My top 5 books of 2014

Friday, January 2, 2015

First of all, happy new year! So far, I've spent the first two days of 2015 waiting to fly home from a family vacation at our ranch in Texas - more on that later - stranded for two extra days than planned due to Winter Storm Frona. But as I finally sit in DFW awaiting my flight to Orlando (yep - flying "home" to Florida, then driving back to South Carolina on Sunday), I realize there are worse places to spend a few days than with loved ones. That said, I'm pretty dang happy to be on our way back to civilization and wifi!

In 2014, one of my goals was to read at least a book a month. I'd gotten away from reading for pleasure, something I've always enjoyed, and I made several concentrated efforts (like joining a book club) to read a lot more for fun. I ended up reading way more than an average of a book a month and it's been so fun. Here are my top 5 books that I read last year. 

Okay, this is a long one. By far the longest, densest book I read all year. A lot of the girls in my book club did not like this book but I really did. It follows a boy and a painting that are forever tied together after an act of terrorism, both the painting and the memories of the terrorist attack haunting the guy. It's a little deep and definitely not like my typical read but I loved it. 

This one struck a personal cord for me because of my old Florida agriculture roots: it's about a girl growing up in a small Florida town during the Great Depression who is sent to a horse riding camp in North Carolina because she's gotten into some trouble, a mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. Personally, I loved that it referenced 1930's agriculture in Florida and places that my family frequented during the same time period. It's another deep one but a really good coming-of-age story. 

No surprise here - this one was on most reader's lists, especially with the movie out last year. I had put off reading this book for a whole, not usually one for thrillers or mysteries, but holy moly - this one is good. The writing is so good, and the screen adaptation was excellent (is there anything better than seeing the movie after reading the book?). Even the hubs loved the movie and has plans to read the book. If you've been on the fence like me, just do it, then see the movie. 

This was another book that ordinarily, I'd never have chosen to read. But my book club chose it and I'm glad they did. I'm not a hiker or camper by any stretch of the imagination but here was something about Cheryl's writing and her experience on the Pacific Crest Trail after hitting rock bottom made me want to buy a pack and hiking boots. I haven't seen the movie yet but again, what's better than reading a good book and then watching the movie? 

Y'all, this is my new favorite author. I've read all of her books and have liked them all but this book - wow. I couldn't put it down! It's chick lit but with serious undertones: a mystery, a little humor, and a few really awesome twists. Download it right now! I heard that Reese Witherspoon has already bought the rights to this movie and it will be a good one. 

There you have it! I hope you have at least one book to add to your reading list.  Happy reading in 2015! 


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