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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top 12 Books of 2014


This is the season when people attempt to sum up the year, make lists, and make resolutions. For me, all resolutions, lists, and summations involve books. So here’s my year in literature.

My Top Twelve Books I Read/Listened to in 2014:

Brief History of the Dead by Brockmeier
This Book is Overdue by Johnston
Bellwether by Willis
White Teeth by Smith
The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot
Whistling Season by Doig
A Girl Named Zippy by Kimmel
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Stein
Vine of Desire by Divakaruni
Woodsong by Paulsen
Dogsong by Paulsen
The Lacuna by Kingsolver

My B-List:
A Reliable Wife by Goolrick
The 19th Wife by Ebershoff
Red Tails in Love by Winn
Travels with Alice by Trillin
Lean In by Sandberg
I, Robot by Asimov
The Marriage Plot by Eugenides
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by See
Love, Ruby Lavender by Wiles
About Alice by Trillin
Of Human Bondage by Maugham
Chasing Redbird by Creech
Outside the Lines by Hatvany

My Most Disappointing, Maddening, Frustrating, and Exasperating Book of 2014:
Her Fearful Symmetry by Niffenegger – Beautifully written, great characters, interesting concept. The author required me to suspend my disbelief, which is usually a selling point - after all, I’m a Star Trek fan - but she required me to not only suspend my disbelief but to dangle it over a pit of rabid raccoons, throw rotten cabbages at it, and say ugly things about its Mama. The ending left me sputtering.

Books I Started but Didn’t Finish:
The News From Tartary by Fleming
Black Madonna by Ermelino
Wives and Daughters by Gaskell
A Mercy by Morrison
Nurtureshock by Bronson
How to Read the Bible by Kugel
The Man Who Made Lists by Kendall
Waiter Rant by Dublanica
Tiger’s Wife by Obreht

Tip for reading, from one of my college profs: “Don’t worry about lists. You will never measure up to anybody else’s list. Just keep reading.”

-Elaine Rooker Jack

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