I love to read and often have two or three books ‘on the go’ at the same time. For this reason, some books may take me months to finish whilst others take only days. I read what I feel like at any given time.
Having read a post on another blog about her reading list for the year, it prompted me to look in my own book cupboard, bedside table and iPad to work out what books I have actually finished in the past 12 months.
I was firmly of the opinion that I hadn’t read much at all but was amazed when I counted over 20 books. Mind you, by my usual standards that is a pretty low number.
So, just in case you might be interested, here are my reads (and thoughts on them) for 2014.
If you aren’t interested, then I promise I won’t be offended.
Books by other bloggers (with links to their blogs)
Humor at the Speed of Life by Ned Hickson
I was thrilled to get my personally signed copy of Ned’s book and then proceeded to show the Diva my copy. She proceeded to chew the corner so I sent Ned the photos. (What can I say? The Diva has this thing about books and none are safe in her eyes).
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading Ned’s blog, then please take the time to do so. He is a very funny man and his book is a compilation of some of his best blog posts and also some of his newspaper columns.
Valley of Death by Laurie Smith
Laurie has written a series of these books. I chose Valley of Death because I know Fortitude Valley (where the novel is set) and was interested in the plot.
Laurie’s writing is gritty and very confrontational at times. He pulls no punches and doesn’t gloss over the seediness of life and the criminal element. He writes about murder, rape, incest, drugs and sex slavery in a brutally honest and raw manner.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Laurie and listening to him speak about his books and some of the circumstances in his life that have given him insight into building his characters. I found Laurie to be a true gentleman, however I admit that it took me a full week to get this story out of my head after I had finished it.
Arafura by Susan Lattwein
Susan is another Aussie and her book is set in Darwin at the top end of Australia. Her book combines drama with romance with some action thrown in for good measure when a school teacher meets a man with an interesting past. Add in some tropical weather, a few bad guys and a fiance that isn’t all that he seems and you have a good read.
David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky
In all of my dealings with Jill, I have found her to be a beautiful and loving person and her book reflects this love. Written about her son who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, this story follows the journey from his diagnosis to his eventual suicide and details her dealings with the medical profession, the effects on her family and her marriage and what helped get them through. This link will take you to a review written by another lady but found on Jill’s blog.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I saw the movie before I read the book and I must say that I’m glad that I did it in this order as I probably would have come away disappointed with the movie otherwise. The book has far more detail than the movie and filled in some of the ‘gaps’ I found. Narrated by ‘Death’ this book is extremely well crafted.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Written for teens, this book about teenage boys living within a maze is quite riveting. Along with the boys, I kept asking the questions about why they were there and who (or what) appeared to be controlling their environment. I must say that when I found out I was quite surprised. There is a little violence in this book and a whole new vocabulary to process but quite an enjoyable read. In actual fact, I’ve purchased two of the sequels with my Christmas gift cards. 🙂 I haven’t seen the movie of this yet either.
The High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks
I confess, I am a fan of Terry Brooks and have dozens of his books. I love how each of his books intertwines with those he has written before. This book is the first in a new trilogy and I wait with baited breath for the next installment.
The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper
I first discovered Susan Cooper as a teenager and she was my first foray into fantasy fiction so I was excited when I found this book on my mother’s market stall one day. It contains all of the books in the series and traces the exploits of a group of youngsters as they join forces with their uncle to stop the forces of the Dark from overcoming those of the Light. Set in England and Wales, these books kept me enthralled.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this book by many, more eloquent reviewers than I? It is a classic.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
The latest book in the Outlander series, this one is just as hard to put down as its predecessors. Continuing to follow the lives of Jamie Fraser, his wife Claire (and their ever extending family) this book takes us to the Civil War where they encounter George Washington, General Lee and Benedict Arnold. I must admit that I love how Diana Gabaldon can intertwine historical fact with fictional characters. This book was a most enjoyable read for me.
Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra
I purchased this book on the recommendation of Nia (another blogger) who suggested that it was a good read. Based on Ayurvedic diet, Deepak explores the different doshas of people and suggests modifications to eating habits that may assist in their health and well-being. I found it enlightening and educational but it may be some time before I get around to trying some of it.
Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye
This book is a series of short essays on life from a Buddhist perspective. It’s easy to pick up and put down and sometimes I just flip to a page for some daily inspiration.
Letter to my Daughters by Maya Angelou
The title of this is a little misleading as Maya actually only had one son. She did however have many women that she considered her ‘spiritual daughters’ and this series of short essays and poetry is dedicated to them. Maya espouses forgiveness, gratitude and kindness through every page of her book.
A Letter to My Friends by Anthony Robbins
This small book is one that I have blogged about before. I love it’s simple message broken into easy to implement chapters for changing your life. Tony Robbins’ message is one of service, kindness and gratitude. From these things, all else will flow.
Wishes Fulfilled by Dr Wayne Dyer
In this book, Wayne Dyer speaks about living a life in which your dreams may become reality. He lives what he writes and shares his insights in what he has learned. This book taught me the importance of “I am” statements.
I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer
This book takes you through Dr Dyer’s life from childhood to now and at the end of each chapter of his life, he shares the lessons that he learned along the way and how they have all worked together to bring him to this point in time.
Just Get On With It by Ali Campbell
I heard Ali Campbell speak on one of the Hay House World Summit podcasts and loved his humour (and accent). Just Get On With It is about changing your life and is filled with real life examples of people who have ‘just got on with it’ and fulfilled their dreams.
E-Squared by Pam Grout
Pam has written a book with simple experiments that challenge you to harness the power of the universe to manifest your dreams and desires. I began working through this book and completed some of the experiments (the one about the cars and the butterflies was amazing) but stalled at a couple of experiments and then just gave up. It’s worth a second read (and try).
Make Peace with Your Plate by Jess Ainscough
Jess writes about her experiences after her diagnosis of cancer and her journey to wellness. Some of the methods she has chosen to follow are definitely not for me however her discussion on the benefits of juicing ignited a spark that I decided to explore further.
Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald
I didn’t actually ‘read’ this book but borrowed it from my local library on audio. This is the story of Sarah’s journey to spiritual enlightenment during a two year stay in India whilst her fiance worked there as a correspondent for the ABC. Her story is told with great humour and respect for the Indian people and I must admit that the person who narrated it often had me holding my sides with her flawless execution of accents. The accent of the yoga instructor was priceless. This would have to be up there as one of my favourite ‘reads’ of the year.
Exit Wounds by Major General John Cantwell
Writing about his time with the Australian Army and the campaigns he has served, John Cantwell is brutally honest. At times confronting, this book explores the life and mind of a man who is called to serve his country and the effects that PTSD has upon it.
Juice Yourself Slim by Jason Vale
I had heard about Jason Vale through another blog that I read and must admit that I thought the idea of juicing for several meals a day to be quite OTT. However, I decided to undertake a modified version of Jason’s 7 day plan (I still need to eat solid food so my dinner each night is a healthy meal rather than a soup or salad) and I found that it worked. I have never felt so well in my life. My face cleared up and the weight began to drop. I still try to juice each day for most of the week but I’m not rigid in sticking with this. Funnily enough, although I enjoyed eating Christmas food I craved going back to drinking my green (sometime purple or otherwise) juices.
If you stuck with me this far, good for you. Maybe you’ve found a couple of books to put in your ‘to read’ list or maybe you were bored.
Either way, it was fun to review what I’ve read and been inspired by over the previous year. Here is to another year of good reading!