Happy New Year! One of my favorite pastimes is reading. In 2015, I read 39 books. (I really thought I would make it to 40, but One Hundred Years of Solitude is slow going . . . still going, as a matter of fact.) So, among my 39, there were a few that I really liked a lot and thought were worth sharing.

First up is The Eight Core Principles by Richard Rohr. It’s really a written description of the principles that provide the foundation for the teachings of Richard Rohr’s work at The Center for Action and Contemplation (which I’ve never been to). But, it is an eloquent summary of what I believe and a great reminder of how to implement faith and grace into life in an ever-expanding and action-oriented way.

“Before new experience, new thinking is difficult and dangerous. Afterward, the new thinking is natural and even necessary.”

Next is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This one was a really fun read. Nothing like a love story from a totally logical and awkward point of view. There was a little more foul language than I would have preferred, but aside from that I really loved reading this story right from the first page. If you like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, you’ll probably enjoy The Rosie Project as well.

“You know what I like about New York?…There are so many weird people that nobody takes any notice. We all just fit right in.”

Last, I have to share Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book is fantastic and inspiring. I enjoyed the flow and tone. I loved the unique perspective on ideas and inspiration and the availability of creativity. I hadn’t ever read anything from this point of view before, but found myself saying “Right!” or “Yes!” or “Exactly!” a lot, so I guess she expressed a lot of what I knew to be true with a side helping of “let’s go get this party started.”

“I think it’s a mighty act of human love to remind somebody that they can accomplish things by themselves.”

Here’s more of what I read in 2015

Plus . . . A giveaway!

Throughout the year, I’ve been giving these books away and passing them on to friends. But, I still have the final two books of the year left to share! Comment on this post, tell me what you read over the past year, or what you’re reading right now, that you’re enjoying and you’ll be entered to win my copy of Only in Spain by Nellie Bennett (which could have easily been book 4 of this “best of” post) or Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago.

Two winners will be randomly selected from comments made between January 14 and 20. If you have a preference, make sure to mention it in your comment. The first winner will get their preference and the second winner will get the remaining title. The only other rule is that you must live in the continental United States – because I’m even paying for shipping!

I can’t wait to hear from you.