life, craft, kids, crap…

mab’s 2012 Book List

This year, my goal is 25 books. Please feel free to make comments on books I’ve read or leave me suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

39. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin — 3 stars

38. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls — 5 stars

37. Growing Up Amish: A Memoir by Ira Wagler — 4.5 stars

36. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell — 4 stars

35. The Kids are All Right: A Memoir by Diana, Amanda, Liz, and Dan Welch — 3 stars

34. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward — 3 stars

33. Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen — 5 stars

32. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen — 3.5 stars

31. A Girl Named Zippy b Haven Kimmel — 4.5 stars

30. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austenl — 4.5 stars

29. She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel — 4.5 stars

28. The Vow: The Kim & Krickitt Carpenter Story by Kim Carpenter — 3.5 stars

27. A Presumption of Death by Dorothy L. Sayers & Jill Patton Walsh

26. The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg — 4 stars

25 Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin (very interesting!) — 3.5 stars

24. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham — 3.5 stars

23. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – the Facts of Daily Life in 19th Century England by Daniel Pool — 2.5 stars

22. Still Life by Louise Penny — 4 stars

21. The Attenbury Emeralds: The New Lord Peter/Harriet Vane Mystery by Jill Paton Walsh — 4.5 stars

20. The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan — 4.5 stars

19. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson — 4.5 stars (Also very interesting!)

18. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs — 4.5 stars (I’d definitely recommend it to anyone regardless of religious background or affiliation!)

17. The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue & Peter Conradi — 4 stars (If you liked the movie, you’d like this book written by Lionel Logue’s grandson. It goes more in-depth and tells the story with quotes from letters and memorabilia from that time. Very interesting.)

16. The Forgotten Affairs of Youth: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel by Alexander McCall Smith – 2.5 stars

15. Belles on their Toes by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey – 3 stars

14. One of the Lucky Ones: A Beautiful Human Story of One Woman’s Triumph Over Blindness by Lucy Ching – 4.5 stars

13. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey – 3 stars

12. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – 4 stars

11. Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton – 2.5 stars

10. How it all Began by Penelope Lifely – 2 stars

9. Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz – 4.5 stars

8. Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman & Willie Goldman – 3.5 stars

7. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson – 3 stars (This was a story from the 1800s of a light-skinned African American who chose to avoid racism by passing as white. He later decided to tell his true story in hopes of ending some of that racism. Very interesting & it’s free on the Kindle.)

6. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – 3 stars

5. This Thing of Ours: How Faith Saved my Mafia Marriage by Cammy Franzese – 2.5 stars

4. The Stark Munro Letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – .5 stars

3. The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 3 stars

2. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 3 stars

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 3 stars

mab’s 2011 Book List

This year my goal was 15 books. I didn’t think I’d make it! But, I unpacked a few boxes of books I hadn’t seen in years & got on a bit of a reading kick.

29. The Litigators by John Grisham — 4 stars

28. The Help by Kathryn Stockett — 4.5 stars

27. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers — 4 stars

26. Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh — 3 stars

25. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers — 4 stars

24. Pathways to Abandon by Nathan Schnackenberg — 2 stars

23. Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti — 3.2 stars

22. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti — 3.5 stars

21. Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers — 4.5 stars

20. Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers — 3.7 stars

19. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers — 4 stars (I told you I was on a bit of a Sayers kick this year…!)

18. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey — 4 stars (It’s the true story of a family in the 20’s who had 12 kids and nobody lost their minds. As a mother of only 2, I am amazed.)

17. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers — 4.5 stars

16. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers — 5 stars. (More on this book here.

15. Street Gang by Michael Davis — Another tough rating. I enjoyed learning the history of Sesame Street, but the writing style was disjointed and failed to flesh out important parts of the show’s history. So, I guess it’s a 1.5

14. Sanditon by Jane Austen and Another Lady — 3.5 stars (It’s Jane’s last novel completed pretty well.)

13. The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams — 1.5 stars. (This was tough to rate. It’s a group of new Holmes stories written by a variety of authors. One or two stories would have received a 4. 5 or 6 stories would have received a 1. One story would have even been a 0. The rest of the stories were ok. I wouldn’t recommend this book as a whole.)

12. Confessions of a Prairie B#$%h by Alison Arngrim — 4 stars. Read more about that here.

11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte — 2 stars (The way she portrayed St. John Rivers as a righteous hero even though he was a legalistic, arrogant, jerkwad made me really mad. Reform his character or at least take out the language pretending that his behavior was justified & correct & I’d raise the rating to a 3.5.)

10. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — 3.5 stars

9. Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing by Alan Paul — 4 stars

8. I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg — 5 stars! Read more about it here.

7. I Lost Everything in the Postnatal Depression by Erma Bombeck – 2 stars (I think this would have been funnier, but most of the cultural references & jokes were too outdated. But, all of the other books were in boxes & I found this one somewhere….)

6. The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash by Dave Urbanski – 1.5 stars (The content was very interesting, but the writing was not my fave… Sorry Mr. Urbanski.)

5. How Do You Spank a Porcupine? by Ronald Rood – 3 stars (Our books were being packed. I was desperate. I found this at the Swap Shop and it was actually really interesting!)

4. Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers – 3 stars

3. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers – 4 stars

2. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond – 3.5 stars

1. Alive & Kicking by Michael Levin – 2.5 stars

mab’s 2010 Book List

In 2010, my goal was 18 books. I love to hear your comments on any books!

20. The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz – 4 stars

19. Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz – 4 stars

18 Half-Broke Horses: A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls – 4.5 stars

17. Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound them Together by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent (Put this on your list of books to read!!!) – 5 stars

16. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith

15. Edmund Bertram’s Diary by Amanda Grange

14. The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

13. Big Boned by Meg Cabot

12. Creole Thrift: Premium Southern Living without Spending a Mint by Angele Parlange

11. Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardy

10. Bill Wallace of China by Jesse C. Fletcher

9. Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

8. Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange

7. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (Very interesting!)

6. Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

4. A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Indiana by Haven Kimmel

3. The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way by Linda Bruckheimer (Dude, this year’s book list is looking sappy and dorky. But this book wasn’t sappy or dorky. It was pretty funny and involved an attack in a BBQ restaurant by two toy poodles.)

2. Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange (This was a fluffy read, but I enjoyed it! I guess that means I’m fluffy.)

1. Seeds: A Memoir by Sasha Vukelja

mab’s 2009 Book List

19. 12 “Christian” Beliefs that Can Drive You Crazy by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

18. I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech by Ralph Keyes

17. Mary Modern by Camille DeAngelis (LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!)

16. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in this series!!!)

15. McIlhenney’s Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire by Jeffrey Rothfeder

14. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

13. To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller and John MacMurray

12. Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

11. Boundaries with Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

10. Romancing the Home by Ed Young

9. The Mommy Diaries: Finding Yourself in the Daily Adventure by Tally Flint

8. The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (My favorite in the Narnia series!)

7. How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privileged Learns to Live Like Everyone Else by Michael Gates Gill

6. Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom

5. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

4. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg (LOVE this lady’s stuff!)

3. Blue Shoes & Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

2. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

1. Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from the Mothers of America’s Best and Brightest by Stephanie Hirsch

mab’s 2008 Book List

28. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

27. Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets by Kate Gosselin and Beth Ann Carson

26. God’s Country by Percival Everett

25. Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin

24. Drop Dead, Gorgeous! by Mary Janice Davidson (Easily the stupidest book I’ve read in a decade. No offense, Ms. Davidson.)

23. Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

22. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

21. Sanditon: Jane Austen’s Last Novel Completed by Jane Austen and Another Lady

20. Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati

19. They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The true story of three Lost Boys from Sudan by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak

18. Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon

17. That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

16. Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh

15. The 1,000,000 Pound Bank Note and Other New Stories by Mark Twain

14. I Was Just Wondering by Phillip Yancey

13. Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers

12. Perelandra by C. S. Lewis

11. The Secret House by David Bodanis

10. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

9. George Washington Carver: Man’s Slave Becomes God’s Scientist by David Collins

8. Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor

7. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

6. Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and other Imponderables by David Feldman

5. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts

4. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

3. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year by Esme Raji Codell

2. Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of WWII by Darlene Diebler Rose

1. Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants by Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey

mab’s 2007 Book List

40. Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom with Jamie Buckingham

39. On Becoming Babywise: Book 2 by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

38. Except for Me and Thee by Jessamyn West

37. Everything and a Kite by Ray Romano

36. Speak What We Feel, Not What We Ought to Say Frederick Buechner

35. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

34. Me by Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente as told to Garrison Keillor (HEE-larious!)

33. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers

32. The Second Tree from the Corner by E.B. White

31. Persuasion by Jane Austen (Yes, again. It’s my yearly read of this favorite.)

30. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

29. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (I really like these Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels. I’m reading them through for the 2nd or 3rd time!)

28. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

27. Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

26. Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

25. Living on the Devil’s Doorstep by Floyd McClung

24. Standing Under the Rainbow by Fanny Flagg

23. Lord Peter: A Collection of All the Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy L. Sayers

22. Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for our Life & Times by James Finn Garner

21. At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances by Alexander McCall Smith

20. The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith

19. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

18. Teresa of Calcutta: Serving the Poorest of the Poor by D. Jeanene Watson

17 Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey (If I ruled the world everyone would be required to read this.)

16 Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg

15. Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

14. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (I debated putting this on the list since I actually have been reading it off and on since 2005. But, I finished it in 2007, so I guess it counts.)

13. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

12. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

11. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

10. In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

9. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg with Melinda Blau

8. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

7. On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

6. Groovitude: A Get Fuzzy Treasury by Darby Conley (Yes, it’s comics. Still, it has 255 pages and a lot of words. Including a comic on Boutros Boutros Ghali. Therefore, I say it counts. So there.)

5. Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer

4. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

3. Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright

2. Always Wear Clean Underwear: And Other Lessons My Mother Taught Me by Lillian Hinds

1. Who Are You People?: A Personal Journey into the Heart of Fanatical Passion in America by Shari Caudron


11 Comment(s)

  1. bethgun

    July 31, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Dang, girl! You put my “books read” list to shame. I’m now going to have nightmares about being in a book-reading contest with MAB.



  2. mab

    August 1, 2007 at 2:51 am

    @bethgun: You mustn’t be intimidated. If I put how many pages were in books 18 through 22, you would mock me. They were all terribly short. Anyone stuck in the Big City too pregnant to go outside in the heat and looking for something to do could finish each of those in a day or less.



  3. amanda camp

    August 14, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Have you ever read Barbarian Way or Seizing Your Divine Moment, both by Erwin McManus? In the first he talks about John the Baptist and in the second Jonathan; both encourage the reader to take on the call of God the way He intended. I highly recommend them both. Just thought I’d mention them after reading your most recent post! 🙂



  4. mab

    August 15, 2007 at 3:42 am

    @amanda: I haven’t read them, but we have Seizing Your Divine Moment on our shelves. I’ll have to move it into my “Books to Read” pile.

    Thanks for the suggestions!



  5. jahcebu

    November 24, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Ben Hur is on my list of books to read!



  6. mab

    November 24, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    @jahcebu: It’s old school, but good. I recommend reading it at this time of year — the beginning of the book is most meaningful then!



  7. Lydia

    December 31, 2007 at 8:38 am

    My hubby gave me several Dorothy Sayers mysteries for Christmas. I just finished reading “The Documents in the Case” and it was very good! It’s all the letters/statements/etc. related to a particular murder case. There’s only one paragraph in the whole book that is not one of these documents. Wimsey isn’t in it, but it’s almost better because you, yourself, get to be the detective.



  8. dachshund143

    September 24, 2008 at 9:02 am

    you gotta read The Shack by William P Young. Have you heard about it? It’s one of those books you just have to read.



  9. mab

    September 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    @Momma G: I haven’t heard of it, but I’ll add it to my list. After I get my Etsy store up and running, my next goal is a library card.



  10. jenna

    November 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    mab – I need to know some reviews of these books. good, bad, ugly? At least a star rating of some sort.



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