WhooHoo! Here’s to continuing a great tradition I started last year – recording all of the books I read within the 12 month time-span. Doing this keeps me reading and accountable, and when a friend asks “Have you read anything good lately?” I can come back to my list and go, Yes! Yes, I have!
Books in 2014
2. The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty — accidental check out on this one; thought it was by one of my fave, new authors (Liane Moriarty). As it turns out, though, it was a good book and a great read.
3. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen — first YA read of the year & it was a good one.
5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green — another new favorite author discovered last year. Will continue reading as many of his books as I can, too!
6. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple — devoured this book. SO GOOD!
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman — found this on a “read b/f you see the movie” list and it’s a good, quick read and will probably make a pretty good film.
8. Paper Towns by John Green — another good YA read from Mr. Green.
9. Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford — first book from a friend’s favorite blogger read for book club. Some good tips for as my kids get older and we all get busier.
11. Defending Jacob by William Landay — whoa. Holy moly intense and good read. Head is still spinning from this one.
13. Quiet Mind: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation edited by Susan Piver — I am such a beginner and need SO much practice. This seemed like a good place to start.
14. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman — whoa. This book is a pretty quick read but it was a total mind bender. And a little freaky for a gal w/ an overactive imagination such as myself!
15. Gap Creek by Robert Morgan — Another intense novel. So glad my first year of marriage wasn’t that tough.
16. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman — Had a love/hate relationship with this narrator, not to mention the vocabulary used in the book (I felt like I should have been rereading my GRE word flash cards and/or reading next to a dictionary).
17. The Road from Gap Creek by Robert Morgan — Had no idea when I picked up Gap Creek a few weeks ago that there was a new, follow-up book told by the next generation of the Richards family. I really enjoyed this one, even more so than the first.
18. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan — how fun to write a book with a friend; these two did it well.
19. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein — Oh. My. This Jr.Fic. book is a book lover’s dream! Such a fun read. If you are a fan of The Westing Game, this is a must read.
20. Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian — Holy Wow. Loved the different sections/different narrators (that really is one of my favorite literary devices; I find it impressive when authors can write with different voices, all telling the “same” story). But holy intense, too.
21. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo — Great Jr. Fic. read. What is normal anyway?
22. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman — Book Club read that I’ve been meaning to read for years. So thought-provoking to think about what makes you feel loved and how you can speak love to your S.O.!
23. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper — had no idea what I was getting into with this Jr.Fic. novel but wow, what a good read about an amazing protagonist with special needs. I would think this would be a good read for all upper elementary kids about the importance of really seeing others.
24. The Sand Castle Girls by Chris Bohjalian — this is a good year for discovering new favorite authors and this one is a Top new fave, for sure. This was a heartbreaking but fascinating read. He is SO good at unique narratives/narrators.
25. Insurgent by Veronica Roth — really should have reread Divergent again before jumping into this – way too much that I forgot which made it hard to get into this book. Hoping to read No.3 w/ less of a gap between volumes.
26. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp — A few lines from this were in fact spectacular. The rest? Meh.
27. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson — compelling read about a teenage girl and her former solider (with PTSD) father. Not a light read, but a good one.
28. Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt — love this author and all of his books.
29. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell — this novel about “two misfits, one extraordinary love” was fantastic. Special bonus? The author is from (and the book is set in) Nebraska!
30. The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar — perfect read prior to my teacher training adventure. So much wisdom here. So much underlining as I read!
31. Allegiant by Veronica Roth — oof. Took me over 300 pages to get into this one and then the last 30 pages were a bit of a slog, too. When I start a series, I finish it, but meh – the first one, Divergent, was easily the best of the three.
32. A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father by Augusten Burroughs — well that was an intense little memoir to read. Curious to read some more of his stuff.
33. You Don’t Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem — totally made me feel like a member of the band (and a wee bit crazy).
34. Wild by Cheryl Strayed — love, love her writing, so I loved, loved this book – especially since I read it while embarking on my own crazy journey of a month-long intensive yoga teacher training.
35. Bhagavad Gita – a new translation by Stephen Mitchell — beautiful. Can’t wait to read it again.
36. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – Oh. my. I hit a huge reading dry spell during August, so this book was a wonderful way to get back into reading. I adored it. Young girl growing up in an incredibly hard way of life. Beautiful storytelling.
37. Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd — Fascinating. Such a good book. I had no idea it was based on historical individuals, so not only was I inspired by the reading, but also educated. SO GOOD.
38. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper — truth? I read this because I thought the movie trailer looked good. No idea when I’ll actually see the movie but it hardly matters because the book was so fantastic that there’s no way the movie could even compare now!
39. Saving Cecelia Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman — actual book I wanted from this author wasn’t on the shelf so I grabbed this one instead. Sweet book.
40. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman — bought this sometime last year on sale at B&N & am just now getting around to getting it off the shelf. The review on the back that states that “each chapter could stand alone as a memorable short story” is spot on accurate and I enjoyed reading it as such.
41. The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison — Well, that was a mind trip (replace with a different four-letter word).
42. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman — some absolutely beautiful lines/moments in this book. That being said, having read two novels by this author now, the whole “something happened but I’m not going to tell you what it is until a page or two later” is not my favorite literary device. Just saying.
43. The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain — Wow. Loved this book. Made me instantly interested in reading more by Hemingway himself and more about his life and loves.
44. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown — This is it. Best nonfiction book of the year that I have read. Maybe best book overall. Hands down, every person should read this book. I know I’ll be reading it again and again as I continue to explore my own imperfect gifts.
45. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn — figured out “whodunit” but still not sure that made this a good read.
46. FanGIRL by Rainbow Rowell — I know nothing of fan fiction, but this made me curious. I maybe also been totally biased by the UNL campus setting and mentions of my old grad school stomping ground – Love Library and Andrews Hall.
47. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini — now I see why, 10 years ago, everyone was raving about this book. So good!
TOP 5 for 2014 – if you are looking for reading recommendations from my list, start here!
1) Where’d Ya Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
2) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
3) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
4) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
5) This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
What suggestions do you have for me? Leave a comment here on the blog or on Facebook to let me know what I should read in the new year!