I did a stupid thing last year. I read 53 books. I then thought I should definitely read 53 books this year too. I even used those goal setting techniques you’re always taught that include making it measurable and having steps and telling people about it so you don’t slack. I personally like the last one, I think it’s less of a concern of slacking but instead puts you in a mode of self shaming for not achieving your goal. Anyway, by December 1st I realised I somehow had 11 books to go (7 books behind – math was never my strong suit). People told me to just change my goal but I’m a little too obsessive for that (plus that aforementioned self shaming thing I have going on). Instead I neglected any duties I had for the month (sorry if my clothes are a bit wrinkly and I smell like Febreeze instead of Dove body wash) and finished book 53 by December 27th! Ta-dah!!!
So here are my books, broken down by stars. If you are looking for recommendations might I suggest starting with the 5 or 4 star books – and not making your way to 2 or 1 star. I included my reviews for the 5 star books. For reviews of all of the books I read click on the Goodreads Widgets on the right. Happy judging me by what I read!
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It’s been a while since I’ve cried while reading a book.
If I ever get a dog again I’ll never look at them the same.
- Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick – Non-fiction. Painful. Moving. The survival of Arn Chorn-Pond in Cambodia from 1975 – 1979 and life beyond.
- Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. Painful. Moving. The survival of Arn Chorn-Pond in Cambodia from 1975 – 1979 and life beyond.
- The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. Loved this!!! 7th grade coming of age in the late 1960’s amidst the Vietnam War, school bullies, and Shakespeare. I typically don’t quote from books but I had to share some gems, from one part of the book that left me panged for Holling Hoodhood.
“You got no clothes that any decent person would wear … No bus fare. And no baseball. How’re you going to make it in this world, kid?”
“When gods die, they die hard. It’s not like they fade away, or grow old, or fall asleep. They die in fire and pain, and when they come out of you, they leave your guts burned. It hurts more than anything you can talk about. And maybe worst of all is, you’re not sure if there will ever be another god to fill their place. Or if you’d ever want another god to fill their place. You don’t want fire to go out inside you twice.”
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Utterly delightful.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom – Non-fiction. Inspiring and though provoking. Corrie Ten Boom had exemplary character where I wouldn’t faltered many many times.
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I hadn’t read short stories since I was in the 7th grade and found this to be a much more agreeable experience. I enjoyed interloping into bits of lives of people who all share the feeling of displacement or aloneness but still find internal resolution or solace. I also thought it was going to be entirely depressing but found it enjoyable!
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – YA
- Thunderstruck by Erik Larson – Non-fiction
- A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King – Non-fiction
- The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
- Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) by Lauren Oliver – YA
- Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
- Black Out (All Clear, #1) by Connie Willis – YA
- All Clear (All Clear #2) by Connie Willis – YA
- The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
- Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3) by Holly Black
- Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth
- Insurgent (Divergent, #2) by Veronica Roth
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
- The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1) by Shannon Hale
- House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – YA
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – Non-fiction
- Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver – YA
- No Angel (The Spoils of Times, #1) by Penny Vincenzi
- Something Dangerous (The Spoils of Times, #2) by Penny Vincenzi
- The Expats by Chris Pavone
- Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson – Non-Fiction
- Reached (Matched, #3) by Ally Condie – YA
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrin, #1) by Riggs Ransom
- A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness
- Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness
- The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal – Non-fiction
- Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2) by Janet Evanovich
- Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. Cast – YA
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
- Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce – YA
- Silver is for Secrets (Blue is for Nightmares, #3)by Laurie Faria Stolarz – YA
- Red is for Remembrance (Blue is for Nightmares, #4) by Laurie Faria Stolarz – YA
- White is for Magic (Blue is for Nightmares, #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz – YA
- Blue is for Nightmares (Blue is for Nightmares, #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz – YA
- Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12) by Charlaine Harris
- Whateverland: Learning to Live Here by Stewart Alexis – Non-fiction
- Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson – Non-fiction
- Then Again by Diane Keaton – Non-fiction
- Burger Wuss by M.T. Anderson
- I Hate Everyone … Starting with Me by Joan Rivers