52 Book Challenge of 2014

Books I read in 2014:

  1. We Are Water, Wally Lamb
  2. The Theory of Opposites, Allison Winn Scotch
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  4. All The Lonely People, Jess Riley
  5. How To Talk To A Widower, Jonathan Tropper
  6. I Am Nujood, Age 10 & Divorced, Nujood Ali w/ Delphine Minoui
  7. Mouseton Abbey
  8. Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together, Pamela Slim
  9. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
  10. The Blindfolded Marriage: Ever Feel Like Your Relationship Is Harder Than It Should Be? Jonathan Hoover
  11. The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan
  12. The Mastery of Management: or How To Solve The Mystery of Mismanagement, Taibi Kahler
  13. Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s, John Elder Robison
  14. Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, & Parent, Brene Brown
  15. A Memoir of Going Home: Mennonite In A Little Black Dress, Rhoda Janzen
  16. The Dream Manager, Matthew Kelly
  17. Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Trip To Heaven, Todd Bopo, Sonja Bopo, & Colton Bopo
  18. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  19. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  20. Remember Me Like This, Bret Anthony Johnson
  21. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
  22. This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper
  23. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  24. The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty
  25. The Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson
  26. Moloka’I, Alan Brennert
  27. Landline, Rainbow Rowell
  28. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  29. The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis
  30. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed
  31. Larger Than Life, Jodi Picoult
  32. Tell The Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt
  33. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
  34. Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale, Ian Morgan Cron
  35. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  36. Learning From The Voices In My Head, Eleanor Longden
  37. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  38. Blind, Rachel DeWoskin
  39. Get Busy Living, Jenny Hardin
  40. American Sniper, Chris Kyle
  41. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
  42. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
  43. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
  44. The Light Between Oceans: A Novel, M.L. Stedman
  45. Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition In Christianity, Joyce Rockwood Hudson
  46. Department of Speculation, Jenny Offill
  47. Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  48. You Better Not Cry, Augusten Burroughs
  49. The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman
  50. The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls
  51. Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, Ethan Watters
  52. Euphoria, Lily King

My top 5 favorite (In no particular order):

The Worst Hard Time

As much as I love to read, I like to remind my girls, that true life is by far more interesting than fiction. I’ve always been a sucker for true life stories, and this one, my friends, is utterly fascinating.

Daring Greatly

2014 was the year I learned about Brene Brown and subsequently fell in love. Like her, I’m a LMSW so the self help genre has always interested me. Naturally, there are a lot of “crap” books out there that fall under self help, but this one is a complete and utter gem. If you’ve seen either one of her TED Talks then this book is that on steroids! You cannot go wrong reading this book. I guarantee you will learn something about yourself.

Eleanor & Park

I don’t recall how I came across this book. I’m thinking perhaps I read an article about it or the author; I know it wasn’t recommended to me, but oh my this book! Yes, it’s geared toward teen and young adult, but I don’t care. This is still probably one of my favorites. It’s set in the 1980’s and involves comic books, mixed tapes, and first love, need I say more? What sets it apart is that as I completed it, I knew without a doubt, my oldest daughter (13 at the time) would absolutely adore it – and she did. We both hope that it will make it’s way to the big screen – only if it does the book justice, though. One of the many things I love about books is their ability to transcend age and unite generations and this book did just that.

The Screwtape Letters

Growing up, my dad was never much of a reader (other than the newspaper), though on those big, long distance road trips, he’d check out an audio book or two from the library and listen to them. It’s only in retirement, and really even only in the last couple of years, that he’s started to read books. He’s been a Christian since before my parents met and married, and will gladly tell you how he came to accept Christ in his life and the peace he’s had ever since. This is the first book, outside of scriptures in the bible that I’ve read that is faith based. It’s small, but mighty and shook me to my core.

The Light Between Oceans

One of my childhood friends is an English professor and during my quest to fulfill my goal, she’d routinely recommend books to me. I read one or two and wasn’t as moved by them as she, but then she suggested I read this one and I am so very glad I did. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. The emotions in this book are raw and tangible. It’s soon to be released as a major motion picture and while I generally hesitate to see a movie once I’ve read the book, I’m actually looking forward to this one.

The official movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5SOdK-9f_A

Through this experience, I discovered new to me authors like Jonathan Tropper and Liane Moriarty and have enjoyed reading other books by them. Lastly, even though the books didn’t make it into my top 5 of 2014, there are two books that, while not my favorite, have definitely stayed with me. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert and The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion.



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