2014 Book Review

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I made a commitment to myself to read 12 books in 2014, but I surpassed it and read 14. They weren’t all classics, as a matter of fact, many of them were fluff, but I read them and they count! I know I always love learning about new books and getting recommendations, so I thought I would review all 14 for you and hopefully there will be something new that you might want to read 🙂

  1. Open City – Teju Cole
    The protagonist in this book is a foreigner going to medical school in New York City. He’s trying to get through, make friends, and have a life. It’s a bit difficult to get through, but gives an interesting look at what it might be like to be an immigrant in a big city.
  2. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
    If you’ve seen the movie, you know what this book is about. A young man is stranded on a lifeboat after the boat he is travelling on sinks with the crew and his family. He lives for an extended period of time with dangerous animals on the boat with him – or does he? The ending leaves something up to interpretation. Overall, I think it’s worth the read.
  3. Revenge Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
    The sequel to Devil Wears Prada, this was a little disappointing. I hadn’t read the first book, but had seen the movie (numerous times), and didn’t get the drama from this book that I had hoped for. It’s an easy read, and not bad, but it’s not one that I would run out for.
  4. Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman
    You’ve probably watched, or at least heard of, the Netflix series based on this book. Piper is convicted of a crime she committed years ago, before she met her husband and changed her life. It’s a true story of what prison is like, which I found very interesting.
  5. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
    I’m sure you’ve all heard of this one. The story of a young girl with cancer who meets her soul mate in a support group that her mom forces her to go to. They go on a wonderful adventure together, and it really is a beautiful, but tragic, story.
  6. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
    O-M-G! A wife goes missing, presumed dead, and the husband looks awfully suspicious to everyone. But there is such a turn you won’t ever expect! I gasped as I read it (looking like a crazy on a plane!). So good – I highly recommend you read it!! (I haven’t seen the movie, so I couldn’t tell you if the plot line is the exact same or not)
  7. Dewey’s Nine Lives – Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
    An odd choice for me, as I don’t like cats (at all!), but it was a gift, so I read it. It’s a sequel to a book about a cat that was abandoned in a library book return, became the library cat, and was loved by a town. This book has stories of other cats whose owners wrote in to the author after reading the first book.
  8. Anchorboy – Jay Onrait
    So funny! If you don’t know who Jay Onrait is, he’s a Canadian sportscaster who now works for Fox Sports in the US. And he is absolutely hilarious! This is a book full of stories of his life, and every single one made me laugh out loud.
  9. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
    A classic book, that I’m sure many of you have read or at least know. Set in the 1920’s, it tells the story of a young man who meets Jay Gatsby and goes along for the ride. Parties, affairs, day trips – it’s all fun. I found it difficult to get in to, but it was a good read.
  10. There’s More to Life Than This – Theresa Caputo
    Theresa Caputo (aka Long Island Medium) talks about her gift. It’s not what I was expecting (stories of her readings), but still a good read. She talks about what it’s like to be a medium and what she’s learned of the afterlife since embracing being a medium.
  11. Bossypants – Tina Fey
    Hilarious!! Tina Fey tells stories of her life growing up, getting into the business, and what she’s done while famous. This was an easy read, with lots of laughs.
  12. The Spark – Kristine Barnett
    This is written by a mother of three, one of whom has Autism. She was told her son would never do anything, and would likely never even have language. She refused to believe this and set about finding the “spark” that would motivate him, and dozens of other children she helped through programs. He went on to attend university and become the youngest paid researcher at a university, while barely a teenager!
  13. Life Animated – Ron Suskind
    This is similar to The Spark, written by a father who has a son with Autism. The son fell in love with Disney, and the father drew him out with that passion. They made many breakthroughs by using Disney in therapy, at home, and at school. The son went on to be independent; this is a beautiful story about what a child can achieve when he is not given up on.
  14. I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
    This is an amazing book! I’m sure everyone already knows who Malala is, but if you don’t, she is a young woman from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, who recently became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She stood up for the right to education for girls, and was shot in the head because of her beliefs and her activism. This is a remarkable story of her life before and after the shooting. This would be my #1 must-read book for 2015 if you haven’t read it yet.

I hope you found something that interests you and that you might choose to read. What was your best book of 2014?

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