1.06.2015

MY YEAR IN BOOKS, V.1


It's twenty-fifteen now, huh? I'm still getting used to the sound of that...

At the beginning of 2014, I made a list of new books I hoped to read throughout the year. I had a few select titles in mind and added to it as I thought of more. It was extremely ambitious of me, being that the list was quite long and I knew deep down I wouldn't be able to scratch off every title by the time 2015 rolled around. I didn't, but that's okay, because even if I didn't read as many books as I would have liked, the ones I did read were some of the best ever, became new favourites, and caused some intense book hangovers. Don't get me wrong, not all of them were winners, but for the most part, I discovered some pretty fantastic reads.

So in no particular order... the books of 2014!
  • Crazy Love - Francis Chan
  • Rebecca - Daphne de Maurier
  • Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (all 13 of them!) - Lemony Snicket
  • Grace for the Good Girl - Emily P. Freeman
  • Watership Down - Richard Adams
  • The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
  • Crazy Busy - Kevin DeYoung
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
  • Black - Ted Dekker
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore
  • Titus: Comrade of the Cross - Florence Morse Kingsley
  • The Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff
  • Villette - Charlotte Bronte
  • Young House Love - John & Sherry Petersik
  • The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
  • Notes From a Tilt-a-Whirl - N.D. Wilson
  • Bridge to Haven - Francine Rivers
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • Revolution in World Missions - K.P. Yohannan 
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle
  • Respectable Sins - Jerry Bridges
  • Steal Like An Artist - Austin Kleon
  • The Mockingbird Next Door - Marja Mills
  • The King's Speech - Mark Logue & Peter Conradi

BEST: Rebecca and Steal Like An Artist tie for me. Runner-ups include The Mockingbird Next Door and Crazy Love.

WORST: I try to pick books that I'm 99.9% sure I'll like, so none of these were a huge let-down. However, I did drag myself through three chapters of The Fault in Our Stars before I couldn't take the sarcasm, drama, and just BLEH any longer. That was my worst reading experience of 2014.

MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING: The Giver. Against my better judgment, I saw the movie before reading the book, but both are equally intriguing.

MOST DULL: I didn't enjoy Watership Down as much as I expected, and The Red Badge of Courage had to work hard to hold my attention as well. I was greatly anticipating Fahrenheit 451, but I read it while I was sick and distracted, so I don't think I appreciated it as much as I ought. I would like to read that one again soon...

FUNNIEST: It's a toss-up between The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Such clever stories! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society also had some humorous moments.

MOST CHALLENGING/INSPIRATIONAL: Revolution in World Missions first, then Crazy Love. Wow.

MOST INTENSE: Rebecca. Definitely Rebecca.

MOST SURPRISING: For some reason, I didn't have high expectations for The Eagle of the Ninth (probably because I saw the movie first and the movie is just okay), but it was an incredibly engaging story and captivated me from beginning to end.

CURRENTLY READING: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas (I had the best of intentions to complete it in 2014, but guys... it's huge) and The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart.

So there you have it. Not an impressively long list, but special, nonetheless. Now I have a job for you... I'm in the midst of creating my 2015 reading list, and I need some recommendations! Readysetgo.

31 comments:

  1. Great list!! I love reading people's end of the year book lists and adding their favorites to my Goodreads shelf! Thanks for sharing your's!

    My Recommendations:

    Mara, Daughter of the Nile - Eloise Jarvis McGraw
    The Boy Who Dared - Susan Campbell Bartoletti
    In the Mouth of the Wolf - Rose Zar
    Candle in the Darkness - Lynn Austin
    Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
    Cry of Hope - Emily Chapman
    Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
    Time of Storm - Marianne Fischer

    ...I could go on but I'll stop there. =)


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    1. Thanks so much! Little Women is one of my favourite classics, but I haven't read any of the others. Definitely looking forward to picking out a few! :)

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  2. You've read some fantastic books this past year! I did finish The Fault in Our Stars during the summer, but the only reason I kept going was because I was expecting it to get better. (It didn't.) Press on through Count of Monte Cristo, though -- it's worth it.

    I'd recommend the following books:

    My Antonia by Willa Cather
    Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
    A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok

    I don't know if you've read some of them before, but there they are. =)

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    1. YAY. I'm so happy to hear I am validated in my dislike of TFIOS. ;)
      Oh don't worry, I am definitely going to finish the Count! I am really enjoying it.
      Thanks for the recommendations! :)

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  3. You should definitely give Fahrenheit 451 another try! It was a fan and enjoyable read for me this past year...

    Gem

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    1. AIso, I would suggest the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, if you have not read it already! :)

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    2. I most certainly will!
      Ooooh, though it's been a looooong time, I have read The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I remember thinking it was superb. I may have to revisit that one...

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  4. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
    The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan
    Captain Horatio Hornblower - Raoul Walsh
    The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
    The Sound of Music - Maria von Trapp
    The Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare
    Lorna Doone - David Pen
    Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
    Daddy-Long-Legs - Jean Webster
    The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orzcy
    //
    I love your list. Some of those are going on my reading list for 2015. ;) It's fun to make huge exciting lists, because even if you don't get every book read you did get to read a ton of amazing literature.

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    1. Northanger Abbey and The Scarlet Pimpernel are two of my favourites! I haven't read the others, but they sound intriguing! Thanks so much. :)

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  5. Lovely list. Sounds like a great year of reads. My recommendations would be,

    The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
    Me, Myself, and Bob - Phil Vischer
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
    When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
    The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossieni

    Have fun compiling your new year's list!

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    1. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn several years ago and remember liking it. The others on your list are new to me, so thanks for the suggestions! :)

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  6. I love book posts!! This was such a great idea. Awesome list-- oh, I agree with you about TFIOS. And Rebecca! Thanks for recommending it to us; thanks to you, it's now one of my faves.

    sami
    www.heavenly-aspirations.blogspot.com

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    1. You're so welcome! :) I'm so happy to hear that you love Rebecca.

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  7. Austin Kleon's other book "Show Your Work!" was great. Highly recommend it!

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  8. Great list! A bit surprising to hear of someone not liking The Fault in Our Stars, but it goes to show that everyone has different tastes. Here are some recommendations for reads in 2015:

    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

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    1. Surprisingly, I know several people who don't like The Fault in Our Stars. We're not so uncommon as you might think! ;)
      Thanks for the recommendations!

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  9. Books! :) I would recommend -

    John Adams by David McCullough
    Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    March by Geraldine Brooks
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

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  10. erasing hell by francis chan! yus yus yus. btw, LOVE that photo (you must have a really good camera...XD). and also? you're editing skillz are just getting more + more faaaantastic.

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    1. ooooh yes! you definitely got me interested in that one. francis chan's books are fantastic.
      hahaha, yes, my camera is superb, it practically takes the pictures itself. XD ahhhh, thank ya so much! lately I've really been working on producing a better image straight from the camera (using manual more, balancing my settings and exposure, etc) so that I don't even have to do much editing. this one turned out really well on the camera, so I barely had to tweak it in the editing process. :) I was really happy!

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    2. I just have to mention this... I was glancing though all these comments looking for great book suggestions, and my eye fell on the phrase "You must have a really good camera." And without even reading the rest I had a little "moment." WHY DOES EVERYONE INSIST ON ASSUMING THAT THE CAMERA DOES ALL THE WORK. DON'T THEY KNOW THAT THE CAMERA IS ACTUALLY JUST A TINY PART OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND IT TAKES MAJOR SKILLS TO TAKE A GREAT PHOTO?!.


      aaaaaaaand then I read the rest of the comment and saw who said it and had to laugh. twas a joke! ;) You guys are hilarious, especially together. :) (I loved all the pictures/vlogs from Petie's sojourn in England.)

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    3. HAHAHAHA, I literally laughed out loud at your comment. :D

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  11. Fireflies in December, Cottonwood Whispers, and Catching Moondrops all by Jennifer Erin Valent are a really good trilogy. They're now on my favorite book list. Your photo is lovely! I just love pictures of books. :)

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  12. oh my goodness, i had the same reaction to The Fault in Our Stars. i just barely finished it. did not enjoy it at all. when i mentioned this briefly online i received a little backlash for this too, glad i'm not alone.
    have you ever read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers? kind of disturbing and hard to read at times, but i gues that depends on what you're used to reading. it was a pretty good book for me in 2014. i also tried THe Book Theif.. didn't think it was THAT special, but lots of folks like it. Fast Facts on False Teachings by Ron Carlson is DA BOMB.
    i just love reading others fave books and then recommending my own of course. happy 2015@

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    1. *high-five* Join the club. ;)
      I have read Redeeming Love, but honestly, I didn't really care for it. After hearing so much about it, I was expecting it to be fantastic, but I found it very underwhelming. I'm not sure why, just my taste, I suppose. Though Francine Rivers is one of my favourite authors, particularly her book The Last Sin Eater. Have you read that one? You should definitely give it a go. :)

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  13. oh, i read quite a few of the same books this year (crazy busy, steal like an artist, grace for the good girl, reread crazy love)! but i'm definitely going to have to add a few of these on to my list for this year, especially rebecca, i have heard SO much about that book and i need to actually get it and then sit down and read it.
    and actually i just posted my 2014 books on my blog, so i'll let you read it there instead of writing them all here, haha.

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    1. woohoo! Great minds think alike! ;)
      YES YES YES READ REBECCA.
      I read over your list and jotted down a few titles! I was particularly intrigued by Bread & Wine and My Life in France. Excited to read them!

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  14. Just a note to let you know again how much I enjoy your blog. It's so fresh, and I so admire how you are chasing Jesus with all your heart. Seriously, it's rare and I love it. My first semester of college was really rough on my relationship with God and I'm attempting to repair the damage. So I love reading your stories and I feel like I know you, even though I am the quintessential 'phantom' reader. Keep doing what you're doing, because you're affecting a lot of people.

    And as I never ever pass up an opportunity to recommend a book, 'Dear Mr. Knightley' and 'Ender's Game' were two books I read this year that grabbed my heart and tore it up. Also, anything by Rosemary Sutcliff (the author of 'Eagle of the Ninth') is fantastic, but especially 'Frontier Wolf'.

    Sorry for the long and probably creepy comment, I just was tired of being a phantom

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    1. Ahhh, you're not a phantom, I remember you! :) So lovely to hear from you again. And my word, lady, your words are such an encouragement to me! Wow just wow, thank you so much. I am so happy that the Lord has used my little space on the internet to encourage you. I'm sorry to hear that you've had a rough time, but thankful to know you are not giving up on the Lord. He certainly will never give up on you, and that's a big thing I've been learning lately. :)

      Thanks so much for the recommendations!

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