ABC’s Favorite Books of the Year, Part the Fourth

Here you are, another part of the ABC Staff’s Favorite Reads of the past year.  We hope you enjoy reading about what we enjoyed reading the past 12 months, and hopefully we’ll give you some ideas to boot!

The lists this time were sent in by Nyjolene, Barry, and long lost (but happily now returned to the fold) colleague C. Umpulsion.

This year we would again love to hear from you what your favorite reads were.  Please send us your top 5 (they don’t have to be books published in 2010, just read in 2010).  You can mail them to blog@abc.nl, and be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you an ABC gift voucher as a thank you.  We’ll publish your lists at the beginning of 2011 so you have all month to mail them in.  Thanks to those of you who have already sent in lists!


Nyjolene

1. Tell-Me Tarot – Nir Cassuto

It’s clear and positive. Your answer is on the card, no extra booklet and there is no ‘reversed’ option.  Unlike any tarot deck I know.

2. The 3 Sara Books – Esther Hicks (Sara learns the Secret about the Law of Attraction, Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friends, and A Talking Owl is Worth a Thousand Words!)

Simply, beautiful!  The great thing is that Sara is sharp and asks logical questions that I would also ask, but she’s open to try stuff that she’s skeptical about.  It makes her more real, and the story more valuable.

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels & The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray

Don’t read the interview at the end of the book, it spoils everything. Just read the story and get swept away. It was a fantastic read. Twisted, exciting and original.

4. 1000 Sacred Places – Christoph Engels

I waited sooooo long for this book to arrive… Can’t wait to travel the world in depth.

5. Ask and It Is Given – Esther and Jerry Hicks

Gave me all the tools instead of only informing me on the meaning of life.  The best book of the (very good) Abraham series!

Barry

1. Karoo Boy – Troy Blacklaws

2. Travels in Siberia – Ian Frazier

3. Chasing the Devil – Tim Butcher

4. At Home – Bill Bryson

5. Imperial Life in the Emerald City – Rajiv Chandrasekaran

6. History of Surfing – Matt Warshaw

Jilles

“It’s the most wonderful moment of the year…

(ding dong ding dong)…”

I love making lists! Lists of what to do during the day, lists for when I go shopping, lists of the lists I have made, and of course a list of my favourite books of the year. It is always very interesting to see what other people like to read, so why not put my two cents in and share with you the books I fell in love with these last twelve months.

The Gospel According to Jesus by Paul Ferrini.

These are the four volumes of the ‘Reflections of the Christ Mind’ series by Ferrini, this time all in one volume. I know it is around Christmas time when we celebrate the innocent baby Jesus, but the Jesus in this book is a radical one who kicks all the legs out from under the chair of organized religion and tells us what he really tried to teach, which is mindblowing stuff. Amazing is the only word to describe these books. Real spirituality is a hands-on job that has nothing to do with believing in rituals, but actively living it from the heart. For anyone who is interested in emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth, this is the one you want to find in you Christmas stocking.

The Siege by Stephen White.

He is back! Stephen White, known best for his series of books about psychiatrist Alan Gregory, became a bit predictable with his books. Yes they where well written, but it was all in the same mold. This time however he ditches Gregory and takes a new road, one with terrorism, student hostages, the FBI, the CIA, and a secret society. There is a twist at every turn, so the pace is relentless. It is always so nice when an intelligent writer writes a smart book. And that is exactly what White did. With The Siege he wrote a thriller with a brain with an adrenaline-pump attached to it.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Yes I saw the movie, yes I bought the book five years ago, yes I know it is a classic, and yes, I only started reading it about a month ago. After the pace of Stephen White’s book it took me a while to get used to this slow, simmering Southern tale of innocence and coming of age. But once I lost myself in the world of Jem, Scout, and Atticus, it was hard to stop reading until the end. This beautiful book is like balm for the soul, a treasure, hidden away in a hollow tree and waiting to be found and read when the time for discovering innocence all over again is at hand.

Evil Under The Sun by Agatha Christie.

This was almost like a forbidden pleasure for me. I started reading because of Agatha Christie’s books and read all her books in my teens. Every now and then I pick one up again, this time in english, and it is always like a holiday and a time travel experience all rolled up in one. Hercule Poirot still is the best detective in the world, and the Queen of Crime, Dame Agatha still nows how to please and outsmart her readers, even after all these years. If you long for the olden days of yore, and don’t like The Carpenter’s Christmas Album, stop at the crime section and pick up one of her classics. This totle certainly is one of them.

And last but not least The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.

Yes, weird choice, but when I flipped through the book and saw a whole chapter about what stress can do to your hormone levels, especially adrenaline, and how it can influence your sleeping patterns, I was hooked. This stuff can make you vulnerable to all kinds of not so funny things like allergies, abdominal pains, overweight, cancer, etcetera. The author is a biochemist who became a health trainer and made it his job to get people healthy again. He asks only one thing, to try this way of eating (the way our ancestors ate when they where still hunters and gatherers) for 30 days and see what happens. Good results on this side after the first 15, days so that is how this book ended up on my list for 2010. Thank you Robert.

These were my reading highlights of the year. Hope you have your own wonderful list. Wishing you pleasant reading in 2011.

C. Umpulsion


Image of book stack: Wonderlane