Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read Recently

Via Broke and the Bookish
Ten (or Less) of the Best Books I've Read Recently

If I consider only what I have read in 2016, then I definitely do not have ten.  It has been a slow go this year.  However, there are a few that have remained in my memory or were great experiences:

Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, and Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Well, of course these three make my list.  The first is pure joy, the middle is pure anxiety, and last one is exhausting, in a good way.  Nonetheless, all are wonderfully written, express truth and liberty in youth, and paint a portrait of wild America in her infancy.

The Institutes of Christian Religion - John Calvin

I really have no interest in Christian-themed literature, non-fiction or fiction-based, especially self-help books.  Blah!  But if a work is written by an early Christian theologian, philosopher, or leader, then it is sufficiently classical to me, such as Calvin's.  I read an abridged version of this.  

The Seven Storey Mountain - Thomas Merton

This recent autobiography reminded me that I really love reading about the lives of other people, even of people I know nothing about - such as Thomas Merton.  I especially enjoyed his journey all over Europe and his interest in solitude.  I was living vicariously through him.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas - Gertrude Stein

Again, just a biography, and such a strange one; however, it was a lot of fun to travel all over Europe with Gertrude and Alice.  I think I gave this book a few stars on Goodreads, but it has been growing on me since I read it.  

To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf

 I think I have a special place in my heart for Virginia Woolf.  She speaks my language, even though sometimes I do not understand her.  I think I relate to her emotions, as seen through the thoughts of her characters.  To the Lighthouse is no exception.

North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

This one I hesitated to add to my list; however, because it redeemed itself at the end, I was able to appreciate it.  Even in my genuine struggle, I have to admit it was effective.  Maybe I will try to read it again another time.


  1. I love your TTT, it's such a varied mix! Gertrude Stein's book sounds fascinating as well, I've added it to my TBR list :-)
    Happy TTT!

    1. Thank you!

      Just a head's up: Stein's book was really different than your typical autobiography. But it was interesting enough b/c it has history and art and literature and travel. So if you like that stuff, the weirdness of the book won't bother you too much.

  2. You just can't beat the Little House books for nostalgia, laughter, sadness and life lessons. I must do a re-read of them at some point. I was really surprised to see North and South on your list. I loved it but I understand that the seriousness of it, and the bleakness of the north could be off-putting. I'd still like to read something else of Stein's. It will probably cause my brain to explode but I'm interested nonetheless. :-)

    I enjoyed reading your list!

    1. I know! I can't believe I added N&S. But I believed that if I posted this w/o adding it I was untruthful. I knew it was good; I was just angry while reading it. Reading while angry may cause false judgments, and it did. So I had to redeem it. Know what I mean?

      Anyway, you almost made me spit out my coffee w/ the brain explosion comment. Oh, that woman is nuts!