So many books, so little time!

So many books, so little time! I try to keep my commitment to sit down in a comfortable chair for at least an hour a day with a good book in hand and a cup of steaming, honeyed herbal tea within easy reach. But between professional and volunteer responsibilities, relationship tending, necessary mundane chores, and tempting distractions, that commitment is often hard to keep.
And yet, when I look back over the past year, I realize I’ve read and enjoyed a number of wonderful books, some of them extraordinary.  The best ones have kept me reading way longer than an hour at a time, lost in a compelling plot, fascinating characters, or an astounding evocation of place. I am also fortunate to belong to a Wilderness Book Club, and in the books we’ve read I’ve been transported imaginally to amazing settings across the globe: mountain, ocean, desert, flora and fauna, have all come vividly to life in those books.
What a treat it is to put aside nagging concerns, “to do” lists, politics, the computer and TV . . . and just curl up with a book. There are few things in life I find more pleasurable.
Here is the list of books, in no particular order, that I most enjoyed in 2015:

    •    H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald
    •    Beyond Words, Carl Safina
    •    All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
    •    The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
    •    Sidewalk Oracles, Robert Moss
    •    The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen
    •    Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak
    •    The Old Ways, Robert MacFarlane
    •    Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
    •    Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
    •    Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver
    •    Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
    •    Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
    •    Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
    •    The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

Connie Myslik-McFadden