My fave reads from 2014…

I’ve usually got about 4-6 books going on my Kindle at any one time. During a good week, I can read 3-4 books.

My friends have asked me, “How do you have time to write?” Well, so far, when I’m writing a book, I just replace some of my reading time with writing time in the evenings or during my kiddos nap times. It seems to work for now. Although I will often still be reading something while I’m writing. My brain needs lots of breaks from my story.

These are a just a few of my favorites from last year, in no particular order…

1) Unsinkable: A Memoir, by Debbie Reynolds. I loved her in Singing in the Rain. The story of her life and what Hollywood was like in those early days was captivating.

2) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Unusual Children by Ransom Riggs. First of all, Ransom Riggs is the coolest name ever. I wish I would have thought of it. I was expecting this book to be more children’s lit/middle grade and it surprised me by being a bit more upper/middle grade. The concept behind the book was really fascinating, and I loved how the story was built around real and unusual photographs. Very unique.

3) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Another amazing author name! I was drawn in by her writing and fresh perspective. This story is the best kind of sweet. High school love is a powerful thing, and this is a perfect example of that.

4) Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I laughed out loud throughout the entire thing. So many good nuggets about creative life, career, family and taking risks, all while being yourself.

5) Dreamwood by Heather Mackey. This was a great middle grade book, which I’m trying to add more of to my reading list! Her concept was really unique and I’m a sucker for anything with a tie to the Native American tribes.

6) GI Brides, The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi. The real stories of women and their children and what life was like during this time in Britain totally drew me in.

7) The Lost Husband, by Katherine Center. Katherine Center’s writing is very fresh and spare with lots of wit. You’re rooting for the main character the whole time and by the end, I wanted to go live on a goat farm in the middle of nowhere, Texas too.

8) Atlantia by Ally Condie. I’ve enjoyed her other books and was looking forward to this one. A totally fresh take on the idea of people living under the sea, I was expecting it to be more of a traditional mermaid tale and was surprised by where she took it!

9) All Four Stars by Tara Dairman. This middle grade story was completely delightful. I totally related to the main character, a young girl who is a burgeoning foodie, stuck in a fast food world. So fun!

10) Any book by John Greene. I read through all of his major books this year and loved every one. As someone who is usually looking for a strong female main character I can connect with, John surprised me in each one by making me feel so  inside the head of the teenage boys he’s writing about. As a female writer, I struggle with writing from a guy’s perspective – I can never tell if I’m getting it right or if the way I’m writing is just the way I want a guy to be. But his writing is that in a nutshell. Funny, fresh and with all the romance and heartbreak you could want.

And, just to be fair, here’s one I tried to love, but just couldn’t.

1) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This was a classic I’d never read, and I so wanted to like it. But I hated it. Like, literally hated it. That so rarely happens for me, that I kept hoping against hope that there might be some sort of redeemable good in some of the characters, but by the end, I was so burnt out on how horrible they all were, I couldn’t enjoy any of it. Maybe that was Emily’s point. No clue.