A Month of Favorites: My Reading Year (2014)

A Month of Favorites

For the month of December, I will be participating in A Month of Favorites hosted by GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge. We’ll be sharing our favorite reading experiences from 2014. One of my favorite things about year end is the plethora of “Best of” lists…so, I’ll take this opportunity to share as many as I can!

Kicking things off with…

My Reading Year

Favorite Genre:
Literary Fiction (I know, boring…but, it’s the truth!)

Most Prolific Genre:
Aside from literary fiction, mysteries/thrillers and historical fiction.

Favorite Newly Discovered “Genre”:
Fiction based on true crime

Fiction Based on True Crime Collage

Certainty by Victor Bevine (review)

Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook (review)

The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon (review)

Most Successful For Me Category:
Debuts (check back on Tuesday for my Best Debuts of the Year List)

Favorite Recurring Theme in Fiction:
Parents having no idea what their children are really up to…

Everything I Never Told You, The Fever, Reconstructing Amelia, The Secret Place

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (review)

The Fever by Megan Abbott (review)

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (review)

The Secret Place by Tana French (review)

Favorite Author:
Of this year is Beatriz Williams (she’s the only author I read more than 1 book by this year!)
Of all-time is Pat Conroy (the granddaddy of Southern Fiction)

Month I Read the Most:
August. Vacation with inconsistent Internet access = reading heaven.

Month I Had a Reading Slump:
September…and Reunion by Hannah Pittard turned things around.

When I Read:
Whenever I could! While my children are napping, before bed, while stretching at the gym, while waiting in line, etc.

Favorite Reading Location:

River Reading

Books, E-Reader, or Audiobooks:
94% E-Reader (Kindle) with a few Audiobooks (6%) thrown in for half marathon training (but, see my post about how this experiment turned out).

Number of Books Read:
70 and counting…

Favorite “Sleepers” (i.e. books that didn’t get much attention):

Bittersweet, Black Chalk, Shotgun Lovesongs

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (review)

Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates (review)

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler (review)
*I realize it says “National Bestseller” across the top of this book, but I really didn’t see many bloggers reviewing it. But, feel free to shut me down if I’m incorrectly calling this one a sleeper!

Favorite Book of the Year Hint:
I haven’t fully landed on my favorite book of the year yet, but I’m deciding between:

  • An irascible bookstore proprietor
  • A missing judge
  • A horrific kidnapping

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  1. I read quite a bit of literary fiction this year too – especially at the beginning, which is surprising because speculative fiction is more my style. And “the sleeper” books look fantastic – especially Black Chalk which I’m adding to my reading list.

    Posted 11.30.14 Reply
  2. I do think I”d like to read Shotgun Lovesongs . . . I think that was on my list, but I never got to it. I think it definitely qualifies as a sleeper!

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I absolutely loved it…the writing was amazing. And, as a girl with two brothers and lots of boy cousins, I loved the portrait of male friendships…he nailed it.

      Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  3. Flo wrote:

    Why literary fiction is boring? 🙂
    Your recurring theme in fiction seems intriguing. I’m going to read your reviews.
    I’ve loved The Prince of Tides (what a novel!) but it’s the only Conroy’s book I’ve loved -_ I’ve got the feeling, he’s always writing about the same things like (his) violent father(s), etc.

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Ha – Conroy definitely has recurring themes!! I think Beach Music was a bit of a departure…and it’s next on my re-read list after Prince of Tides. As a mother of two young children, the recurring theme is somewhat terrifying!!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  4. Andi wrote:

    OMG, I want to be in that picture reading by the water!!!!!

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Haha – so do I just about now! Alas – I’ll have to wait until next summer 🙁

      Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  5. Martha G wrote:

    Looking forward to your list of Debut books. there were plenty pf good ones this year.

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  6. Kristen M. wrote:

    I’m starting to find it quite funny how none of us are willing to commit a month early to our favorite book of the year. 🙂

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Out of these Month of Faves intro posts, I don’t think I’ve seen a single person commit to it! Although, why would someone commit now unless they don’t plan to read a single additional contender in the next 2 weeks?! Looking forward to seeing your pick!

      Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  7. I with you. I read just about everywhere. I think I need to start listening to more audiobooks so I can be entertained while doing laundry and other things around the house. I can see why that would be your favorite reading location! It looks so relaxing!

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  8. Sharlenw wrote:

    Haha I love your favourite recurring theme and have actually read two of those! And oh your favourite reading slot is absolutely fab!

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  9. Looks like a great year of reading!

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  10. CaroG wrote:

    hahaha I loved you “Parents having no idea what their children are really up to…” description. I have no clue about your favorite book, but I will be checking your blog because I am a very curious cat

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  11. Bellezza wrote:

    You have organized your post so beautifully and clearly, I’m quite impressed! And, don’t say literary fiction…boring, because we both love it! You have such a good list of fiction I’ve not yet read, as I’ve been swept away by translated works this year. But, I hope to get to many on your list soon. Love the “parents who don’t know what their children are up to” spot.

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      It didn’t get sucked up…came through and I just approved it! Literary fiction is definitely not boring…just boring that I don’t have a more “creative” favorite genre!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  12. Megan wrote:

    I try not to go all-in on a genre, but literary fiction is definitely one I’ve found myself gravitating toward the most. Looks like you had an excellent reading year, and I’ll definitely be back to check out the “Best Debuts” list. I do love me some good debuts! 😉

    Posted 12.1.14 Reply
  13. I LOVED Reconstructing Amelia. And Bittersweet! Great intro!

    Posted 12.2.14 Reply

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