE CALL AWAY: ANSWERING LIFE'S CHALLENGES WITH UNSHAKEABLE FAITH by Brenda Warner -- I've always been curious about the Warner's. This book made me an admirer of Brenda's toughness, and her lack of guile.
16.NOTHING DAUNTED by Dorothy Wickender -- This was supposed to the story of two society girls who left civilisation to go teach in a one-room school in the wilds of Colorado. Moreso, it was a story of Colorado's wilderness towns and travel between them. Still an interesting read.
17. IN THE GARDEN OF THE BEASTS by Erik Larson -- The story of the US ambassador to Germany in the years preceding WWII. Ambassador Dodd saw what was happening long before the President and State Dept. did -- And they would not listen to him. Very good book!
18. IN MY TIME by Richard Cheney & Liz Cheney -- After reading this I am convinced of 2 things: There should be someone in every administration that is willing to be unpopular for speaking the truth. Among many other things, this was a strength of Dick Cheney. I am also convinced of the brilliance of another man, who like Rumsfeld, very ably served his country in many different capacities.
So that's my list for 2011...I have a list of books that are already on my shelf which I shall endeavor to get through this year...Can't wait!