My year was pretty great, thanks.

Last New Year’s Eve, I was cursed.  I was tired, cranky, and had somehow managed to get three parking tickets in one day.  As I waited in Philadelphia for midnight to finally arrive, all I could think was, I hope 2014 is better!

It was everything I had hoped it would be.  I met so many amazing people and a few people that I know will be a part of my life forever.  I got engaged!  I visited my family in California a few times; I road-tripped across West Virginia and Kentucky.  I learned a lot about myself and grew as a person.  Throughout all of this, I was reading constantly, because I had a reading challenge to finish, and no time to waste.

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Each book punctuated a time in my life, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant.  Sometimes the book perfectly lined up with what was happening in my life; other times reading provided me with a much-needed escape.  Most of the books that I read were good, but only a few were great.  It was hard, but I came up with a list of my five absolute favorite reads of 2014, with a super-short description of each.

1. The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman

 A lighthouse-keeper and his wife live alone and isolated on an island, when a boat washes ashore after a bad storm.  In the boat, they discover the body of a dead man and a baby.  The woman begs to keep the baby because she is unable to have children, and the man eventually, ignoring his conscience, concedes.  I love any story about the struggle of right and wrong, and this combined with the easy flow of the story and beautiful writing made it my favorite book of 2014.

2. Tell The Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt

I love this story because it’s full of misfits and outcasts.  The main character, June, is a fourteen-year-old who is best friends with her gay uncle, Finn.  She feels most herself when she is out in the woods alone wearing her Renaissance Faire boots, pretending to be a girl lost in the woods.  When her uncle dies, she gets a package from his boyfriend, Toby, that has she never met or heard of.  He is desperate to get to know her, and the two misfits slowly pick up the pieces left in Finn’s absence.  All of the characters, even the perfect, mean older sister are dealing with their own form of isolation.  This book was beautiful  and definitely worth reading.

3. Claire of The Sea Light, Edwidge Danticat

I didn’t quite understand all of this book, but I loved reading it for the writing alone.  Basically, the premise of the book is that one girl in Haiti, named Claire of the Sea Light, runs away from home one night.  As the community gathers together on the beach to look for her, we learn about each person in turn.

4. Misery, Stephen King

Really, really scary and really good.  A writer is held hostage by his biggest fan.

5. To Kill A Mockingbird

I think I loved this book so much just because I loved Atticus Finch, and the whole town of Maycomb.  Every single page I turned of this book was warm and felt like settling in at home.

Do you have a favorite book that you read this year?  Top three?  It’s SO hard to choose!  Stay tuned for my New Year’s Resolutions post, coming soon.  If you guys like what I post, feel free to follow me using the box on the right.  As always, happy reading!  I only have one book left this year–wish me luck!

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