Monday, January 19, 2015

Books of 2014

At the start of 2014, I decided to give myself a challenge: read 26 books in the year. Why 26, you ask? Well there are 26 sets of "two weeks" in a year, and I figured two weeks was a good average to reading a book. I ended up being pretty bang on, having read 31, but a few of those unfinished because I couldn't get into them. Some, like "The Luminaries" took me about a month because I had to force myself to finish, while others I would read in two or three sittings. There's even a few youth fiction on there that I pre-read before Rio did - either because I wasn't sure about the content, or because I was re-reading a childhood favorite.

Now I didn't do this because I need encouragement to read, but I did it because I never seem to remember what I've read and wanted to keep track. For instance, right at the end of the year I took Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" out of the library thinking to myself "You are far too seasoned of a reader to have never read a classic like this". Well turns out I was right, because I had read it. God knows when, but it took about three pages before I went "Ohhhh this one", and closed it up.

Anyway I'd like to give you a synopsis of all of these but that would be impossible because unless a book is very, very special to me, I have a hard time remembering what it was about. So other than a few notes here and there, here goes - my list for 2014:

1. To The End of The Land – David Grossman

2. Given – Susan Musgrave (incomplete - just couldn't get into it)

3. 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

4. Ladykiller – Charlotte Gill

5. This is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz

6. Annabel – Kathleen Winter

7. Hands Free Mama – Rachel Macy Stafford

8. Cockroach – Rawi Hage

9. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

10. The Orenda – Joseph Boyden

11. The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

12. All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews - My FAVOURITE book of the year!

13. We Were the Mulvaneys – Joyce Carol Oates

14. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

15. Waging Heavy Peace – Neil Young (incomplete - wanted to like it because he has two sons with CP but it was painful)

16. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

17. Out of My Mind – Sharon M. Draper

18. Rules – Cynthia Lord

19. City of Women – David R. Gillham

20. Little Bee – Chris Cleave

21. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

22. The Sea – John Banville

23. The Witches – Roald Dahl

24. The Great Cake Mystery – Alexander McCall Smith

25. Four Before Their Time – Timothy Spillane

26. 419 – Will Ferguson

27. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

28. We Are Water – Wally Lamb

29. A Wedding in December – Anita Shreve

30. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen (incomplete - just couldn't do it, which was disappointing because "The Corrections" is one of my faves)

I've got a good start to this year, with a Giller finalist and a Giller winner both on the go at the moment. Any of these you loved or hated? Got any good recommendations?


  1. Excellent idea, I will definitely do this for 2015.Have you read Room by Emma Donoghue? Personally I found it interesting and it's short enough to finish quickly.I only found out there is a lot of hype surrounding the book after I read it(I received it as a gift). I'll look into the books you read in 2014, maybe I'll try a few myself :)

    1. Yes, I loved Room! It took me a while to get past the childish language of the narration but once I got into it I really enjoyed it!

  2. Random lurker here, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had trouble with Freedom! It was the first Franzen book I tried and I forced myself to finish it but I really disliked it. Might try The Corrections then :)

  3. Love the list Tracey! I've put some of these on hold to read while I nurse. It helps keep me sane in the middle of the night to have a book on the go.
    Aaaand are you going to post pictures of the house? I'm dying to see it all finished. It doesn't have to be clean! :)

  4. I came up with an even bigger challenge for when my exams are over in a few weeks: a book a week for the duration of summer. Too ambitious? Maybe but I'm determined to try.