I had an incredible year of reading in 2018! I read 52 books during the year and my top 5 favorites were:
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
In 2018, I joined a few other book bloggers to host a challenge to read all of Jane Austen’s works during the year. I had read a couple of her books but not all of them and Northanger Abbey was one that I had not read. It is now at the top of my Jane Austen list! I loved the characters, especially Catherine and her vivid imagination. Mr. Tinely is kind and witty and has become my favorite Austen hero.
I finally picked up Jane Eyre and could not put it down! It is now in the top 5 of my favorite books I have ever read. I love everything about this book - the plot, the characters, the romance - it has it all! It has the most beautiful declaration of love that I have ever read, which being the romantic that I am, is probably the main reason it is in my top 5.
The Shadow of the Wind is one of those books that is hard to even describe. It is a book about books and is full of mystery and twists and turns. Set in Barcelona, it tells the story of a young man, Daniel who is on a quest to find all the books written by the mysterious author Julian Carax. There were multiple times when I was reading this book that I literally gasped out loud!
The great American classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, is a beautiful coming of age story. Set in Brooklyn in the during the first 2 decades of the 20th century, this book tells the story of Franie Nolan and her impoverished family. I loved the descriptions of the daily life of an adolescent girl in America and and how she responds to the changing world around her.
One of my book club books for this year was A Gentleman in Moscow. Our entire group really enjoyed this book. It tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov who is under house arrest in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel after the Russian revolution. This book has a wonderful cast of characters, humor and beautiful scenes depicting the growth of the Count into a man of purpose.
If you haven’t read these books, I would highly recommend them all and hope you might get a chance to pick them up in 2019!!
Marilla Cuthbert is 13 when her world is forever changed and has to grow up overnight and take on the responsibilities of Green Gables. With help of her independent aunt Izzy, Marilla also begins to become involved in the world outside of Green Gables and helps an orphanage for runaway slaves. Becoming part of the political scene of the time, however, threatens her budding romance with John Blythe and she is faced with an impossible choice.
I will admit I was extremely hesitant to read this book! I was just not sure they could do justice to Marilla and the beloved Green Gables. Well, I was pleasantly surprised and loved it! I have always wondered what happened to Marilla and John, and this book presents a very probably and believable explanation. At the same time, you get a close look at who Marilla is and why she acts the way she does in “Anne of Green Gables”. The book manages to stay true to the type of characters you would expect in a story set at Green Gables. I thoroughly enjoyed this little trip back to Green Gables and these beloved characters!