Thursday, January 1, 2015

December Reads and Year in Review 2014

Happy New Year!

It has been an interesting year and looking at the diverse reading selection I read this year is a good indication of the variety of my life in 2014.

December was busy with life and holiday preparation and parties and so I didn't feel I did a good job of reading this month.  Here are the books I read/finished. 

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (#10 in the Armand Gamache series)  I love this series and needed a good read and this didn't disappoint.  One day I would love to find "Three Pines" the setting/town of her many books in this series.  I also find the characters in the book very interesting and also would like to be friends with them.  If you haven't read anything by Louise Penny what are you waiting for.

Operating Instructions: A Journal by Anne Lamott was a book I've had on my "to read" list for awhile.  I really enjoy Anne Lamott's nonfiction, in fact I have yet to read any of her fiction- maybe a book to add to my "to read" list for 2015.  This book was great filled with Anne's great crisp, clean, truthful, and honest writing.  The story line is from the beginning of her life with her son Sam (actually in utero/pregnancy) through to the first year, his first birthday.  I enjoyed it, but I still find her books on life and religion speak to me more than this one did.  However, I think if you are a new mom or going through pregnancy/first year of life with your baby this is a totally appropriate read and would make some of your "crazy ideas/frustrations" seem less "crazy".  I'm on the "hold" list for her newest book "Small Victories"- another "to read" for 2015.

Handling the Truth: On Writing the Memoir by Beth Kephart  This book has taken me about two months to read.  It wasn't hard, but it is the type of read that every chapter is a "learning" experience in itself.  I marked this book all up, underlying great lines, ideas, words of wisdom on writing memoir.  I will reread this book frequently as a handbook of sorts for how to better my writing. 

It has been a great reading year.  81 books total.  Here are some of my favorites- can't really pick just one:
Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai  (YA book, but everyone should read it- Beautiful prose!)
Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (fascinating book, interesting story line)
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole mystery #8- great series and I think this one is my favorite thus far)
The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult (I've avoided reading her books becasue I feel she is so hyped up, but alas this book was excellent and one of my favorites!)
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (GREAT BOOK!- loved it- my favorite "book club" read of 2014)
Least Favorite of 2014: The Circle by Dave Eggers and Some Luck by Jane Smiley

So what is in store for 2015.  Normally I have a whole list I share of "to reads".  I have decided not to have a "to read" list, but instead would like to shoot for a round number- how about 90 reads in 2015.  It is doable, but also challenging.  Looking forward to seeing if I can accomplish it.  Happy Reading!

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