Friday, January 2, 2015

The Year in Books

Normally, this space would hold my review of the top books I read in the past year, but this year it was nearly left blank.  2014 was my worst reading year since 1965 (the year before I learned to read).  There are only twenty-four books on my Goodreads "read" shelf, and six of them are audio re-reads (re-listens?) of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. 

Not only did I not read much, I didn't like a large share of what I did read.  I'm not sure which of those is the chicken and which is the egg.  Did I not enjoy the books I read because I was in a reading slump?  Or did poor book selections cause my reading slump? Either way, excluding the Mitford books - which I reread because I already knew they were 5-star - there are only a handful of books worth mentioning.

TOP BOOK OF THE YEAR:  If you've read any of my previous annual book wrap-ups, this selection will come as no surprise.

       Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen  (click to read my review)

BEST BOOK RECOMMENDATION:  Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings.  Recommended by my niece, Katherine Smith (age 10)

BEST BOOK EVERYONE WAS TALKING ABOUT YEARS AGO AND I JUST GOT AROUND TO READING:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 


Return to Me by Lynn Austin
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Lighthouse Bay by Kimberly Freeman

I have set a goal of 50 books for 2015 and am re-evaluating my use of time to be able to achieve that.  Here's to a great reading year and a return to my enthusiasm for books!


  1. It saddened me to hear that you hadn't read as many books last year, and I'm not sure why because I know that you spend almost all of your free time creating of a sewing nature, or quilting nature, drawing, painting or crafting . . . but there is something special in reading a book. So good luck to you as you pick it back up to 50. That sounds more like you!

  2. Just think, though, 24 books is still more than a lot of people read in a year! You probably need to learn something that I need to learn - how to allow yourself to give up on a book that's just not doing it for you, at least permission to put it aside until it might be the right book at the right time.

  3. Twenty-four books is nothing to sneeze at. That is two per month, twice that of a book of the month club and they are trying to make sales! And as to your chicken and the egg reference, I definitely believe that forcing yourself to finish something less than appealing causes the slump and not vise versa. Awareness is the first step to change. Pause to ask yourself if you like what you are reading. If you are not enjoying the book, stop reading it. I was buying a lot of books from Amazon or Costco because I thought having it at my fingertips when I was in the mood would cause me to read it. (Just like buying the fabric is making the quilt, and stocking up on fresh vegetables guarantees you will avoid cookies... ) And in many cases it was cheaper than the library fines for my late returns. Now I have changed my attitude. I check books out of the library. If I have not read it or finished reading it by the due date, I return it. That due date gives me a deadline in which to be decisive to read or not to read. If I regret having returned the book I can always check it out again. And if I forget about the book... well that is a critique in itself about how memorable it was in the first place. You just made me aware that I count my quilts and other projects in my blog but not my books. I have no idea how many I have read this year. I did start keeping track of them in my WanderOrPonder blog so I am going to go check that out. I'll bet the quantity was way less that twenty-four! And by the way, I do use your blog as a source of what to read next. So, no pressure mind you, just pick some good ones!

  4. I loved Return to Me, by Lynn Austin, better than the two that followed on the series. Historical fiction is my fav, especially when it brings our ancient faith stories to life!