The Best of 52 Books

I don’t typically engage in the making of resolutions – too inspirational perhaps? This year, however, I resolved to read 52 books before 2015. This was hardly a painful challenge, as reading is my hobby, but it wasn’t easy! With work, lesson planning, grad school, and new homeownership eating up lots of free time, I had to make a point to constantly be reading or thinking of what to read next. These were my favorite books of 2014. Some are old, some are new. I like to mix up my genres, so I’ve picked my favorite from several categories.

Best Young Adult – “Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell

The feelings. This book evokes memories of those uncomfortable high school years in the best way possible.

Most Interesting Nonfiction – “One Summer” by Bill Bryson

2014 was the year of Bill Bryson for me. He is truly one of the best authors I’ve read. This book details the happenings of the summer of 1927 – the Lindbergh flight, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Henry Ford, and the impending doom of the Great Depression. Perfect!

Best Travel Memoir – “The Kindness of Strangers” by Mike McIntyre

Travel memoirs might be my favorite. When you are stuck in the 9-5 (or 7-4 as a teacher), counting down the days until summer, it’s good to let your mind wander. This book chronicles the coast to coast journey of Mike McIntyre, a newspaper columnist, who travels with no money and no real plan. He relies on the kindness of truck drivers, preachers, prostitutes, drug dealers, hippies, and just about everything in between to get to the east coast.

Best Biography – “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” by Ben Montgomery

If you are looking to be inspired, this is a great place to start. Emma Gatewood was the first woman to through hike the Appalachian Trail. In 1955 – when she was 67! Even if you’re not interested in hiking, this is a story of resilience and dedication.

Longest and Most Long Overdue – “The Fiery Cross” by Diana Gabaldon

Man. 1,456 pages! I started the Outlander series several years ago and fell in love with Jamie Fraser. The new Starz adaptation of the first book inspired me to keep on trucking with the fifth installment. I think I’ll keep dragging this series out for years, because I don’t want it to end. That good!

Most LOLs – “The Antelope in the Living Room” by Melanie Shankle

I love reading Melanie’s blog, which I heard about from the Pioneer Woman, another favorite blogger. If you are married, or getting married, you should read this book. Husbands…. sheesh!

Here’s to 53 more books in 2015!

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