My Favorite Books Read in 2014


Benjamin.  The Aviator’s Wife.
The title caught my eye on a rack in an airport, because I read The Pilot’s Wife, by Shreves, several years ago and enjoyed it immensely.  Unbeknownst to me, I was living the life of the Pilot’s Wife.  She was as stupefied by her husband’s antics as I, though the ends or our stories are quite different.  I took a double glance at The Aviator’s Wife and saw it is a biographical novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life.  It is very well written, carrying the reader easily.  There were so many things I did not know about her and the character of her husband, that I wondered how much of the story is really true.  Of course, the conversations are fabricated, therefore, the inner feelings of the woman are presumed though perhaps there is more truth than I surmise.  A fascinating story, for sure!

Lindbergh.  Gift From the Sea.
After reading the fictional account of  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I wanted to know more about her.  There are only three available books authored by her:  Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead; North to the Orient (both are on my reading list), and her small gem, Gift from the Sea.   She wrote the latter while spending  time alone in a Florida beach house for a couple of weeks to pursue her writing.  Each chapter in this tiny book describes a seashell, comparing it to life situations giving excellent insights and perceptions!  The mind of the writer of this small volume is very bright!  The Aviator’s Wife paints Anne as a brilliant woman, but it does not come close to identifying her keen intellect; it tells of Anne’s brilliance but does not show it.  The next book on my reading list is a volume of her diaries, Against Wind and Tide:  Letters and Journals, 1947-1986, wherein I hope to form a better picture of who Ann Morrow Lindbergh was.  I previously wrote about this book.

Dekker.  Outlaw.
I heard Ted Dekker speak at a writers’ conference.  Thrilling adventure books are not my forté, so I would never have picked up this book without having been impressed by his speech at the conference.  Dekker is a master at showing (versus telling) his audience what his characters are experiencing in his novels.  If you were not holding the book or e-book tablet with both hands, you would be biting your fingernails!  Reading his book leaves you breathless as you race along with the harrowing adventure.  He is the son of missionaries to Indonesia, so his fable is based upon factual knowledge of these savage, exotic people in New Guinea.  More information is here.

Horowitz.  Inside of a Dog: what dogs see, smell, and know.  
Alexandria Horowitz is an animal behaviorist.  She derides making anthropomorphisms of one’s dog.  I happen to like anthropomorphizing my dog, so initially I was turned off to her scientific explanations of a dog’s behavior.  But, as I persevered and read on, I completed the book with exciting new insights into the five senses dogs have.  I now know dogs are far brighter than most of us have any idea!  She suggests our dogs know us better than we know them!  I also caught her using some anthropomorphisms about her dog, so she is a softer touch than she would have us believe.  A complete review can be read here.

O’Reilly.  Killing Kennedy.
This is the second in the “Killing” series Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard are writing.  The first, Killing Lincoln, I reviewed on my blog last year.   I was young, when Kennedy was President, so I was somewhat personally familiar with the events in Kennedy’s life leading up to his assassination.  The book does not delve into the conspiracy theories, but sticks totally to the known facts.  The authors tout the book as reading like a thriller, which is truth.  As with the Lincoln book, it is full of facts chronologically leading the reader to the final climax and conclusion.  Being a librarian, I find the research for the book, which uncovered so many tidbits, to be astounding.  If you did or did not live through Kennedy’s Presidency, whether Republican or Democrat, you undoubtedly will enjoy this thorough rendition of what happened.

Rivers.  All Ears.
Tom Rivers is an award-winning journalist; now the Editor of the  Previously, he was a columnist for The Daily News in Batavia, NY.   He took his all-time favorite columns and collated them into a self-published book, All Ears, which reads like a book from the “Chicken Soup” series —  chock full of inspirational, sweet, homey, brave, generous, enlightening, sentimental, uplifting true tales.  It’s the kind of book to read when you have a spare minute, or it is a book to give to your friends for any occasion!  These are the stories everyone loves to hear.  The book is available from these stores (click Retail Locations tab) in the Rochester, NY area or from the author at

Happy Reading in 2015!!!


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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