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2014 Year-End Review (Reader's Edition)

In 2014, I set out to read at least 50 books, cataloging my progress on my Challenges page. Here, you’ll find a complete list of how I did! If I blogged a review, I’ve included the title as a link that’ll take you right on over. Enjoy!

January 2014

  1. North of Supposed to Be by Marcia Ferguson
  2. Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight
  3. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  4. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
  5. The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Abandoned titles: 0 Total books finished: 5 Total pages read for January: 1,741

North of Supposed To Be was probably my favorite title of the month, if only because I had been waiting to read this for several months until I received a copy for Christmas 2013.  Austentatious was the biggest disappointment (after sending away for it to a Texas library) and the ‘Goddess‘ series, the biggest surprise.

I learned about the Aimee Carter books when one of them passed through my hands as part of an Inter-Library Loan transaction and I loved the modern mythology concept and ordered away for the whole series immediately.

February 2014

  1. Entwined by Heather Dixon
  2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  3. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
  4. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home by Laura Vanderkam (e-book)
  5. Writing Habit Mastery: How to Write 2,000 Words a Day and Forever Cure Writer’s Block by S. J. Scott (e-book)

Abandoned titles: 0 Total books finished: 5 Total pages read for February: 1,381

February in 2015 is going to be my big month for discussing one of my favorite topics — fairy tales!  Look for reviews of Entwined and Cruel Beauty in February on my blog.

March 2014

  1. With Autumn’s Return by Amanda Cabot
  2. A Match Made in Texas (A Novella Collection) by Karen   Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Carol Cox
  3. Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell
  4. In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews
  5. Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
  6. The Chick and the Dead by Casey Daniels
  7. Tombs of Endearment by Casey Daniels
  8. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
  9. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Abandoned March titles: Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (272pp read) Total books finished: 9 Total pages read for March: 3,104

Hands-down, one of my favorite discoveries in 2014 was Austin Kleon.  I love these books!!  They’re quick reads, they’re jam-packed with useful information, fun charts and BIG TEXT, and I read both of his books at least twice in 2014.  Big, big win, and a must-read for creative types.

In March-April, I began reading a vampire series by Casey Daniels that I was really enjoying for a while until the series took a turn I didn’t like and I gave up on it. Ditto for the Rachel Caine books that I read in May-June, and the Patricia Briggs series ‘Mercedes Thompson’ which I tried reading in 2013. I guess at some point I’d like to read a vampire series that doesn’t disappoint at some point (tosses a Sookie Stackhouse novel out the window).

April 2014

  1. Night of the Loving Dead by Casey Daniels
  2. Dead Man Talking by Casey Daniels
  3. The Essential Book Blog by Ken J. Howe, PhD (e-book)
  4. How to Write Great Blog Posts That Engage Readers by Steve Scott (e-book)
  5. 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo by Bryan Allain (e-book)
  6. Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson (e-book)
  7. Blind Date by Emma Darcy
  8. The Bachelor Prince by Debbie Macomber
  9. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  10. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
  11. Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden
  12. The Baron’s Honorable Daughter by Lynn Morris

Abandoned April titles: A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano (226 pages read) Total books finished: 12 Total pages read for April: 3,269

In April, I was trying to get into my groove and explore how to be a better blogger and just enjoying the spring by reading romances, literary fiction, and yes, some vampire mysteries.

May 2014

  1. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
  2. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
  3. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  4. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
  5. The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell (my Once Upon a Time read!)
  6. The One by Kiera Cass
  7. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
  8. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
  9. Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell
  10. The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
  11. Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs
  12. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
  13. The Dead Girls’ Dance by Rachel Caine
  14. Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

Total books finished: 14 Total pages read for May: 4,882

Look for The Princess Curse’s review in February. May was a month of long-awaited trilogy endings as I got the Kiera Cass and Brodi Ashton titles at the same time. And then I moved on. I usually don’t like trilogies as they tend to disappoint (note that I read books 1 and 2 of the Kady Cross series, but not book 3). Sense and Sensibility was long-overdue, as I’ve read bits of it over the years but neglected to finish.

June 2014

  1. Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine
  2. Lords of Misrule by Rachel Caine
  3. Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine
  4. The Pelican Bride by Beth White

Total books finished: 4 Total pages read for June: 1,082

Look for a review of The Pelican Bride later this year!

July 2014

  1. Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren
  2. Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

Total books finished: 2 Total pages read for July: 772

I was thrilled to find out that Karen Doornebos had published a follow-up to her Definitely Not Mr. Darcy — one of my all-time favorite Austen-inspired chick lits, but you’ll have to read my review to see what I thought of it!

August 2014

  1. Hope at Dawn by Stacey Henrie
  2. Every Tear a Memory by Myra Johnson

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson (I’m including this but much of this information I’ve read before so I skimmed parts, so, page count not included in overall total). Total books finished: 2 Total pages read for August: 704

These were both review titles, reviews available online elsewhere, and will appear on my blog later this year.

September 2014

  1. A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

I also spent part of the month brushing up my high-school French with Mango Language Courses. Total pages read for September: 345

Another review title, ditto as in August.

October 2014

  1. Pride and Precipice by Leila M. Silver
  2. An Unexpected Lady by Leila M. Silver

Total books finished in October: 2 Total pages read for October: 504

I found both of these e-books as recommended reads on Amazon.com and Pride and Precipice was such a nice surprise, that I immediately purchased An Unexpected Lady, but the transition from contemporary romance to period piece didn’t really do it for me.

November 2014

  1. In Real Life (graphic novel) by Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang (illustrator)

Absolutely clever little book that I adored, in part because I am a gamer and I ‘got’ where they were going with this. Loved the concept, loved how they explore culture clash in MMORPGs and great resolution.

Total pages finished in November: 187 And December 2014 was a BIG ZERO.

In all honesty, I skimmed a few books I’ve read earlier this year and started and didn’t finish another novel (Susan Adriani’s “The Truth About Mr. Darcy”). So, November was a light month.  I think that I pushed myself in the first six months so hard to hit that ’50 book goal’ and then once I hit it, instead of pushing onwards, it just tapered off as I began to pursue other goals. I’m generally a good sprinter, less of a marathon reader.

Total books read in 2014 (credited): 57

Total pages read in 2014 (credited): 17,971

I tend to read about 50-60 pages an hour, less if it’s denser material (think textbooks, in-depth non-fiction), more if it’s a novel that I really, really like “a quick read”. So, if we assume 55 pages an hour as the mean average, we get the total number of invested hours for reading:

Total hours reading in 2014 (credited): 327

I had to do a little math on this but that represents almost TWO WEEKS of reading 24/7. So…maybe not bad for a marathon after all!  Continue reading below if you’re at all curious about the mini-reading goals I’d accepted for this past year. 

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Lauren has completed her goal of reading 50 books in 2014!

Concluding thoughts:

2014 was my fourth year competing in the GoodReads challenge  (although my targets vary each year).  Kudos to The Shelf Diaries which is where I first found the idea of documenting what I read in a given year. Check back on Fridays for new reviews and reading challenges!

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at LaurenJoanMiller.com.

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