2014 Must Read Challenge

Holy Goodreads it's time to check in on my 2014 to read list!
Here's the good news: I've read 68 novels so far this year. And the bad news: only 27 of these are from my to read list of 57 books. 

Click on the above image to get to a list of different participants in this challenge.

After perusing my summer reading list I've realized that none of my 2014 books are on there, so I'm going to have to make some adjustments.

Some of the books I've read have wowed me. Here is a list of my five stars books. They are not in any particular order of preference because really, how can you choose one spectacular book over another? I loved each of these for different reasons.  I've linked to books that I blogged about in case you want to read more of my opinion....

  1. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp written by Kathi Appelt and read by Lyle Lovett was so delicious that no sooner did I finish it, I started all over again. 
  2. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. I tumbled head over heels in love with these characters and Turnage's writing, so I just had to read:
  3. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage. It was as good if not better than the first. 
  4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Just remembering this book takes my breath away. I loved it so much that I read the sequel, 
  5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman: I loved this book. Maybe this wasn't quite as stunning as American Gods, but then, what could be?
  6. The Raven Boys and by Maggie Stiefvater &
  7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: These characters are so compelling I am desperately waiting for the next in the series to come out!
  8. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielson: This book is both dark and hopeful. I couldn't put it down. 
  9. This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl: I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but John Green was a friend of Esther Grace, and so I picked it up. It's a heartbreaker, but full of love and hope at the same time. 
  10. The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck: I hadn't read any Steinbeck since my late teens, but he is my son's favourite writer so I asked him to recommend something. Wow! This collection of short stories about families that live in a farming community is so loaded with lyrical whimsy it feels like magical realism except it's not. Steinbeck's power is that he takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. 
  11. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley: Flavia de Luce is one of my favourite fictional characters, but I think I came to care more for her in this one. I can't wait to see where Bradley takes her next. 
  12. Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle: I fell in love with Nate last summer and was tickled pink to read this sequel. Federle didn't let me down!
  13. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I am embarrassed to admit that I had no idea there was such a thing as fan fiction til I read this book. I'm happy to say I've turned many of my sophisticated grade 7 readers onto Rainbow Rowell. 
  14. The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore. Love love love this book. I was heartbroken that our paperback lit circle set arrived too late to use. 
  15. Countdown by Deborah Wiles. I've long been a fan of Wiles, but the integration of nonfiction elements into fiction makes Countdown truly brilliant!
  16. In Darkness by Nick Lake: This is dark magical realism, a disturbing tale embedded with Haitian religion and mysticism. The characters are complex and not always likeable. The setting is depressing. In spite of all this, there is a glimmer of hope. 
  17. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall was a spring break recommendation. I loved how it felt like an old time children's classic. 
  18. The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I'm not generally a fan of such scary stories but I loved the unique world building and strange convoluted plot. 
  19. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henke. I'm waiting for this to come out in paperback so I can order a set for literature circles for younger readers. 
  20. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne Valente: This novel reads almost like poetry. 
  21. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: I loved this as much as Code Name Verity. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle this book, but it is as much about love and friendship as it is about the horrific circumstances in the concentration camp.

I'm now reading Adaptation by Malinda Lo. It was recommended by my niece Casey, whose blog, Casey the Canadian Lesbrarianis the place to go if you are interested in queer Canadian fiction. 

We're deep into renovations of our internet free house in the Southern Okanogan Valley, so I'll try to get this posted and look forward to reading everyone's responses when I am back in Vancouver. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I love The Penderwicks. Hoping another is released soon. You have many of my favourites here - Raven Boys and Dream Thieves, Nate of course! and Countdown. I have the feeling you will get through your entire list! Happy Reading (and renovating!)