I love to read. When asked what I do in my spare time, my answer always begins with, “I read a lot.”

For many years, I’ve kept a book journal. It’s a simple spiral notebook where I list the title and author of every book I read. I began the journal in June, 1990, because my friend, Mary, and I, who see each other only once a year, are both avid readers. We like to discuss what we’ve read, but we can’t always remember every title. We decided to start book lists and bring them to our yearly reunion. We’ve both done this ever since. I also note the months as well as the year when I read each book. I wish I had started my book journal earlier. It would be fun to look back and see what I was reading at various times in my life.

Once I began listing the books, I developed an urge to note those I especially liked, so they get a star next to the title. Doing this reminds me of the piano teacher I had when I was little, who pasted a gold star on my music if I played it without mistakes. I am stingy with my stars and give them only to books that I really loved.

Since those of you who pay attention to this blog are also readers, I thought you might be interested in knowing some of the books I’ve starred. I am listing only books for adults. I read a lot of books for kids, too, but I know many of the authors personally. It’s harder to be objective when reading a book by a friend.

 Here, then, are a few books for adults that I especially liked:

Jim, the Boy  by Tony Earley

Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

The Good, Good Pig  by Sy Montgomery

Loving Letters from Ogden Nash: A Family Album  by Linell Nash Smith

The Habit of Being  by Flannery O’Connor

I am also a fan of Julia Spencer-Fleming and eagerly await the next book in her series.