Books of 2019

2019 has been a great reading year for me.  The list of books I read might not be super long, but it's been all about quality versus quantity.  I have been on a historical fiction kick this year so all of these favorites would fit into that category.

1.  A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter.  Porter was a naturalist, photographer, and all-around amazing person to read about.  She wrote her novels based in the places she worked and knew and loved (the Limberlost Swamp is/was located in Indiana), and that really shines through in the books.  A Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles, the two of Porter's works I read this year, could be considered companion novels since the places and some of the characters overlap.  There's love, there's loss, and the can-do-it spirit in these books make it an American classic and a great read.

2 + 3. The Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye.  Hands-down these are my favorite books of the year, and I could not pick a favorite between them.  I read these probably six months ago and I still think about them constantly, and wonder impatiently when would be the best time to re-read them.  They are both set in 19th century India under the British Raj, which is a time and place that has always really interested me. I enjoyed the cultural nuances of the Indians and the British and could totally relate.  The writing in these books is superb, the history is riveting...and true.  There was a lot of fact-checking on Google going on when I read.  Be forewarned if you pick these up, they are not for the faint of the heart.  There is a lot of war and violence, particularly in the Shadow of the Moon, which is set around the Indian Mutiny of 1857.  I think that even if you aren't particularly interested in this time of place in history, the storytelling is enough to pull you along.  Don't be afraid of the page count - it is 1,200 pages (between both books) well worth your time!

4.  Caroline, Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller was a dream come true for a life-long Little House book lover like myself.  The book is written from Ma Ingalls' perspective and includes many of the stories that we know and love from Laura Ingall's Wilder's Little House book series.  The fateful crossing of the river in the covered wagon where the dog Jack got swept away?  Check.  Mr. Edwards saving Christmas by forging a stream with a giant bundle of gifts on his head? Check.  The chapter where baby Carrie was born was, from a historical standpoint, absolutely riveting.  The author did her research and really gives a glimpse of what life for women was like for pioneers in their time.

Currently, I am on book five of the Anne of Green Gables books.  They are shelved on the historical fiction section of the library, so I guess the streak continues.  Happy New Year and may your 2020 be full of good books!

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