I feel like at the end of every year, I’m always saying “this was not one of my better reading years.” This was yet another year of setting my goal to 100 books and not even coming close to reaching it, but that’s okay! Goals are good, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. When I was younger, I would sit and read for hours on end. I would wake up in the morning and just start reading and not stop. I can’t do that anymore since I have actual adult responsibilities now (bummer!) but I still try and read as much as I can.
2014 Reading Statistics
Adult books: 31
Young adult books: 7
Middle grade books: 3
MOST COMMONLY READ GENRES OF 2014
Chick-lit/women’s fiction: 12
2014 Favorite Reads
These are my favorite reads of 2014, in the order that I read them. I read a lot of great books this year but these are the ones that I enjoyed the absolute best:
The Fat Bridesmaid by Brooke Zaras – this debut novel featuring an overweight woman who wants to lose weight really resonated with me for many obvious reasons. I loved the story, its characters, and how easy it was for the average woman to relate. It also happened to be both sweet and fun at the same time!
Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick – this chick-lit novel about a break-up themed town was adorable, funny, and witty. I loved the setting and the characters were fantastic.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl is another amazing YA offering from the uber talented Rainbow Rowell about a pair of twins who go off to college and start living distinct, separate lives. One twin struggles with this while the other one thrives. Again, I could relate SO MUCH to Cath who had to learn to live life on her own terms and struggled horribly with being away. Rowell is just a damn good writer, and I found so many similarities between Cath and myself.
Beyond Hollywood Strip by Shamron Moore – this is the sequel to Hollywood Strip (which landed on my 2013 favorite list) and is a total guilty pleasure. These are really shallow books about a young Hollywood actress that are completely vulgar, scandalous, and thrilling…. but I absolutely love them and how fun they are! Sometimes, you just need a little brain candy!
A Pinch of Ooh La La by Renee Swindle – this is a fantastic women’s fiction story about a woman from a very large family who, after a terrible heartbreak, is looking for love again. She meets a wonderful man, but there are so many obstacles in the way. The large, vibrant cast of characters really stood out for me and I loved all the family dynamics.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – this story of a missing wife and her shady husband was probably my number one favorite read of the year. It lived up to all the hype for me, and I’m only sad that I didn’t read it sooner!
The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans – RPE is one of my favorite authors and I can never get enough of his sweet, touching Christmas stories. This one, about a pair pretending to be a couple for the holidays, was as good as all his others!
So, that was my reading year! Next year will be very different since I’ll be a new mommy and all, but I do plan on making as much time as possible for reading as having a newborn will allow. I’m thinking of my goals for next year, but haven’t quite decided on them yet! Check back later for some goals.
All things considered, I’d say my reading year was not too bad. Obviously, I always wish I had read more but this year was another one of big changes. I’d say that one of the biggest factors that impacted my ability to read as much as I wanted to was buying our house and all the time that is involved in being a homeowner, doing renovations, taking care of housework, etc. The other even bigger factor this year was/is my pregnancy. I’ve been pregnant for most of the year (since April) and with that comes complete exhaustion, sickness, and fatigue that finds me regularly slumped on the couch in front of the TV after work a lot more than I typically like to be. So while my numbers were low this year, it was for good reasons and I have no regrets!
My book club is still going strong (since September 2013) and has been A LOT of fun. We started as a Forever YA chapter, but weren’t always thrilled with the reading choices, so we still use their choices some months, but have mostly been choosing our own books, both adult and YA. I have to admit, most of us have been slacking and when we get to our monthly meetings, we are all in different stages of having read or not read the book, or having read some of it, etc. Either way, it’s always a fun excuse to get together with friends! We read Gone Girl one month and then went to dinner and to see the movie which was AWESOME! Otherwise, we rotate between houses. We eat tons of good food, have lots of fun chats (usually about everything BUT the book… oops), and also did a Christmas party / Secret Santa. All in all, I’m loving it!
I read a lot more nonfiction than usual, but I’m not surprised since I read quite a few parenting books this year. I started reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting after receiving it as a gift from my friend / fellow book clubber in May and read it in pieces all year long, following along with my pregnancy. All in all, I found it to be a very helpful guide to pregnancy. I really enjoyed most of the pregnancy books I read, many of which were humorous. I’ll be doing some mini reviews of those shortly!
Not surprised that my most commonly read genre was chick-lit / women’s fiction… it’s my absolute favorite genre.
How was your reading this year, and what were some of your favorite books?