Ah, January. The time for being resolute. I have some goals for the new year that I will share soon, but I wanted to spend a moment looking back on 2014.
A lot happened in 2014. We had our second baby. James and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. I quit my job in biglaw. We packed up all of our belongings and moved to Italy. I’m a little overwhelmed just typing that. My only other year that even comes close is 2004, when I graduated from college, moved to DC and started a new job, got married, and bought my first house. If the trend continues, I suppose 2024 will be a crazy year?
I started this blog in 2014. I shared 80 posts. The blog had more than 2500 page views. (Thank you!) Most viewed posts of 2014:
Confessions of a mono-dresser: I only wear one shirt
I can’t believe they didn’t mention church
It was a good year for books. I read at least 50 new books in 2014. This number is mostly based on looking at my kindle order history. I probably squeezed in some other books as well. I signed up for a goodreads account, but I haven’t been active on it. Maybe I’ll try to keep up this year.
I read a lot of good books, but here are some faves. Many of these are Modern Mrs. Darcy recommendations. If you like to read, her blog is a fantastic resource for what to put next on your to-read list. In fact, her blog is one of the reasons I haven’t covered more books here. I feel like I would just generally be copying her suggestions instead of offering new ideas. But maybe there will be some book reviews here in 2015.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This was in my book club. I bought the book, but couldn’t make the meeting and forgot to read it. When I rediscovered it on my kindle, I inhaled it. It was a mystery! And it’s in a series. I haven’t read any of the others yet, but I may have to do that.
Anything by Orson Scott Card. I’m not normally huge on sci fi, but really liked Ender’s Game when we read that awhile ago. James went ahead and got the rest of the Ender series, the Bean series, and the books on the first Formic Wars. I can’t really explain why, but I can’t put any of them down. It is just such a rich and fully developed world you inhabit in these books.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: A Novel by Mary Ann Shaffer. Historical fiction. Loved. And I learned what the Channel Islands are!
Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home by Joshua Becker. This was a timely book that helped as we purged for our move.
All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior. I find books that discuss the evolution of parenting fascinating.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein. More historical fiction. More WWII. The end of the book made me turn around and immediately read again. I have no idea why this is marketed as YA.
Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte. I’m also fascinated by books on society’s obsession with busy-ness. I think a lot of people feel the time confetti Schulte mentions. Feeling like I can breathe a little is something I am definitely enjoying here.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I think I read this in one night. I just couldn’t stop.
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Book 2) by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. Ya’ll, did you know that J.K. Rowling writes mysteries under a pen name? I didn’t like this one quite as much as The Cuckoo’s Calling, but I still liked it a lot.
I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer. Interesting observations and thoughts on show business from someone who has put a lot into her career. I read more memoirs in 2014, but I liked this one the best.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Also a sort of mystery, as the main character forgets 10 years of her life after a gym accident and has to piece things together. An excellent read, and I may have enjoyed it even more as I’ve been looking back over my own past decade.
The Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton. More historical fiction. More WWII. (Hmm, maybe I have a type?) This mystery toggles between characters in London in WWII and their present day descendants who are trying to unravel a mystery. Like Code Name Verity, the ending here immediately made me turn around and reread the whole book.
It was a good year for books, but I don’t think I saw a single movie in the theater. I did finally see Frozen, and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. I saw The Lego Movie and Divergent on the plane. Surely, I saw some others, but not very many.
On the TV front, we continue to watch Brooklyn 99 and The Mindy Project. I love both of these, but if you aren’t watching Brooklyn 99, you really should start watching Brooklyn 99. At the very end of the year, we started on Sherlock and I am hooked. We only have one episode left which makes me sad, but I’ll just have to watch them again. We also like the show’s American cousin, Elementary.
On the vacation front, around this time last year we went to Disney World which seems like eons ago now. We did a trip to SC and the beach last summer. So far in Italy, we’ve made it to Hadrian’s Villa, Volterra, San Gimignano, and Siena. We saw the Christmas markets in Munich and Nuremberg in December. We’ve had some fun in Rome, but we have plenty more on our list to see. I won’t list them all now, but I am pleased to report that I have been to many more restaurants in Rome since providing our two month update.
And, of course, there are all the metrics I can’t measure. (I mean I guess I could, but it would be super creepy.) The smiles. The hugs. The tears.
It has been a full year. I’ll miss ya 2014. (I’m always partial to the even years; not sure why.) But there is much to look forward to in 2015!
Good 2014? Do you look back and recap your year? Any books you recommend for the 2015 list?
6 thoughts on “2014 was quite the year”
Yes to more book reviews! I find myself in a bit of a reading rut lately. I pick up heavy, argumentative nonfiction, then I don’t finish it because I read science all day, and one person can only stand so much serious reading. So I start looking for some fiction (or narrative nonfiction). I’m looking for a decent story, decently written, but I get bogged down in the mountains of crap and give up before I find anything interesting. There are plenty of recommendations on the internet, but when I find one piece of fluffy chick lit or any part of a detective series on a list, I tend to dismiss the whole thing. But, you I trust.
A note from a former bookseller: Historical fiction does not mean what you think it means. Of course you mean fiction set in the past. If you find something labeled for sale as historical fiction, they mean a trashy romance novel set in the past. You know, bodice ripping, and whatnot.
I hope I don’t disappoint! Fortunately (sadly?), no bodice ripping to speak of on this list.
I love Judy Greer! That title is sadly perfect, I will have to check it out. Have you tried BookBub? You fill out genre interests and then it sends daily suggestions for really cheap – a lot of them are free! And you can send them to your kindle or smartphone automatically. #winning
Intriguing. I just signed up!
2014 was a full year from an older person’s perspective as well. We weathered an ice storm and earthquake and the death of my father-in-law in February. We traveled to WI to bury him in May and then continued on to meet our third grandson when he was 2 weeks old. We went to Philadelphia to help celebrate a young man’s ordination to the priesthood and ended up with me in the West Chester Medical center’s emergency room on the day of the ordination! We enjoyed the family time when little Mac was baptized and again in July. But we were saddened to bid farewell as your family headed to Italy. Thanksgiving brought the rest of the family together and we revisited the board game of Life. December found us in Knoxville helping our youngest move into his first home. We were able to visit “Grandma Doreen” twice in 2014 and realize the importance of her presence in our lives since losing all of our parents now. Christmas was quiet and Midnight Mass w/o any kids was a different experience, but it brought back memories of 38 years ago attending our first Midnight Mass together in Santa Fe, NM. We look forward to more “hangouts” in 2015 and our visit in May. May God bless you abundantly in 2015! (Another insightful WWII book is Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. I learned even more about the atrocities wreaked by the Russians in that war.)