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My favorite books of 2014

I guess it’s become a bit of a holiday tradition to look back on my year in books and pick out favorites. According to GoodReads, I’m “behind” on my reading goal for this year, but it doesn’t feel that way to me.

Thanks in part to the YA Diversity Book Club, I was exposed to a really wide variety of stories in 2014, and that’s a trend that I hope to continue, if not improve upon, in 2015. My nonfiction reading was down, but I did end the year with a really thought-provoking book recommended by Andy called MINDSET. (Which might warrant its own post in the near future.) And surprisingly, my audio “reading” may be on the rise, due to my realization that it’s much easier to listen to my iPod while walking Riley than it is to hold a book and flip pages.

Anyway, in order of when I read them, here are my favorite books of 2014:

Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1) We Were Liars Caminar Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3) Pointe Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3) The Walled City Landline Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
(If you’re curious, you can also check out my roundups from previous years.)

What were your favorite reads this year?

My favorite books of 2013

To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these past couple weeks, so it’s particularly nice to take a look back on the books I’ve enjoyed this year and see that there were some really spectacular stories.

In order of when I read them:

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1) Eleanor & Park Code Name Verity Where'd You Go, Bernadette Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Olive Kitteridge Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) The Secret Daughter Fangirl The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Interestingly, this group features several books with unconventional structures. BERNADETTE is told primarily through “found” documents — emails, court records, magazine articles, and passive-aggressive notes between neighbors. HYPERBOLE is an extension of the hilarious blog of the same name. FANGIRL includes snippets of fanfic for a book series that doesn’t even exist!

Maybe it’s a sign of our modern sensibilities creeping into our fiction?

Regardless, there’s one thing that I think will never change for me: My favorite stories are the ones that resonate with me emotionally. Make me cry, make me laugh, or best of all, make me do both.

(“Kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me quick!”)

What about y’all? What were your favorites books of the year?

My favorite books of 2012

I gotta say, it’s been a good year of reading. Part of that may be because I have made more of an effort to abandon books that aren’t doing it for me — and furthermore, not to even pick up a book unless it really interests me or has been personally recommended.

It’s still hard for me to ignore a free book, or not feel guilty if I haven’t read whatever the latest/hottest bestseller is, but I’m trying to remember: let things pass.

Anyway, these were my favorite reads of 2012, in order of when I read them:

The Night Circus The Fault in Our Stars Sweethearts The Paris Wife Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) The Language Of Flowers Silver Sparrow The Scorpio Races The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar Gone Girl

To be honest, I debated the inclusion of GONE GIRL and LIFE OF PI, both of which were “total mind fraks.” In the end, I listed GONE GIRL because I’m more likely to reread it, due to the intricate plotting and character arcs, which I really admired, even though the story/characters didn’t touch my heart. (Emotional impact is a big factor in favorite-ing for me.) With LIFE OF PI, I’m glad I read it once, but from now on, I’d rather just watch the movie.

So, what were your favorites (books, movies, songs, whatevs) of the year?

My favorite books of 2011

Note: I actually read Water for Elephants last year, but after I’d already posted my favorite books of 2010. I don’t think I’m at risk for that happening again this year.

In order of when I read them…

Water for Elephants Pegasus Loving Rachel: A Family's Journey from Grief The Book Thief Jane Eyre  Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2) Lips Touch: Three Times  The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1) The Sky Is Everywhere Room   Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

My favorite books of 2010

A lot of people are doing these “best of” lists, and I wasn’t going to, but then JJ blogged about her “best books of 2010,” and I commented on her site, and that was half the work, so I figured why not. (Wow, run-on much?)

Anyway, in order of when I read them, here are my fave books of 2010:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Mercy Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) Eat, Pray, Love The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) The Blue Sword (Newbery Honor Roll) The Hero and the Crown Anna and the French Kiss

What were your fave stories this year? You can mention books, movies, news stories, YouTube videos, TV shows, whatever. Just share the awesomesauce™!

(Note: Awesomesauce™ is not truly a registered trademark of Erin Danehy, but it probably should be.)

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