Happy New Year! 2014 Recap

Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 is off to a lovely start and that you have a fresh stack of books at your side.

I took some time yesterday to look over my spreadsheet of books read in 2014 and compiled some numbers. I read 42 books last year. That’s 13 fewer than 2013, but according to Goodreads it’s 501 pages more. No doubt because I read The Count of Monte Cristo, The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and The Quick, which are all chunksters.

Looking back, I’m surprised I read as much as I did manage since the main focus of the year was getting settled in the new house, exploring a new state, and getting the hang of a new job.

Overall, it was a good reading year. Here’s the breakdown on the 42 books I read:

Fiction: 26

  • Mystery/Thrillers:15
  • Literary: 6
  • Historical: 4
  • Drama: 1

NonFiction: 16

  • Memoir: 7
  • History: 3
  • Biography: 2
  • Science: 2
  • Autobiography: 1
  • Animals: 1

Books by women: 27
Books by men: 15

DNF: 4 

By century:
19th century: 3
20th century: 7
21st century: 32 (15 of which were published in 2014. I didn’t think I read that many new releases this year.)

I felt like I wasn’t reading many classics or older titles and these numbers confirm it. I’m a bit surprised by how skewed my reading was towards contemporary titles, but I suppose that comes with the territory of reading memoirs and new mysteries. 

Favorite Fiction Titles
Based on the passion of the writing, the originality of the story and characters, and the sense memory left from the reading experience, these are my favorite fiction reads of 2014. In no particular order & links go to my post on the book:

Favorite Nonfiction Titles
I like to read nonfiction to learn new things, to see how people deal with what life throws their way, how they deal with the repercussions of their own decisions, and to find encouragement and hope. Again in no particular order, here are my top 5 nonfiction reads:

Reading plans for 2015
I’m not committing to any new reading challenges this year, but I am recommitting to my Classics Club list, which I recently revised. I cut it down from 100 to 50 books and kept my original deadline in an effort to motivate myself to get to some of the books I say I want to read.

I’ll also read more from my own shelves and try to resist the temptations of book tours, review copies, library displays, and new tables at bookstores.

Will also see about reading some 18th and 19th century titles and more early-to-mid 20th century titles. I enjoy pre-twentieth century literature. There was a time when it was the majority of my reading (at least when it came to fiction). Perhaps my tastes have changed? Reckon I’ll find out this year.

As for how many books I’ll try to read, my standard goal is always 52 books. One a week.

How was your reading in 2014 and do you have any special reading plans for 2015?

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14 replies »

  1. Moving and starting a new job are very time-and-energy consuming. Hopefully now you are settled you can read even more!
    This year, I'd like to be more organized about my reading and blogging and keep better track of what I read. I want to visit more literary landmarks (I'm looking at the Alcott's Orchard House in Concord and the Robert Frost Farm in Derry). I'm doing the Back to the Classics challenge which is largely derived from my Classics Club list. So many great books to look forward to. Have a wonderful year!

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  2. Let's Take the Long Way Home was one of my favorite reads from last year too. For me it was therapeutic. I don't set reading goals anymore. I just do what I can. Last year I read a pathetically low # of books.

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  3. Happy New Year Chris! Looks like a great year and I'm with you about trying to read more of what I have and recommitting to the Classics Club, but I just threw the five years out the window so I could keep my 100 list as I put so much thought into it 😀 Good luck in 2015!

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  4. Oooh, I plan on visiting Alcott's house this year, too.I haven't explored Massachusetts much yet other than visiting one of my nieces who is in college there and Emily Dickinson's house. Spending a day browsing bookstores in Boston is high on my list as well. Happy Classics reading to you! I look forward to reading your posts.

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  5. Thanks, Kim! I'm blown away by how much some bloggers read. My family thinks I read a lot and I always tell them they ain't seen nothing until they start reading around on other people's book blogs.

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  6. Let's Take the Long Way Home was therapeutic for me, too. It's one of those books that touched me so deeply I wasn't able to really write about it. Not yet, anyway. I know you had a tough year–wishing you all good things in 2015! I look forward to reading your living healthy posts. Our move to CT was in part motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. Small, consistent steps really add up to big change.

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  7. Thanks, Geoff! It is hard to narrow a classics list down to 100 isn't it? 50 was ruthlessness, but I'm hoping my psychological trick of having less to read in the same time frame helps me get on with it. We'll see!

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  8. How did I not know how much you like mysteries? Huh! You learn something new every day 😀

    I've been trying to decide what to do about the Classics Club. I'm not focused on it at all. I'm not in the MOOD to focus on it, lol. I've stopped doing challenges because they make me feel scattered and under pressure. I might have to delete my list entirely to stay sane.

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  9. I hear ya. For the second year in a row I deleted my TBR list on Goodreads. Half of the books published in the history of the world seem interesting when I come across them, but as I'm lucky to read 52 books a year . . . well, a girl has to make drastic decisions. Even my three recurring reading loves–classics, military, and maritime stories–seem to ebb and flow from year to year.

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