I’m a little late on posting a “Best-of” list for 2014, but better late than never they say. I make it my duty in our house to read “what’s new on the best-seller list” or “what book will be turned into a movie.” Carl, on the other hand, will only read books by dead authors as those books have stood the test of time. He may be right, but again, I’m doing my duty to keep this household balanced. Here’s a recap on the pages I turned during the past year.
• The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (A refreshing and funny romantic comedy about a socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest to find love.)
• Follow the River by James Alexander Thom (An incredible story of resilience and survival of a woman who escaped after being taken by Shawnee Indians. Based on a true story.)
• Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (A great beach read. It may just make you want to move to Italy.)
• Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (Wonderful character development in this story about fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and the relationship she had with her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss.)
• The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Some Y/A fiction is good for the brain sometimes. Honest portrayal of two teenagers battling cancer and falling in love.)
• The Giver by Lois Lowry (This book was a page turner for me and would provide an interesting discussion for a book group. It’s the story of a teenage boy who lives in a futuristic perfect society where everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices.)
• How God Became King by N.T. Wright (Wright explains how the gospels have been misunderstood while revealing the surprising, unexpected, and shocking news of the gospels.)
• Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright (Wright shows how we have successfully managed to hide behind other questions and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus’s central claim and achievement.)
• Short Stories by Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine (Levine is a Jewish New Testament scholar who explores Jesus’ most popular parables, exposing their misinterpretations and making them lively and relevant for modern readers by providing the context and understanding of the 1st Century Jew).
• Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller (Julia’s authenticity, humor, and honesty as a new Mom drew me in right away. I love that she didn’t try to gulp down all of the spiritual disciplines in one bite, but she broke them down into dissolvable nuggets that could be easily digested.)
• Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle (This is a heartwarming and hilarious look at motherhood from someone who is still trying to figure it all out.)
• The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle (Melanie shares the holy and the hilarity of that magical and mysterious union called marriage.)
• Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist (Shauna explores the bits of wisdom and growth we earn the hard way, through change, loss, and transition.)
• Wild by Cheryl Strayed (This is Cheryl Strayed’s story of hiking more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State with no experience or training.)
• My Best Friend’s Funeral by Roger Thompson (A memoir of friendship, doubt, surfing, and the complex relationships between fathers and sons.)
• Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (Hilarious account of David’s experience being a Macy’s elf in Santaland in NYC.)
Cooking (+ Memoir):
• Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach (Honest reflections on cooking for a young family with tried and true and simple recipes.)
• Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (This book is a collection of recipes and essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together.)
Please share any favorite reads from the past year so I can add them to my 2015 reading list!