Favorite Books of 2014


I was at a party recently and a new friend laughingly admitted that she doesn't read.  Brace yourself but….every time I hear someone say that (and I hear it often) something inside of me cringes.  I try not to judge but honestly my bonafied better than thou wicked hard-headed opinion rises up and totally looks down on you as a non-reader!  Sorry friends.  Words are power and when we ignore books we deny ourselves access to endless pages of knowledge.  It's no secret, books make us smart!  They teach us, mold us and change us.  The impact of a good book can be incredible! 

Reading is a treasure. 

Over the last year, I've traveled to endless places…..peeked into the windows of countless lives and built my knowledge base through tons of interesting books.  Some of them still have me mesmerized and hungering for more of the story.  That's what a good book does, it draws you in and captures your imagination.  Stories move our heart.  Some are sad and painful others joyful and uplifting.  I admit, some stink.  If you know me, you know I'm not the biggest fan of fiction.  It bores me and I catch myself criticizing the lame writing (even though, someone else may find it amazing).  This is the beauty of books.  There's always something for everybody, no matter the genre.

Just pick up a book.  Try a little of everything until you find SOMETHING that tickles your fancy.

buy books

Since we are closing out the year, it only seems right for me to share a few of my favorite reads over 2014.  Just like everyone else in the world, finding down time is one of the greatest challenges.  Who has time to JUST READ, right?  No worries, books can be squeezed in here and there during just about every single day.  Here are a few of my faves!


1.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I started this book when it was first released a few years back and put it down.  Something about it captured my heart and I knew it was special….but it wasn't the right time to read it.  When I saw the movie was coming out, I begged my hubby to join me in reading it and I'm so glad we did.  It was gripping in every sense of the word.  Laura Hillenbrand is one of the greatest storytellers ever!  Wow, don't miss this story!

the hardest peace

2.  The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippets

I've shared this book recently because it's only been out a few months.  Kara's story could be any one of our journey.  Cancer doesn't care who it picks on; young mother, old friend….tiny child.  It comes in like a thief.  But Kara shares how to live with purpose even knowing death is only a breath away.  Yesterday, Kara posted on Facebook that her hubby had made the call to Hospice.  Don't skip this book.  You'll be surprised at the attitude and wisdom Kara lovingly shares.  In her, you will surely find a warrior!


3.  The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle

Melanie is the first stop I make every day when I peruse blogs to read.  She is hysterical!  Her wit will draw you in and her fun family will remind you to find the silly in your own family.  Her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings was all about being the mother of Caroline (who is a hoot of a kid) and this one is a loving tribute to her marriage to P.  She has a way with words and genuinely embraces every little nutty moment that every couple experiences.  Marriages deserve a bit of humor!  You will laugh and I guarantee you will cry.  Why are you waiting to read this?  Go!  Now!

glitter and glue

4.  Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

The mother daughter relationship can be complicated.  Not for everyone.  But once in a while, challenges invade families and the parental dynamic can influence us forever.  Kelly tells of her no non-sense mother with love and admiration.  Something every girl who's ever battled for power with her mother can relate to.  I liked the story.  I felt the love and I appreciate Kelly sharing her heart about such personal stuff.


5.  My Story by Elizabeth Smart

Oh my word!  This story is unbelievable!  It's one of the bravest books I've ever read.  I won't sugarcoat this, it is a hard read.  As a mother, I felt sick as she recounted her experience at the hands of a horrible man and woman who clearly suffer from a deep mental illness.  This true story will forever touch your heart.  But be ready to feel a myriad of emotions.  Knowing the ending is victorious helps you get through the anguish of what she endured!

heir apparent

6. The Heir Apparent by Jane Ridley

Here's where I share my nerdy side.  Jane Ridley must have been buried under research forever to write this book.  I have a weird affinity for historical knowledge and this book doesn't disappoint.  It is an incredible inside account of the life of King Edward VII known as Bertie to his friends and family.  I couldn't put it down.  It was so interesting and eye-opening!

the glass castle

7.  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Uhm, wow!  I could not put this book down.  Jeannette's story is heartbreaking.  I've witnessed neglect but never anything like hers.  She pulls you into her sad world and makes anything you've ever experienced as a kid look easy.  She does a good job of telling her journey and still showing her parents respect (even if you don't believe they deserve any).  If your kids ever act bratty and misbehave….you should send them a copy of this book to read!  It's a peek into real mistreatment.

finding me

8.  Finding Me by Michelle Knight

Ok, perhaps I'm like a moth to the flame on these riveting stories.  I don't know.  Michelle's book will remind you just how easy it is to become the victim of such a horrible crime.  She tells of her troubling childhood that sadly, opened the door to her capture and torture for 13 years.  If you didn't know how her story ends….you wouldn't be able to finish this book.  PS. I found her to be so sweet.

not cool

8.  Not Cool by Greg Gutfield

If you have any interest in what's going on around you in the world of politics and more….this book will open your brain to all the ways the elite come out on top.  Greg is one of the smartest writers out there.  His take on the cool in our society and the ridiculousness that is celebrated because of them will have you scream laughing.  Careful though, it's a bit dicey in the saucy language department.  He's got mad word skillz!  And he is sooooooo funny!

happy happy

9.  Happy Happy Happy by Phil Robertson

If you are a fan or even if you're not, Phil Robertson tells a great story about his life and how he got where he is today.  Duck Dynasty doesn't just consist of a family of rich duck call creators.  It was born from grit and a devotion to God.  I loved every chapter.  Phil is a true man of God and if you read his book you'll see….he is the real thing!


10.  Godless by Ann Coulter

I picked this up at Goodwill and then I couldn't put it down.  Reading a book like this is kind of like a revelation of just how far we as Americans stick our heads in the sand.  Sometimes, not knowing is better than knowing you can't do anything about something.  I know she's a controversial gal but she's smart and her books are very well written.  If you like her conservative values….you'll need a pen to underline all the good stuff she shares.

I'm stopping there because I just can't write all day long about my reading habits.  What I like might be totally opposite of what you like and that's okay.   I would just like to encourage you to pick up a book and read.  Add books to your new year's resolution.  Find something interesting and get lost in it at least every month.  Start small if you have to.  But start….  OK?

book love

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