This dive into more purposeful and conscious reading choices has overall been very positive. But it has made me realise that I don't really know where my tastes lie. I feel as though, almost subconsciously, I've been on the hunt for a new favourite book, or at least one that I can say with confidence that I really really love, but this wasn't the year that I found it!
When I reflect on it, most of the books I would consider to be favourites are children's books, and therefore books that I have a long-standing relationship with because I read them so many years ago. Maybe that's the answer, then. I'll just have to wait years and years and see what books from this year stick with me!
Even though I'm not sure if any of my reads from this year will end up being all-time favourites, I've drawn up a couple of lists of favourites for this year anyway, both bookish and non-bookish. Enjoy!
Top 5 Books (plus a couple more!):
These books are just in chronological order rather than order of preference, but they are:
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - Beautiful and haunting, plus it was a perspective I knew hardly anything about.
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - Apparently this is a children's classic but I only just discovered it! Loved it!
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster - Another haunting one. I can't stop thinking about it!
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - A truly epic read.
- Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto - Poignant, thoughtful, interesting, different... Such a gem of a book!
I also felt I should give an honourable mention to Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote, which I re-read recently but didn't read for the first time in 2014. It was still one of the best things I read in 2014 though. And I should also mention Emma by Jane Austen, which was a pre-blog read so I'm not sure what my exact thoughts were, but I know I loved it!
Authors of the Year Award:
This is basically an 'award' for the authors that I discovered, rediscovered, or were just significant in my reading life in 2014. I really tried to narrow this down to one author, but I couldn't make my mind up! And they are:
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez - I'm super excited to read more of his books!
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi - She's not a new-to-me author, but I re-discovered her this year when I read Americanah and I can't wait to read more of her stuff
- Joan Didion - I read The Year of Magical Thinking recently and it's made me really keen to get into her writing
Other stuff that happened in 2014:
2014 was an eventful year! Here are just a couple of other things that I thought were worth mentioning:
- This one's pretty obvious, but I started this blog! Huzzah! This isn't my first foray into the blogosphere. I had a WordPress blog before, and another blogger one waayyyy back when I was still at school, but those ones never stuck. I also blogged about my travels and adventures living in Germany and France on a blog that I no longer post content to (since I'm no longer living in Germany or France!), but you can check it out if you're interested! :P
- Following on from that last point, this summer marked almost a full year of living and working abroad as part of my degree, an experience that I am immensely proud of and grateful for. The year had its ups and downs, but I grew as a person an enormous amount and wouldn't change a moment of it!
- September 2014 was back to reality with the start of my final year at university. Studying is especially hard this year, but I've managed to make things even harder for myself by taking on loads of extra-curricular stuff too! I play in the uni wind orchestra, am on the CU sub-committee for working with international students (which involves volunteering at weekly lunches, organising events, etc.), attend extra-curricular language events, and train with the ultimate frisbee team twice a week... Oh, y'know, and try to read books and write this blog. I emphasize the word try here because I am aware I haven't always kept on top of everything!
- 2014 was also the year I realised my own shortcomings. I mean, I knew about some of them before obviously, but this was the year they were really brought to the fore and displayed for my scrutiny (and very often that of other people). Not a fun experience. But it's made me aware of just how reliant I am on God and my identity in Him. It doesn't matter when I fail in the eyes of the world! My identity is secure - Hooray!! :D
Phew! I think that's enough to be going on with! I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite books, authors, and events of 2014! I certainly enjoyed living them :)
Let me know in the comments what your favourite books/authors/moments of 2014 were. And feel free to post any links to your 2014 wrap-up posts. I'd love to read them!