#50booksin2014: The Final Five

I spent the better part of my high school & college years reading novels for tests or essays, but rarely for pleasure. I missed out on so many good books and decided that my post-grad life would be full of reading books of my choosing. While on the Race last year I did a bit of that, but not enough. This year I decided to try my luck at reading 50 books before ringing in the 2015 year with a bang, but I didn’t quite make it. Below are the last five, bringing me to a grand total of 30 for 2014.


Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

 26 orphan train

This was a beautiful time hop filled with little historical nuggets and reminders that multigenerational connections are still real. These older generations have such incredible stories to tell.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

27 book thief

Three months I spent reading small sections at a time, unable to devour this like most of the books I’ve read this year. It is a symphony, a masterpiece, hauntingly beautiful, and fully submerged in the depths of World War II Germany. Zusak’s literary choices, both in content and in syntax, are breathtaking. By the time I reached the final section, my heart felt so worn. I cried tears – absolute sobs – as I have not in years. Please read this.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

28 gone girl

I’m typically skeptical of books that have been made into movies with big-name actors. I can’t help it. They typically end up being YA Fiction or something of the sort – I don’t trust the New York Times Best Seller list very often. While this wasn’t filled with the literary symphony of The Book Thief, the plot twists blew my mind. I closed the book and said, “Well, there’s that.” It is wild and outrageous.


What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada & Mac Besom

29 what do you do with an idea.

This sweet little book was a Christmas gift from a dear friend and is one of my favorite books filled with ideas and a mind in pursuit of a dream.


Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp


I have never celebrated Advent. I’ve never really understood the history or significance of it. Most people grew up lighting the four candles at Christmas, but I did not. This year, in a desperate attempt to redeem Christmas, I decided to do a little research and actually “do” Advent. When I saw that Ann Voskamp had a children’s book, I knew it would be perfect for my inexperienced little heart. This changed my mind. I went into December 1 hating Christmas – my least favorite holiday of them all – and reached December 25 with a new heart. If you’re looking to celebrate Advent or learn more about it or for some material for your family – DO get this. It is incredible.

My new goal is to read 50 books in 2015 – send me your suggestions!

The First Five
Six through Ten
Eleven through Fifteen
Sixteen through Twenty
Twenty through Twenty-Five