Books of 2014, Part 1

I’m waaay behind writing about the books I’ve read this year, but here goes nothing.

The Secret Keeper- Kate Morten
Oooo, I liked this book. It was well-written with complex characters, and a few delicious twists that I didn’t see coming. It took me away to another place and time and I was sad when it was over. I haven’t read anything else by this author, but I SHOULD.

The Dinner- Herman Koch
We read this for book club, and it’s the perfect kind of book to read and then discuss with your friends. There wasn’t a likable character in the whole thing, and the content that is revealed over the course of their dinner is… shocking and twisted and ARRRRGH. But. I enjoyed it. And I think I enjoyed it even more since I knew I could rant about how messed up it was with my friends.

Sushi For Beginners- Marian Keyes
This was light, quick, entertaining, and about people working in an industry that is SO FAR from my daily reality. It’s was a perfect escape. I wouldn’t rant about how great this book is or anything, but for a nice palette cleanser? Go for it.

Allegiant- Veronica Roth
I read these books as they came out (this is 3rd of a trilogy; YA distopian), and I think I would have enjoyed this one better if I had waited and read them all in a row. I had forgotten much of the details from the other books. None the less, I wasn’t LOST or anything reading this, and I enjoyed it and actually liked how the series ended. The pace of this book is fantastic it kept me turning the pages. What Roth lacks in character development she sure makes up for in moving the plot forward. (As a side note, one of my 11yos is reading this book right now and loving it.)

The Art of Racing in the Rain- Garth Stein
Oh! Oh, I loved this book. LOVED. It’s one of those books that if you had described to me what it was about I would’ve immediately thought NO THANKS NOT FOR ME. If I had even known who the narrator was I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. As it was, I DID read it and I LOVED it. It was beautifully written, made me think about things in a new way, and was heart-clenchy in such a great way. The epilogue was a little out there for me, but otherwise? ALL THE STARS.

I Remember Nothing- Nora Ephron
Is it ironic that I don’t remember many details about this book? Ha. I do know that this book, like all of Ephron’s books that I’ve read, was smart, funny, and really honest. I think I’m probably young for the intended audience, but sometimes it’s nice to read stuff by someone older than me looking back on her life. It feels a little like a guide-book. Well, that makes it sound cheesy, and I’m certain that she didn’t have guide-book in mind when she wrote it, but you know what I mean. I hope. It’s quick and light and wise and worth the read.

Eleven- Tom Rogers
I read this after a friend said she read it with her kids and enjoyed it. I really liked it, but it’s definitely a book for a young reader. My own 6th graders also loved it, and it was a great platform for discussing 9-11. I also liked that it wasn’t overly scary or graphic. Well done.

Heft- Liz Moore
This book! I have recommended this book to so many people. Out of everything I’ve read in the past year or two, this one definitely stands out. It’s just so fantastic. Read it and tell your friends to read it and text me and we’ll talk about it.

Wonder- RJ Palacio
This is another book that I cannot say enough good things about. I was absolutely blown away. After I read it, I decided that my whole family needed to read it RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I announced this at dinner, saying that we would have our first family book club discussion about it, and they ALL bucked me. But then they read it, and they had their friends read it, and most of my friends read it and had their kids read it, and then I started telling all the teachers I knew about it and then I bought all my girls’ teachers this book as part of their gift at the end of the school year. It’s really that good. I wish I could read it again for the first time.