Reading List 2014

So, yeah, this hasn't been a year for blogging. There are many reasons for that. I'm busy, I'm doing other things, I've lost interest. But here's my traditional list of my favorite books I've read this year (in the order in which I read them).

  1. Benjamin Alire Saenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
  2. Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch.
  3. Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah.
  4. R. J. Palacio, Wonder.
  5. Linn Ullman, The Cold Song.
  6. Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast.
  7. Willa Cather, A Lost Lady.
  8. Rainbow Rowell, Attachments.
  9. Lynn Darling, Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding.
  10. Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven.
One of the things I find interesting about the reading experience is that I have lingering impressions of the place I was when I read some of these books. For example, I read The Goldfinch and Americanah curled up on my couch while I was recuperating from foot surgery. Similarly, I'll now associate Out of the Woods and Station Eleven with hotels in Annapolis and D.C. since I read those books while traveling.
One night in DC, I had tickets to go to an interview with Dorie Greenspan. I'd already walked a lot that day, said goodbye to friends, but arrived quite early to the venue. I sat on a bench in what was a combination of hallway/lobby/art gallery reading Out of the Woods and thinking about the adjustments I'm making at this particular moment in time. The metaphor Darling uses in her text really spoke to me--learning to find direction again after big changes in life. I'm glad to have read that memoir this year.
Opposite of this is my experience reading The Cold Song, a novel about a dysfunctional family in Norway. I don't have vivid memories of images in that book--which seems appropriate since there's something about the plot that is ghostly and insubstantial.
I enjoyed reading at a more leisurely pace this year after 2013's frenzy to meet my goal of reading 50 books. In 2014, I read only 36 books.
So that's my year in books.

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