Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

2012 Book Awards and Reading List

Each new year, I compile a list of all the books I've read in the past year and then make a list of the favorite books I've read in various categories. There are a few books I read this year for the second or third (or fourth, etc.) time. I don't count these books as being in the running. (I make this disclaimer just in case anyone sees my list and wonders why Dante or Tolkien didn't get any of the top spots.) 

Best Fiction book I read this year: Tie: The Chestnut King by N. D. Wilson and The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault

Best History book I read this year: Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph and Frances Gies

Best overall Nonfiction I read this year: The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc

Most difficult book I read this year: A Texan Looks at Lyndon by J. Evetts Haley (Not only is it incredibly difficult to be mired in all the political corruption that LBJ was part of, but a lot of the book involved local Texas politics in the 1940s - 1960s, a world to which I am, needless to say, an outsider.)

Most Eclectic book I read this year: Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King

And here is my 2012 book list:

  • The Midnight Folk by John Masefield 12/12
  • A Texan Looks at Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power by J. Evetts Haley 12/12
  • Purgatory by Dante (Dorothy Sayers, trans.) 12/12
  • The Classic Fairy Tales by Iona and Peter Opie 11/12
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell 11/12
  • Treasures Under the Sand by Alan Honour 11/12
  • The Jack Tales by Richard Chase 10/12
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 10/12
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller 10/12
  • Grandfather Tales by Richard Chase 10/12
  • 131 Christians Everyone Should Know (edited by Mark Galli) 9/12
  • Hildegard of Bingen by RĂ©gine Pernoud 9/12
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder 9/12
  • Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph and Frances Gies 8/12
  • Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien 8/12
  • Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James 8/12
  • The Philistines and the Old Testament by Ed Hindson 8/12
  • Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee 8/12
  • Going Postal by Terry Pratchett 8/12
  • Black and Tan by Douglas Wilson 7/12
  • Genesis and Archaeology by Howard Vos 7/12
  • Creators by Paul Johnson 7/12
  • The Chestnut King by N. D. Wilson 6/12
  • The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault 6/12
  • Questar: Illustrated Science Fiction Classics 6/12
  • John Adams by David McCullough 6/12
  • King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard 6/12
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George 5/12
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 5/12
  • Famous Modern Ghost Stories (Emily D. Scarborough, ed.) 5/12
  • The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough 5/12
  • The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien 5/12
  • The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote 5/12
  • The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle 5/12
  • Uncle Terrible by Nancy Willard 4/12
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington 4/12
  • The Things of the Spirit by Pope John Paul II 4/12
  • Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King 4/12
  • The Original Argument: The Federalists' Case for the Constitution by Glenn Beck 4/12
  • A Short History of England by G. K. Chesterton 4/12
  • Richard II by Jacob Abbott 4/12
  • The Qur'an by Mohammed 4/12
  • The Floating Admiral by The Detection Club 4/12
  • The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway 3/12
  • The Divine Comedy: Hell by Dante Alighieri (Dorothy Sayers, trans.) 3/12
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder 3/12
  • Stories from Virginia History by Mary Tucker Magill 3/12
  • The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 3/12
  • Her Hand in Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World by Douglas Wilson 2/12
  • Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques 2/12
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer 2/12
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 2/12
  • The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc 1/12
  • The Blood of the Moon by George Grant 1/12
  • Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett 1/12
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander 1/12
  • Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett 1/12