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2014 reading list

maura @ 4:50 pm

I tried hard to read more this year and I guess I did: 36 books in total, up from 28 last year (and identical to 2012’s number). I did add work-ish books into the list this year which helped boost my overall tally. And I guess I’m mostly satisfied with this number. I had a couple of productive, fun reading jags over the summer, though sadly did not read as much at the end of the year as I’d originally planned.

Looking at last year’s post there are a couple of goals I didn’t hit. I read a bit of feminism but not much, didn’t have a chance to read some library/info science books I’d hoped to read, and didn’t get to LeGuin or Butler either. I also started but didn’t finish the 4AD book. It’s terrific though very long; I read about half of it over the summer when we were in Indiana and hope to finish it in the nearish future. It’s been challenging to read this past semester with my new job, I just don’t have a lot of spare cycles in the evenings and tend to fall asleep only a few pages in to anything I read. But I have some new books of short stories and essays that should fit the bill, and with the 4AD book’s arrangement of a chapter for each year (I think I stopped after 1985), that might work too.

On the positive side, this year I tried to read fiction only written by women and/or people of color, and I did meet that goal. It wasn’t hard at all, of course there’s lots of great stuff out there, and lots of library and literary folks have made lists of fiction, YA, sci fi, etc. written by women/poc. Faves were the two books by Nnedi Okorafor which both Gus and I read, and Americanah which was as amazing as everyone is always saying. All of those reminded me of the African Civ class I took in college and all of the fiction reading we did in one of the quarters — I’m glad I kept those books and will perhaps reread them in the coming year. I’m also looking forward to reading Nnedi Okorafor’s other books — the future Africa she writes about is super compelling. My other faves this year were: Eleanor & Park, about two high schoolers in love set against a background of family disfunction and mix tapes, and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast’s incredible story of her parents’ decline and eventual death, told in that incredible Roz Chast way that will make you laugh and cry.

Like in previous years the list below is in reverse chronological order. Starred books are ebooks and tilded books are those we own rather than those borrowed from the library or from others. Books with a plus sign are graphic novels, all of which are Gus’s except the Walden one which was from the library (and on Gus’s summer reading list). I found several graphic novels to be a boon for me at difficult times this year — most of the ones I read this year went down easy though with enough of a narrative to be compelling, and with illustrations predominating over text they often seemed more escapist than novels, even YA novels. That said, I pooped out of the Amulet series halfway through when it turned out to be aimed more at an older elementary than YA crowd.

+ American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
The Shadow Speaker, by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
~ The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu
+ Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang
+ In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
~ Picture Me Gone, by Meg Rosoff
When We Wake, by Karen Healey
Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor
~ + Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast
* The Word Exchange, by Alena Graedon
Four, by Veronica Roth
* The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood
+ Thoreau at Walden, by John Porcellino
Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University, by Gaye Tuchman
Humanism and Libraries: An Essay on the Philosophy of Librarianship, by Andre Cossette
Before We Were Free, by Julia Alvarez
College, by Andrew Delbanco
* The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
* Oryx & Crake, by Margaret Atwood
+ Amulet 1-3, by Kazu Kibuichi
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, by Bich Minh Nguyen
Short Girls, by Bich Minh Nguyen
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
After, Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
~ Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
* Pure, by Julianna Baggott
* Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21st Century, by Cathy Davidson
Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, by Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Program or Be Programmed: Ten Rules for a Digital Age, by Douglas Rushkoff
Rethinking College Student Retention, by John M. Braxton et al.
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
Pain Free at Your PC, by Pete Egoscue
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

Started not finished:
+ Amulet 4, by Kazu Kibuichi

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one comment on “2014 reading list”

mauraweb!» archive » 2015 reading list (31 December 2015 at 5:42 pm)

[…] like last year I made a conscious effort to read more this year, and I managed to read 39 books in 2015 (up by […]

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