Saturday, December 27, 2014

Books Read in 2014

The year has flown by, and in true form, I read on and off throughout the year.  Since my discovery of Kindle Unlimited half way through the year however, I have read consistently through much of the second half of 2014.  I'd really like to improve upon this on and off reading habit in 2015, and set a goal to read at least one book every month.  I find that I'm generally a happier and more cheerful, and oddly, more alert person during the day when I'm consistently reading fiction books.  Books with an * before the title are currently free, either as an "always free" book or as a Kindle Unlimited inclusion.  

Here's a recap of the most of the books I read this year:

*The Giver-This is listed first as I think it wins my "favorite book of the year" award.  Read it.  Then watch the movie (which came out in August of 2014).  This book is a very quick read, and REALLY good!

*Gathering Blue-This is book 2 in the "Giver Quartet."  This book is a totally different story than The Giver.  Seemingly unrelated books, until you begin to read...

*Messenger-This is book 3 in the Giver Quartet.  This book begins to tie books 1 & 2 together.  Another quick, interesting, and amazing read.

*Son-Book 4 in the Giver Quartet.  I found this book to written slightly different than the previous three.  While it was good and tied all the books together in a wonderful way, it was a little slower for me to get through and certainly not my favorite.

Divergent-I originally saw this movie in theaters, not realizing that it was a book.  I loved the movie, so I went home and read all three a week.  REALLY great.

Insurgent- Book 2 in the Divergent series.  As I said before, I read all three books (about 400-500 pages each) in a week.  Which in other words, means I really liked them all.

Allegiant- I was initially a little hesitant to read this 3rd book of the series because I had read mixed reviews.  Overall, it was a good book and had a decent ending.  But I agree with many reviewers that it's not as great as the first two in the series.

*The Secret Garden- I started this year wanting to read some of the old "Classics."  I read a handful of them in January, but that's about it.  I had, of course, seen The Secret Garden movies, but had never read this book.  It was a wonderful story, and so much better than the movies (isn't that usually the case though?). 

*The Scarlet Letter- I read this book in high school, and was surprised while reading to discover that I really didn't understand much of the story way back then.  It was a thought provoking story that I really enjoyed.

 *The Time Machine- Again, this was another book that I read in high school and was clearly not paying great attention when I did so.  Such an excellent read!  

*Book Marketing Guide-  Since I self published my first ebook this year, I did a lot of reading on how to market my book, and this book was a great help.

*Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success- Again, another book with great tips on publishing an ebook.

*Smashwords Style Guide-How to Format Your Ebook- This was my life-saver book on publishing my own ebook.  It gives step by steps for formatting your ebook to distributor's specifications.  And, with the help of this book, I DID IT!  

I read the entire Harry Potter series this year.  It is a top contender in my "best series of the year" award.

 *Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire- This was my favorite book of the entire series.

*Mockingjay-  This is book 3 in the Hunger Games series.  I had previously read the first 2 books, and finally got around to reading the 3rd.  I was not disappointed!  

*Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt-This was is interesting but a challenge to read (still reading), as I knew NOTHING about wall street, stocks, etc. before starting this book.

And then, I have about 7 or 8 books that I started but didn't finish (for a variety of reasons).  I had a difficult time reading all the non fiction books on my list, as I have an easier time reading fiction when I'm tired (which, let's face it, was MOST of 2014).  Hopefully I'll get around to finishing most of these books in 2015.

The only other fiction series that was on my to-read list for 2014 was the Lord of the Rings books.  I started the Hobbit, but just had a generally difficult time really getting into it.  Maybe next year!

What were your favorite reads of 2014?  What's on your 2015 list?  Any recommendations?

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