Thursday, January 06, 2011

Top book picks of 2010

I read a LOT this year. Some books I chose for myself and others I read at the recommendation of others. Some were fiction, some non-fiction, some were picture books and others were young adult reads. Most of them I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought I'd pass on a few of my very favorite books from several genres for your consideration...

Children's Picture Book:
 Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey - Mango's cousin, Andrew Sherburne, wrote this book, and it came out just in time for Christmas 2010! The book followed Andrew's co-production of the film, Pond Hockey, in 2008. We love this book, not just because Andrew wrote it, but because it feels so much like home. Snow and ice are a reality of life here in MN, and fewer and fewer kids are getting out to play in it. Ben and Lucy are a sweet reminder to get out and play! 

Grade-School Fiction:
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron - This one wins my top choice hands down! Click on the link, and you can read a review on my homeschool blog!

Such a Road by Philip Solem - The story of the marriage of a nun and a priest, written by the priest himself, captured my interest in early 2010, and I have continued to mull over bits and pieces of the story from time to time all year. The book was not anything I expected when I first picked it up. It's not sensationalist, not a romance, not even a statement about the Catholic church. (And it's not particularly well-written, either. Sorry, Mr. Solem.) It's the story of two people with strongly held spiritual and political beliefs, who joined together in those beliefs and lived them out in the best way they knew how. It's the story of their effort to live communally with others and to raise their children. It's the story of how their faith and spirituality changed over time and how they had the strength and flexibility to give each other room to grow while still maintaining connection. I'll be re-reading this one in 2011.

The Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner - The title pretty much says it all! Buettner reports his research findings after spending time with people groups from five distinct regions of the world where people tend to live to be older than a century.

Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless -  If you want to cook Mexican food, and you love your crockpot, you'll be delighted to know that this book includes crockpot/slow cooker recipes, as well as instructions for doing the same recipes in a dutch oven or on the stovetop. How's that for versatile? Another thing I love about this book is that each recipe includes variations for how to do something similar with a different meat or vegetable. We haven't made anything from this cookbook yet that we didn't like!