Christmas Book List (2016)

I have arrived in Canmore after a very eventful journey. More on that later as it is Christmas Eve here and time to relax.

I have completed our Christmas Book List at the very last minute.

There are no pictures which will make it easier to print.

I have pictures for you tomorrow – it has been very stormy here,  and  stormy on my journey too so I am grateful to have arrived safely at last.

Have a lovely Christmas Eve or Christmas Day if you are in that other hemisphere that is full of sunshine.

Here is our  book list.  Mercy I am tired.

Much love,


‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’, by Katherine Boo, a fascinating nonfiction book that reads a story of life in the undercity of Mumbai, India.

‘My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth’, by Wendy E. Simmons was an almost unbelievable, but true story, of her ‘vacation’ to North Korea.

‘Nella Last’s War’, edited by Richard Broad and Suzie Fleming. WWII

‘Jambusters,’ by Julie Summers. WWII

‘Outliers’, by Malcolm Gladwell

‘David and Goliath’, by Malcolm Gladwell

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’, by Amor Towles. Historical fiction.

‘The Dark Lady’s Mask’, by Mary Sharratt.  Historical fiction – Shakespearian period.

‘Voyager’, – book three of the Outlander series.

‘At the Edge of the Orchard’, by Tracey Chevallier.  Early American Settlers.

‘The Thunderbolt Kid’, by Bill Bryson. Bryson’s memoir growing up in small town Iowa in the 1950’s.

‘The Glass Castle’, A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls–fascinating true story of an incredibly dysfunctional, impoverished family with many unique ways of survival.

The Mysteries of Udolpho’, by Ann Radcliffe–A gothic novel full of darkness, intrigue, and some of the hardest prose I have ever read, but underlying it all, a classic work.

‘To The Bright Edge of the World’, by Eowyn Ivey: A fabulous adventure story set in Alaska.

‘The Underground Railroad’, by Colson Whitehead: What if the Underground Railroad was really a railroad?

‘The One Straw Revolution’, by Masanobu Fukuoka – precursor to Permaculture Design.

‘Permaculture in a Nutshell’,  by Patrick Whitefield.  A great hand book with the Permaculture precepts well demonstrated and illustrated.

Close to Hugh’, by Marina Endicott. The plot covers one week in the life of two generations in a small town.

After Dachau’, by Daniel Quinn. A sci-fi dystopian novel. Alternate history.

‘The Martian’,  by Andy Weir. You have to love a story line that includes Duct Tape.

11.22.63′, by Stephen King. What might happen if someone tried to change what happened that day.

‘The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly’, by Matt McCarthy is a slightly scary but funny and sad memoir of his first internship year at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

A Death in Vienna’, by Daniel Silva from the Gabriel Allon series.

‘The Hour of Land’, by Terry Tempest Williams. It’s a view of our National Parks here in the US.

‘Outlander’. The first book.

The Vegetarian Myth’, a fascinating treatise on the importance of eating meat (for our bodies and the land) from a former vegan.

Draw-a-Saurus.” Even if you’re not interested in drawing dinosaurs, it’s a cute and fun book to look through.

Purity’, by Jonathan Franzen. An amazing story, well written, dark, funny…

‘Ten Years In the Tub’, Nick Hornby.  A huge collection of HIS book reviews and serves as an AMAZING booklist in its own right.

Pack Up the Moon’, Rachael Herron

‘The Blue Last’, by Martha Grimes. A detective book and part of a series.

‘Song Lines’. Bruce Chatwin. A fascinating book about Australian Aborigines.

‘A man called Ove’. Wonderful book.

Mother’s Milk’, by Edward St. Aubyn.

The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel’, by Louise Penny.  A a body is discovered in the walled cloister of a remote and nearly forgotten monastery where the monks have preserved some of the most ancient Gregorian chants.

‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’, by Ben Fountain. This is a satirical yet very touching tribute to American soldiers, and how hard it is for anyone who has not endured what they endured to understand.

‘The Sellout’, by Paul Beatty, a scathing novel that looks at race relations in America. Hard for some to read due to its unstinting use of racial epithets, but the book, written by an African-American, is just as brutal about the pretensions of Black intellectuals as it is about the stupidity of white racists. The novel won the Man Booker Prize, the 1st book by an American author to do so.

‘People Who Knew Me’, by Kim Hooper……a lightish read but absorbing.

The Kill Room’, by Jeffrey Deaver. Crime thriller.

‘The Parable of the Sower’. Octavia Butler.  It is chilling dystopia that feels like NOW.

The Aftermath’ by Ridian Brook this is post WWII set in Germany when allied forces took over. You see war from the “other side” and what happened after the war.

They left us everything’ by Plum Johnson.

Reckoning’  by Magda Szubanski.  Autobiography.

Working Class Boy’ by Jimmy Barnes.

‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tart.

‘The Portable Veblen’  Contemporary fiction.

The Ordering of Love’ The Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle.

Walking on Water‘ by Madeleine L’Engle.

‘The Fortunes of War’ by Olivia Manning.  The book is actually made up of two trilogy’s and starts in Romania and ends in Egypt on the eve of WW2.

‘Beyond the Blue Horizon’ by Alexander Frater in which he follows the route of the old Imperial Airways in the early days of air travel from London to Brisbane.

A Fine Balance’ Rohinton Mistry about India in the 70’s…..beautiful writing.

‘Tishomingo Blues’ by Elmore Leonard.

‘Raven Black’ by Anne Cleeves. Part of the Shetland Series.

‘The Anatomist’s Apprentice’ by Tessa Harris – it’s the first book in a series of historical mysteries

The Brutal Telling’ Louise Penny

‘A Red Herring Without Mustard’  Alan Bradley. YA crime.

‘Pearl that Broke Its Shell’ by Nadia Hashimi,

‘The Prayer Box’ by Lisa Wingate,

‘Irena’s Children’ by Tilar Mazzeo

‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, a book about the creative process, delightfully written.

Love Warrior’ by Glennon Doyle Melton, a memoir of her life from drug and sex abuse to a dysfunctional marriage and how she came out of it.

‘Alan Turing: The Enigma,’ by Andrew Hodges. It’s about the origins of computing as much as the man, his life and times, and it’s fascinating for opening your eyes to how much we take computers and what they do for granted.

‘Ghost’ by Jason Reynolds

When the Sea Turns to Silver’ by Grace Lin (her 3rd lyrical weaving of a new adventure through Chinese mythology – just fascinating).

‘At the Existentialist Cafe, Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails’  Sarah Bakewell. About ean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir & their circle of friends who created the philosophical movement & ideas about being & life in the 1930s cafe of Paris.

‘War & Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy.  Great & immortal . I highly recommend this book as “un projet”.

Go ahead – share with your friends and I hope you find time to read during this holiday break! There are some stunning books here. Thank you. c









24 Comments on “Christmas Book List (2016)

  1. Celi, my word — how long did that take you to organize and type that list??!! That’s work!! Sounds like the travels were a challenge!! Now just relax and pour the wine!!! Enjoy!! And sleep late!!! Christmas wishes to you n your Family.

  2. Enjoy the holidays with your family and Happy Christmas to all on the Farmy. Laura

  3. Sugar Celi Günther! Now, will you just stop, have an awful lot of family fun [methinks that includes ‘baby fun’ ?] totally forget about us – sleep late, feel lazy, just do for a few days do whatever you feel like doing on the spur of the moment . . . and, when you get utterly and absolutely bored: say ‘Oh’!!!! We’ll know you are there!!!!

  4. What a fabulous list!! The one that jumped out at me is ‘The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache novel’. I came across an Inspector Gamache novel not long ago and loved it. I think the book was selling for $1.00 at the library. I got such a kick out of reading it… esp. since the book (perhaps all the novels) takes place in the province of Quebec…among ‘English-Speaking Quebecois’. i’m gonna see if I can get ‘The Beautiful Mystery’ from Amazon.
    And – MERRY CHRISTMAS!! It’s 12:06 here… but it’s still Christmas Eve where you are. Sending you a big, warm hug. And we’re all sooo happy to know you’re with your son and your daughter-in-law. ; o )

    • Yes, all the novels take place in Quebec – with a focus on “Three Pines”, a fictional (but close to real) village. If you can find the books, it’s good to start at the beginning of the series. The Beautiful Mystery is “newish” and brings the relationship of Gamache and his sergeant to a very difficult place. It would be good to see the background of their relationship. Look at library sales or second-hand bookstores, thrift stores, etc. I think one of my favourite characters is the old poet with the duck – I think I’d like to be like her when I’m old.

      Chris S in Canada

      • I read just one… and that took place in ‘Three Pines’. My family and I lived in the province of Quebec twice (my husband was born there) and that helps me imagine ‘Three Pines, which must be set in the ‘Eastern Townships’ of Quebec. We lived in Sherbrook.. which is in the Eastern Townships.
        I soo appreciate you taking the time to recommend reading more of the books – and starting at the beginning.
        Doesn’t the author give such a wonderful ‘sense of place’? And the characters are so marvelously written as well.
        The book I read revolved around an old painting and a dead body in the woods. I can’t remember the name of the book but I bet you know exactly which one it is.
        I got that book, I believe, at some sort of ‘second-hand’ book sale & I’m gonna go online and see what I can find – second-hand – on Amazon.
        I wish you a very happy new year Chris – and thanks for taking the time to tell me more about this wonderful series!! ; o )

  5. A wonderful list, thank you so much for this! I have saved it and will refer back often throughout the year, I am sure. Sorry to hear your travels were a challenge but so glad you’ve made it and can now rest easy.. hope you have a lovely time with your family. Happy Christmas to you, and to all the Fellowship! ~ Mame 🙂

  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family Celi! 🎄

    What a great book list! I always love getting suggestions for new books… currently reading ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’, which I see made it on to your list.

  7. I started reading this yesterday but got as far as knowing you made it to your son’s home safely and went on about my tasks for the day. I’ll look at the book list more in depth later. I’ll copy and paste too so it will be on hand. Maybe January will give me time to read a bit more. Have a wonderfilled Christmas holiday with your family. Giant hugs, Marlene

  8. Warm wishes for the holiday season to all here in the Fellowship. I’m copying that list – thank you so much for putting it together. Enjoy your family, Celi.

  9. Merry Christmas to all, to Celi and family, the farmy and the fellowship and a Happy, Healthy New Year as well!!
    Great book list, I’m looking forward to reading several soon. Safe travels.

  10. Pingback: a list of lists… | ardysez

  11. I hope you Christmas was merry, Celi. Thank you, thank you, thank you for compiling this exciting list of books – and thanks to your readers as well.

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