What I Read in 2014

Let’s talk about books! One of my favorite topics.

In 2014, I read 19 books. I read a lot more non-fiction than fiction, which has been a pattern in the last few years. Growing up I devoured novels, but these days I have a hard time getting into them. My criteria is so picky and my attention span is short.

Here’s a little info on my reading habits:

  • I go through spurts of reading, normally read in the dead of winter (cozied up next to the fire), or in the middle of summer (in the shade by a body of water). Isn’t that how most people are? :)
  • I keep track of all of the books on Goodreads — what I have read, am currently reading, or want to read.
  • Most of the books I read are from the library, which saves me so much money. I normally always have a book checked out and usually one on hold. Sometimes I will borrow a book and wish I owned it (like The Best Yes below), but that’s probably one out of every six books or so.

FICTION:

Books I read

Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie –  I started re-reading the Little House books at the beginning of the year, but only made it through the first two. They remind me of my pre-teen days and make me nostalgic for days of yore. But also very thankful for the modern amenities I take for granted every day.

Me Before You –  This was the only fiction book that I flew through. It’s a story of girl who becomes a nurse for a quadriplegic. I didn’t like the way the book ended, but fell in love with the characters and really liked the author.

Calling Me Home – I read this while I was on the plane to/from Haiti, and it just didn’t really do it for me. I wasn’t in the mood for fiction and probably should have brought a different book. I didn’t like the writing and character development which kind of affected my perspective of the plot.

Secret Daughter – A story about an Indian who gives up her daughter for adoption, an American who adopts the girl, and the daughter who grows up seeking identity with her birth family. I liked it.

NON-FICTION:

Books I read_2

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Jen Hatmaker and her family give up seven different luxuries over seven months: clothes, spending, waste, media, possessions, food, and stress. I liked the sentiment behind the experiment, but thought her execution was a little weak at times. But still, I love Jen Hatmaker, and it was an entertaining read and made me evaluate my own life and how I can simplify.

Choosing to See – A memoir of Steven Curtis Chapman’s wife and their journey to adoption and grieving through the tragic death of their daughter.

Radical – This book was insanely influential for me, and I think I should reread it every year for a little kick in the pants on what’s important and what’s not. Highly recommend.

One Thousand Gifts – A lovely book on counting your blessings and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary mundane world. Her writing is beautiful but can lose me sometimes.

Generous Justice – A good book on how God views justice and the injustice in our world. I love Tim Keller, but sometimes have a hard time keeping my attention in his books.

Books I read_3

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet – A story of how a mom of four decided to adopt five more kids. Hilarious and very entertaining read.

You Grow Girl – I read this in an attempt to grow my garden and learn more about the process. It was good, but overkill since I was just growing tomatoes and herbs. I may pick it back up if/when I have more to grow.

The $100 Startup – An entrepreneurial book on how to start a business and grow it with little money. Inspiring, but not really relevant to my life right now.

The Best Yes – I started reading this book on my birthday, and it was great timing. This book actually spurred the 31 Decisions I’m Glad I Said Yes To series I did in October (see the whole series here).

Mudhouse Sabbath – A short book on what a Judaic Christian thinks Christianity can benefit from orthodox Judaism. The author is really likable, and I found myself longing for the liturgy she sees lacking in contemporary Christianity today.

Books I read_4

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? – Funny, light and finished it in two days.

Notes from a Blue Book – I wanted to like this book, but the author rubbed me the wrong way. The premise is about simplifying your life, which is something I strive for, but her “simple life” seemed to fit into a box that was not relatable to my life. So disappointing.

Surprised by Motherhood – A sweet memoir about a mom’s journey into motherhood.

Surprised by Oxford – This book has been on my reading list for about six years, and is probably the book I’m the most proud to get through because it was a long one (480 pages). It’s the story of how an atheist became a believer during her first year at Oxford. I read this book curled up by the fire on the days leading up the Christmas, and was a little sad when it was over.

I tried to read, but couldn’t get into or didn’t finish:

A Place at the Table

Longbourne

The Paris Wife 

So long, Insecurity

I may pick up these books again in the future, but they all were loans from the library and when the due date approached, I found myself not invested enough to renew the book.

 

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with any of my reviews? Do you have any recommendations on what I should read next? I am looking for my next great novel! Or memoir! Or great series! 

 

*PS – Some links may include affiliate links to Amazon.

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  • hah. I think you’re the only other person I know that has read Calling Me Home. I thought it was ok. It could have been a really great story, but I didn’t like or sympathize with Isabelle at all.

  • Yeah, maybe I will have to give it another chance. Ernest kind of bothered me! :)

    I have not read The Blue Sweater, but it is now on my list. Thank you!!

  • My book club is reading The Paris Wife now and I keep setting it aside for other books I “want” to read so I understand your feelings on this one.

  • I have also found that I now read far more non-fiction than fiction – and I have a degree in literature! Oops. Two of my favourite books in the last year have been Paris Letters by Janice McLeod and Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas (both originated from blogs!). One of my favourite books EVER is My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin, though I think it’s US title is something like The American Heiress.