One of my favorite type of yearly recaps is reading about what books people have read throughout the year. I am always looking for good book recommendations, so I thought I would share what I read this last year. I had originally planned on reading 15 books through my 2014 Goodreads Challenge. Unfortunately I only read 9 books, but there were a few big events last year that kept me away from my reading time. I went ahead and set my challenge for 2015 at 15 books again this year, and I'm bound and determined to make that happen. I've already completed one book and have a good start on book #2. So wish me luck.
So what did I read in 2014...
1. Here I Go Again - Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors and I've read almost all of her books. Her first couple of books were more like comedic autobiographies, but lately she has started writing some fictional books. This one is about a popular girl whose life starts to fall apart right before her big high school reunion. When none of her old classmates will help her during this trying time, she realizes just how much of a mean girl she used to be. So she goes back in time to try and fix what she did wrong in the past, which then affects how her life turns out in the future.
2. Lost Lake - Sarah Addison Allen is another one of my favorite authors. Her books are always set in small southern towns and there is always some sort of magic weaved into this story. This book is about a woman and her daughter who set out to find Lost Lake which is owned by her estranged Aunt as a way to get away from their current lives. They learn about their family, the history of Lost Lake, and find a little piece of themselves.
3. The Husband's Secret - This was one of those books that I immediately got into and couldn't put down. It's about a women who finds a secret letter written to her by her husband. She assumes it's a love letter but after reading it she finds it holds a dark secret about her husband. The book includes other storylines that revolve around this main storyline, and it's interesting to see how the different character's stories impact one another.
4. The Summer Girls - This is a great beach read and would be perfect to read on vacation, or now to help keep your mind off the cold snowy weather outside. It's about 3 sisters who reunite at their Grandmother's beach cottage on Sullivan's Island. The girls are all in different places in their lives, and they have difficult moments with each other at first, but in the end they begin to remember great memories from past summers and the bonds they had with each other.
5. Carry On Warrior - This book is written by Glennon Doyle Melton, blogger at Momastery.com. Glennon shares her story of getting married, having children, and dealing with the trials and tribulations of life. I love how honest she is, and how she is very open about how not perfect her life is. I feel like many bloggers only show the perfect side to their life, and I'll admit I post mostly positive things on my blog as well. But this book helps you remember that life isn't perfect, everyone has their struggles, but you can still lead a full life.
6. Bread & Wine - This book totally made me want invite a whole bunch of friends over to start a dinner club. Food and family gathering is a big part of Shauna Niequist's life, and she shares her story through food. It's a collection of essays, so it's one of those books that you can pick up and quickly read a few chapters whenever you have a spare moment. I also love the recipes that are between each chapter. This is one book that I went ahead and purchased the hard cover copy just so I could reference the recipes.
7. Gone Girl - This book was about a woman who goes disappearing and the entire town thinks her husband has murdered her. But there is a huge twist, and the twists and turns keep coming throughout the entire book, and the ending was not what I expected. The first 75 pages were a little slow for me, but once I got past that I finished the book in 2 days. The entire time I kept looking up at Rick and saying...OMG...OMG! I really wanted to read this book before I watched the movie and I was so glad that I did. I thought the movie was good, but the book went into more detail which I think helped fill in some of the gaps of the movie. The ending of the book and the movie are also somewhat different, even though the main storyline is the same. I highly recommend reading the book, even if you already saw the movie, just to see the differences.
8. Big Little Lies - This was probably one of my favorite books of the year. I loved that it was a mystery, but there was a little bit of comedy thrown in. And I totally want to add "Oh calamity" as part of my regular vocabulary now. This story revolves around solving the mystery around the death of a parent at a school charity event. The story goes between the past events leading up to this night, and the different interviews of the parents by the detectives post-incident. Definitely a must read.
9. Blue Christmas - I always love to read a Christmas book in December. This is a cute chick lit story about a girl named Weezie who owns an antique store in the historic district of Savannah. Weird things start happening to her and her store, and at first she thinks it's one of her competitors down the street trying to sabotage her business. As the story unfolds, she starts to learn about a mysterious visitor, and she spends time trying to figure out who this person is and what they are up to. It was a very quick read and the perfect book to get you in the Christmas spirit.
What did you read in 2014? Any great recommendations I need to add to my list for 2015?