My Year of Reading – 2014

In 2009 I started tracking what I read. I wanted to become more intentional about my reading. I am (was?), after all,  an English literature major and I discovered that I had been reading less and less and wanted to kick start it.So, I set a New Year’s resolution (a rare thing for me) to read at least eight books a year.

I also discovered when talking with folks about reading sometimes I wouldn’t be sure if I’d read a book in the discussion. So decided I’d keep track of what I read. Plus I love lists so a spreadsheet  was right in my wheel house.

In the first four years (2009 – 2012) I read between 11 and 14 books a year. In 2013 I started commuting on the bus and my reading blew up. Having over an hour a day to read, I read 28 books in 2013 and 33 this past year.


  • Book count: 33
  • Author count: 25
  • Fiction: 21
  • Non Fiction: 13 (sub sections have some overlap)
    • History: 8
    • War: 8
    • Theology: 2
    • Science: 2
    • Biography: 1
    • Photography: 1
  • Average rating: 3.73
  • Favorite: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout.
  • Runner up: After This by Elizabeth Strout.

Reviewing my list I see that I’m kind of an easy grade. I’m picky about my reading and won’t pick up anything that I suspect will be bad; after all I’m doing this for fun not a job. Plus, I found a few fantastic authors – Alice McDermott and Elizabeth Strout – so that will trend the average up.

By the end of the year I realized I read mostly fiction and war history and wanted to mix it up so I made a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone and read some science books. They were good but my passion is great fiction where you can get inside someone’s head and see life from another perspective for an extended period of time.

I wanted to include links to my book reports but the limited HTML table functionality in WordPress doesn’t allow that. I suggest you go here to see a list of what I’ve blogged.

Title Author Rating Type Subject
Jesus: The Human Face of God Jay Parini *** Non Fiction Theology, History
Someone Alice McDermott **** Fiction
The Shipping News Annie Proulx **** Fiction
An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 Rick Atkinson **** Non Fiction History, WWII
How Right You Are, Jeeves P.G. Wodehose **** Fiction
Improve Your Photography: How Budding Photographers Can Get Pro Results Jim Harmer *** Non Fiction Photography
Postcards Annie Proulx **** Fiction
From Here to Eternity James Jones *** Fiction War, WWII
The Goldfinch Donna Tartt *** Fiction
The Bully Pulpit Doris Kearns Goodwin **** Biography
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves P.G. Wodehouse **** Fiction Humor
The Martian Andy Weir **** Fiction Science Fiction
The Last Kind Words Saloon Larry McMurtry *** Fiction
Jeeves and the Tie That Binds P.G. Wodehouse **** Fiction
The Luminaries Eleanor Catton **** Fiction Historical
Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines Finest Hour in Vietnam Gregg Jones **** Non Fiction History, Vietnam, War
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd **** Fiction
All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr ***** Fiction War,WWII
Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen P.G. Wodehouse *** Fiction Humor
1776 David McCullough **** Non Fiction US History, Revolutionary War
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street Susan Jane Gilman *** Fiction
Dispatches Michael Herr **** Non Fiction Vietnam War
The Burgess Boys Elizabeth Strout ***** Fiction
The Book Thief Markus Zusak ***** Fiction War
The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944 Rick Atkinson **** Non Fiction War, WWII
Amy and Isabelle Elizabeth Strout ***** Fiction
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Sherman Alexie *** Fiction
After This Alice McDermott **** Fiction
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Mary Roach ** Non Fiction Science
The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, From One to Infinity Steven Strogatz **** Non Fiction Math
A Different Kind of Christmas: Living and Giving ike Jesus – Devotionsi for the Season Mike Slaughter ** Non Fiction Theology
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void Mary Roach *** Non Fiction Science
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens **** Fiction Christmas

Now that I’m retired I most likely won’t hit 30 books this year- no commute time and I have many other interests to consume my time; but I still plan to average a book every 6 weeks to reach my original goal of eight.

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