Happy new year! I am so glad that the new year is here. The last few months of this year have felt heavy for me and I feel like I've just been drudging through under the weight of it all. Every once in awhile I think there comes a time that you need to dump the box that you call your life over and sort through it. And while coming to the realization that it's time for me to do this has been a little overwhelming to say the least (i hate even having to clean out a literal box), I am really excited for the new year and the good things to come. There is a lot to say about all of that but I will save it for another time.
One of my favorite ways to reflect on the past year and plan out my new year is through the books that I read and have plans to read in the coming year. This last year I participated in the goodreads book challenge. I decided to make a goal of 30 books to read in 2014, though a few of them that I marked as 'read' were comics, a couple of them were mammoths like the fifth book in the Game of Throne series, so I figured it all balanced out with a grand total of 32.
The books you see here were the ones that stuck with me most after I finished them, and a few of those are ones I still think about today.
The Enchanted has to be the book I absolutely loved the most and I think will remain an all-time favorite. It was haunting and beautiful. I read it in one sitting and I am so glad I did (I think it's definitely a book best read one-sitting). And I don't say this often, but I know I will read this one again. As soon as I was done I wanted to just go back and read it again immediately.
I kept seeing Me Before You everywhere, and one day I picked it up on a whim. When I got home and saw her vast collection of 'romance-type' novels I was pretty certain I'd made a mistake. But, as far as simply being a book, which tells a story, it was a good one. It is a love-story, though not typical at all. One of the characters is a quadriplegic, and having an aunt that I cared for for a few years who had also suffered a terrible accident and was left a quadriplegic, it turned out to be a pretty emotional read for me. I was entirely impressed by her research. The truth of the complex issues, both emotional and physical, that such an injury has on, not only the injured, but those who love them.
One of my favorite things in the world is when someone gives you a book that you might not pick up on your own, but they know you'd appreciate. When I met Ruth this summer, she brought me the book Galveston, and it was such a good read. I've since loaned it to two other people who both really liked it as well.
A Tale For The Being is another book I wouldn't mind putting on my to-reread list, though I probably won't because it's so rare that I ever do (so many books to read!). It was heartbreaking and magical, a sort of modern-day fable that deals with many very difficult and complex issues, but in a most honest, pure, and beautiful way.
While I didn't give Life After Life five stars, the fact that I read 500 plus pages in less than 24 hours, I have to say it obviously pulled me in. The storyline was unique in a way that didn't feel forced or pretentious, and her descriptions of WW II era England were most disturbing in their quiet accounts and descriptions, and some of the best I have ever read.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was one where my heart felt like it was being picked apart page by page. But by the end my chest was fuller than it was before. There were so many sentences that I read over and over again, just to make sure I fully absorbed their beauty. And as soon as I finished the book I went back to my dog eared pages to re-read them one more time.
I already have a big stack from Christmas (on top of the other big stacks I've collected over the years) to read in this coming year. I started with Wild (which much to my happy surprise isn't nearly as pretentious as, eat, pray, love, which i was afraid of and have thus had avoided it up till now). Next in line are a few of the other books I got for christmas like: Everything I Never Told You, The Martian, and All The Light We Cannot See. Did you have any favorites in 2014? Any good ones you are reading now?