2014 Top Tens: Books
Welcome to the end of the year: One top 10 post for each of the last 10 days of 2014.
- Healthy living.
Today: books. You may not be surprised to discover I couldn’t keep this to one list.
First, here are 10 I loved this year.
- The Best Yes by Lysa TerKerst. Oh my God, every one of my stressed, overcommitted, guilty friends needs this book. Now.
- The Silkworm and the rest of the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Gilbraith (Jo Rowling). Just plain great detective stories.
- The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. If you’re into arc plots about teenagers in dystopia, I liked this better than Hunger Games.
- A School History of the Great War by Albert McKinley
- The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair MacKay
- Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann
Second, here are 10 I always come back to. Many are available free too, thanks to the Gutenberg Project.
(Sidebar, re: rereading: Once, a colleague offered me a book, saying she never reread anything. I nearly fell off my chair. I am not that sort of being. I do not trust that sort of being.)
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I just plain love this little book.
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I read this when I, too, left a miserable situation and found myself alone at school in a strange castle on the first of September. I couldn’t not love it after that.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl and everything else by Louisa May Alcott. Elly reminded me of her a couple of years ago and I reread everything she wrote – but I love this best.
- The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis. I am a fairytale girl.
- The Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens. I don’t like Dickens, as a rule, but this is comfy and rollicking and Sam makes it so you don’t mind the verbosity.
- Pride & Prejudice, Emma, and Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen. Lizzie and Emma and Elinor knew what was what.
- Will in the World – Stephen Greenblatt. He does more than a little guesswork but it’s a lovely sympathetic story even if you don’t care a bit about Shakespeare wrote.
- The Secret Garden and A Little Princess – Frances Hodgkin Burnett. So gorgeous.
- A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson. Who doesn’t want to know nearly everything?
And here are 10 that I want to read in 2015.
- Letters from a Stoic – Seneca. Because it’s mentioned in TGL&PPPS and, as that book says, “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”
- Shakespeare & Co. – Stanley Wells. About all those other dudes who hung out along the riverbank. I also want to read more of their work of the other Elizabethan playwrights.
- Zealot – Reza Aslan. A biography of Jesus.
- The Shallows – Nicholas Carr. Because the internet is not necessarily good for us.
- Smarter Than You Think – Clive Thompson. Because it isn’t necessarily bad either.
- Fic – Anne Jamison. Because inspired content relates to transmedia storytelling and the power of the conversational internet and this shit straight up fascinates me because I am a nerd of the first degree.
- Between Silk and Cyanide – Leo Marks. More about Bletchley Park and the codemakers and codebreakers of WWII. I am fascinated.
- Speaking Code – Franco Bifo Berardi. Not that same kind of code.
- Choose Your Own Autobiography – Neil Patrick Harris. Because he’s amazing.
- Becoming a Supple Leopard – Kelly Starrett. Because I own this and I’ve been lazy and trusted my trainers rather than learning it myself.