04 July 2016

52 Books in 6 months (Jan to June) PT.1 ~ 2016

I usually publish one of these posts at the end of each year, but as we're only partway through 2016 and I'm already at the 52 books 'read' mark, I figured I would just post this now.  Part 2 of our annual 52 books can be found here.
The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook,  at the time of reading with the range being:
(1) = would not recommend,
(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,
(3) = would recommend.
(4) = Really good (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few were sip reads, from last year, so I added them here:
A: Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens ~ Debra Bell (3)   
Some good things here but, but much of the advice was either American-eccentric (grades/transcripts/ how to work towards getting into college) or just not relevant for our own family's, customised, NZ based homeschooling journey.  This could be a good read for NZer's using something like ACE (?)
B: Teaching from a State of Rest ~ Sarah Mackenzie (4++  completed.   Encouraging read. Totally recommend.)

(As in previous years, I won't include the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I've pre-read as possible reads for the children.)  
  1. The King James Bible: The Books of;   Luke,  Ephesians, Corinthians   (5+)
  2. Mrs. McGinty's Dead ~ Agatha Christie (content issues, not handing to Daisy) (2)
  3. The Clocks ~ Agatha Christie (3) 
  4. Murder on the Links ~ Agatha Christie (3)  (okay for Daisy)
  5. Hallowe'en Party ~ Agatha Christie (1)     meh!  A birth father plans to sacrifice his daughter.
  6. Lord Edgware Dies ~ Agatha Christie (3) (content issues. Not for Daisy.)
  7. Sparkling Cyanide ~ Agatha Christie  (3)  (okay for Daisy)
  8. Murder is Easy ~ Christie (2)  (psychotic killer.  Not for Daisy)
  9. Miss Marple's Final Cases ~ Agatha Christie, BBC dramatised  (2)
  10. Fallen into the Pit ~ Ellis Peters   (3)   (not for sensitive readers)
  11. The Chimes ~ Charles Dickens (1)
  12. Artists in Crime ~ Ngaio Marsh   (1)   (content issues!!!  However, I want the children to study the beautiful 'artistic' prose in the first chapter.  They won't be reading the rest of the book.)
  13. A Surfeit of Lampreys ~ Ngaio March  (3+) content issue with the way the victim was murdered.  Jay is reading this as part of his 'golden era' mystery writer study.)
  14. The Great Escape ~ Paul Brickhill (WWII)  (4)  (profanity in the later half of the book)
  15. The Land ~ Mildred D. Taylor (3+) 
  16. Glimpses of the Truth: The Wycliffe Translation ~ Jack Cavanaugh (-)  dropped
  17. Weapons of Mass Instruction ~ John Holt (4) 
  18. Bake ~ Allyson Gofton (4)
  19. The Boy on the Wooden Box ~ Leyson (4)
  20. Outliers: The Story of Success ~ Malcolm Gladwell  (3)
  21. Agatha Christie at Home ~ Hilary Macaskill (2)
  22. Brave New World ~ Huxley (1)                     (loaded with s3xual content issues, including interaction amongst children- very Freudian.   Ends with a drug induced mass or.gy and a suicide.  This is not a book I'd want to just hand to my teens without pre-reading.   We are more than able to - and do, have - discussed any of the issues detailed in this book.  We won't be scheduling this book as a high school read.) 
  23. 1984 ~ Orwell (1)                        (I found 1984 a disturbing read.    Too many content issues to be used as a reader for our teens;  some profanity,  and detailing physical relationship problems, and s3xual pleasures Winston embarks on.  Includes sadistic torture and a seriously depressing!! ending.   I loathe books with those sort of endings.  Not recommending this as a read to those in my immediate circle.   Grinning ....  I think I must be one of the few people in the universe to have taken a serious dislike this book.  )
  24. Fahrenheit 451 ~ Bradbury (3)  this makes for tame reading after the 2 books above, still contains content issues others may wish to know about, which are implied , rather than exemplified - woman tries to commit suicide, dysfunctional marriage, totalitarian state which murders people, protagonist uses a fire torch on his work colleagues - but!  the story ends with hope!  We selected this as one of the dystopian reads for Jay.)
  25. How to Read Slowly ~ James W. Shire   (it's become a sip read.  I  prefer this title over How to Read A Book ~ Adler, any day.)
  26. The Giver ~ Lois Lowry (3)  lent itself to indepth conversation
  27. Gathering Blue ~ Lowry (2-)  The series really starts to take of with 'mystical/inner spiritual powers' in this book.  I had Daisy read and discuss this series with me.  
  28. Messenger ~ Lowry (2) 
  29. Son ~ Lowry (2)   ends quickly with  quite a few questions about characters/communities in the other books unanswered.
  30. Cat Amongst the Pigeons ~ Christie    (a repeat listen.  okay for Daisy)
  31. Spiders Web ~ Christie   (a repeat listen. not for Daisy)
  32. Journey to Munich ~ Winspear (audiobook)  (2)   (content issues for me.  The author has the main character discussing past "lovers" like favoured clothes once had and then discarded :-/  )
  33. To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Lee (4)   content issues. 
  34. A Doll's House ~ Isben  (1) feministic.  Isben was definitely successful in creating self-centred, shallow characters that the audience will dislike.  The main character, a mother,  abandons her children to go and "find" herself   ... with the excuse that once she finds herself she'll be a better mother.  Ends in a suicide.
  35. False Witness ~ Randy Singer (2)
  36. The Great Gatsby ~ Fitzgerald (3) hedonistic, non-religious life style.  Adultery, greed, murder.  Jazz era.  Good book for discussion about what the meaning of success and happiness really is.  We've chosen to edit out the sensual 'romance' portions before handing to our children:   our children, our choice.
  37. There's a Sheep in My Bathtub ~ Hogan (3)
  38. Honey for a Woman's Heart ~ Hunt (3+)  
  39. Own Your Life ~ Sally Clarkson (4++)   I really appreciated this book, definitely rates as literary balm for the 'soul'.  Christian content.
  40. The Nickle-plated Beauty ~ Beatty (family read aloud)  (4-)
  41. Why Shoot a Butler ~ Heyer (3)  (not for Dasiy)
  42. The Reluctant Widow ~ Heyer (3+) (historical mystery.  okay for Daisy)
  43. Tramp for the Lord ~ Ten Boom (3++)
  44. Alas, Babylon ~ Pat Frank (3++)   edited out the sensual/s3xual portions
  45. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax ~ Dorothy Gilman (3++)  (1: One of the Foreign characters says, "What the h3ll?: a bit.  2: Another lives her life by personality driven astrology (star signs).  3: There is a clairvoyant gypsy reading palms et..   No s3xual/sensuality based encounters, or obscene profanities.)
  46. Night ~ Elie Wiese  (4+) Some content issues. Sober, emotive,  heart rending read
  47. The Elusive Mrs. Polifax ~ Gilman  (4-) 
  48. Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (3+) (includes buddist teachings, and, a physic)
  49. The Secret School ~ Avi   ( 3)  (A story Daisy thought made okay reading, so I went through it too☺)
  50. Duplicate Death ~ Heyer (3+)  (not for Daisy)
  51. The Dragonfly Pool ~ Eva Ibbotson  (3++)   (recommended by Allie and Elise)
  52. The Lifegiving Home ~ Sally & Sarah Clarkson (4)

4 comments:

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

Your honest assessments and comments are always helpful. Just looking up some books now!

Chelle said...

You're welcome SarahElisabeth... hope you find some new reads :-)

Aussie Pumpkin Patch said...

Oo, timely post. I just picked up these 2 Sally Clarkson books, delighted to hear a good review. Just finished To Kill A Mockingbird & have deeply mixed emotions about the book, was intrigued to see you had it listed here. :)

Chelle said...

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on TKaMB... pm via SL if you want :-)
(I read it with the mindset of keeping the events in the context/era it was written - it's a gritty, 'violence based', racial read. And one I've side stepped for years - the r*pe accusation/aspect put me off.)