Two years ago yesterday I launched this blog My Lady Bibliophile. What an adventure it has been--lively discussions, loving books together, making new friends, meeting people from different countries, and having a place to think through what I'm reading. This blog has forced me to evaluate, kept me accountable, and given me much delight, as well as a good place to exercise my writing skills.
You all are so fun to share books with, and I've been greatly encouraged by our interactions together. Thank-you very much, and I hope you'll stick around this coming year for more book reviews and further articles. I'm greatly looking forward to this next year and what it will hold.
While I was on a blogging break I had the opportunity to read a few books, and I have three new books, all published in 2013, that I'm looking forward to reviewing in the coming days. It was good time to refresh and recharge, and I'm ready to get back at it and keep posting the reviews! I hope you all had as blessed a holiday season as I did. It was a good time of celebration with family and friends, and we had lots of laughs, moments of reflection, and time to read.
Here now is my 2013 book list! For your convenience, you can find my reviews of many of the titles on my 'Book Reviews' tab. They're indexed alphabetically by the author's last name.
2013 Book List
1. The Rose Rent, by Ellis Peters
2. The Hermit of Eyton Forest, by Ellis Peters
3. Damsels in Distress, by Martha Peace
4. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
5. The Hole in Our Holiness, by Kevin DeYoung
6. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
8. Twice Freed, by Patricia M. St. John
9. Chasing Jupiter, by Rachel Coker
10. Christ Above All, by Daniel Shayesteh
11. Reasons for Belief, by Norm Geisler
12. Humble Orthodoxy, by Joshua Harris
13. A Lost Pearle, by Mrs. Georgie Sheldon
14. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. Dreamlander, by K.M. Weiland
16. The Shadow Things, by Abigail Hartman
17. The Holy Thief, by Ellis Peters
18. A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters
19. One Corpse Too Many, by Ellis Peters
20. Monk's Hood, by Ellis Peters
21. The Man in the Queue, by Josephine Tey
22. Stopping Words that Hurt, by Michael Sedler
23. Tales of the Long Bow, by G.K. Chesterton
24. What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an, by James R. White
25. Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien
26. 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxas
27. Strait of Hormuz, by Davis Bunn
28. A Clearing in the Wild, by Jane Kirkpatrick
29. A Tendering in the Storm, by Jane Kirkpatrick
30. A Mending at the Edge, by Jane Kirkpatrick
31. Brothers At Arms, by John J. Horn
32. Cloak of the Light, by Chuck Black
33. Crazy Busy, by Kevin DeYoung
-completed half of The Complete Sherlock Holmes
-completed Book 1 of The Fairie Queene, by Edmund Spenser
Yesterday I was discussing my list with a friend, and I was shocked to realize that only two books-- Fellowship of the Ring and Pride and Prejudice--were re-reads. 31 new books. That has to be a record, and what a blessing to discover several new friends. Aside from the Jane Kirkpatricks, every book was worth running through, and though some I might not read again, I was quite shocked and pleased by the number of new ones.
I did learn one thing that I'd like to apply next year, though. I put off a lot of books I especially wanted to read because I was reading many of the titles for official reviews. While many of the books were profitable, reading time is limited, and by the end of the year I decided that next year I want to prioritize a little better between good and best--in other words, leave some of the nominally enjoyable ones so I can read books I absolutely love. When you're reading something you have been greatly excited about and can't wait to run through, it feeds deeper and encourages more than something you picked up out of passing interest. Therefore, I'm hoping to read Unfinished Tales by Tolkien, I have a Rosemary Sutcliff on hold at the library right now, and Oliver Twist and Our Mutual Friend are definitely on the priority list, as well as a re-read of Joyfully at Home.
My theme for 2014, Lord-willing, will be choosing the very best. New classics and favorite re-reads, but ones that really matter, and ones I've been wanting to read for a very long time.
And now, I've looked over my list and selected my favorites in three categories: Top Fiction, Top Nonfiction, and Author of the Year. :)
Top Fiction of 2013
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien. That was easy. Tolkien crafted his world so carefully, and deeply, and it's almost grander than Lord of the Rings, though not quite so happy.
Top Nonfiction of 2013
Humble Orthodoxy, by Joshua Harris
Nonfiction was a little harder to choose, and Eric Metaxas almost edged out for first place, but in the end I chose this one, because it's applicable to a lot of people I know right now. Though a little book, it packs a powerful punch, and Harris's explanation of how to be on fire with your beliefs while humble in your approach is definitely a book worth reading.
Author of the Year
Kevin DeYoung. With his stellar books The Hole in Our Holiness, and Crazy Busy (upcoming review on the latter in the near future!) I was spiritually fed and greatly impressed with my first introduction to this author. They've changed me the most out of the nonfiction books I've read, and Crazy Busy especially will have an impact on the way I work next year, Lord-willing. DeYoung is biblically sound, refreshingly real, and quite funny, and he was my favorite author this year.
So that's a re-cap of 2013! As I said earlier, I have a few exciting book reviews coming up, and I'm greatly looking forward to them. :) Next year I'd like to do a series analyzing the different types of heroes in stories. I have a few tags lined up to space out throughout the year, and then of course I hope to be reviewing The Fairie Queene as soon as I finish it.
But I would love to hear your feedback. Are there any book reviews you'd like to see on the blog this year? If you have title suggestions I will definitely take them into consideration, though I can't make firm promises. And if you have article topics you'd like to see here in the coming year, I would love to hear those ideas as well!
Thank-you so much for the investment you all put into reading my little corner of the web. It's encouraging to fellowship with all of you, and I pray for this next year that we would have good discussion, that the books we read will build us up in our knowledge of Christ, and that we may take every page we read captive to His glory.
It's exciting to think about a brand new year. And I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for it.