Last year, I listed all the books I read in 2012 in one post at the end of December. This year, I decided to break up that list and share the first half of it at (where else?) the half-way point. All of the titles are linked to my full review, if you're interested.
1. Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, 8/10
I loved Princess Academy, but I think I liked this sequel even more. What a great book to kick off the year with.
2. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, 9/10
One of my all-time favorite books. This time, I read it to my boys.
3. After Hello by Lisa Mangum, 6/10
Fun chick-lit but nothing all that memorable.
4. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, 9/10
Perfect for January, I loved this retelling of an old Nordic legend
5. A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, 7/10
I gleaned a lot of good ideas from this one. The appendices were especially helpful.
6. The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth, 8/10
How could Aaron and Maxwell not love a book about a dinosaur hatching out of an egg in the 20th-century? Definitely a favorite.
7. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, AUDIO, 8/10
Part memoir, part parenting book--I love books like this one. (And I'm still watching my kids' snack intake.)
8. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald, 7/10
Not quite as funny as I was remembering it, but I liked it nonetheless.
The Evelyn-Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Stanley D. Frank, 7/10
I know the title sounds totally hokey and ridiculous (and not without reason), but this was actually a really beneficial book for me to read.
10. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, 9/10
Everything I loved about The Happiness Project, revisited and expanded. So great.
11. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 9/10
Contains some really amazing metaphors for life all wrapped up in a captivating story.
12. Learning All the Time by John Holt, 4/10
John Holt and I had a major personality clash.
13. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, AUDIO, 8/10
The language was rich, and the story was well-crafted.
14. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, 8/10
I don't think there are many characters out there as easy to love as Sophy Stanton-Lacy.
15. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, 8/10
Totally deserves its shiny gold sticker--a lot of story is packed into a few words.
16. Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery, 8/10
Temple Grandin is a woman worth being inspired by . . . and I was.
17. Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack, 7/10
I knew going into this one that the ending would frustrate me, but I liked reading the rest of it.
18. Safekeeping by Karen Hesse, 6/10
An unusual, vague story that bore almost no resemblance to my beloved Out of the Dust.
19. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, AUDIO, 7/10
One of those books that keeps on giving--the more I think about it, the more there is to think about.
20. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 8/10
I was afraid of this book, but my fears were unfounded. Loved it.
21. Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, AUDIO, 10/10
I'm pretty sure I've talked about this book to death, but that's because I found it so invaluable.
22. A Joyful Mother of Children by Linda J. Eyre, 6/10
I definitely liked the ideas in this book but not always the way those ideas were expressed.
23. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, 9.5/10
I'd have to recommend it with some reservations, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this has been one of my favorite reads so far this year.
24. Half Magic by Edward Eager, 7/10
This book was a little advanced for my boys, but we still enjoyed it. I think we'll like it even more when we read it again in a few years. (And yes, it is a classic!)
25. The Submission by Amy Waldman, AUDIO, 7/10
Fascinating ideas about acceptance and prejudice post-9/11. Well executed.
26. The Center of Everything by Linda Urban, 6/10
Totally neutral on this one.
27. Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash, 10/10
Yum. If you live and breathe reading, this is (maybe) the book for you.
28. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, 8/10
In spite of its heartbreaking (for me) ending, the boys and I adored this book.
29. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine, AUDIO, 8/10
Not your average story about a white boy and a black girl.
30. Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, 10/10
Ha! You thought you'd heard about this book for the last time! I loved it so much, I bought my own copy and I read it again.
31. The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne, 6/10
Inspiring and disappointing all at the same time.
32. Cody Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, AUDIO, 8/10
A slow first half followed by an amazing second half.
33. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith, AUDIO, 6/10
The characters were great, but some parts dragged mercilessly.
34. The BFG by Roald Dahl, AUDIO, 8/10
Delightful dialogue and, as usual, a one-of-a-kind story.
If the books of July-December are anything like the ones from January-June, it's going to be a great year! What has been your favorite book so far in 2013?