1. Leaving Home - Garrison Keillor (fiction or embellished non-fiction?)
Great book especially if you're familiar with his radio broadcasts about Minnesota. It had me laughing out loud! Basically, each chapter is a reading from his radio show about Lake Woebegone, his (fictional?) hometown in Minnesota and the people who live there. Garrison can make you cry and make you laugh and sometimes simultaneously!
2. Bet Your Bottom Dollar - Karen Gillespie (fiction)
I received this book from Kim over at Camp and Cottage Living awhile ago and it was a funny and enjoyable read. It's the first in a series I think and I may be on the look out for more. It tells the story of a group of close knit friends and employees who work at a Dollar Store (independently owned) when a big chain Dollar Store is threatening to move into the area and put them out of business. It takes place in a small Southern town and there's some intrigue, romance and genuine friendship that goes on. It's a heartwarming read and the plot was really interesting and unusual for a change.
3. The Glad Season - Paula Elizabeth Sitts (fiction)
Story about a parent-less boy growing up in the wilds of British Columbia with his Grandmother. I loved this book and every child should have this type of childhood! Lots of nature, wildlife, self-sufficiency and a true look into the hard work, love and interdependency we need to revisit. This boy had no time for drugs and there were no gangs to join. Very well written too.
4. Finding Grace - Donna Van Liere (non-fiction)
What a great attitude towards life and hard times this woman has. Very well written and it is true bolster to the spirit. If you want to feel good about yourself, your life and faith you should read this book!
5. Wapiti Wilderness - Margaret and Olaus Murie (non-fiction)
Okay, I saved the best for last. Hands down this is the best "nature" book I've ever read. I gave a pretty extensive review in a past post which I don't want to redo here but the Muries, Olaus and his brother Adolph were famous biologists back in the early 1900's. They've both written numerous books on nature and the studies they did for the U.S. Department of Wildlife Management. This particular book is the best one so far as it is written jointly with Olaus's wife, Margaret. It tells not only of Olaus's work studying the elk (Wapiti) in and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming but also includes Margaret's life with the children and the outings they took as the family of a field biologist. Those children had the life! It also tells much of the early history of those who settled that area along with it's growth over the years they lived there. Olaus's beautiful line drawings are included and several photos of the family and their residences over the years they lived there, which were many. I loved this book!
6. Life of Pi - Yann Martel (fiction)
This was a good book and so good they made a movie out of it but I haven't seen the movie and after reading the book I will not see the movie. The story was interesting and unusual but the violence and carnage was not something I bargained for and it always amazes me what goes on in the mind of people who can write that type of thing. I love animals and I understand nature itself is violent but let's not make it up. It almost made me sick to my stomach it was so graphic and albeit I have an abundance of empathy in my system and people tell me "it's only fiction" but it frightens me about the type of people who make it up in their heads...what kind of thoughts are those? But then I have never seemed to "go with the flow" of society regarding what's popular or "in" so if you are a "normal" person you'll probably like it but me.....not so much. I live in the old days of polite literature where the graphic scenes regarding anything were left to the imagination: to me that took much more talent.
BTW...this was the last new book I bought around Christmas time. It's not been easy but I am really enjoying reading these books "I've been meaning to read"! Thank you EBR!