My goal for 2014 was to read 40 books. I figured I had this in the bag since I'm not in nursing school anymore, I have FOUR whole days off every week. I mean… what would I be doing?? Not reading that much, it turns out. I read 32 books this year. Not bad! But not as many as I expected. Oh well, there's always next year!! I think I'll set my goal for 40 next year again and see if I can do better.
Anyway, these are the books I read, taken from my 2014 challenge on Goodreads. I love Goodreads so much. It's the place I keep all the books I want to read on a list, and where I keep track of all the books I read and when I read them. I also, love using it to find new books to read. It's so nice to have all my books in one place. When I want a new book from the library or Barnes and Noble, I just head on over to my "To read" list.
Now a review of some of my favorite books from this year (starting from January).
My Notorious Life by Kate Manning
From the Goodreads synopsis, "Inspired by the true history of an infamous female physician who was once called “the Wickedest Woman in New York,” My Notorious Life is a mystery, a family saga, a love story, and an exquisitely detailed portrait of nineteenth-century America."
I loved this book! I love historical fiction, especially when it involves feisty feminists, women's health and midwifery. Great characters, intriguing stories and it's based on a real woman!
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
I read about this book on a list of must read books (I can't even remember where or what the list was about other than that…) and after reading I can't help but agree. Ugh, this book. Delicious, achingly beautiful, and thought provoking are all ways to describe this book. It's sort of science fiction, religious commentary, and dystopian novel all rolled into one. I cried at the end and I kind of want to just read it over and over again.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
This is the third in the fairy tale retelling Cinder series this one focuses a bit more on Cress (her version of the Rapunzel story), but brings back all of our favorite characters from the first two books. I love these books and I love re-imagining fairy tales.
House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
This is the memoir by journalist Amanda Lindhout who traveled to seemingly every corner of the globe, as a traveler and then as a journalist and photojournalist. This memoir tells of her childhood growing up in Canada, how she used to escape into National Geographic magazines, and then proceeds to her 20's where she worked in a bar to earn money to travel the world, eventually turning it into a paying job. The book also covers her 15 months held captive by militant islamists in Somalia and the amazing strength that helped her survive. I love memoirs and this one was at times hard to read (due to descriptions of her abuse) but so gorgeously written.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
I have to admit, I kind of fell in love with the cover of this book, which is always nice because I appreciate good covers. I love to read LGBT representations in YA books and they seem to be few and far between, although admittedly growing. I have to say I was jealous of the Hollywood setting for this book and I liked the behind the scenes feel of Emi's job as a set designer on movies.
Ash by Malinda Lo
Another fairy tell retelling (see I really love them), this time of Cinderella. This one includes more magic than the original one and includes a fairy world that Ash is able to travel back and forth in between. There's also a kickass female huntress. Plus, more LGBT YA representation!
Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
This is the sequel to The Sparrow. I have to say I was pretty darn excited when I found out there was a sequel. While I'm not sure this one is as good as the first, it does offer necessary follow up and closure to what the heck happened after the end of the first book.
The Harem Midwife by Roberta Rich
This is the sequel to The Midwife of Venice that I read last year. This one picks up where the previous book left off with our protagonist living in Constantinople and still catching babies as well as getting into more trouble. Like I've said I just love historical fiction about midwives.
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins
The final book in the Mara Dyer series!! Ugh, I've loved this series since I first read it, even though I was hesitant to even try it because I don't really like paranormal thriller sort of books. But these books are just so interesting! I'm constantly on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens. This book is a great end to the series, answering pretty much all of the questions I've had since the beginning of the series.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I read this book almost entirely on planes to and from New York in November and it is the perfect plane/airport read. It's light, funny and interesting. I enjoyed the format of this book (although perhaps not the weight of the glossy pages) and Amy Poehler comes across as accessible and funny. I've heard the audiobook version is hilarious because Poehler reads it herself, so I may have to check that out eventually.
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
I picked this one up in one of the airport bookstores because I was afraid I might finish my books before I got home. This was an interesting read about a journalist's spiral into "madness" which really turns out to be a rare disease with neurological and psychological symptoms. Medical mysteries (is that a book genre?) are super interesting to read.
The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman
Oh look, more midwifery historical fiction! This one is written by an actual CNM (certified nurse midwife) and is set in West Virginia in the 1920's and 1930's. It's always interesting to read about different times and see how different and yet the same it is, especially birth.
Books by female authors: 31
Books by male authors: 1 (Goes to show that I really do try to consciously choose female authors)
YA books: 8