Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books everywhere and not enough time to read them all

As of today, December 31, 2013, I have read 78 new-to-me books this year. Seventy-eight! I'm pretty impressed with myself. Thanks to the miracle of Goodreads.com, I know that that was 22,793 pages. Not all were great, though some were outstanding. Some were a trial to get through. Others I vaguely recall.

I started off with a goal of reading 50 new books and watching 50 new movies. I was worried I wouldn't be able to quite do it, that's a new one every week, but I should have known better. I hit my goal in June. And of COURSE I kept going and kept track. I'm kind of proud of the fact that compared to my 78 new books, I only watched 65 new movies, even with Netflix readily available to me.

My favorite books I read this year in no particular order:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - OH. MY. GOD. This author catches you up in her web of lies and deceit and you have no idea what the hell is going on and when you think you've got it figured out she throws a twist at you....and then another one...and then ANOTHER one. Phenomenal. I went out immediately and bought and read her other two books, both of which were just as fantastic, but Gone Girl is my favorite.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Young Adult lit is so great these days. When I was a kid it seemed like it was mostly Sweet Valley High and Baby Sitters Club (both of which I enjoyed in middle school). I'm loving the renaissance YA is having these days. This book is SO good you can sort of forget that it's about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love. I'm looking forward to the movie.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - We listened to this on the trip to and from New Braunfels for Thanksgiving and it's so great. I totally identified with Cath. She kind of smushed two different parts of my life into one and I love her. I bought the book before we were done with the cds and reread a couple parts I'd missed and found myself still reading a chapter later, well into stuff I'd heard the day before. I really wish this had a sequel.

New Girl by Paige Harbison - more YA lit. I told you I'm loving it. It's a teenager spin on Rebecca, another of my all time favorite books. I really liked how she twisted it and changed a few things but left a lot of it the same. I especially loved how the Mrs. Danvers character was named Dana Veers.

Ready Player One by Earnest Cline - Even though the main character is a teenage boy, I wouldn't call this YA. It's so good I read it once this summer and listened to the audio book in the fall. Wade lives in a future where overcrowding has decimated the fuel and food supplies. His escape from life is the Oasis, an online user program. It's more complicated than that, but it's really great.

The Selection and The Elite by Kiera Cass - I'm lumping them together because they're 1 and 2 of a trilogy. Again, more YA future dystopia stuff and I loved it. It doesn't hurt that it's a sort-of take on Cinderella and I'm a sucker for a good fairy tale retelling.

Bossypants by Tina Fey - this is her autobiography and while I loved her before, I adore her now. I feel like we could have been friends if we grew up in the same area at the same time.

Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson - I never outgrew my 8th grade fascination with the Titanic. I thought I knew a lot of the stories, but these were all ones I'd never heard before. Stories of kidnapping, doomed marriages, sweethearts frantic to find each other, and people who let surviving a disaster define them for the rest of their lives, some of those lives lasting nearly 90 years after the sinking. It was really interesting and if you've got a mild interest in the Titanic, I'd recommend it.

I've got shelves full of books to read in 2014 and I'm eager to start them all. It's almost overwhelming having so many books I want to read, like where do I start? What if that one is better than this one and I'm stuck in this one for a week or more? (I kinda hate to not finish a book. It rarely happens.) This kind of anxiety is good, though. And if I just can't handle it, I can always pick up one of my favorites and reread it for comfort. Which I do on occasion.

So happy reading in 2014! Get a pile of books your excited about and dig in! I know I will be.

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