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2014 Reading In Review

This was the first year I did reading challenges, and I think I picked them well. Other than reading books I owned, I did great (and I got much closer to my failed goal than I expected). Setting a goal for finishing series, really pushed me in that respect and also taught me that it's okay to let a series go, even if I liked the first one. Unless I can't wait to find out what happens next, it's probably not worth my time. Reading books with titles starting with all the letters of the alphabet was a fun way to look at my to-read list in Goodreads and jump around and pick some things that had been sitting there awhile. I was also super psyched to hit my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books for the year.

I've dreamed up some interesting challenges for myself for 2015, so I'll lay those out in another post, but to wrap up 2014, I'll list my favorites as I usually do - Top 5 ranked with a little explanation of why they were so fabulous and 10 honorable mentions listed alphabetically with a quick blurb.

Favorite Books Read in 2014

  1. The False Prince (2012), The Runaway King (2013), and The Shadow Throne (2014) by Jennifer A Nielsen - From beginning to end, this middle grade adventure trilogy delivered. From the time we're introduced to clever orphan Sage, to the end of the war with King Vargas, I was entertained and never quite sure what to expect. These are excellent on audio and would be perfect to listen to on a family road trip.
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  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2013) - the perfect teenage love story, with a little nostalgia built in for children of the 1980s. It's so perfect I don't know how to do it justice with a description, just go out and read it, even if you're not a fan of YA, even if you're not a fan of romance.
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  5. Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Timothy Kimmel (2005) - Hands-down the best thing I've ever read about Christian parenting. This is a great explanation of why we want our kids to follow the rules we set for them.
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  7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2012) - a little slow in the start, but this tale of two friends working for the British war effort in World War II left me sobbing at the end as you learn just how deep their friendship goes and what they each do to protect each other. I've read so many World War II books, when one gets to me like this, it's worth noting. Judging by what others have said, though, it's probably only for fans of historical fiction.
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  9. The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Become a Better Husband by David Finch (2012) - This one was a personal favorite because, for awhile now, we've suspected that my husband has highly functioning autism. Finch's feeling of relief when he's diagnosed - now he can label why he's different - is refreshing and gave me a whole new way to look at autism spectrum disorders. His quest to become a better husband is also humorous and touching.

Honorable Mentions:
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