Checking In With My 2014 Must Read List

I always mean to be focused, but the truth is, I am easily beguiled by a shiny new hardcover. Faster than you can say, "goodreads," I've abandoned the patient stack of paperbacks that have been waiting for me for ages. 
Consequently, I am astonished to find that I have read more than one third of the 56 books on my 2014 must read list! Of the 36 novels I've read so far this year, 20 of them are there. (I abandoned two of them so that actually makes 22) 

So far I've completed:

The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout ★★★★ I liked this one enough to purchase a set for lit circles. 

Darius & Twig by Walter Dean Myers  ★★★★ The more I read of Myer's work, the more I admire him. 
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley ★★★★Some people haven't liked this new Flavia novel, but I love that Bradley is taking her into new directions. 
The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander ★★★★ So far, the lit circle set I purchased have been a success with readers.
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato ★★★★ I bought a set for lit circles before I read it because it was at the book fair, and I love Amato's work. So far no feedback from kids on it.
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson 
★★★★ Hattie is an amazing character. Now I have to track down and read Hattie Big Sky. 
In Darkness by Nick Lake ★★★★Other than a few adult novels, this is one of the most powerful books I've read in the last few years. 
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver ★★★ I liked this sweet fairy tale novel.

The Long Earth (The Long Earth #1) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter ★★★★ 
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen ★★★★ I'm slightly addicted to her work. This isn't one of her finest, but still satisfying.
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender ★★★ So far kids at school have loved this one. 
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt ★★★★  I loved these books but I don't think kids at school appreciate them so much.
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvate  ★★★★(I adored this so much I am now reading The Dream Thieves) Her writing is unbearably beautiful. 
Ring of Fire by Pierdomenico Baccalario ★★★ This was good enough to make me want to try the next one.
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff ★★★★ I look forward to 'Jack' soon to be released.
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen 
★★★★ I need to read more of these to see if they are all this good.
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver ★★★★ I hate spiders, but was compelled to finish it anyway.
Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle ★★★ I liked this, but prefer Words that Start With B.
The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore ★★★★★ I ordered a set of these for literature circles. 
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes ★★★★ When this book comes out in soft cover, I am buying a literature set for our younger readers!

Books I've abandoned:

Although I loved Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I couldn't finish Eleanor and Park. I tried it as an audio book and got about 3/4 through but had such a hard time with it. First, it felt like I was waiting for a train wreck about to happen. Second, there was too much heavy breathing and angst in it for me. I think I will have a go at it again in old fashioned book form. 

I tried The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer and Brandon Dorman, but I  couldn't embrace it. It went too all over the place and was painful to read.  


  1. Such impressive reading Cheriee! I also loved The Water Castle, Rump and The Year of Billy Miller. You have read so many of the titles on your list.Okay for Now is an absolute favourite and Raven Boys series, wow! Happy Reading for the rest of 2014! So happy you are participating in this challenge!

  2. I wish that kids would love those Gary D. Schmidt titles as much as we do. I think they don't appreciate the historical nuances the way older readers do.