Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Reading Year (in reflection)

The long and short of it is, I didn't read everything I wanted to read this past year. I also read a lot of different books that I thought I might. I rather suspect the same is true for a great many other readers out there.

As always, I keep a reading log of the books I've read throughout the year over at The Master List. If you are ever curious to see the whole kit and caboodle, you can click over there. Here is my 2014 reading list (complete). I list the books that I've read by/for myself and then also separately list the read-alouds which are shared with the bookworms. This year I read (outloud or to myself) a total of 79 books which is down considerably from 2013 (wherein I read 103 books!).

I attribute that to two factors, neither of which I would change:

1.) We added Bookworm4 to the family this year. Certainly I do not regret him at all! I love having four kids. It is a joy and a delight to have a household of little people running about, making merry. Yes, my reading time is feeling the affects but that is as it should be for this season of life. It's the best life and I'm chuckling to myself as the numbers of books read bothers me less than I thought it might. Quantity matters less and quality definitely matters more now than in previous years. I suspect this attitude to continue to develop over the next several years.

2.) Harry Potter. I read Harry Potter for the first time. I am still struggling to find books that I like quite so well. He definitely lit up my reading year and also effectively killed the last half of it. I will recover from him, right? Right?

Out of all of the books I read, here are my Top 10 Favorite Reads (linked to my reviews/thoughts):

1. Surprised by Oxford, by Carolyn Weber

2. At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon (re-read) - I read this when traveling in Korea which impacted me more, perhaps, than it would have had I re-read it at home on the couch.

3. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Second time was the charm for me and this title. I am glad to have read it.

4. The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope (re-read). I also read this one on our trip to Korea. I loved it just as much as I did the first time.

5. Miss Buncle's Book, by D.E. Stevenson. Oh, have you not read it yet!?!? You must!!

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling - This is my favorite title in the series and the one that "got to me". After reading this one, I raced my way through the rest of the books. Curiously, Jonathan started reading the books shortly after I finished them and Book 4 was the same title that grabbed at him and sent him racing to the end.

7. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. Definitely eye-opening and very interesting.

8. The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis. Notable because this has always been my least favorite of the Narnia books. However, this book spoke loudly to me on this particular re-read. I will never drag my feet when it comes to reading this ever again.

9. The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald which we read as part of the Reading to Know Book Club. Loved this book. (I also read it aloud to my children.)

10. Although I mention this last, it's not because it is the least important. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. This year is the first year in my whole entire life that I managed to read the Bible through in a year. I picked up this Chronological Bible at a local store for a good price and wanted to give it a try. I'd always wanted to read the Bible chronologically and I liked that this laid out the daily readings for me. No guess work. No multiple additional papers with references marked down. No computer programs and no highlighters. Just me and a Bible with passages clearly grouped into daily readings. I so valued this experience and found that there are not really any "boring" parts as we are so very inclined to think. Sure, certain parts take a little extra work but seeing the story laid out chronologically was helpful in my being able to better understand the whole.

I've picked up The One Year Bible ESV arranged into 365 readings for next year.

As for Bookworm1's independent reading list, well . . .

Last year I managed to keep a list of his reads. This year he out read me and I have no idea what all he managed to consume. I know he loved the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and devoured Encyclopedia Brown and Magic Tree House booksWe allowed him to read the first Harry Potter book and I just handed over The Mysterious Benedict Society which he is currently in the middle of reading. It is fun to see his reading take off and also a little sad that I can no longer keep up with it. (Waah!) I'm working on a solution to see if I can keep up with his titles next year but only time will tell if I can succeed at that or not!

This wraps up our "year in review." I'm curious to hear how you fared and if you shared a list of your top ten reads from 2014, I'd love to see it! Do share if you will.

In the meantime - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Heather VanTimmeren said...

The Goblet of Fire is my favorite Harry Potter book, too! It's just so well-crafted, and I love to see the pieces fall into place!

Great list!

Stephanie said...

The third HP was always my favorite - it's hard to pick a favorite!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I love top picks posts! And I suppose that I MUST read HP after this, right?!?

I no longer wven try to keep up with what my girls read. :(

My reading is down this year, too; it MUST be having a mobile 4th child!

I'm most impressed that you read the Bible through this year, too. Wow. I'd love to know more about how you manage your reading time with your growing family!

It's been a great, though challenging, year for us, and I suspect for you, too.

To God be the glory!

Lisa notes... said...

The Book Thief is looking at me right now from the coffee table. :) Waiting to start it after I finish two other books. Must.Hold.Off. Thanks for sharing your top 10. I'll return here when I'm looking for something new to read in 2015. Merry Christmas!

Barbara H. said...

I have Surprised by Oxford on my TBR list, and I'd love to read The Book Thief, too.

I have read the Bible through, but not chronologically, which I'd love to do some time. That sounds like a good resource.

I can remember feeling sad when my oldest's reading pace was faster than my ability to keep up. He loved Encyclopedia Brown, too.

I have been working on my end-of-year book lists off and on and finally have it ready to post tonight.

Shonya said...

Super fun! I'm behind and haven't done this yet, but it's fun to see what made your list. HP on your top ten. . .huh! It's been hard for me, watching you read them through for the first time, and now my 17yos is just about finished with the series (it's been a reading-kind-of-month for him, Ha!). You two are making me want to ditch everything and read for a solid week! :)

hopeinbrazil said...

Very nice list. I bought a chronological bible this year too. I only made it through the New Testament but really liked it. I have read several of your other favorites, but haven't gotten around to reading HP yet.

Tarissa said...

I had a quick question. I'm planning out some of my next books to read... and I was wondering!... What book(s) are you thinking of tackling for the LMM challenge in January? =)

Carrie said...

I need to prepare the LMM post and have that ready to go! (Thanks for the reminder. Not that I had forgotten...totally...)

I am personally planning to read another volume of her selected journals and also The Blythes are Quoted. And then we'll see.

Choose any LMM title you like!

Tarissa said...

Thanks for the ideas, Carrie! There's still so much for me to explore about LMM. :) Anyways, I'll see where January takes me. Very excited about the challenge!

Tarissa said...

I loved seeing your favorite books for the year. I believe I have Miss Buncle's Book, so I'll keep that one in mind to read this next year.

I shared my 2014 favorite reads today. =)

Sharon said...

I so agree about Harry Potter. It was a delight to read that series this year. And to think I turned my nose up to it in the past! I agree that Goblet of Fire was a turning point in the series. I miss Harry.

Shonya said...

I got my post up! So fun!!! But I can't believe how much "modern" fiction I read this year. blush

Anonymous said...

I liked Harry Potter 3,5, and 7 the best.
Have you read Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga (4 books and your kids would probably enjoy them also)?

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