Best Reads of 2014 {or diving back in}

I've always been a head in the books type of girl. I was a veracious reader as a child. My teen years were spent reading through nearly every list of "classic" literature and "must reads for well educated individuals." Looking back, I was kind of a teenage literary snob {and probably a bit of a terror because of it}. However, I discovered some of my favorite books and genres during that time.

In college, I lived for summer break. I couldn't read for pleasure during the school year. As a Sociology major, I was often reading 1,000 plus pages a week {and that was selectively ignoring less important reading}. I just couldn't bring myself to look at another word on a page when I made it through my class readings. When grad school started, I promptly returned to my ignoring personal reading ways. After hours of peer reviewed journal articles, TV sounded so much better than a book.

Since graduated in August, I have rekindled my love for books. And man, it feels good.

I love seeing what other people are reading. It opens me up to books I may have never head of. So, from time to time {because we know I'm too irregular of a poster to do anything monthly} I'm going to share what I've been reading. I figured I'd start off with books I would recommend from my 2014 reading.

Contains Affiliate Links.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I ran head first the teen lit genre during 2014. It's probably because I so fervently ignored it when I was a teen. Like nearly every other woman on the planet I read, and promptly fell in love with, The Fault in Our Stars. The whit was top notch. Really, I reminded me of amazing banter from Gilmore Girls. And I was smitten.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I may or may not have read everything John Green ever wrote after I finished The Fault in Our Stars. Looking for Alaska was by far my favorite of the rest of his cannon. Really, I think I was drawn to this book because of my experience working with pre-teens and teens as a school social worker. I found it an artful look at huge topics like grief, guilt, and forgiveness for those who are left behind when a suicide occurs. The characters seemed genuine and enduring, despite the expected teen angst. If you have teenage children, I cannot highly enough recommend that you read this book together. An open dialogue about these tough issues can make all the difference.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Mia is a Cello prodigy with the kind of family every teen dreams of. Tragedy strikes and Mia is left with an impossible decision. The perspective of this book is what makes it a worthwhile read. The book is written from the perspective of Mia watching over herself in the hospital. The book goes back and forth between the day of the accident and stories of the past. These stories develop the rich characters of Mia and her family and friends.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I was so glad to find out there was a sequel to If I Stay. The ending had left me wondering the what and why of the decision. This book answers those very questions. While its missing the unique perspective of the first novel, I think its a worthwhile read. There were tough answers rather than a trite happily ever after.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby is such a fun author. I was a big fan of About a Boy. A Long Way Down tells the story of an unusual group of characters brought together by a reverse suicide pact. The characters are all unfailingly human. Even the annoying ones are endearing. A movie based on the book released in Britain in 2014. Do yourself a favor and read the book but skip the movie!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I may or may not be in mourning over the start of the final season of Parks and Recreation. Don't even get me started on the fact that they are only doing 13 episodes. When I saw Amy Poehler had written an autobiography, I instantly snatched it up. The book is hilarious and will give you some great insights into the hay day of SNL and Parks and Rec. It has great little touches like a chapter by Seth Meyer and footnote commentary from Greg Daniels. If you're a fan of Amy Poehler's work, this book won't disappoint!

Wool by Huge Howey

I stumbled upon Wool as a result of one of those read if you liked The Hunger Games lists. Wool is really a collection of five short stories. Set in a dystopian society, the stories follow the leaders of a community. Each story looks at a different character to bring you a complete picture of how the society operates. I convinced my husband to read this book right after I finished. He loved it too.

Shift by Huge Howey

Shift is the prequel to Wool. However, its designed to be read after Wool. It sets the stage for how the Silo was created and starts to ask the question why. While it wasn't may favorite read of the year, it provided great background for Dust.

Dust by Huge Howey

Dust answers all the lingering questions from Wool in a compelling manner. It was very, very difficult to put Dust down. You become attached to the characters as well as the deeper motivations for the actions that brought them together.

In addition to my faves from the year, I also read:

Four by Veronica Roth

Paper Towns by John Green

Mockingjay by Susan Collins

What was your favorite read of 2014?

Here's where I may be linking up:

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