My favorite books of 2014

One of things on my 2015 Manifesto is to read more than I watch. Aside from last weekend when Tim and I watched an alarming amount of Frasier, I’ve been sticking to that guideline. The books on my to-read list are constantly elbowing each other for a better place in line, but I’d love to know what’s at the front of your reading list this year!

I’m in the middle of two books (Give Them Grace and Jesus Prom), so I don’t have much to report for January book reviews. In their stead, I give you a wrap-up of my reading habits and my favorites from 2014.

favorite books

Books by the numbers:

  • 29 books in total
  • 16 non-fiction, 12 fiction
  • 15 books by authors I hadn’t read before
  • 4 by male authors
  • 2 books abandoned
  • 1 re-read (Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist – so good!)

Favorite books of 2014:

Katherine Reay is a standout author – my favorite from 2014. Dear Mr. Knightley is a rich and readable story with subtle spiritual themes. It is sure to get you busting out your college English syllabus and dropping your favorite Austen quips in everyday conversation. Mrs. Reay cleverly integrates classic literature into a nuanced plot that is both charming and poignant. Veins of social justice, faith, and romance add to the literature steeped narrative. It’s a must read.

Reay’s sophomore novel did not disappoint. Lizzy & Jane centers around a tense sibling relationship, complicated by cancer and career trouble. There’s love and food and grace in there too. I didn’t want it to end.

This one has a special place in my heart because I, too, was surprised by motherhood. Lisa-Jo documents her journey to motherhood in a heartwarming and poignant narrative that had me crying, laughing, and amening.

I’m actually still working my way through this book, but it deserves to be on the favorites list this year. Reading Pursue the Intentional Life is like reading Jean Fleming’s journal. She documents the importance of making our God-ordained years matter by sharing own journey, her own pursuit of an intentional life. Her words are both sobering and encouraging.

The Rosie Project is a fun read. Graeme Simsion’s narrative is told via Don, a genetics professor with Aspergers who doesn’t realize he’s on the autism spectrum. Don comes up with the Wife Project to help him find true love. The escapades that follow are off-beat and charming. There’s a reason so many people recommended this book last year.

Fun fashion advice combined with an encouraging and realistic look at the way a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and motherhood. I needed this fresh perspective on beauty! Read the longer review for more on my journey with motherhood and beauty. My interview with Trina has more insight on her writing process and her daily beauty routines.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good was a wonderful way to end my reading year. If you’ve never picked up a Mitford book, you’re missing out on engaging dialogue and lovable characters. Jan Karon has a way with words that makes everyday life seem interesting.

Tim and I read this aloud to each other on long drives. I don’t find myself in many meetings or reading business fiction very often, but I found Death by Meeting fascinating and applicable to family life (which I said I was going to write about and still intend to!). Patrick Lencioni crafts a leadership fable that illustrates his model for better meetings.

Honorable Mentions:

Can I Ask That? 8 Hard Questions About God and Faith by Jim Candy, Brad Griffin, and Kara Powell and A Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study by Jen Hatmaker.

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9 thoughts on “My favorite books of 2014

    1. I hadn’t read a Mitford book in about 10 years when I picked the newest one up. Karon does a good job at contextualizing the characters and history of the story lines. I think you’d be okay to pick this one up, but it may not be as rich a read.

  1. Great List. I need to pick up the Mitford books this year. Every one I know loved them. I loved Dear Mr. Knightley and The Rosie Project also.

  2. I loved reading “All the Light We Cannot See” this year and “The Rosie Project”. Mitford books are wonderful and The latest was a gem! I’m starting “The Boys in the Boat” this weekend.:) love your list.

    1. I’ve heard amazing things about The Boys in the Boat! And if you enjoy that one, you’d probably like Unbroken if you haven’t already read it.

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