Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 best books I read {last} year (Part 2...finally)

It's here at last!  You all have probably lost all interest, and I don't blame you.  But I'm keeping my promise.  

Also, cheers for 2013!!!!!  It's going to be a great year, and I'm definitely smiling at the future!

And now, before you all just exit this screen in boredom...

The Girl of the Golden Gate by W. B. Meloney
This was an old book that I randomly bought at a used bookstore, assuming it would be about San Fransisco or something.  It was quite different than I expected though, and really, really good!  The plot was intricate and drawn-out, leaving me in extreme suspense and anticipation that it was very hard to put down.  Needless to say, I read it in a couple days, but I should go back and enjoy it again.  The story is about a sea captain who is shipwrecked upon a rapidly diminishing island (this was published in 1913) and eventually goes aboard a passing ship that has been victim to mutiny.  Along with his only companion, he manages to navigate the ship through storms and calm until they finally reach the Golden Gate

“The Daphne was in a trap.  Somewhere near her—somewhere in the southern quadrants of the compass between the east and the west—the center of a storm was bearing down on her.  Whether the barometer was lying or telling the truth was of little moment now.  Lavelle knew he could not be mistaken in the signs of a revolving storm.  He knew the meaning of the wolf-like noises and the wing creakings in the air; the oily, sooty, sight-killing blackness…”  ~The Girl of the Golden Gate

The White Gypsy by Annette Lyster
I had borrowed this from a friend years ago, and although I forgot the story, I never forgot that I would someday have my own copy.  So, when I received it in the mail recently, I was really excited to read it again.  Of course, it was excellent!  It is filled with suspense, spiritual truths and surprising plots that will make it very hard to put down!  True identity and justice prevail in the end, as all good stories should, but overall this book is a challenging and captivating read that will definitely please readers of all ages.

“There is a story about this child,” said Mrs. Killian; “of that I am certain.  He is no gypsy; he is not even a common child.  When he is better we shall find out all about him, I hope…”  ~The White Gypsy

It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sophia & Elizabeth Botkin
I’ve read a lot of books on this subject in the past, but this was given to me as a gift, so I read it (and enjoyed it!).  Basically, the whole book is about how “uncomplicated” boy-girl friendships are.  It answers questions such as “how friendly is too friendly?”, “what does it mean to be a ‘sister in all purity?’” and so on.  It has never been more complicated to be a casual friend to a guy than in the 21st century.  But this book provides humor, hope and practical advice about boys.  It also has opinions from guys, which I found attention-grabbing.  So, I considered this a 258-page good reminder of things I already had an idea of.  It’s a very good book and I highly recommend it for young ladies of all ages.

“The course of ‘just friends’ never did run smooth—at least—not without careful navigation.  One thing that makes friendships tricky to keep a handle on is that they tend to progress, and with boy-girl relationships, they can progress in many directions—some good, some bad, and some ugly.  They aren’t always as platonic as they seem…”  ~It’s (Not That) Complicated

Glaucia, the Greek Slave by Emma Leslie
Being an avid reader of historical fiction and books written about Biblical happenings, I dove into this book eagerly!  The title speaks for itself, but it has a surprising beginning that really sucked me in.  A friend who borrowed it from me also agreed that it was very good, so I'm not the only one with an opinion!  The era of Roman Greece set the stage for this wonderful piece of literature, and the simple purity of the text is easy to comprehend.  I recommend this for ages 8 and up.

" 'I shall not forget the name,' said Laon, as he turned away.  He could not help feeling disappointed at the abrupt termination of this new friendship, but the girl had insulted the gods, and how could he be friendly with one who spoke slightingly of Pallas Athene?" ~Glaucia, the Greek Slave

Heartbridge by Johnny Miller
What a sweet book this was!  The story begins with the calling of the family who went to Romania to become the directors the the Nathaniel Christian Orphanage, and then each chapter is full of stories about the precious children they took in during their first year at the orphanage.  The stories are touching, humorous, thought-provoking and delightfully entertaining.  I'm deeply grateful for those who dedicate their lives to caring for children who are neglected, so this touched my heart in a special way.  I would love to do a similar mission someday, so this book certainly inspired me! 

" 'It has been such a blessing to see what you are doing for these children,' the spokesman said.  'God bless you in this work, and we hope you stay here a long time with these children.' 'God be with you as you go,' I said.  'And remember to pray for us, because this isn't our work.  It's the Lord's.'" ~Heartbridge

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