Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reading 2014: A Year in Review

I'm a bit behind the other blogs and I always wonder if these kinds of posts are helpful. After all, I usually end up adding more books to my lists after posts like these than I can read in a year! But reading is what I do, so here we go.

The book covers below are affiliate links to Amazon. Underneath, I've linked to my book reviews or monthly book report.

Favorite Book of 2014

The Hidden Power of Kindness by Lawrence G. Lovasik - my review. More than any other book I read in 2014, this one changed how I live.

Best Fiction

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk - my review. Please read this book before you watch the movie! (Or just read the book and skip the movie altogether.)

Best Non-Fiction
These Beautiful Bones by Emily Stimpson - my review. If you only read one book on theology of the body, make it this one.

Best Book of Poetry

Still Life with Dirty Dishes by Ramona McCallum - mentioned here. This book inspired me to start reading a poem or two every day.

Best New-to-Me Author

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen - my review.

Best Classic Book I'd Never Read Before

I don't have anything to put here. Hopefully I read a classic in 2015 I like better.

Best Book I Pre-Read for School

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart - my review. I pre-read this mostly for First Son and expect him to read it over the summer, but now that I think about it, I just might read it to the whole family. It's most certainly my favorite book in the series.

Book that Made Me Cry

Why did I even keep this category? All the books make me cry.

Book that Made Me Laugh

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy - my review. All of the Hero guides are laugh-out-loud funny and perfect middle grade reading books.

Best Homeschooling or Education Book

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig - my review.

Most Challenging

The Idea of a University by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman - my review. This was a fantastic book for contemplating the purpose of higher education.

Best Book I Read Aloud
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus - mentioned here. I cheated a little and checked out the audio CD from the library. It was nice to have someone else pronounce the Japanese words. We had the book as well, though, because the illustrations are fascinating.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman - The whole series is great. Read about it here, along with my musings on young adult dystopian literature.

Best Memoir

Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler - my review.

Most Surprising (in a good way)

Clare's Costly Cookie by Julie Kelly - my review. This was originally recommended to me by the owner at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts. I bought it there and highly recommend the store. My 7 year old daughter loved this book.

Best Book on Faith

My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell - my review. Six of the books above are on faith, so it seems a little much to pick another one, but this one was also surprisingly good.

My Other Favorite Books They may have been beaten out by one of the books above, but they still deserve a mention as one of my favorite books read in 2014. In alphabetical order by title, for lack of a better system:   

The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story by Craig G. Bartholomew and Micheal W. Goheen - my review.
The Giver Quartet boxed set by Lois Lowry - my review (spoiler warning). I haven't seen the movie yet but I think I will.
The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith - my review.
A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership by Wendell Berry - my review.
Way of Holy Joy: Selected Writings of Sofia Cavalletti by Sofia Cavalletti - my review.


  1. We love "Clare" sooooooooo much.
    I really liked SOTG as well, and am so glad you loaned me "My Sisters..."
    Have you read Unbroken?
    I started The Nesting Place and hated it.

    1. I have not read Unbroken, but it is on my list. How funny that you hated The Nesting Place! I would never decorate as she has, but just reading the book kind of revealed to me that I could change our house in little ways that would make me happy. And they have. (See the top of the blog for our new mantel look, though I've rearranged a little since then.)

  2. I've got a couple more for my list now! I like your categories.


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