I’m a reader. Books are my first and longest lasting love. I read about 90 books in 2015 (and logged them in Goodreads). It took some deliberation, but I choose my nine favorites from the year and they are…
(Why top nine? Because they fit into a nifty square grid, that’s why!)
There are three novels, two birthy memoirs, one Moon Time read, two priestess books, and a fascinating memoir of a boy who builds a windmill in Africa.
- Under Her Wings, the Making of a Magdalene. I read this as part of my dissertation research on contemporary priestessing. Written by the late Nicole Christine, this memoir chronicles the development, evolution, and expression of Christine’s priestess path and her Priestess Process training program for other priestesses. While I initially gave it four stars, I changed my mind later when I realized how often I thought of or referenced this book after finishing it. It seeped into my dream life–I had the most vivid and meaningful dreams I’ve had all year while reading this book–and influenced multiple blog posts as well as a whole section in my dissertation. That deserves five stars!
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. This was a very random read for me. I saw it on the book club shelf at the library and picked it up on a whim. It fascinated me. I loved it. I was riveted by this memoir of a teenage boy in Africa who survives brutal famine conditions, self-teaches himself physics, and builds a windmill in his tiny village. I stayed up late and finished it in one fell swoop.
- Voices of the Sacred Feminine. Compiled by the hostess of my all-time favorite podcast of the same name, this book weaves together many rich and diverse voices within feminist spirituality. Most of the book consists of unique essays written by past guests on Karen’s show and the end result is essentially a textbook of feminist spirituality. As I read it, I could easily imagine using this book as the foundation for a class on contemporary goddess spirituality.
- Touching Bellies, Touching Lives. A totally engrossing memoir of a personal pilgrimage through the legacies and lessons of midwives from Southern Mexico.
- A Passion for Birth. The amazing autobiography of Sheila Kitzinger, one of the most influential birth activists of the 21st century, I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in birth work, birth activism, feminist studies, women’s health, or anthropology.
- Moon Time. A top favorite on the resource table at our Red Tent Circle, this second edition is an absolute treasure. A powerful, inspirational, and affirming resource for cycling women.
- The High King’s Tomb. Third in a series of five epic fantasy novels, I thoroughly enjoyed all but the last book in this whole series on Kindle courtesy of the local library.
- Divergent. The public library has been a keeper of my heart since I was a child. In the last two years, I discovered the profound joy of checking out audiobooks digitally from the local library. I get a chance to “read” books I probably wouldn’t allow myself time for AND, best of all, I get to read while doing something else at the same time. I know multitasking is somewhat out of favor, but it is like a dream come true for me to be able to “read” and grade papers or pack orders or cook dinner. <swoon> Divergent kept me company with its gritty, dystopian, intriguing young adult flavor through most of my pre-holiday grading adventures.
- Daughter of Sand and Stone. A totally surprise treasure, I “accidentally” read this book after downloading it as my Kindle First choice for November. Historical fiction about Queen Zenobia and her ambitious, audacious challenge to the Roman Empire, I loved this book and found myself thinking of the characters for days after it ended. Very good.
In addition to all the reading, I also wrote two new books!
- Earthprayer, Birthprayer, Lifeprayer, Womanprayer. This collection of poetry based on my year in the woods is full of readings for women’s circles, mother blessings, or seasonal rituals.
- Red Tent Resource Kit. Originally written as a training manual for our Red Tent Initiation program, this book is a collection of resources and inspiration for creating powerful Red Tent experiences in your own communities.
And, I revised and updated our popular Womanrunes book as well as created a 300+ page workbook to go with it!
Other worthwhile reads from 2015:
What were your favorite books from 2015? I’m taking “applications” for my 100 books of 2016… 😉
A Man Called Ove was my favorite of 2015. I have a photo of my books of 2015. I’m reading “City of Thorns” right now about the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya. It is an engrossing read. Really well-done.
Some very nice looking recommendations in there. Thank you for sharing.
I read a lot of biography and memoirs in 2015. I discovered a few absolutely fascinating life stories but one true gem that really stuck with me was Tom Gallagher’s ‘Tara’s Halls’.
A brilliant memoir of an Irish farm boy who emigrated to America to pursue a successful career.
It is largely a story of hardship but is written with some classic Irish wit and I really enjoyed looking up some of the lingo. It was a really enjoyable cultural experience in that sense.
One of my favorite reads in recent years for sure. Highly recommended.