Another year, another bunch of books… Here’s what I read in 2014:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple
I didn’t love this book the way a lot of people did… In fact, it took me several months to get through it… I just never got “into it.” That said, I think it’s a fun and quirky read, and I know it was lots of people’s favorite so…
The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle of Big Mama Blog
I absolutely loved Big Mama’s first book – Sparkly Green Earrings – on motherhood, and often joked that she “stole my story” because I could relate to it so closely! Antelope is her second and is a witty and cute memoir on marriage. I adore her writing voice and found this funny and sweet; but, I definitely didn’t like it as much as the first.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
(See full review post here. Only $1.99 on Kindle right now!)
Hidden by Katherine McKenzie
(See full review post here. FREE with Kindle Unlimited!)
Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
(See full review post here. Only $2.99 on Kindle right now!)
The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion
(See full review post here.)
Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink by Katrina Alcorn
(See full review post here.)
Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
I read this for a community reading group I am in over the summer and, honestly, didn’t like it much. I found the story – which follows a young Irish immigrant in the early 1900s and a modern day teen in the foster care center – a little bit slow and depressing. That said, it seems to have gotten a lot of hype lately, so maybe I’m wrong! I do think it addresses some important issues in both our country’s history and society today.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
(See full review post here.)
The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman
This is another one that I read for the community reading group. In it, a jury selects an anonymous architect to design a memorial for 9-11 in NYC and only later learns that he is an American Muslim. It is definitely not something I would pick up on my own, but I found it extremely interesting and thought-provoking (albeit a bit long).
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
Vanderkam spent years interviewing happy, successful people about how they spend their time (168 hours in a week) for this book. It is a great mix of facts/statistics/research and personal insight. I loved the writer’s style (kind-of “blog-like”) and thoroughly enjoyed this book; I even took away lots of practical ideas and tips for how to make the most of my own time.
Matched by Allie Condie
I read this before attending the Young Adult Literature Festival in Charleston this year and found it to be a quick and fun read. Pretty classic dystopian/YA lit – think Hunger Games meets The Giver.
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
This is another one I read before the festival… It is considered classic YA lit, and I can definitely see why. A bit melodramatic at times, but a great insight into the minds of teenage girls (I think). Very “real world” applicable.
BossyPants by Tina Fey
I’ve been hearing people rave about this book for years now, so I finally listened to the audio-book version on a road trip this fall, and it did not disappoint. HILARIOUS. (A bit dirty though, so be warned.)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This was another book club choice this year (although the actual club got cancelled) and, I admit, I wasn’t all that excited about the subject matter — the true story of the author’s solo hike on the Pacific Coast Trail. I read it when I was home with the flu and was pleasantly surprised by how well it kept my attention. I actually ended up finding it to be one of the better reads from this year… I also saw the movie – in theaters now starring Reese Witherspoon – last week and loved it.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My second book by Liane Moriarty in 2014, I flew through this one. It is an easy read with great character development (mostly upper-class Australian school parents) with some more serious/deeper issues beneath the surface. The first 80% felt pretty standard, but I was completely surprised by the last 20%. It wasn’t my favorite, but I would definitely recommend it!
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I liked What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies so much, that I decided to squeeze this one in over Christmas break too. It is, by far, my favorite of the three and also one of my favorites of the year. SO good. It kept me flipping pages the entire time and left me thinking about the characters and their situations (despite the fact that it was wrapped up nice and tidy) even after I was done.
A few tiny observations:
– Subtitles are very popular these days. Especially just “a novel.” Why?
– I like nonfiction (especially related to managing my time and finding balance) almost as much as fiction now.
– I was really good at reviewing books when I started this blog, but no so good after the first few months… I’ll try to do better in 2015!
That makes a total of 17 books for the year – not including, of course, anything I’ve read for school/work. Not bad. I tend to go in spurts of reading a lot for a month or so, and then taking a couple of months off, but I always seem to have at least one book going (and five or six in queue). If I remember correctly from my newborn days with Sam, 2015 will likely bring me many late nights of reading (and feeding), so I’d LOVE to have some recommendations from you!! What was your favorite book from 2015?
Happy Wednesday and happy New Year’s Eve! I’ll be ringing in the new year from my bed tonight (haha) after a party/game night with friends… What are your plans?
*This post does contain Amazon affiliate links.
So jealous of all the reading you’ve done this year! I really need to be better in the new year. Here’s hoping I can follow your example.
Erika B. says
Great line-up!! I read a lot of the same books- my book club did The Husband’s Secret and that made for some amaaaazing discussion!! I loved What Alice Forgot, too. Haven’t ready Big Little Lies though- still worth it, knowing I’ve read the other 2? I’m sad you didn’t love Bernadette, though- that was one of my favorites!