12 Books for 2014 Check In

12 Books for 2014 Check In

Back in January I wrote a blog post about my love for reading and my commitment to read a book a month for the next year.

Well, it’s four months into the year so I thought I’d do a little check in. Since I’m checking in on one 2014 goal, I might have to check in on the rest as well. It never hurts to see if I’m on track. I rather not reach the end of 2014 and feel like I wasted the past year (Type-A personality problems).

The Reading List:

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath [x] 2. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
3. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
4. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
5. MWF seeks BFF by Rachel Bertsche [x] 6. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells
7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [x] 8. Watership Down by Richard Adams
9. A Little Princes by Frances Hodgson Burnett
10. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
11. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
12. The Help by Kathryn Stockett [x]

I’m 4/4 and four months in! Three of those four books I can thank to my March vacation home. Flights from Fairbanks to anywhere on planet earth Minnesota take a ridiculously long amount of time, and I also had a 16 hour road trip squeezed into that ten day trip. In short, I read like crazy.


Of the four books I’ve read so far, The Help by Kathryn Stockett was without a doubt my favorite. I still have yet to see the movie, so it was fun for me to read it with zero expectations. It was wonderfully written, realistic fiction novel based on African-American housekeepers/maids working in White households in Southern Mississippi in the 1960’s. I was laughing, crying, and feeling the warm fuzzies throughout the entire read.

The Bell Jar was excellent, but eerie. Read with caution. You may start to question your own sanity as you free fall into the mind of the clinically depressed Esther Greenwood. It is a classic, and my second favorite of the books I have read so far.

MWF Seeks BFF by Rachel Bertsche is not a bestselling novel, or even all that well-known, but for someone who just moved from a city with all my friends to an isolated location where I knew no one but my husband – this book was relatable in every way. If you have just moved and you’re looking for ideas on making friends, or what it takes to establish a good friendship with someone, this book is filled with research, evidence, and first hand accounts of the author’s struggles to make new friends after her move from New York City to Chicago. I appreciated this book immensely.

Lastly, I read the Alchemist. One of the most read, translated books of all time or something? This is potentially the unpopular opinion of the year, but I was not impressed. It hooked me and it was an easy read, so I dived right in and finished in a few short hours on our road trip, but I wasn’t left feeling much when I finished. It was too vague, and the whole “personal legend” thing was not much of an inspiration for me. I felt like the book tried way too hard to teach the reader a lesson.

I’m currently reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith, which is unfortunately not catching my attention at all after 100 pages in, and I have a strict “life is too short to read bad books” policy. I may have to add a different book to the list and let this one go…

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” 
― Dr. SeussI Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

How are you doing on your 2014 reading goals? What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? What did you think of The Alchemist?




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