Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of 2015


This blogging year has been one for the books. I'm just sitting here, after having gone through all the post titles for the year, kind of awe-shaken and amazed. That God did all that. In one year. So much growth and joy and deep thinking and conversations. I think we've had some of the best discussions this year on the blog. I mean, group hug everyone.

sounding slightly awkward 

It's just....wow.

God cares about us and books, and we in turn can worship him with the joy of books and growing and learning together. He is so good.

Normally I try to narrow down favorite book reviews and articles from the year to a nice, tidy list of 7 to 10. But I couldn't do that this time. It's too limiting when my cup is running over, so I'm just going to list all the top favorites this year for you to browse through and think over and 'remember-when' as we live the last week of 2015.

But this list isn't complete without you. What were your favorite articles here on My Lady Bibliophile? Which books piqued your interest? What conversations do you still remember and think over? I'd love to reminisce with you in the comments. It is first of all God's blessing, and second of all your love and participation, which has made this blog a success. So I owe you all a huge bunch of gratefulness for that.

Let's take a moment to relax and enjoy the memories together.

Favorite Articles
How Our Family Reads Together.
Why Young Authors are Tackling Tough Themes 
Why I Love Anne of Green Gables 
Round Table Discussion with Suzannah Rowntree 
Why Every Girl Needs a Daddy (Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility)
The Book Writing Process (For All Non-Writing Friends) 
Patterns Vs. Portraits in Literature (Part One) 
Why I Take Book Reviews Seriously 
Why Homeschoolers Need to Read Modern Literature 
When NOT to Write a Book Review 
Why Book Lovers Need to be Book Buyers
How I Got Ready For My First NaNoWriMo 

Favorite Book Reviews 
Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan (read this book for the first time ever this year!)
The Faerie Queene, by Edmond Spenser
Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
Pendragon's Heir, by Suzannah Rowntree
Richard the Third, by Paul Murray Kendall (Part One and Part Two)
Wanderlust Creek, by Elisabeth Grace Foley
The Art of War for Writers, by James Scott Bell
Mara, Daughter of the Nile, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
How to Be a Spy: The Official WW2 Training Manual 
The Franzon Trilogy, by Thyra Ferre Bjorn
True Woman 201, by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Leave it to Psmith, by P.G. Wodehouse
The Butterfly and the Violin, by Kristy Cambron
Storming, by K.M. Weiland
Flame Coloured Taffeta, by Rosemary Sutcliff
You Never Stop Being a Parent, by Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick
Let Me Be a Woman, by Elisabeth Elliot

New Blog Friends 
I made many new friends in the blogosphere this year (and will mention more in the Birthday Post next week!) but this year I was especially blessed to have Emily and Annie join the blogging circle. I eagerly look forward to their posts each week, and had the great pleasure of interviewing them this summer. That made for a special part of 2015. :)

The Herosinger
The Curious Wren

The Bibliophile Awards 
And now comes the time of year where I have to narrow it down to one fiction book, one nonfiction book, and one author. There are no fancy prizes or great fame here--just a way to document what I thought was the best of the year. And let me tell you, it is hard to narrow down. It is agonizing. This has been an incredible year for discovering new titles.

Fiction of the Year


The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser

Because I finally finished this. 800 pages of poetry. And I've been working on it for years. It really deserved the spot. It is a work of art, and I'm so glad I read it at least once in my lifetime. I think I'm choosing it as a mark of grit and perseverance. It may be the longest, hardest book I've read thus far, and it was during a time when my laptop was on the blink, so I had time to pay attention to it.

Nonfiction of the Year
A lot of books were in the running for this one. In the end, while there are several equal finalists, (Richard III, How to Be a Spy, and You Never Stop Being a Parent coming in close behind) I'm selecting the one that has had the longest lasting impact.



True Woman 201, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian

This book changed my thinking. I'm more aware of certain sins than I used to be, trying harder to think and speak in a more honoring and pleasing way to the Lord. It changed what I accept as honoring behavior and gave me better tools for the mental battle of sanctification, especially on areas of slander, self-control, and work. I highly recommend this study and encourage you to check out the review for more about it. :)

Author of the Year 

K.M. Weiland

In contrast to the favorite book categories, this was an immediate and obvious choice. After reading Storming, I've seen such a consistent offering of quality writing, structure, and themes in her fiction books that I would pre-order anything she writes pretty much without hesitation. I owe a huge debt to Structuring Your Novel and Outlining Your Novel (both of which I read this year) and the workbooks for helping me outline a huge sequel this summer in my historical fiction series. Most of all, I appreciate Katie's friendly interaction with readers and writers online. She's a generous, positive indie author who brings a lot of quality conversations to the internet world. I consider her a role model I would like to imitate when I get published.



There you have it, folks! It's been wonderful to reflect and wrap up an amazing year on the blog. Who was your favorite author of the year? If you could narrow down to one fiction or nonfiction book, which one would you give top ranking to? What are your favorite memories from My Lady Bibliophile?

Trusting that you'll have a blessed week anticipating 2016. See you Tuesday!

7 comments:

  1. I love this post. :D Of the posts you have listed I think "How Our Family Reads Together", "Why Homeschoolers Need to Read Modern Literature", and "Why Young Authors are Tackling Tough Themes" were my favorite.

    And I'm so glad you read Pilgrim's Progress this year. Finally. :D The book reviews that I really enjoyed were "True Woman 201", "Leave it to Psmith", "You Never Stop Being a Parent", and "Let Me Be a Woman". It's been a special year to watch you grow as an author...whether it's Twitter updates or chats about characters and stories. I look forward to seeing where God takes you in the next year. <3

    Love,
    Kaleigh

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    1. Those top 3 posts you mentioned are very dear to my heart as well. :D

      Ha! Yeah, finally Pilgrim's Progress. I didn't have it on my list of book reviews, and then I looked through my blog posts one more time and thought "Oh, Schuyler, you can't possibly leave THAT one out."

      You've been a wonderful friend to share the journey with. Thanks so much for being a special prayer warrior and support partner. <3

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  2. First comment here... Hi, Schuyler! I love that you do a 'year end best of' list. (And I especially love your show of faith. PTL!) I'll have to click on some of your faves and check them out. Wishing you all HIS best in the year to come!

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    1. Hi Lesa! I'm so glad to have met you through the FB page, and blessed as well to know another fellow believer! Hope you enjoy looking around the blog, and all God's blessings on your new year!

      ~Schuyler

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  3. This is such a cool list! I wasn't here for the rest of the year, so I'll have to try and check out some of these links ;) I haven't read Storming yet, but I did read Behold the Dawn, which is my favorite of all the ones I've read by her. I'll have to check Storming out sometime too.

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    Replies
    1. Behold the Dawn is awesome! I loved that one, and I need to read it again sometime. It's different flavor from Storming and Dreamlander, because it's historical rather than fantasy/dieselpunk, but they all have awesome characters and gripping stories. Let me know if you read it!

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  4. My favorite articles from the ones you mentioned are "Why Young Authors are Tackling Tough Themes" and "Why Every Girl Needs a Daddy" and "Why Homeschoolers Need to Read Modern Literature."

    Probably my favorite book review was "The Butterfly and the Violin." It sounds lovely. ;)

    And the Sea Scribblers contest was one of my favorite parts of this blog year. ^_^

    So much good content here. <3 Keep pressing on for God's glory.

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