Announcing the Kathy Book Awards...

December 12, 2014

Photo courtesy Mocanu Bogdan

Oh, you’ve never heard of the Kathys? That’s because I just invented them. I was planning to do a “10 Favorite Reads of 2014” post, when I realized I had nearly twice that many favorites chosen after a quick pass through the list of books I read this year.  These awards are completely personal and subjective, with the main requirement being that I read and loved each book listed in 2014, regardless of when it was published. Sadly, the authors receive nothing but my undying thanks and admiration, and the likelihood that I will recommend and buy their books in future, even if they, the authors, are dead. (I admit this is a fairly questionable honor.) So without further ado, I give you the Kathy Book Awards:

Fiction: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson. 
Runner up: Kind of Cruel, Sophie Hannah. I was surprised and pleased to find this is one in a series.

This was the hardest category from which to choose a winner. I read a number of really outstanding novels this year. Other favorites included: Old Filth, What Alice Forgot, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and The Little Stranger.

Vintage mystery: The House on the Roof, Mignon G. Eberhart. Great story, and a terrier named Blitz.
Runner up: The Brading Collection, Patricia Wentworth. I figured out whodunit!

Classic: All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque. Surprisingly, All Quiet beat out a horse classic for the honor. The book affected me deeply, and I wrote about it here.
Runner up: My Friend Flicka, Mary O’Hara.

Non-fiction: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Georgina Howell. Remarkable woman, sometimes called the “female Lawrence of Arabia.”
Runner up: What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. Portraits of 80 people from 30 countries with the food they typically eat in one day. Aren’t you curious about how the diet of a Japanese sumo wrestler or a Masai herdswoman compares to your own?

Books on writing: Still Writing, Dani Shapiro. Longer on inspiration than on craft, this book was just what I needed to reignite my love for writing. A favorite among favorites.
Runner up: Around the Writer’s Block, Rosanne Bane. Using brain science to fight resistance—lots of great and practical information.

Reread: How I Got to Be Perfect, Jean Kerr. I adore Jean Kerr’s writing, and a post about her is in the works for the future.
Runner up: It’s Not That I’m Bitter…, Gina Barreca. Read this if you want to laugh out loud.

What were your favorite reads this year? Please share your own version of the Kathys!

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Brought to You By the Letter "G"

June 30, 2014

Today I’m joining in a meme I read about at A Work in Progress, and originally started by Simon at Stuck in a Book. His instructions were as follows: 

I’m going to kick off a meme where we say our favourite book author, song, film, and object beginning with a particular letter. And that letter will be randomly assigned to you by me, via If you’d like to join in, comment in the comment section and I’ll tell you your letter! (And then, of course, the chain can keep going on your blog.)

You, my dear readers, are welcome to play along. If you’d like me to assign you a letter, please comment below. You can participate even if you don’t have a blog—just leave your favorites in the comments.

My randomly assigned letter was “G,” and here are my favorites beginning with that letter: 

Favorite book: Gift From the SeaNot hard to choose this one.

Favorite author:  Elizabeth Gaskell. I have a couple of favorite “G” authors, but I think Elizabeth Gaskell ranks first. I’ve read North and South and Cranford, and have Wives and Daughters on my TBR pile.

Favorite song: “Gonna Get Over You,” Sara Bareilles. This was the hardest category to choose, but Sara is one of my favorite singer songwriters, so she gets the nod.

Favorite film: The Great Mouse Detective. I love this animated movie starring a Sherlock-Holmesian mouse. Ratigan, the villain, is voiced by Vincent Price. Great fun.

Favorite object: My girth, which keeps the saddle on my horse, is definitely one of my favorite objects!

Girths are not necessarity MY favorite objects...
OK, who wants a letter?