12.28.2010

2010 Top Discoveries: Books - Nonfiction

Again, these may not have been new this year, but they were new to me. Today more hold-em-in-your-hand books (including Kindle ... but NOT audiobooks).

(Any short summaries are from my GoodReads list where you may see everything I read in 2010, which I may have shared here earlier in the year ...)

Paul Among the People - Sarah Ruden
My review is here (loosely written but you get the idea).

Confections of a Closet Master Baker - Gesine Bullock-Prado
Sandra Bullock's sister finally couldn't take Hollywood any more after running her famous sister's production company for years. She turned to her true passion, baking, and has a wonderful voice in this book about her life as a baker. A thoroughly enjoyable book that holds up standards without judging everyone around her by them, which these days is increasingly rare in the food writing world. Also, this is one of the few baking books that I have read recently to excite my imagination and interest me in trying some of the recipes. I have baked for long enough and read so many baking books that such an achievement is rare indeed.

Finding Martha's Place -Martha Hawkins
My review is here and an early, personal reaction may be read here.

You Are What You See - Scott Nehring
 I was privileged to read the galley for this book by Scott Nehring. He opens people's eyes to the power of film as a cultural force and unlocks the "key" of story so that you really understand what you are watching (well, ok, I already watched that way ... but I still was riveted by this book). It is simply fantastic. You will never watch movies the same way again. Scott lays out movie structure in a way that helps any movie viewer understand and enjoy movies better.

The Habit of Being - Flannery O'Connor
I grew to love Flannery more and more while I read this compilation of her letters to friends. As well as the little bits of daily life that she shared, there was a steady revelation of the underlying thoughts behind her stories and the underlying Catholic worldview that she wrote from (and lived from).

I read more and more slowly as I grew close to the end of the book. Her early death seemed so tragic and I dreaded it. Yes, this seems melodramatic but it is how I felt. She was pragmatic, straight forward, brave, and funny. In her letters to her friends I learned a lot about writing, the Catholic faith, and living a full life under difficult circumstances. And when I read that her last letter was found scribbled by hand after her death, I cried. Not a lot, but there were real tears and emotion there. I must say that now, when I get to Heaven (fingers crossed), one of the people I hope to meet is Flannery O'Connor.

The Roots of the Faith - Mike Aquilina
My review is here.

Full of Grace - Judith Dupre
My review on Patheos is here.

Oh Holy Night - Mark C. Snow
My review is here.

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