I’m back from my holiday hiatus, perhaps a bit later than most people. For me, the holiday break isn’t a time to put away work for a while. It is a time when I am away from the day job, and therefore can buckle down and get a lot of work done on my writing. I always have a few goals for myself to complete before the students come back to the college campus where I work (which happened this week.)
I more or less reached my writing goal for the holiday break. I finished a revision that’s been a struggle for me. I think I’m done, but then, I’ve thought that before. Revision is a process of finding a balance between my vision and the vision of others, and trusting that their vision is sometimes the right one, and that even when I can’t see it, I can reproduce it. And that’s hard. So it takes a lot of tries.
So, the revision is done, or at least at rest until I get some feedback to tell me it isn’t done. And that means I have time to ramble a bit about the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
I’m not a resolution maker. Sure, there are things I want to change or adjust in my life. There’s always body fat to be battled and disorganized cupboards that could be cleaned. But I find nothing magical about January that’s going to push me into doing what I haven’t been doing, and anyway, for the first few weeks of the month, I’m busy with more important writing goals.
But I do like looking back on past years, and what I’ve accomplished. In that vein, I thought I’d sum up 2014 with books I read. Unfortunately, I didn’t start keeping track at the beginning of the year, so I’m sure there are a few books missing from my list.
I am an eclectic reader. I like many genres, and I try to read classics that I missed, as well as new books. I try to keep up with what’s going on in middle-grade and YA fiction, since that’s what I write, but I try to read adult books too.
Here, in no particular order, and for no particular reason, are my 2014 reads, as my own way to sum up the year. I can’t say I could pick a favorite. It was a good year for reading–I didn’t meet a book I didn’t like this year:
- STRANGE SWEET SONG by Adi Rule
- SIRENS by Janet Fox
- KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Haruki Murakami
- LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH by Jennifer Holm
- SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
- BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
- COUNTING BY SEVENS by Holly Goldberg Sloan
- NAVIGATING EARLY by Clare Vanderpool
- THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield
- CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
- ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell
- DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor
- ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman
- JEWEL OF THE THAMES by Angela Misri
- THE OTHER WAY AROUND by Sashi Kaufman
- RADIO GIRL by Carol Brendler
- KISSING SHAKESPEARE by Pam Mingle
- A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith
- THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas
- RHYME SCHEMER by Kari Ann Holt
- DIRTBIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY by Conrad Wesselhoeft
- THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tart
- GOBLIN SECRETS by William Alexander
- GRAVE IMAGES by Jenny Goebel
- THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer Nielsen
- THE FLAME THROWERS by Rachel Kushner
- THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton
- VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD by Lauren Sabel
- FUTURE FLASH by Kita Murdock
- GLANCING THROUGH THE GLIMMER by Pat McDermott
- FINN FINNEGAN by Darby Karchut
- GIDEON’S SPEAR by Darby Karchut
- THE SUN KING by Nancy Mitford
Now on to 2015, another year of reading, reaching, writing, and living with cats. Happy New Year, everybody!