For the twelfth year in a row, I’m posting my annual reading list. Previous lists can be found at the following links; the number in parentheses is the total number of books read that year: 2013 (42), 2012 (66), 2011 (27), 2010 (47), 2009 (25), 2008 (34), 2007 (31), 2006 (110), 2005 (45), 2004 (42), 2003 (41).
Total books read in 2014: 53
I divided the books into four categories: Highly Recommended (my favorites); Recommended (good but not must-reads); Okay (read only if interested in the subject matter); and Not Recommended.
I read mostly nonfiction. Last year I read six fiction books, but this year it was only one (The Fault in Our Stars, which I didn’t care for). My goal for 2015 is to read more good fiction.
I’ve always posted my reading lists at the end of the year, but I think I may switch it up in 2015 and post them more often. Stay tuned.
2. Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America and Found Unexpected Peace, William Lobdell
Although I rarely re-read books, I picked this up for the second time after I convinced my husband to read it earlier this year. This book isn’t just for nonbelievers — my husband is Catholic (attends Mass every weekend without fail) and he enjoyed it.
3. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick
6. Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography, Rob Lowe
I didn’t expect to rate a book by a movie star this high, but it was really interesting. I liked how he would describe meeting someone and it would take a page or two before you realized he was talking about Charlie Sheen, or Janet Jackson, or Sarah Jessica Parker.
9. Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything, Barbara Ehrenreich
10. Growing Up Amish, Ira Wagler
11. The Cooked Seed: A Memoir, Anchee Min
14. From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, Allen Salkin
16. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes, Elizabeth Bard
17. We’ve Always Had Paris…and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France, Patricia & Walter Wells
18. Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, Pamela Druckerman
20. A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance, Marlena de Blasi
21. A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure, Marlena de Blasi
22. The Lady in the Palazzo: An Umbrian Love Story, Marlena de Blasi
23. Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet, Jenifer Ringer
25. Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home, Mary Matalin & James Carville
26. Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, Jillian Lauren
28. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, J.B. West
29. Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, Molly Wizenberg
30. It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways, Dallas & Melissa Hartwig
31. Love Life, Rob Lowe
32. Here’s the Story, Maureen McCormick
33. I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star, Judy Greer
34. Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, Tsh Oxenreider
36. My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story with Recipes, Luisa Weiss
37. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, Shauna Niequist
38. The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley
39. I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi
40. Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction and My Own, Mika Brzezinski
41. The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age, Myra MacPherson
42. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
44. Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, Diane Keaton
45. Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen, Alyssa Shelasky
47. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, Chris Guillebeau
Maybe it’s because I’ve read similar books before, but this didn’t provide me with any new information.
48. My Salinger Year, Joanna Rakoff
49. I Do, Now What? Secrets, Stories, and Advice from a Madly-in-Love Couple, Giuliana & Bill Rancic
50. The Truth Is: My Life in Love and Music, Melissa Etheridge
51. Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood, Charlotte Silver
52. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
Book of essays – some were good, but others were boring.
53. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based on a True Story, Dave Eggers
I read this book because I recognized the name and assumed it must be good. Wrong. I’m surprised I finished it – I usually don’t have many books for the Not Recommended list because I stop reading boring books at the drop of a hat. It must be because this book started out semi-interesting and went downhill later.