I got off to a slow start in 2014 but breezed through a lot of fun reads the last couple of months, bringing my reading tally to 20 books.  Last year’s bookshelf contains my usual eclectic mix – a lot of memoirs, a couple of self-help books, a little poetry, some teen fiction…  The year in review:

2014-12 books

The Sleepeasy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Le Divorce by Diane Johnson

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Best books of 2014:  I just finished Operating Instructions and have once again been wowed by Anne Lamott’s ability to speak to my soul – this journal of her first year of motherhood in all its ups and downs was so poignant and so familiar.  One moment her son is the light of her life, the sweetest, most beautiful creature ever to exist, the next moment he is the devil incarnate (love you, Jules!).  Honorable mention to Bossypants for being hilarious and engaging and exactly the kind of thing I was wanting to read on rainy December afternoons.  I should also give a shout-out to The Sleepeasy Solution for saving us from those late-night marathon baby-bouncing sessions as we “trained” the baby to get to sleep on her own (seriously, I love you, Jules!).

Worst book of 2014:  There are a few duds up there, but particularly wish I hadn’t wasted my time on Le Divorce.  I picked this one up because it’s set in Paris and the review I read promised the perfect mix of tragedy and comedy, but even the Parisian scenery wasn’t enough to get me on board.  Unbelievable, slooooow, and without a single likable character.

On the docket for 2015:  Last year was a little light on classics – going to make up for it this year by tackling The Brothers Karamazov and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  I’d like to delve deeper into poetry as well, maybe pick up Wendell Berry or Maya Angelou.  And for balance, I’ll probably throw in a little Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling, to stay well-rounded, of course…