Well. As I mentioned previously, I finished out the year at sixty-three books, for a total of just under 16k pages. 2012 saw me at sixty-three books, but with a total of just over 19,600. As you may have noticed, it’s a bit of a difference. I thought about setting my 2014 goal at 75 books, but then I realized that the page numbers tell a greater story than the number of books. (This is especially true when you’re the mother of a preschooler, and happen to add a few of the read-alouds you read to said preschooler to your Goodreads shelves.)
Then there’s the whole “I really should read Les Miserables” thing. You know, since it’s sitting on my shelf, and I started it but never finished it. And I’m terribly under-read when it comes to the classics, with my school’s abhorrence for anything classic (aka, “worldly”) unless it went through the A Beka
censoring editing process. So. There’s that.
This is by no means the complete list of what I hope to read in 2014, nor is it necessarily the order in which I will proceed. I do, after all, have a few review copies sitting on the shelf (or on the hard drive, depending on the format) that I need to sit down and read, and I am sure that there are books I haven’t even heard of that will catch my fancy as the year goes on. So obviously, this is flexible.
Let’s say… seventy-five books and/or 20,000 pages. Just in case I do manage to fit Les Miserables into everything.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Does this really need any introduction? I’ve seen several movie renditions, including the surprisingly-musical version with Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. What? I knew it was a musical, I just didn’t realize that everything they said would be sung. Literally. Everything. And just thinking about the entire thing has started a rendition of “Do you hear the people sing…” trouncing through my mind. Thanks for that. (Although it is an improvement over certain holiday songs parodied by well-traveled relatives. Yes, Lauren, I’m looking at you.)
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
I received a copy of this during the past month via Goodreads’ First Reads program, and I’m looking forward to digging into it. I sat down and thumbed the first few pages when it first arrived, and already feel “hooked.” It’s also set in the Middle East (Palestine/Israel, to be exact), which makes it even more interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed Michener’s Caravans, which is set in the Afghan region, and I’d like to find more books that are set in the Middle East.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
I had started to read this one while pregnant with my younger son, but had a hard time really connecting with it. Everyone keeps raving over it, though, and from what I gather, there’s a movie version of it coming out this year. Combine that with the fact that my sister-in-law left me with her copy when she went overseas for two years, and I suppose I really have no excuse to not read it.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Need I say more?
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Another one of those “everyone-is-raving-about-it-and-there’s-a-movie-coming-out-this-year” things. And since I’m all for reading the movie before seeing the book. Err. Well. I could go back and edit that, but you know what I mean. Ahem.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
All right, all right, so I cheated the principle that I just mentioned. I saw the movie, but hadn’t read the book. In my defense, I didn’t even know that it was based on a book; I had watched it simply because it was recommended as similar to Brick, one of my all-time favorite films, and it had Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m mildly intrigued by her. I’m now of the opinion that her raw characterization of Ree is what landed her the role of Katniss, but I digress. The point is, I’d like to read the book.
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Before you get your knickers in a twist, yes. Yes, I have read them. But I’ve only read the trilogy once, and I think The Hobbit… twice? It’s been a few years, as well, and I think it’s time to revisit them.
Harry Potter and All His Adventures by J. K. Rowling
Okay, so that’s not an actual title. (Did I just make some random fangirl jump for a moment, hopeful that an eighth book was being written?) But like Tolkien’s works, I’ve only read most of the Harry Potter series once, so I’d like to revisit them.
Man of the Family by Ralph Moody
I read Little Britches this past year, and I’d like to continue on through the series.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Did I mention we didn’t read the classics at my school? Well, we didn’t read the classics. This one’s going on the list by recommendation of a friend who also happens to be an English teacher in Tanzania at the moment. If that doesn’t mean I should read it, then I don’t know what does.
Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World by Joel Salatin
I borrowed this from the library in 2012, and never did end up finishing it, as it’s one of those books with so many ideas and things to digest that I wanted to sit and dog-ear, highlight, underline, and write in the margins. And like I said, it was a library book. So I purchased a copy with Christmas money (because Christmas gifts = books, people) in early 2013, aaaaaand haven’t sat down with it yet. I know, I know. Shame on me. Salatin’s great for thought-provoking.
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson
Another one that I purchased with last year’s Christmas money, although I hadn’t read any of this one previously. I just bought it via a recommendation from.. erm.. someone.. on.. some.. blog. I don’t remember who. Don’t stone me, please.
Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
I was actually given this book last Christmas, and I started to read it, but the problem with living in someone else’s home is that it puts a bit of a damper on starting your own traditions that you’d like to do in your own home. Ehm. So I set it aside for a time where I could actually do something with the inspiration it was giving me. And in light of having just purchased our first house, I think that time may be 2014.
Long Way on a Little: An earth lover’s companion for enjoying meat, pinching pennies, and living deliciously by Shannon Hayes
I’ve read Shannon’s previous books on cooking grassfed meat (and may have kept my library’s copy of Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook out for far too long after we purchased a side of beef from a local farm), and was excited when I found out that I could get a copy of this through the library system as well. I’m not sure what it says about me that the chapter’s I’m most excited to read are “Bones and Fat,” “Heads, Tails, and Other Under-Appreciated Treasures,” and the appendix, “Guide to Grain-, Legume-, and Dairy-Free Foods.” Let’s not dwell on that, eh?
The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline by L. R. Knost
I cherish Knost’s blog, and I got some cash for Christmas again this year, so you can bet your little toes that this one’s going in my Amazon cart. I may buy all four of her books, for that matter. (Oh, and don’t bet your little toes. You might need them, after all, and gambling is generally unwise.)
Christian Unschooling: Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ by Teri J. Brown
Another library title, and one I’m eager to devour. The strange stewing of libertarian values, grace-based parenting, and educational philosophies in my mind has had me wondering about unschooling in general for a while, and unschooling from a Christian perspective in particular, so when I searched ‘unschooling’ in the library search engine and came across this, I had to request it. Had to. Was compelled. Felt driven. Et cetera. (Never you mind that my older son is not yet three years of age. Just… never you mind.)
The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn by John Greenlee
I know, we already established that I’m a little obscure, so what’s one more? I’m currently reading Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City, and I finished Independence Days recently, and.. and… there’s snow on the ground… and nearly three acres to plan for… and the library has it… and… don’t judge me. Besides, just how many “most anticipated reads” lists do you think included this poor book?
Fermented: A Four-Season Approach to Paleo Probiotic Foods by Jill Ciciarelli
This one’s on here mainly because I read Sandor’s veritable tome The Art of Fermentation this past year, again, when I typed ‘fermented foods’ into my library system’s search engine, I was directed here. If the library has it, I don’t have to spend money to continue researching a topic of interest, and as we all know, researching topics of interest is of great importance to an INTP. ENTP. Whatever I am.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Read and recommended by many of my mama friends at the Gentle Christian Mothers’ forum, so I thought: why not? I expect that I’ll be purchasing this one with Christmas money, or bugging my librarian incessantly until she purchases it. Which.. hasn’t worked thus far. Then again, I haven’t reached nearly the level of incessantness (it’s a word now, so hush) that I could, so… we’ll see. I don’t want to upset the apple cart when it comes to the fact that if no one else is on a waiting list for a particular book, and I’m still working my way through it, she’ll override the system and renew it past the four-renewals limit for me. *shifty*
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
I’m really not sure how to categorize this book. Is it fiction? Is it non-fiction? To which I say: Who cares? I want to read it anyway.
How about you? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014? And, for that matter, do you have any you’d like to recommend to me?