My Year of Reading and Best Books of 2014

2014 was full of great reading. I surpassed my goal of reading 75 books in 2014, finishing the year with 81 books read. But, the last few months were much slower when I had a lot less time to read due to subbing and busy evenings full of our kids activities. 
My son helped me create these fun pie charts that show how my reading played out this year.  
I read 48 fiction books and 33 non fiction books. 
23 of the books I read were considered children’s or YA books, 
with 58 of them being adult books. 
Most of my reading was for review purposes with 67 versus 14. 
I am hoping to close that gap a bit in 2015, reading more books from my own shelf.
Most of the books I read were actual printed books versus eBooks which I am ok with. 
I still love to hold a book in my hand and turn the pages. 

Finally, I really liked most of the books I read. 
Maybe I am too generous with my 5 Star Ratings, 
but when I look back at those 42 books, 
I truly thought they were all wonderful. 
42 books earned 5 stars
20 earned 4 stars
16 earned 3 stars
1 earned 2 stars
2 earned 1 star
I don’t waste a lot of time reading books I am not interested in. 
I pretty much know what I am going to like 
and accept only those books that I am going to enjoy reading. 
There are too many good books out there to waste time on ones I don’t enjoy!
When I can say that 77% of the books I read this year 
got 4 or 5 stars, that’s a GREAT year of reading! 

These pie charts are more for my own enjoyment as I like a visual display of how my year looked. I’ll be anxious to compare it with my 2015 stats and see if I made any changes.
When I begin to think about my a favorite books of the year, I always have a hard time narrowing down my list. In July, I chose my favorites from the first half of the year. You can see that post HERE. You will see a few of them mentioned below.
So, without further adieu, my Best Books of 2014, including special categories and a Top Ten: (photos take you to Amazon, titles take you to my review)
Best Book for Book Clubs
Fallen Beauty Erika Robuck
Erika Robuck is a talented writer who takes real artists and tells their story.  FALLEN BEAUTY will give any book club plenty of characters and themes to discuss. You will definitely want to look into reading more of Robuck’s books after this one. In fact, she has a new book coming out in May titled THE HOUSE OF HAWTHORNE. 
Biggest Tear-Jerker
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler 
A lot of books make me cry. I’m a softy, but this one made me sob, uncontrollably. This was such a beautiful story of friendship, love, regrets, and forgiveness. It is a must-read. 
Best Book Cover
Cure for the Common Break-Up by Beth Kindrick
This book cover is happy, bright and fun. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to read the book and when you see it with other books, it just jumps out at you. Ice cream is the cure for everything (at least that is what my mom taught me) , including break-ups! The book was a fun read and I’m happy to report that Kindrick has a second book coming out that is also set in Black Dog Bay. Watch for NEW USES FOR OLD BOYFRIENDS to hit bookstores in February.
Best Children’s/YA Book
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
This book was a wonderful coming-of-age story about a young boy who stutters and finds a way to overcome his fears after a summer paper route. 
Best Non-Fiction Book
Silent Impact by Joe Schmit
I’m still talking about this book months after reading it. I’ve had our sons read it. I have shared it with teachers and coaches around school. It’s a book I will refer to again and again.
Best Book Read for Review
The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
I read this book on our summer vacation and I still think about it. It’s a reminder that life is short and we should live each day full of happiness and joy. A great book to kick off your reading this year!
Best Fiction
This collection of short stories written by well-known and very talented authors left me wanting more. Each story is told at the end of WWII and set at Grand Central Station in New York City. Even though each story is about different characters, there is a connecting piece linking them as you travel through their lives. Really well-done and one I haven’t forgotten about since I read it.

My Top Ten Books Read in 2014 (in no particular order)
NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain
THE LIFE LIST by Lisa Nelson Spielman
SECRET DAUGHTER by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
WAKE by Anna Hope
MY MOTHER’S SECRET by J.L. Witterick
CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler
FALL OF MARIGOLDS by Susan Meissner
SILENT IMPACT by Joe Schmit
GRAND CENTRAL by various authors
SINGING TO A BULLDOG by Anson Williams
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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion on January 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I love the pie charts! I've only read one book on your list – I've got a lot of reading to do!

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