2014 books I read: 1-3


One of my 24 Before 24 goals is to read at least 14 books. It seems like I’m on track for that goal, although I haven’t been strictly following this list of 14 Books to Read in 2014. So far I’ve knocked two of them off the list and read another that had been sitting on my bookshelf forever, but I hadn’t planned on reading any time soon.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
The dystopian novel about a teenage girl who doesn’t fit in and ends up a hero seemed to be right up my alley from the sound of it. But truth is, it just wasn’t for me. My two sisters, aunt and friends liked it. My mom and one of my other friends didn’t. The book is written well and it’s impressive for a first novel. I’m impressed by anyone who has written a book. It kept me interested, but I didn’t like the characters very much and the violence bothered me. This isn’t to say it wasn’t good, just not something I was into.

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
After reading Divergent, I wanted to read something I knew I would enjoy. Memoirs are my favorite types of books, and this one was just as good as any other I’ve read. The author treats each chapter like a short story almost. Not all memoirs are like that and I appreciated her way of story telling. I laughed, cried and learned a little more about the human experience from another person’s perspective.

Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch
I have mixed feelings about this book. As I said before, I’m impressed by anyone who has written a book. I never have and I would like to. Men and Dogs is one of those books that was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t recommend. It’s filled with drama and suspense, which is good in theory. The flawed characters were interesting and relatable. I loved some chapters and didn’t like others. Maybe I was expecting too much out of the characters. They made strange choices and weren’t always likeable, but they’re human beings. We’re all like that.

What have you been reading lately? Anthing you would recommend?

14 books to read in 2014

sitting, reading

This year, I resolve to read more.

I say that every year. I truly think I do read more every year, but the thing is, that doesn’t always mean novels. At times it meant more newspapers or magazines. At this time in my life it means lot and lots of internet stuff. I’m following way too many blogs and Twitter accounts to ever keep up with. The Internet is a lovely place (also: weird, crazy, informative) and I’m having fun with it.

Truly though, I used to read more books, or at least it seems as if I used to read more. So this year, I’m holding myself accountable.  There are too many unread books in my room and on my mental to-read list that I don’t want to keep ignoring. I want to cultivate my love for reading and not let it fizzle out. For that reason, I chose only books that I’m pretty sure I’ll love and not (just) forcing myself to read books that I think I should be reading.

There’s talk going around about how 2014 should be the year of reading women. I’ve seen tweets with the hashtag #readwomen2014 and talks about how in 2013, people mainly read books by men. The Critical Flame, A journal of literature and culture, plans to “dedicate one year of its review coverage wholly to women writers and writers of color.” While I think that is great and necessary, I don’t entirely plan on doing that myself. That must sound very hypocritical of me. What I mean is, I didn’t think about that while coming up with this list. Only one happens to be by a man and there are books written by women of color in the list. What these books all have in common is that they have been on my mental to-read list for at least a month.

Books to read

The books:


1. A Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler
I’ve been reading this off and on for almost half my life. It was one of my dad’s favorite books. I realized recently that maybe I just don’t want to read it all because then it will be done, but I could always read it over and over.

2. War, Women and the News – Catherine Gourley
My grandma let me borrow this one. It takes place from the period of the Great Depression to shortly after World War II. This book is easy enough for children to read and still engaging enough for any reader.

3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand
My mom has recommended I read this before. Now that a movie adaption is coming out, I feel like there’s a deadline to reach.

4. Rookie Yearbook Two -Tavi Gevinson
I’m happy to report that I bought Rookie Yearbook Two last weekend. Even though I’m sure pretty much everything in the book is on the Rookie website too, it was still totally worth it to get the book. The collages and photos are beautiful. Besides that, it’s just always nice to have a physical copy and to support a great organization.

5. Feminism Is For Everybody – Bell Hooks
This book was recommended by a friend whose opinion I highly value. Also, I read part of her book Class Matters and it was amazing, but this seems like a better starting point.

6. Stealing Buddha’s Dinner – Bich Minh Nguyen
This is another I’m currently reading. It’s a very well-written memoir. The author knows how to bring her stories and characters to life.

7. Bossypants – Tina Fey
It came out three years ago and I have yet to read it. I might get the audio book of this and any other comedy books because I want to hear them in the author’s voice. Does that still count as reading?

8. Amy Poehler’s book (fall release)
The publisher said in a statement that the book is a “an illustrated, nonlinear diary full of humor and honesty and brimming with true stories, fictional anecdotes and life lessons.” I love Amy Poehler, so of course I’m going to read it.

9. Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation – Aisha Tyler
I’m loving Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy podcast, so I’m guessing I will love her memoir too.

10. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps – Kelly Williams Brown
The title alone makes me want to buy the book. Good work to whoever thought that up. I’m also enjoying the blog from whence it started.



11. Divergent – Veronica Roth
Everyone is talking about this series now. It’s the next Hunger Games, I guess? But apparently not as violent? I never read Hunger Games either, but I’m ready to give this one a try.

12. Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
I ordered this in September when a few of my friends agreed we would have a book club. Then school started and I focused on assigned reading instead.

13. The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
I’ve read and loved Unaccustomed Earth, The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I pre-ordered this one back in September and then got caught up in school work.

14. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
This book was chosen as Tumblr’s first book club selection. It’s a YA book centered around sisters and fandom. Sounds good to me!

You may have noticed that only 4 out of the 14 books I plan to read in 2014 are fiction. I do love fiction. It just so happens that when I came up with a list of what books I’m excited about reading this year, the non-fiction list ended up longer.

Well, here’s to reading more print in 2014. I’m sure other books will come up and I might end up dropping some of these on the list, but this is my list, for now.