The 2014 Year in Books Post

Quick while baby is sleeping…here’s the rundown from last year (since I’m a couple days late on this one. Because baby).

I set out to read 20 books in the year and got to that mark quicker than I thought. (Late night feedings and a Kindle helped propel me forward a bit before I headed back to work.) So I upped the goal to 24 and ultimately came in at 22.

Before I get to the best of what I read, let me give you a glimpse into my goal for this year.

See, I was going to shoot a little lower (read 15 books in 2015) because of baby and work and all of the things. But then I saw THIS and decided to change it up. If you look at the scavenger hunt like list, there’s a total of 52 book reading opportunities (because of reading a trilogy). I’ll just go ahead and tell you right now that I’ll be double- (maybe even triple) dipping. Because baby and work and all of the things. And I’m not even sure I’ll finish the challenge…for those reasons and because it’s damn near impossible to find an author with the same initials as me. But hey, if you’re up to a different kind of book challenge or reading goal for the year, check it out and join me on this one.

And now, without further ado, the best of what I read in 2014.

Best Thriller: Persuader by Lee Child (This one also comes in as one of the┬ábest Jack Reacher novels I’ve read so far. If you aren’t reading Jack Reacher, get on it.)

Honorable Mention: A Spy for Hire by Dan Mayland. I first read Mayland’s books as a reviewer and he’s only gotten better with time.

Other thrillers: The Midnight House (because I also love Alex Berenson’s protagonist Jonn Wells), The Enemy by Lee Child, and Stalin’s Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith

Best Nonfiction: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Golinkoff, and Diane Eyer. Play is the best way for young children to learn–and they learn so much through that medium. I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about the power of play and how much it teaches children about SO MANY THINGS. Don’t underestimate it.

Other nonfiction books worth your time: Girls Will Be Girls; NurtureShock; Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness, and Thug Culture; and Lean In…if you’re into that sort of thing.

I also read a lot of baby kinds of nonfiction, so if that’s up your alley this year, let me know and I’ll let you know what I thought was the best of that bunch.

Best (and only) YA Novel: Spirit’s Key by Edith Cohn. I don’t typically read YA fiction (though I have some I should get to), but when you know the author and she debuts in 2014, you buy the book and read it. So I did. And then I ordered a copy for my niece for Christmas. It was SOOOO good. Just so good.

Best Children’s Book: (not included in the total count but worth a mention) Shark vs. Train. People. It’s laugh out loud funny and I definitely bought multiple copies for the little people in my life. Buy it. Read it. Read every. single. word. All of them all over the page. Totally worth it.

Best Fiction Book: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. I BLEW through this book, it was so good. Just so…so good. I love that it’s now a movie and, when I have a second, I’m gonna watch that too. On the whole, hands down best book I read in 2014.