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2014 in Books

deutsch, bitte!

After reading 30+ books last year easily, I started off this year with a goal of reading 50 books, and I definitely made it, with some half-read books to spare. Here is the list of the 50 I read, pretty much in that order, with links to the reviews I wrote.*

(PS Add me on GoodReads!)

Book #1 of 2014: “Turn Around Bright Eyes” by Rob Sheffield
Book #2 of 2014: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
Book #3 of 2014: “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Book #4 of 2014: “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by Piper Kerman
Book #5 of 2014: “TransAtlantic” by Colum McCann
Book #6 of 2014: “Drown” by Junot Diaz
Book #7 of 2014: “The Color Master” by Aimee Bender
Book #8 of 2014: “Kitchen” by Banana Yoshimoto
Book #9 of 2014: “The Summer We Got Free” by Mia McKenzie
Book #10 of 2014: “The Illusion of Separateness” by Simon van Booy
Book #11 of 2014: “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit
Book #12 of 2014: “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together” by Mark & Grace Driscoll
Book #13 of 2014: “Love to the Uttermost” by John Piper
Book #14 of 2014: “The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller
Book #15 of 2014: “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton
Book #16 of 2014: “Moonlight Shadow” by Banana Yoshimoto
Book #17 of 2014: “Willful Creatures” by Aimee Bender
Book #18 of 2014: “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon
Book #19 of 2014: “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
Book #20 of 2014: “The Harmony Silk Factory” by Tash Aw
!Book #21 of 2014: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
Book #22 of 2014: “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
Book #23 of 2014: “The Indie Conference Organizer Handbook” by Max Krüger and Peter Bihr
Book #24 of 2014: “The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez
Book #25 of 2014: “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace
Book #26 of 2014: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Book #27 of 2014: “Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott
Book #28 of 2014: “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” by Chelsea Handler
Book #29 of 2014: “Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered” by Austin Kleon
Book #30 of 2014: “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche” by Haruki Murakami
Book #31 of 2014: “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper
Book #32 of 2014: “The Waters and the Wild” by Francesca Lia Block
Book #33 of 2014: “Bridge to Terebithia” by Katherine Paterson
Book #34 of 2014: The Anatomy of Dreams” by Chloe Benjamin
Book #35 of 2014: “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave
Book #36 of 2014: “The Unnamed” by Joshua Ferris
Book #37 of 2014: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Book #38 of 2014: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
Book #39 of 2014: “Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint” by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Book #40 of 2014: “Functional Programming in Swift” by Chris Eidhof, Florian Kugler, and Wouter Swierstra
Book #41 of 2014: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
Book #42 of 2014: “Not That Kind of Girl” by Lena Dunham
Book #43 of 2014: “The Lipstick Gospel” by Stephanie May Wilson
Book #44 of 2014: “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Book #45 of 2014: “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver
Book #46 of 2014: “Here is Berlin” by JM Stim
Book #47 of 2014: “3D Graphics with Scene Kit” by David Rönnqvist
Book #48 of 2014: “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler
Book #49 of 2014: “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel
Book #50 of 2014: “Weetzie Bat” by Francesca Lia Block

Now that it’s 2015, my goal is the same. I think 50 books a year is reasonable and doable. so I will shoot for that again. The only change I’d like it to be better at writing reviews of them. That said, any book recommendations you want to give me?

*Those who follow me on Twitter might note that I also had two other books I wrote about, but I didn’t finish them (which is the trouble with writing about them before finishing them, something I stopped doing halfway through exactly for this reason). These books were “The Blue Flower” by Penelope Fitzgerald (originally #12) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez (originally #24). I do hope to finish both of these books at some point (though the former is proving to be difficult), but I just didn’t get to the end before 2014 came to a close.

  • Wow, I wish I was that disciplined. Do you ever think you’ll switch to reading mostly German books?

    • I try to read one or two German books a year, but no, I doubt I will ever make the switch. I just don’t find enjoyment in reading in German that same way I do in English. Though I do like kid books!

  • I’m so impressed that you’ve read so much! I’m saving your list to help me choose books to read in 2015!

    • Thanks! I am pretty proud of this, though a couple people I know read 80-100 books this year like it was nothing. That’s pretty admirable to me!

  • nikki

    Oh! I have a blog hop every year to link up just this sort of post. I’d love it if you added yours:

    But to the books…awesome list, and there are a bunch of things on here that I would like to read: Weetzie Bat and Drown, for two. I’ve only read six of the books on your list, most recently Americanah. Did you talk about that in more detail somewhere? Want to pop over and check out your review. All the best for 2015 reading!

    • Thanks for the link to the link up and blog. Added!

      I haven’t written about Americanah because I didn’t have a strong reaction I could put into words. I liked it for sure, but I don’t know how to explain how it made me feel. I want to read more of Adichie’s stuff though.

      Weetzie Bat was a fun read… I am surprised it took so long for me to read, but I liked it way better than the other Block book I read this year, and will probably end up reading the rest. They are just fun and lighthearted (at least on the surface, while dealing with serious and real issues).

      Drown was OK, but if you haven’t yet read “This Is How You Lose Her,” do that. I think it’s his finest work, and he just keeps getting better.

    • nikki @ book punks