Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Year in Books

On this Christmas Eve, I’m reflecting on the books I’ve read this past year. I recently received an e-mail from GoodReads listing the ones I’ve reviewed or said I read this year. I haven’t been a member of GoodReads very long and I don’t list every book I read on my account so there weren’t very many. But there were a lot of good ones that stuck in my brain so I thought I’d highlight some of them.

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (Historical Mystery)
I discovered the Matthew Shardlake series this past year. This is the first in the series, set in Tudor England. In Dissolution, hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake gets involved with the dissolution of the monasteries. It’s a wonderful book with an interesting protagonist who reluctantly gets embroiled in court politics. I’ve been reading about Tudor England ever since my sister introduced me to the subject when I was in junior high so this one was particularly enjoyable for me.

Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris by Eric Jager
This is one of those nonfiction books that read like fiction. A riveting tale of the horrible death in 1407 of Louis of Orleans, brother of the mentally unbalanced King Charles VI, and the investigation into his murder. The information in it is taken from documents of the time including that of the investigating officer, Guillaume de Tigonville, the chief law enforcement officer of Paris. Another book by the same author, The Last Duel, is also a compelling read.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
This is the true story of the development of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the serial killer who operated in its midst. Even if you don’t care about true crime, the story of the construction of the fair is riveting in itself.

As you can tell, I was really into historical crime and mysteries this last year. Lest you think I only read historicals, here are a couple other non-historicals that I enjoyed.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
There’s a lot of hype surrounding this series so I read this book because I was curious. I read the Hunger Game trilogy awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed it so I figured Divergent was up my alley. Even though I have to admit I’m a bit tired of dystopian societies, I couldn’t put this book down.

Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

I love the Aunt Dimity books. They’re a cozy mystery series featuring the ghost of Aunt Dimity who communicates via a magic blue notebook to Lori Shepherd who is the real star of this series. Set in a small village in England, this one deals with the controversy surrounding a local archaeological dig. What I find so interesting about this series (I’ve read 5 or 6 of them) is that, so far, none have dealt with a murder. Death, yes, murder, no. There’s always a mystery to solve, though. I still find the books captivating and peaceful reads.

I could go on and on. I don’t know how many books I read in a year. For 2015, I plan on keeping track. Did you all read books you thought were particularly interesting this last year?

May your holidays be merry and bright and may you read many wonderful books in the coming year!


Eileen Goudge said...

Loved the Divergent series! Good choice. One at the top of my Goodreads list is "Those Who Wish Me Dead" by Michael Kortya. A corking good thriller.

Sybil Johnson said...

I was out of town when this posted. I will add your suggestion to my reading list for this year!