Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reminiscing: Favorite Books of 2010

Before we dive into today's discussion, I thought we could make our retreat/party even more hoppin' with some music and dancing! I recently bought a CD at Target (with a gift card from my grandparents) called "Big Band Memories." Gotta love that Big Band music!

So click on the video below to hear one of the songs, and enjoy the picture of some of our Charlie Brown Christmas decorations. ;) You can settle in on the couch here and enjoy, or get up and join me in some swing dance and lindy hop!

video

Phew! That was fun!

Today we're talking about our favorite books from 2010 (the books that were published this past year). I'll share my top 5 favorites with you, and count down backwards, starting with my 5th favorite. But first, I have to say that I don't know if this list is completely accurate, because I loved so many books that came out this past year, and I'm sure there are many more that could be put in this list! I should also add that there are 2010 releases I haven't read yet that could have made it on this list if I had read them by now.

Favorite Books of 2010

#5: Making Waves--This was such a cute book! I really enjoyed it, and it was so fun to travel to Lake Manawa through it's pages. A great summer read (or anytime you're longing for a summer vacation!). You can read my review of the book HERE.




# 4: Love Finds You in Lahaina, Hawaii--This book was so unique and so epic! The cover gives you a hint of the adventure found within the pages. Very beautiful! (And might I add that purple is one of my favorite colors!) And I love that this book has an historical and a modern storyline, and the romance is so sweet. You can read my review of the book HERE.

#3: A Tailor-Made Bride--This book has it all: swoon-worthy romance, a Western setting, and well-woven-in spiritual truths. I loved it! You can read my review of the book HERE.






# 2: She Walks in Beauty--This book is just plain beautiful. The historical detail is amazing, and the book is very well-written with great details that transport the reader into the past. And the romance...*sigh.* You can read my review of the book HERE.




#1: Courting Morrow Little--Gorgeous! The setting, the characters, the heartbreak, the drama, the romance, the love...this book is amazing! I couldn't put it down! With a grand cover and an even grander story, this book is not to be missed! You can read my review of the book HERE.



Haven't the covers been fabulous this past year?

Here are links to my reviews of some of the other 2010 books I loved (in no particular order):
What are your favorite books from this past year? And which books are you really looking forward to in 2011? I think if I dived into that last question, I would have to write another post! ;)

19 comments:

Ruth said...

Great list, Amber! I've been contemplating how to put together a 2010 retrospective by the end of the week...gosh it's hard to narrow things down, isn't it? :)

Amber S. said...

Ruth,

Thank you! It is hard to choose, for sure! There have been so many great books published this past year. I look forward to your "looking back" post. :)

And as far as "looking ahead," it looks like there will be some great reads for 2011! And some great PBS Masterpiece shows, as well! ;) I have been watching Sherlock again with my family, and I really, really want to see season 2--SOON! ;)

~Amber

Joy Tamsin David said...

Can you believe I've only read one of those books? (Within My Heart). I think I better get reading!

Amanda said...

These are some great books, Amber!! And some of my favorites made your favorites too! In order of my 5th favorite to my 1st here is my list :D

5) Head in the Clouds
4) A Tailor-Made Bride
3) Surrender the Heart
2) Within My Heart
1) Courting Morrow Little- my FAVORITE!!!

Like you, there are books that have come out this year I haven’t read yet, but hopefully will soon, as a few of them are in my TBR! And, I’m so happy to hear that Making Waves made your top 5- especially since I’m about to start reading it!! ;)

As far as books I’m looking forward to in 2011, well here’s my list in order of their scheduled releases (although, I’ll say right now, TCL is the one I’m looking forward to the most!!) :D

“Love on Assignment” by: Cara Lynn James
“Lady in the Mist” by: Laura Alice Eakes
“Surrender the Night” by: Marylu Tyndall
“Hidden Affections” by: Delia Parr
“A Heart Divided” by: Kathleen Morgan
“An Unlikely Suitor” by: Nancy Moser
“To Win Her Heart” by: Karen Witemeyer
“Love by the Book” by: Cara Lynn James
“The Colonel’s Lady” by: Laura Frantz
“A Heart Revealed” by: Julie Lessman

And, I’m sure that list will grow as the year goes on, LOL!!

Have a beautiful day, my friend :)
Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amanda said...

P.S.- In all my excitement I didn't read your beautiful descriptions on the side of each book! The way you describe them (and any books for that matter!) really makes someone want to read them! You truly have a way with words :) And, I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about A Tailor-Made Bride AND Courting Morrow Little ;)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

Mercy, I have got to get to work!! I've only read one book from your list (Making Waves), and while it didn't make my Top Ten list, it was still a very fun book. :o) And I've got to get busy on reading some Laura Frantz...both of her books have been waiting paitently for me to read them for too long!

I posted my list on my blog yesterday if you want to come over and take a peek.

Renee Ann said...

I've only read Courting Morrow Little--I'm a Laura Frantz fan!--and A Memory Between Us. But I love reading reviews of other stories. It's almost as good as having read them myself! Thanks, Amber.

Casey said...

Loved your list! I put mine together the other day and it will post tomorrow, that was SO hard!! I read so many great books this year. :)

Amber S. said...

Joy,

Oh. My. Goodness!!! I really hope you get a chance to read some of these others, because they are fabulous!!! Especially Courting Morrow Little--I just KNOW you would love that one! :) Oh, and I think you'd also really love A Memory Between Us and Surrender the Heart. :D

Happy reading!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

I LOVE your list, as well! :D I agree with your choices--GREAT books! And, like you, I'm glad to see that a book I plan to read soon (Head in the Clouds) made it in your top 5 list! ;) Can't wait to read it!

And that's a great list of 2011 books you're looking forward to reading! I think out of that list the ones I'm most looking forward to are Surrender the Night, To Win Her Heart, A Heart Revealed, and (of course!) The Colonel's Lady! :D

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We definitely have similar taste. :)

~Amber

P.S. Thank you for your kind words, my friend! I know these short little blurbs don't do the books justice, but I just thought I would share a little bit about why I chose these books for this list. :)

And yes--A Tailor-Made Bride and Courting Morrow Little!!! *blissful sigh* ;)

Amber S. said...

Christy,

Wasn't Making Waves fun? :) I do hope you get a chance to read some of these others--especially Laura Frantz' book! Both of her books so far have been just amazing! :D

You have a great list on your blog, as well, although I confess that I haven't yet read ANY of the ones on your list! How sad is that? However, I do have Her Mother's Hope and Pearl in the Sand on my TBR stack, so I'm looking forward to reading those. :) And I've been hearing such great things about Julie Klassen--I need to read her work!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Renee Ann,

LOVED Courting Morrow Little and A Memory Between Us! So glad you enjoyed them, as well! :)

Thank you so much for your kind words--I'm glad you like the reviews! :D

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Casey,

Thank you! I look forward to seeing your list! :)

And I know what you mean--there were so many great books that were published this year! Can't wait for 2011! :D

As far as choosing goes, I love using Shelfari, because I can mark books as "favorite" as I go along. So when it came time to put together this list, I went to my "favorite" shelf and had a good idea from there what books I would want to include. :)

~Amber

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I noticed to said “Your Five Favorite Books”. If you were to make a list of the “Five Best Books” would it be much different?

And just for fun: do you know how many of these books your read during the last quarter of the year?

I have a pet theory that movies and books that are released in the first part of the year do not do as well with awards!

Happy New Year!

Vince

P.S. I give "Making Waves" the best cover.

Amber S. said...

Vince,

Good question! To be honest, I think the list might have been different if it was the "Five Best Books" of the year, instead of "My Five Favorite Books." If I were to change the list, I think Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander and A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin might replace Making Waves and A Tailor-Made Bride. Those former two were harder to read, but they were amazing and very well-written books. The latter two were more fun. :)

And I think your theory has a lot of merit. ;) While She Walks in Beauty and Love Finds You in Lahaina Hawaii were from late spring/early summer, most of the other favorite books were from the second half of the year. (Although Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania was published in February 2010, even though it wasn't on my top 5 list.)

My theory about your theory is that the books published later in the year are the ones fresh on everyone's minds. I think it's easy to forget that the early 2010 ones are actually from this past year! ;)

I have a question for you: Have you read Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz? That definitely deserved first place on either "Five Favorite" or "Five Best!" :)

Happy New Year to you, as well! Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

P.S. That is definitely a fun cover, and one of the best of the year, although I'm kind of partial to She Walks in Beauty and Courting Morrow Little. Revell and Bethany House have been coming out with wonderful covers!

Laura Frantz said...

Amber, Oh, you've blessed me immensely today!! I just got in and had to come over and see you here - and lit up like a Christmas tree to see so many of my friends here:) Thanks so much for including Morrow on your list. It really was a joy to write and I'm so pleased it meant something to you as well. I love your description of the book:) Beautiful and heartfelt ~ you are a GEM!!

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I haven’t read “Courting Morrow Little” but I will check and see if it is available as an eBook. I’d love to read a book you think so highly of because this will help me understand your reviews so much better.

Vince





Hi Nona:

I was away form home on Christmas three times while I was in the military. I would have enjoyed reading your poem on one of those cold December nights. Thanks for sharing. Also, I would enjoy seeing you write a Christmas poem for the military nurses. The nurses are a special group of angles!

Vince

Amber S. said...

Laura,

So good to see you again!!! :D Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family! I'm so glad I could help brighten your day. You know I LOVED Courting Morrow Little, and I cannot wait for The Colonel's Lady! :D

Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Vince,

I do hope you get a chance to read Courting Morrow Little! :) It's a beautiful book, and I think you would love it!

~Amber