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This year one of my biggest goals was to read. I love reading, but with high school and college and having tons of books to read for school, I had a harder time reading books for fun. My original plan was to read 10 books and instead I read 20! So here are some book reviews for what I read this year. Each review will be pretty quick, but if you click on the picture, it will take you to the Amazon page for each one. There you can read full reviews from people more literary than I. The pictures are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then buy anything from Amazon, I will get a commission. You can read more about that on my Disclosures Page. Thanks for supporting Becca’s Music Room! And, before we get into everything, you should know that all of the books on here are books I recommend. I didn’t read anything this year that I didn’t like! I am breaking the list into two posts because there are so many that it seemed like too much for one post! Make sure to subscribe for the next installment!
You can check out what I am reading next year here: 2018 Reading Challenge
I have tried to read this book a few times, and this is the first time that I made it all the way through. I really enjoyed it. However, it is long. And sad. This is the book that coined the phrase “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” So it is about a bunch of unhappy families. Some of them get happy and some do not. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will just leave it at that.
The Bible and the Qur’an
I believe that my husband had this as a textbook for a class in college. However we got it, I was always curious. This is about the differences (and similarities) of the Christian and Muslim faith. I found it interesting to learn more about a faith that is very publicized and very misconstrued—a lot of things that the Muslim faith advocate (like peace and love) are misconstrued by the Muslims we hear about on the news. Just like people can pick and choose things in the Bible and get Christianity really messed up, people pick and choose things out of the Qur’an and get Islam really messed up.
Teaching with Poverty in Mind
If you are looking for a good teaching book—look no further! I always knew that poverty effects students, but I had no idea by how much. This book gets deep into the physical and mental effects of poverty. It also goes through strategies to help you teach those students. Even though there are a lot of facts, it is well written and easy to read.
I love Sherlock Holmes. Crazy detective with his very normal best friend… It’s like The Big Bang Theory with mysteries. What could be better? I read 10 short stories this year. My favorite has been The Hounds of Baskerville, but I really enjoyed all of the ones I have read.
The Rebel Queen
I. Love. Michelle. Moran. You have no idea. Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre (I mean, seriously. Learning about history while reading for fun? What is better?! I know. I am a dork…) and no one does it quite like Michelle Moran does. This book is about one of the queens in India during the British take over. The main character is one of her guards. It has diplomacy, secrecy, romance, etc. and it will keep you guessing all the way to the end. Seriously, I had no idea what was going to happen. I don’t want to give anything away, but you should read it. Here is a link to her website, if you are curious.
Mata Hari’s Last Dance
Also by Michelle Moran, this book is about a famous Dutch dancer in Paris. She is actually pretending to be from India and somehow ends up being accused of being a spy during World War I. As with all of Michelle Moran’s books, it keeps you guessing. Again, no idea how it would end.
The Heretic Queen
This is probably my favorite Michelle Moran book. It is about an Egyptian princess who marries Ramses II, AKA the Ramses from the Bible. Her aunt, Nefertiti, had been an Egyptian Queen, and Pharaoh in her own right. She and her husband had changed the gods of Egypt, so everyone thought that they were heretics. Therefore, she spends the whole book trying to convince people that she is not a heretic. Full disclosure, if you are familiar with the Bible story of Moses and Ramses, this story is different. She says in the back that it is due to lack of physical evidence of the Bible version. This was the only thing I didn’t like about this book, but I don’t think it ruined it. I had actually already read this one, but I still could not put it down.
The Old Man and the Sea
I have been on a Hemmingway kick since my husband and I went to the Hemmingway House on our honeymoon. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Hemmingway. In general, I love his non-fiction but am not a fan of the way his fiction is written. I did enjoy this one. It is literally about an old man who goes fishing everyday with a young boy from the village. It is a very quick read, as it is barely over 100 pages.
A Movable Feast
Like I said, I prefer Hemmingway’s non-fiction. I love this one. It is my favorite Hemmingway book I have read. This is a series of true stories from when Hemmingway lived in Paris. Because of this, it talks about his encounters and friendships with writers and painters in Paris. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, etc. It is fascinating and very well written. So that is half of the book reviews for 2018! That is quite a few books. I am keeping track of my reading on some lists. I have read 29/116 of the Barnes and Noble Classics list. I have read 37/339 of the Rory Gilmore book challenge (yes, someone made a quiz with every book mentioned or seen in the TV series). Make sure to subscribe for the next installment! What books did you read this year? What was your favorite? Have you read any that I have? Let me know in the comments!