2014: My Year in Books

In 2014, I read 103 books, consisting of a total of 22,721 pages (I stopped reading 6 of these books before finishing them; the page total does not account for this).

The average (mean) books read per month was 8.6, and the average (mean) per week was 1.98.

Of these, 19 were fiction (not counting children’s books), 6 were memoirs, 52 were children’s books, and the remaining 26 were other nonfiction.

I read 10 books from my Cavalcade of Classics list during 2014. To date, I’ve read ~17% of the 89 classics on my list. If I’m going to read all of them by 2017, I’ll need to average 3-ish classics per month from here on out. This does not bode well.

My favorite books this year were Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Roger Fouts’ Next of Kin.

Christmas Gifts
Christmas Gifts (kind of a lame super power, but I like the mug)

I am currently reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, which my spouse got me from the library for my birthday, and then I’ve got three more library books that he got me for Christmas: The Tenth of December by George Saunders, The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.

Below is the book list for 2014, by the month I finished (or gave up on) each book. Click on the month name for the “Bookends” for that month, which includes links to reviews and other information about my reading progress throughout the year. I also cross-post most of my reviews on Goodreads. If you’d like to just go straight to Goodreads to see my reviews there, here’s the link to my Goodreads profile. You can also go there to see all 903 books I’ve read and logged on Goodreads.

(A note on the children’s books: I read many more picture books than this, but I only list/review the ones that really speak to me.)

December (you can count this as my “Bookends” roundup for December):


Plato at the Googleplex by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (link live on January 2)

The Republic by Plato

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems

The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood


No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel

Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Have Taught Me about Who We Are by Roger Fouts

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Vegan Finger Foods by Celine Steen

The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (illustrated by Gennady Spirin)

Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood


Living Room Revolution by Cecile Andrews

Alone with All That Could Happen by David Jauss

The Abascal Way by Kathy Abascal

The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

How to Talk So Kids Can Learn by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman


Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey

The Snowden Files by Luke Harding

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett


Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

Difficult Mothers: Understanding and Overcoming Their Power by Terry Apter

Using Bibliotherapy: A Guide to Theory and Practice by Rhea Joyce Rubin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Raold Dahl

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Raold Dahl


Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Writing to Wake the Soul by Karen Hering

Writing the Sacred Journey by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

The Capture by Kathryn Lasky

Giants in the Land by Diana Appelbaum

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat


Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis


‘Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie


Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home by Melva Green and Laura Rosenfeld

Out of Silence: Selected Poems by Muriel Rukeyser

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald

Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Holes by Louis Sachar

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis


Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

The High King by Lloyd Alexander

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Mélanie Watt

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry


Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

How to Think Like a Scientist by Stephen P. Kramer

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

Whittington by Alan Armstrong


City of God by Augustine of Hippo

The Book of Jonah: A Novel by Joshua Max Feldman

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by Kathleen Parkinson (critical analysis of Fitzgerald’s classic)

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Mattimeo by Brian Jacques

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jennifer Swann Downey

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

Mariel of Redwall by Brian Jacques

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander

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34 Replies to “2014: My Year in Books”

  1. I like how thorough your account of the books you read is.(Also very impressive and inspiring how many books you manage to read!) I am also planning to start keeping track of the books I go through this year, that’s why I think I’m going to use Goodreads much more than before. It’s a very convenient tool, isn’t it?


    1. I always feel like I’m cheating putting kids’ books in there, but I’m up-front about it. And since I read so many more picture books than I log, I don’t feel like I’m padding the numbers any more than I do by including cookbooks (which, for the most part, I don’t read cover-to-cover).

      I do find Goodreads useful in tracking my books (and keeping a handle on my to-read list). I also have my books at LibraryThing (which is probably better for tracking a library, while I think that Goodreads is still better as a reading-oriented social network).


      1. I’m not using my LibraryThing account at all. I think I will try to see how happy I can be with only Goodreads for a while. Seems to be a system that will work well for me. We’ll see. My plan is to read about one book per week this year. I know it’s not a lot. My ideal is about two per week, like you manage to read, but that would be unrealistic for me at this time in my life.


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