- Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (YA fiction)
- Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery (Re-read; YA fiction)
- Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson (Fiction)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read; fiction)
- Anna Was Here by Jane Kurtz (Juvenile fiction)
- “Holy Emotions” (devotional at YouVersion) (Nonfiction)
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Fiction)
- Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus (Juvenile/YA fiction)
- My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (Fiction)
- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (Fiction)
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (Juvenile fiction)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Fiction)
- Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson (Nonfiction)
- Finding God When You Need Him Most by Chip Ingram (Nonfiction)
- Boundaries with Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Nonfiction)
- A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (Juvenile fiction)
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (re-read; fiction)
- Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah McKenzie (Nonfiction)
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (YA fiction/fiction)
- The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (Juvenile fiction)
- Nest by Esther Ehrlich (Juvenile fiction)
- Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Juvenile fiction)
- Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi (Nonfiction)
- Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (Nonfiction)
- The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (Juvenile fiction)
- West of the Moon by Margi Preus (Juvenile fiction)
- Revolution by Deborah Wiles (Juvenile fiction)
- Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (re-read; juvenile fiction)
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (reread; unfinished, but worth noting; fiction)
- The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (Juvenile fiction)
- Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Juvenile fiction)
- The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (Juvenile fiction)
- Hope Is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera (Juvenile fiction)
- Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Juvenile fiction)
- The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore (Juvenile fiction)
- The Talk(s): A Parent’s Guide to Critical Conversations About Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables by Barrett Johnson (Nonfiction)
That total of thirty-six books (plus a few more nonfiction titles I didn’t record as I dipped into and out of them over the summer) is the fewest I’ve had in a while. As always, it’s been a heavy-on-the-fiction year. Reading and reviewing have been struggles for me this year; I’m busier now than ever before. Plus, I no longer have a nursing toddler, so that little bit of downtime I used to have is no more. Of course, I’m not counting the read-alouds I shared with my children. Next week I’ll share those, and on Thursday, January 1, I’ll put up a Read Aloud Thursday linky for you to share your own lists.
As far as favorites from the year go, I can say that I’m happy that I’ve read more classics (and even a few from my Classics Club list!) than usual. This is mostly because of my IRL bookclub. I’ve also learned something about myself: I dislike re-reading books, even books I love. (Jane Eyre is what I’m thinking of here.) Actually, I’m not sure that I really dislike re-reading books; I think the opposite might even be true. I think it’s just that at this point in my life I very little quiet time that reading a hefty tome requires, and when it’s one I’ve read before, I grow impatient to get to something new-to-me (and easier to read!) That’s my reading confession of the year.
As far as favorites go, I’m not going to overthink this or even quantify it. I’m just going to go with my off-the-cuff reactions. In no particular order (well, actually, in the order in which I read them ), these are my top picks of 2014:
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Such a complex, compelling, and heartbreaking story.
Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson. Sherry recommended this one to me last year, and I’m so glad I read it. Delightful!
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. Suspenseful, entertaining, and well-written children’s book I had meant to read for a long time.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I didn’t review it, but I shared quotes here and here. Aside from just being proud of myself for reading the whole thing, I am pleased to say that I enjoyed this one quite a lot.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This was my favorite fiction read of the year. I just love this story.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. I never wrote a proper review of this one, though I did share some of my thoughts about it here. This is one of those books that I devoured, and the end of it really gave me some things to consider.
Revolution by Deborah Wiles. This was my first documentary novel, but it won’t be my last.
If you’ve shared your 2014 books list or top picks, leave me a link. I’d love to read yours!