The other day, I stayed up way past my bedtime, all the way into the next day, to finish my book, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” the eighth book in the addictive Outlander series. My Kindle app said I only had 90 minutes to go until the end and the book was so good, so… well, I had to stay up.
That’s the best feeling about a book, isn’t it; that the book is so, so good that you’ll bypass sleeping and eating to keep reading. The other sign a book is a great one is the sadness that sets in when you finish it. I felt that way with “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” but that had a lot to do with the fact the next (and perhaps final) book in the series likely won’t come for another four years.
The best way to counteract the sadness of a book’s end is to… start another book, of course! That’s what I did, beginning “Lessons from a Blue Bike” by Tsh Oxenreider, a memoir that I will be reviewing soon on Red Shutters.
As a fun exercise, I made a list of the books I have read so far this year. I discovered some interesting trends:
- I’ve read several book series this year. (I must like hanging out with characters for a while.)
- My book club (an awesome group of women I met in a parenting group in my town) has been a great source of the books I have read in 2014.
- I read a fair mix of super fun, easy reading novels and more thought-provoking memoirs this year.
- I didn’t read nearly as many books as I thought I had (but I have kept up with The New Yorker!).
Here’s my list:
- The Outlander series (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, An Echo in the Bone, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, The Fiery Cross, Drums of Autumn, Voyager, Dragonfly in Amber, Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon
- Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta
- Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (book club)
- Conquering Your Kitchen by Annemarie Rossi (here’s my review)
- The Tales of the City series (Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn) by Armistead Maupin
- Together Tea by Marjan Kamali (book club)
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (re-read for book club; originally read in 2013)
- The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids—Without Turning into a Tiger by Shimi K. Kang, MD (here’s my review)
- The Divergent series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) by Veronica Roth (I was home sick from work one day!)
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (book club)
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (re-read for book club; originally read in 2010)
- I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (book club)
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (book club)
- Love Game by Elise Sax
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (book club)
Plus, lots and lots of kids books.
Next on my 2014 “to read” list are:
- How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway (book club)
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A note about how I read: I prefer an actual book. I like to turn the pages, feel the weight of the book in my hand, and slide in a bookmark to hold my place. However, I downloaded the Kindle app onto my iPad and iPhone earlier this year, and I have found it very easy to use, especially when I was traveling to India last month. I do have a hard time falling asleep if I read on the Kindle before bed, though—or it could be that the book is too good!
Tell me what’s on your reading list! What have you read in 2014 that you’d recommend to me?