Ten Books on this Winter’s List

This week I’m joining in the Top Ten Tuesday book link-up at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is listing either ten books to be released this winter, or ten books you intend to read this winter. These follow the second option:

Bleak House by Charles Dickens I have a love-hate relationship with Dickens and have yet to try this one. I especially like A Tale of Two Cities, The Pickwick Papers, A Christmas Carol and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (just finished). Others I still enjoyed but found overly wordy include Nicholas Nickleby, Little Dorrit, and Oliver Twist,. My least favorite Dickens’ works are The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and his American Notes.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins I’ve previously read Collins’ The Moonstone. This is my second attempt at The Woman in White after abandoning Balzac’s Cousin Bette. I try, I try, I try again, but Balzac still bores me to tears. Carl loves Balzac but thinks his novels are probably better in the original French. Previously I finished Pere Goriot and took a stab at Lost Illusions. My primary reaction to both texts was *yaaawwwnnn*; maybe it’s just because they’re extremely emotionally-oriented and very long-winded? It may be time to throw in the towel on Balzac unless someone out there has a favorite story or specific translation they love and highly recommend. Any suggestions?

How I Found Livingstone by Stanley A little historic adventure reading for the winter. This is the first book I downloaded to my (brand new!) Kindle Touch, a gift from Carl’s mother. I’ve always been a little skeptical of e-readers since I love “real” books, but so far I really like the Kindle and love the selection of free books, audio books, and library loaners.

For the Love of Physics by Walter Lewin I enjoy books that take science, math, economics, or statistics and present them in an enjoyable format for light reading as a follow-up to previous study (think Freakonomics, Gang Leader for a Day, Moneyball, etc.). Also, physics is a favorite subjects and the author was one of my brother’s favorite professors at MIT, which is a promising start.

A history of our state Don’t know which book yet, and I don’t share where we live, so this one will have to stay vague…

When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada A military chaplain at our church recommended this as an excellent book on the theology of suffering and struggles. Several friends seconded his vote.

For Men Only and For Women Only by the Feldhahns Someone gave us these small books as a wedding gift. I’d go elsewhere for serious reading on the theology of marriage, but as works of very practical advice for couples of any age they are priceless. They’ve helped us avoid many pitfalls, misunderstandings, and arguments, significantly improved our communication tools, and contributed some real strengths to our relationship. We re-read them every year. It’s so easy to slip into auto-pilot in relationships so we appreciate the regular reminder and encouragement these books provide. I try to read at least one new marriage book each year as well, but haven’t picked one yet. Any suggestions? Previous favorites include This Momentary Marriage by John Piper and The Five Love Languages.

The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding by Robert Hughes I saw this listed on a top-100 nonfiction books list, and the amazon review described it as history that reads like a novel. The best kind!

Twenty Letters to a Friend by Svetlana Alliluyeva An account of life in Soviet Russia by Stalin’s daughter. Later known as Lana Peters, she caused much embarrassment in the Soviet Union by defecting and moving to America in the ’60s. I learned about her through her obituary in the Chicago Tribune this morning.



8 thoughts on “Ten Books on this Winter’s List

  1. It’s funny you mention your love/hate relationship with Dickens. We were having a birthday party at work yesterday and someone mentioned that very same thing. (We work in publishing if that helps make that statement seem a bit more normal.) haha. I haven’t read any Dickens since high school and I’m curious to try him out again. So so so long-winded!

    What a hefty and ambitious list you have here! Looking forward to see how you do! 🙂

    • Of course the big question will be whether our library carries copies of some of the newer books, or there goes the ambitious list out the window :-). It’s very poorly stocked and I can’t bring myself to buy more books for our over-stuffed shelves at the moment.

      Dickens has an amazing knack for driveling on sometimes – I heard somewhere that he got paid per inch of print for his stories. Maybe that was it?

  2. Great and yes, ambitious list! I love Dickens most of the time, but have never read Bleak House. Also, I remember being very moved by Eareckson Tada’s biography, but haven’t read When God Weeps.

    Have been racking my brains trying to think of a good marriage book… but can’t think of a single one that I’ve even read all the way through. Guess I don’t read enough non-fiction. 🙂

    Thanks for coming by my blog!

    • I read her biography many years ago (around 6th Grade, maybe?), but really need to re-read it. At the time, the primary message I garnered was “don’t dive headfirst into shallow water”, which is valuable but not particularly deep as thoughts go.

      At least fiction has some good examples of marriage too! Both on the positive side and on the “here’s a good example of a bad example” side – Jane Eyre would make a great pre-marital counseling text….

    • I keep picking it up again because I know it will be worth it, but poor Collins keeps falling at a disadvantage with timing – he’s not as intricate or exciting as later detective stories/mysteries, and not as moody as earlier gothic novels. Poor man – not his fault he falls in the middle 🙂

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