The end of the year! And this was by far my best quarter. Not only did I read MORE books than another quarter, but also I felt like I read better books. And, as usual, the double-speed audiobooks are my best friend.
Also, I was on the Cybils committee for Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books this year (look for the short list to be announced later this week), so I read 35 books around 100-ish pages, that I didn’t list here. But, you know, I just want to give myself credit for that SOMEWHERE.
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
I feel like everyone absolutely loved this book. And I only thought it was fine. Kind of lost me about halfway through.
- Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
A solid YA book about a girl writing letters to a guy on death row, confessing that she too is a murderer, except she didn’t get caught. I read this on the plane on the way to NYC and then handed it off to Kayla.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I really really loved this book about a twin going off to college by herself, and trying to navigate her complicated family life, balance her wildly popular fan fiction writing, and possibly fall in love.
- Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank W. Abagnale
You might guess I am one of those “the book is always better” people. In this case, the movie was better (Catch Me If You Can is one of my favorite movies).
- A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
I wouldn’t be surprised if this got a Newbery nod next month. That said, I didn’t really love it. Savvy was much better.
- Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Some YA reading for my trip to Cincinnati and Pampers in October.
- Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly
This sparked my interest in reading more about Kennedy and since then I’ve read. . .well, no other books about Kennedy. But I have big plans too!
- Just One Year by Gayle Forman
- Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley (full review here)
This YA graphic novel about food, cooking, and eating was completely delightful. I’m not much of a graphic novel reader, but I immediately requested her other book from the library.
- The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
I read How to Say Goodbye in Robot back in Boston and I still remember how depressing it was, and how miserable I felt after reading it. This one, about a girl studying abroad in 1980s Communist Russia who falls in love, despite all the warnings about relationships with people trying to get themselves to the US, was better.
- Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar (full review here)
Still thinking about this one
- Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly
Not a lot new here, since I’ve read a lot about Lincoln, but I still was hoping somehow there’d be a different outcome.
- Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
I have a hard time with books where the plot hinges on someone misunderstanding something or being a complete idiot (seriously, you’re going to promise your awful mother to do ANYTHING SHE WANTS? No. That’s stupid). Still a fun read.
- Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
I loved Hattie Big Sky and this was a very worthy sequel, even if it did take me six months to get around to finally reading it.
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
This will always be one of my favorite books. It’s nice when something is excellent every time you read it (this was #3 for me).
- From Scratch: Inside the Food Network by Allen Salkin
Really very interesting.
- Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
Just as good, maybe better, than Ender’s Game.
- Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card
Hmm, I just about lost faith in the Shadow series in this one.
- Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
Better than Shadow the Hegemon.
- Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo
This is SO not my kind of book and I never would have read this myself, but I read it for bookclub and it was quite a bit better than I expected.
- Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
I couldn’t find ANYTHING available to listen to, so I downloaded this series which I read back in 2010 and listened to it all again. Deeeelightful and fun.
- The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
This is a solid series – even the second book is good.
- Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
I maybe possibly cried a little during the end of this book.
- David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
- Year of No Sugar: A Memoir by Eve Schaub
This was pretty eye-opening. I’ll review it in full when it comes out in April.
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
When I finished Year of No Sugar, I clicked over to this on my Kindle and ended up reading the whole thing. I liked it less the second time – without the element of surprise, I found it a little flat, although the dialogue still made me laugh.
- Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Unbelievably, the middle book of this series was the best. Also, I’m all about teen romance, but this one was a bit swoony even for me.
I’m excited about all the reading I have planned for 2014 (more of it, for one). Any books you’d like to suggest? I’m all ears.