Reading Resolutions 2014

I am a resolution girl – I love setting goals for the new year, and at the end of the year seeing where I am. I don’t get overly upset if I haven’t met all of them, I celebrate what I have accomplished and re-evaluate for the next year. So now’s the time to make those 2014 resolutions.

1) Read 50 Books: Every year I aspire to read 50 books. I have never hit that number – what with school, work, my magazine obsession which takes away from book reading time. Another year to try and hit that goal again.

2) Blog More: Since coming back to the blog, I know my posts have been a little spotty and I haven’t been great about posting reviews. In 2014 I will review all the books I read for the blog, and post at least once a week.

3) “Books Around the World”: I’m a traveler – I love to travel the world, so in 2014 my bookshelf will too. Within my 50 books, and posting reviews for all the books I read for the blog I want to expand my international reading. So once a month I will read a book written from a writer in another country that has been translated into English. It will be a new regular feature to the blog, so if you would like to join along let me know. And let me know any personal favorites you have in this category.

That’s it. I want to be realistic, and I feel really good about these resolutions. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. Thank you for being with my on my reading journey in 2013, and I look forward to sharing 2014 with you all.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy new year!

Happy Reading! xoxo

2013 in Books

Wow – where has 2013 gone? It has certainly been a wonderful year filled with many great things, including some good books. I didn’t hit my reading goal of 50, but I’m ok with that. I will have my reading resolutions post out soon but in the meantime I wanted to share with you some of my favorites and not-so favorites of 2013.

Best of 2013
I had two top favorites for this past year (sorry, I know a tie isn’t fair, but it’s my blog so I can do what I like, right). They are the two that I have been recommending to people.

The Age of MiraclesThe Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I did write a review of this one for the site. Aside from my like of good post-apocalypse fiction, this book was a solid coming of age story that I really enjoyed.

 

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
I’m not sure what happened this summer that I didn’t get a review on the site, but this was such a wonderful book – a true adult fairytale. It’s winter now, grab this book and curl up with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies (I’m thinking speculoos).

And here’s a wildcard – one that wasn’t part of the tie, but still really good …

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was also very charming and if you haven’t read it you probably should.

Overrated of 2013
Beautiful RuinsBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Not that it wasn’t a good book. It was, and had some very interesting writing techniques, but I didn’t find it as great as I was expecting it to be. Here is my review.

I had a strong reading start, and then it got set back because of school, marathon training and such – but here’s my Goodreads list of many of the books I read this year.

How was your year. What was your favorite? What about one that you were expecting more out of?

Review: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

1594488398.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Summer camp in your high school years – a place where you can make a few summer friends, or in the case of Jules, Ash, Ethan and Jonah, friends for life. During the summer of 1974 these four teenagers find themselves building unlikely friendships and relationships in an arts camp upstate. Ash and Jonah are the beautiful ones with lives of privilege in New York City, Ethan is the gawky but talented one from a broken, and definitely not privileged, life in the City, and Julie, who arrives at the camp on scholarship to help her escape from her father’s death, leaves the camp as Jules, forever hating a middle class life in the NY burbs. This is the world Meg Wolitzer builds in The Interestings.

I was immediately pulled in to all of these characters, rooting for them even when they really annoyed me. Not only was I drawn to them because of who they were, but because Wolitzer wrote them all so beautifully, no one was one-dimensional, even with some of paths and breaks, and heartaches they had (maybe a little too much for 4 friends), they were all believable.

The book did seem a little long in places (we travel their journey from the 70s to present-ish day), more because I think Wolitzer didn’t want to get rid of some lovely passages she wrote, even if they were unnecessary to move the story along. But overall I found myself thinking in many places how well-written it was, and how Wolitzer can really turn a phrase. I’m glad I stuck through it in parts that were getting a little slow because it was so well worth it in the end.