Saturday, December 28, 2013

Final 2013 Book Reviews

I just finished reading my last book for 2013, which brings my total to 118 books! It's been a great year of reading and learning for me. This year I wanted to post a review here on my blog for each book I read, and with the two reviews I'm sharing today I will have achieved that goal. (If you click on my Books Read page, you'll see a list of all the books I've read & can link to my reviews from there.)

After my post about Civil War history, which contained three books reviews, Barbara recommended The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. This historical fiction book is based on the true story of Carrie McGavock whose plantation is used as a Confederate army hospital during and after the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, during the Civil War. When she heard that the plot of land where many Confederate soldiers had been buried was going to be plowed under, she had the bodies of 1400+ soldiers re-buried on her land. This was an excellent book, which I highly recommend. Next time we are in Tennessee, we will be planning a trip to Carnton Plantation.

My final book for this year is All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings by our 41st President, George H. W. Bush. This 700+ page book was a fascinating read as it contained letters and diary entries written by President Bush, beginning when he enlisted in the US Navy as an 18-year-old in 1942 and ending with a letter to his first great-grandchild in 2011. The letters he wrote to his mother during his time serving during World War II were fascinating to read, especially as he described being shot down & rescued near Chichi Jima - his concern & care for others was evident as was his loyalty to the United States. The letters range from long letters regarding policy written to foreign dignitaries to short funny notes to friends & family. A great read - I highly recommend it!

There are only a few days left in this year, and I'm planning to spend my reading time enjoying a stack of magazines that Robbie picked up for me last week! I already have three books on my nightstand to begin 2014. I'm also planning to begin reading the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction, beginning with the first winner in 1948 (when the novel category was renamed fiction). What are you planning to read in 2014?


  1. I have no list right now. after a big year (for me!) of reading in 2013 I'm not sure 2014 will be the same

  2. That is amazing and I am so glad we have ongoing access to your reviews. I hope to read The Book Thief in January

  3. That's an impressive number of books for the year! I have a list for 2014 and I was surprised when I typed it up how few novels there were on the list. It's almost all nonfiction. I'll be reading for our book group as well, and we choose those books as we go through the year.

  4. 118???? That is so impressive. I think I'm somewhere around the 40 mark. Not quite a book a week. My hat is off to you!!! And having lived in Franklin TN for 5 years, I know all about the Widow of the South. The Carton Plantation is a cool tour but don't miss the Carter House, very interesting roll played there in the Battle of Franklin too. There are also tours at night through downtown Franklin that detail more of what happened because just about every house and building was turned into a hospital of some kind. It's a fun town to visit!

  5. I love your 2014 goal. I took a look at the list, and I've read a lot of the winners.
    I didn't read many books this year at all! I'm currently reading Round House by Louise Erdrich. It's very good.

  6. I'm going to tackle at least 50 of 400 books still on my Goodreads list - and try not to be distracted when I check out the list of prize winning fiction! Happy reading, Melissa.


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