Because I hoped to finish one more book in 2014 to bring the list to 20, I waited to post last year’s reads. Compared to 2013, I did poorly — I read exactly half as many books as last year. I blame this on the Robert Caro book (which took about three months) and the readings for the classes I audited in the fall. Anyway, here’s the list (** for recommendations; EPR for Eat, Pee, Reads):
1. The Wet & the Dry - Lawrence Osborne
2. Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery** (reread this for book club and regretted giving away the beautifully illustrated copy of the book I had as a child).
3. How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran
4. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Vergese
5. The Female Eunuch - Germaine Greer
6. Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman
7. Russian Debutante's Handbook - Gary Shteyngart
8. Our Shawnee - Louisville Story Program**
9. The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1) - Robert A. Caro** (This book made me wish I had a Caro book on every president).
10. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (EPR. This was recommended to me last year, and after seeing the movie trailer, I decided I needed to know what happened before the film release. I read it in about 48 hours and lay on the floor so long reading that I gave myself a headache. I forgot the “eat” part of EPR that night, which likely contributed to the headache. I haven't seen the movie.)
11. Difficult Conversations - Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Neen
12. Ich bin dann mal weg (I’m Off Then) - Hape Kerkeling
13. The Complete Stories - Flannery O'Connor
14. AIDS and Accusation - Paul Farmer
15. The Man on the Third Floor - Ann Bernays
16. Une mélancolie arabe - Abdellah Taïa
17. It's Complicated - danah boyd** (recommended especially if you’re interested in social media and teenagers).
18. Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution - Laurie Penny** (Penny is a 2015 Nieman Fellow. I wish through some kind of time warp that she’d written this book 15 years ago so I could have had it in high school. Or maybe in middle school.)
19. Children of the Monsoon - David Jiménez** (Jiménez is also a Nieman this year. The short stories in the book focus on children Jiménez met in his travels as the Asia bureau chief for the Spanish paper El Mundo. I learned so much from this book and almost gave my copy to my parents but then decided to keep this one and buy them their own.
What were your favorite books last year? What’s on your To Read list for 2015? I will definitely tackle the next volume in the LBJ series, but I could use some good fiction recommendations. Do you have any?