Books of 2014, First Half

Jul 15, 2014

In addition to my reading goals, I also made a more general goal to read 60 books this year. I know that probably seems like petty cash to those of you who read 150+ books a year, but 60 is proving to be more ambitious than I originally thought. At the end of June, I had only read 26 books. (Last year, at this same point, I had read 34 books, which I guess is why I thought 60 books was a reasonable goal.)

Nevertheless, here's what I've read. (Click on the title to go to the full review.)

1. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, 8/10
I'd have a hard time recommending this one because of some of the content, but man, I'd be lying if I didn't admit it was a gripping read and I've thought about it a hundred times since then. Plus, I just love Liane Moriarty's writing.

2. A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine, 5/10
This is the way to take an interesting and informative topic and make it draaaaaag on eeeeeeendlessy.

3. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, AUDIO, 6/10
I didn't like it as much as The Real Boy, but it was the perfect thing to listen to on a cold January day.

4. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder, AUDIO, 8/10
My eyes are being opened: it's pretty obvious why this is a favorite series of so many.

5. Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, 7/10
Not my favorite by Kate DiCamillo but contained some pretty hilarious moments. 

6. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, 10/10
Remind me to read this book if I'm ever feeling depressed about the cold and snow. 'Cause I'm pretty sure it will help me appreciate my nice warm house and little niceties like, um, food.

7. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, half-AUDIO, 6/10
Made me realize how very little I know about this world I live in. Also, I would love to read another memoir by Malala in fifteen years.

8. Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary, 10/10
Pretty much a perfect book.

9. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, AUDIO, 6/10
The writing wasn't exceptional, but the story impacted me nonetheless.

10. Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, 8/10
Well, my kids are still fighting, but I still feel like this was a helpful read.

11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, half-AUDIO, 10/10
I think I could read this book a dozen times, and it would still be one of my favorites.

12. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville, 5/10
I'd say it was just me except that my boys, who usually love dragons, weren't totally enamored with this book either.

13. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, AUDIO, 7/10
I wish I could say my eating habits were transformed after reading this book. But definitely some small changes were made with hopefully more coming in the future.

14. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, 8/10
I'm not this much of a hippie, but I gleaned some good information nonetheless (that, and I can never resist a good birth story).

15. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, half-AUDIO, 6/10
Intricate and intriguing but not as gripping as I was expecting. 

16. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, 10/10
Now that I've read it a second time, I know my devotion and praise were not misplaced.

17. Quinny & Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen, 6/10
Cute and fun. My boys loved it.

18. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, AUDIO, 8/10
Don't even think about reading this book unless you're going to listen to it.

19. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary, 9/10
After realizing that Ramona was my boys' favorite character in the Henry books, I knew we had to give her series a try. We were not disappointed.

20. Babe, the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith, 8/10
Super, super sweet.

21. All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior, 8/10
Aside from the fact that it made me absolutely terrified of having teenagers, I thought this was a fascinating book.

22. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald, 6/10
I liked the first one, but this one is better.

23. Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary, 6/10
I guess I like boys (Henry) and girls (Ramona) better than mice (Ralph).

24. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary, 10/10
Oh, Beverly Cleary, I don't think I'll ever get tired of you.

25. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty, 6/10
Bizarre, but it all makes sense in the end.

26. A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, 8/10
Absolutely spindiddly.

What has been your favorite book so far this year?


  1. I've read Breadcrumbs and My Husband's Secret. I enjoyed Breadcrumbs, especially the second half, which was less contemporary and more fantasy/fairytale. My Husband's Secret was just OK - not sure if I will continue the series, how about you? My favorite read so far this year was The Book Thief. Don't watch the movie, though it sucked.

    1. Well, shoot. I think I screwed up. I was speaking above of the book "Her Dear and Loving Husband", which is a series book - NOT "My Husband's Secret", which I haven't read. Sorry 'bout that!

    2. No worries! That makes sense now. :-)

  2. I have recently read 2 books by Colleen Coble and I'd recommend her. Fiction, with some drama, and perfectly clean. I'm 2/3 way through one and still no idea how it will end

  3. I'm also very anxious to buy a book called crystal Puzzle, written by my YW president's daughter, who is now about 30. It's about what it was like to grow up with a sibling (Crystal) who has asberger's. It is getting great reviews, and it's on Amazon for about $12.

    1. I haven't heard of Colleen Coble--I'll have to check her out. And I just looked up Crystal Puzzle. It sounds fascinating.

  4. My iPad is being weird-sorry for errors and multiple pots.

  5. I'm new to your blog. I loved the book "What Alice forgot" too. Wish there wasn't such bad language so I could recommend it to more people.
    Me before you by Jojo Moyes was good too.

  6. My favorite book so far this year was The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea... then I read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and it's blown everything I've read away. Very different books, though.


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