LITTLE FREE LIBRARWOW, It has been a wild ride of a year! I haven’t blogged in three months – a record for me. But now – I’m back! This is a recap of my reading in the past three months – I recorded 62 books read in the year 2015.

EVENTIDE by Kent Haruf – This is the sequel to Plainsong, a book I read as part of my quest to read a book by an author from each state (you can read about it here). The book continues the story of several characters as well as introducing new ones. There is a third book in this series that I will be reading in 2016 – need I say more? I recommend this series.

BETWEEN, GEORGIA by Joshilyn Jackson – Between is an actual town in Georgia, situated between Atlanta and Athens (where the University of Georgia is located). Being a native Georgian, I saw this book and thought it would be fun to read a story set in a town I travelled through multiple times. It is a whacky story of Nonny, who is caught between her adoptive family  with her biological family. Quick, funny read.

BIG MAGIC, CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR by Elizabeth Gilbert – In short, this book offers magical advice. She talks about how ideas manifest in you and if you don’t act on them, they might move on to someone else. The book is divided into six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. I will refer back to this book over time.

THE LITTLE FREE LIBRARY BOOK by Margaret Aldrich – I’m getting a little free library of my own and this came with the paperwork. If you don’t know what I”m talking about, it is a “movement” that started in 2009 and has spread about the globe totaling more than 32,000! In short, The Little Free Library uses the motto “take a book, return a book”. I will have one in my front yard by early spring. I want to decorate it with miniature book covers of my ten favorite books (to be determined). Here is an over-the-top library located in Atlanta incorporating a historic movie theater.


EIGHT KEYS by Suzanne LaFleur – I just happened to pick up this little magical book at the library. It follows Elise and her best friend Franklin at age 12. Elise is living with her uncle and aunt after the death of her parents. Her father left her 8 keys that begin turning up, unlocking the doors to rooms on the second floor of the barn. It is a book about self-discovery and love. It is a lovely book, especially for young girls.

THE DAYS OF ANNA MADRIGAL by Armistead Maupin – This is the latest installment of the Tales of the City series, which was begun in 1978 as a newspaper series.. Anna is the transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane. I’ve loved these characters for years. But I suggest starting with the first book if you are interested. BTW, Anna Madrigal is an anagram for “a man and a girl”.

STORIES FROM SEPARATION TEXAS by john J Asher – This is a series of short stories set in West Texas, beginning in 1866 and continuing through the present day. The stories are gritty and raw. Overall, this was a good read, some of the stories much better than others.


THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON by Sarah Addison Allen – A magical little book with a hint of a fairy tale. Set in Mullaby, North Carolina, it follows Emily moving in with her giant of a grandfather she never knew after her mothers dies.

“How tall is he?” she asked, her voice hushed, as if he might hear.
“Tall enough to see into tomorrow.”

Her room has wallpaper that changes with the moods, there are lights dancing in the back yard (are they ghosts), and a woman who puts hope in the cakes she bakes.  A story of love, redemption, things lost and found, and reunion.

THE DIRTY PARTS OF THE BIBLE by Sam Torode – Don’t be put of by the title of the book. It is basically a coming of age story set it the Depression era, with life riding on trains, living with hobos and finding your own truth. Check and see if it is still free on Amazon!

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle – I can’t believe I waited so long to read this little gem of a book – which was a winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963. Meg and her bother Charles Wallace, along with Calvin (the most popular boy in school) travel through time and space to find Meg’s father. I will definitely read the rest of the books in the series 2016.

A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD by Anne Tyler – Oh Anne, how I have missed you! This tells the three-generational story of the Whiteshank family, set in Anne Tyler’s beloved Baltimore. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and I missed them when I was finished with the book. Makes me want to revisit other books by Anne Tyler.

JUST KIDS by Patti Smith – This was a reread. I went to an “interview” of Patti Smith as she was promoting her new book M TRAIN, which we all received a copy of. I decided to go back and reread this book before reading M Train. I enjoyed it more the second time around, which I didn’t think was possible. It tells a great story and it is so well written you want to stop and reread the passages just for the beauty of the words. I can’t wait to read M Train!

For 2016, I chose MINDFULNESS to be my word of the year. How will that relate to my reading? I’m going to choose my books more carefully.  I will continue on my quest to read a book by an author from every state – I may even get through it this year! But, I’ve seen a 2016 reading challenge for 12 books to read – which I’m going to loosely follow.  They include:

  • a book published this year (2016)
  • a book I can finish in a day (i will try to limit this to only one in the year!)
  • a book I’ve been meaning to read
  • a book recommended by a librarian or a book seller
  • a book i should have read in school
  • a book chose for your by your spouse, sibling, child or bff (looking for recommendations as my husband isn’t a big reader)
  • a book published before I was born
  • a book that was banned
  • a book I put down
  • a book i have but never started
  • a book that intimidates me
  • a book i’ve already read.

Do you have any plans for reading in 2016?



9 thoughts on “END OF THE YEAR BOOKS

  1. SKJAM!

    Those Little Free Libraries are fun, though I seldom find a book I’m interested in just at the moment.

    I’ve read the Joshlyn Jackson book coming out in February, “The Opposite of Everyone” (advance review copy) and reviewed it at my blog–my sister, who is a big fan of her writing, now has the copy.

    I posted about reading challenges a bit back, and mentioned yours (not by your name). For December, my challenge was #readwomen, reading as many books as I could fit in written by women. For 2016, I’m going to try to read a minimum of twelve books by authors of color.

  2. vickiemartin Post author

    i saw that post! I think reading books by women is a fine idea! I have read through Delaware, and have books picked out through Hawaii – I just stopped as I wasn’t blogging. I’m getting back in the saddle for 2016 to read them.

  3. Deborah Weber

    What a delightful list of books – I always enjoy hearing what you’ve been reading. And what a great challenge you’ve set for your reading this year. But most of all I love hearing that you’re creating a little free library – how fun! I look forward to more posts about it. Wishing you plenty of happy reading in 2016.

  4. Nanette Levin

    This is the first I’ve heard of these little free libraries. What a great idea! It pains me to discard books, but my space keeps getting smaller and sometimes it’s hard finding people who read more than what’s sitting on the internet. I’ll have to look into setting something like that up here.

    Thanks for your quick review of three months in a single post. Some intriguing reads.

    I could take on every item listed in your twelve month challenge, but am focused for the coming year on reading those books I chose to take with me through 4 moves in the past 2 1/2 years I have yet to start or complete. That’s enough ;-).

  5. Sue

    Who knew there was a book called “Between, Georgia”. I actually live in a town right next to Between, in Monroe Georgia. It is a quaint little town, I drive through it often. When we were out looking for a new home one of them was located in Between. I just couldn’t bring myself to live in a town called Between though. Can you just imagine every time someone would ask where you live the conversation would be – ” Where do you live?” ” In Between”. “Between what??”” Ha!
    I just might have to pick that up book

  6. Nancy Jambor

    What a great list of books Vickie! It’s always fun to hear what you’re reading. We have Little Free Libraries in the Twin Cities and I love them. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Naomi

    Vickie, thank you for these little summaries. I’ve written down several titles! I guess I should count how many books I read in 2015 too. 😉

  8. Kelly L McKenzie

    Such a wealth of info here, Vickie. I do thank you for including the summaries. I was gifted with 7 books this Christmas and gave 4 myself. It was sad that Mum had already read the one I gave her but she regifted it right back to me and I dove into it first. Took me all the way to page 18 before I realized I’d already read it!
    I’m not sure if we do the little free libraries here in Canada. I’m going to go check it out. I have oodles of books that need good homes.
    Great post. Off to share.

  9. Elda

    I am so excited to see your photo of your little library when you get it up in the Spring! Those always catch my eye when I come across them. Enjoy your word for the year…sounds perfect! My focus for this year and books is to concentrate on reading books I already have instead of buying new ones. This past couple of weeks, a book kept coming to my attention (by other entrepreneurs) and I was tempted to break my rule already and buy it to find out today that I already own that book! It was a gift I received in the mail last year from someone I had worked with. WOW! Great reminder to READ THE BOOKS I HAVE! Enjoy your 2016 reading….

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