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ARCHIVE > KAREN B'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2014

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message 1: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Here is your thread for the 50 books you will read in 2014.

Our Required Format:

JANUARY
1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston Churchill by Winston Churchill Winston Churchill
Finish date: January 10,2014
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even Goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.


message 2: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 05:58PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) JANUARY
1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman

Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: C
Review: I was a bit disappointed with this book, compared to his other works.


message 3: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Hi! My English name is Karen. (Kressel is Yiddish.) So I just had to post on your thread. It says "Books read in 1914" - did you notice?


message 4: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 06:00PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) JANUARY
2. John McCain An American Odyssey by Robert Timberg by Robert Timberg (no photo)
Finish Date: 01/07/2014
Genre Biography
Rating: C
Review: I have read McCain's story of his time in a North Vietnamese Prison camp before, so a lot this book was nothing new for me. I found his political work in Arizona somewhat boring.

3. Gulag A History by Anne Applebaum by Anne Applebaum Anne Applebaum

Finished Date 01/09/2014
Genre: Soviet Union History
Rating A
Review: A comprehensive history of the Soviet Union's Gulag prison system. Very informative.

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt by Donna Tartt Donna Tartt

Finished: 01/16/2014
Genre: Fiction
Rating: C-
Review: Great writing, unlikeable characters, and an unbelieveable story


5. Vicious by V.E. Schwab by V.E. Schwab (no photo)

Finished Date: 01/20/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: B
Review: Fast paced story of two college roommates with superpowers, that become sworn enemies. One is trying to take over the world, while the other is trying to save it.

6. The Baritone Wore Chiffon (The Liturgical Mystery #2) by Mark Schweizer by Mark Schweizer Mark Schweizer
Finished: 01/23/2014
Genre: humor/mystery
Rating: B
Review: This is the second book in the liturgical mystery series. Very funny. Recommended for those who have sung in a church choir or worked for a church.

7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger by J.D. Salinger J.D. Salinger
Finished Date 01/24/2014
Genre: classic YA
Rating: B-
Review: This is not my favorite Salinger.

8. 1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3) by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami

Finished Date: 01/28/2014
Genre: fiction/fantasy
Rating: A
Review: I think Murakami is hard to categorize, because his fantasy is so unlike most fantasy books written today. He has a beautiful writing style.

9. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo by Leigh Bardugo Leigh Bardugo
Finished Date 01/29/2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: B+
Review: Good world building and story

10. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami
Finished Date 01/30/2014:
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B+
Review: A coming of Age story in Tokyo


message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) Kressel wrote: "Hi! My English name is Karen. (Kressel is Yiddish.) So I just had to post on your thread. It says "Books read in 1914" - did you notice?"

I did notice. Jill created the topic, I don't know if I can change it.


message 6: by Bryan (last edited Jul 25, 2014 06:36AM) (new)

Bryan Craig No worries, it is fixed. Thanks Karen and Kressel and Jill for setting this thread up.


message 7: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) Thanks Bryan and Kressel. I appreciate your help.


message 8: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Glad to help, Karen. Hey, great job on the citations.

If you find that the author does not have a photo, just add (no photo) on the end of the link:

Vicious by V.E. Schwab by V.E. Schwab (no photo)


message 9: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 06:01PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) FEBRUARY
11. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Collection by Alexander McCall Smith by Alexander McCall Smith Alexander McCall Smith
Finished Date 02/04/2014:
Genre: Mystery
Rating: B+
Review: Good writing, interesting view of Botswana and Africa, love the characters

12. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami
Finished Date: 02/05/2014
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B+
Review: Great writing, another unrequited love story from Murakami. It's not so much the story I love, but how he tells it.

13. Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton by Peter F. Hamilton Peter F. Hamilton
Finished Date: 02/08/2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: A
Review: This is my first Peter Hamilton, and it won't be my last. An interesting blend of murder mystery and science fiction.

14. Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2) by Alexander McCall Smith by Alexander McCall Smith Alexander McCall Smith
Finished Date: 02/10/2014
Genre: Mystery
Rating B+
Review: book 2 of the No.1 Ladies detective agency, and this series continues to be very good

15. Semi-Sweet A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney by Roisin Meaney Roisin Meaney

Finished Date: 02/12/2014
Genre: contemporary
Rating: C+
Review: This book was ok, nothing special

16: The Tenor Wore Tapshoes (The Liturgical Mystery #3) by Mark Schweizer by Mark Schweizer Mark Schweizer
Finished Date: 02/14/2014
Genre: Humor/Mystery
Rating: B
Review: This is the third book in the Liturgical mystery series. I love Schweizer's sense of humor

17. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami
Finished Date: 02/15/2014
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B+
Review: Another great Murakami.

18. Lord of All Things by Andreas Eschbach by Andreas Eschbach
Andreas Eschbach
Finish Date: 02/21/2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating A-
Review: Hiroshi wanted to make Earth a place of Abundance for everyone. He found a way to make it happen.

19. The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #1) by Gail Z. Martin by Gail Z. Martin Gail Z. Martin
Finish Date: 02/23/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A-
Review: book one in the Chronicles of Necromancer. From other reviews, people either like this book, or hate it. Personally, I liked this series. It is a light-weight fantasy, a beach read.

20. The Blood King (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #2) by Gail Z. Martin by Gail Z. Martin Gail Z. Martin

Finish Date: 02/25/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating A-
Review Good second book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series.

21. Dark Haven (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #3) by Gail Z. Martin by Gail Z. Martin Gail Z. Martin

Finish Date: 02/26/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A -
Review: 3rd book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series

22. Dark Lady's Chosen (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #4) by Gail Z. Martin by Gail Z. Martin Gail Z. Martin

Finish Date: 02/27/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating A-
Review: book 4 in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series

23. A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3) by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami

Finish Date: 02/28/2014
Genre: fiction/fantasy
Rating: B+
Review: I always feel like I am in a dream when I am reading Murakami. I am never quite sure what the book is about, but I love his images, and sense of place. He often describes Tokyo, and the Japanese countryside, and I feel like I am there with his characters.


message 10: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Did I put 1914????? That's what I get for reading too many books from that time period!!! Thanks for catching it Kressel. I am famous for my typos.


message 11: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 06:02PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) MARCH
24. Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1) by Robin Hobb by Robin Hobb Robin Hobb
Finish Date: 03/04/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A-
Review: Set in the same world as the Farseer Trilogy. The premise is that some ships are sentinent.

25. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1) by Brandon Sanderson by Brandon Sanderson Brandon Sanderson
Finish Date: 03/07/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A+
Review: All I can say is that Sanderson is truly coming into his own with this series.

26. Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2) by Brandon Sanderson by Brandon Sanderson Brandon Sanderson
Finish Date: 03/14/2014
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A+
Review: Even better than Way of Kings

27. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline by Ernest Cline Ernest Cline
Finish Date: 03/15/2014
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: A
Review: In the future, after the fall of most of the world, most people live in the virtual reality of the internet. A prominent video game manufacturer dies, and leaves a vast fortune to anyone that can win the ultimate video game, that is based on 80s culture

28. The Bargain from the Bazaar A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore by Haroon K. Ullah by Haroon K. Ullah Haroon K. Ullah
Finish Date: 03/20/2014
Genre: Pakistan Non-Fiction
Rating B
Review: A Pakistani family with three sons owns a booth in a Bazaar in Lahore. The author tells the story of this Middle Class family and each of their perspectives as they try to navigate through life in a country that is struggling with fundamentalism and pressures from the outside world.

29. Iberia by James A. Michener by James A. Michener James A. Michener
Finish Date: 03/31/2014
Genre: Travel Non-Fiction/Spain
Rating: B+
Review: This book was published in 1968, so a bit dated. The amount of information on Spain, it's culture, history, land and language is impressive. Michener obviously loved Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed this book


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Karen you did great - brand new start in 2015 - we look forward to reading your reviews. Twenty-one folks were reading your reviews so we look forward to reading them in 2015. A brand new thread for 2015 has been set up for you.


message 13: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 06:06PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) MAY
30. Team of Rivals The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin by Doris Kearns Goodwin Doris Kearns Goodwin
Finish Date: 5/6/2014
Genre: American History
Rating: A+
Review: I have four favorite books this year, and Team of Rivals is one of them. Goodwin gives us a wonderful biography of not only Lincoln, but of his cabinet as well. This book was very informative and readable. A well written history will encourage further reading on the topic, and Goodwin did this in spades.

31. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes by Julian Barnes Julian Barnes
Finish Date: 5/6/2014
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating B
Review: Tony Webster is a middle-aged man, reflecting back on his life, and pretty pleased with it. Then he receives a letter from his lawyer, which bring his happy life into question. I enjoyed this short read, but what I liked most was that a character was reading Stefan Zweig in one of the scenes, and I have found a wonderful author.



32. The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig by Stefan Zweig Stefan Zweig
Finish Date: 05/12/2014
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating B+
Review: Christine is a 28 year old Post-Office worker living in post-WWI Austria, with little chance of escaping the poverty in which she and her sickly mother exist. A letter comes in the mail from a rich Aunt, asking Christine to join her on vacation. Christine has the time of her life in a very posh hotel and resort. Unfortunately, the vacation ends, and she has to return to her bleak existence. Christine has turned bitter. She meets Ferdinand, a war veteran who is just as bitter.

33. After Dark by Haruki Murakami by Haruki Murakami Haruki Murakami
Finish Date: 05/16/2014
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating A
Review: The time period in this book is between 11:56 PM and 6:52 AM. It takes place in Tokyo, but it could be any city after Midnight. This short novel is series of scenes, that make you feel you are watching a TV show or a movie. Although, After Dark isn't my favorite Murakami, it is still worth reading.

34. 35. 36. 37. 38. and 39. The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3) by Tom Clancy Patriot Games (Jack Ryan, #1) by Tom Clancy The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan, #4) by Tom Clancy Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan, #5) by Tom Clancy The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan, #6) by Tom Clancy and Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8) by Tom Clancy by Tom Clancy Tom Clancy
Finish Date: 05/21/2014 - 11/11/2014:
Genre: Military Thriller
Rating B
Review: This is a cumulative review for these six books. Jack Ryan is a CIA Operative who was an English Major in college, had a short stint in the military, obtained a Doctorate in History, financial broker, a history professor, and great at doing research. He has connections all over the world, the CIA and in the White House. He ends up saving the U.S. from disaster, or has he?
It's true, Clancy's books are not great literature, but I found them to be very entertaining. My favorite will always be Hunt for Red October.
40. We  by Yevgeny Zamyatin by Yevgeny Zamyatin Yevgeny Zamyatin
Finish Date 05/26/2014
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: B+
Review: We is a classic Dystopian novel written in the 1920's is said to have influenced 1984 and Brave New World (and we know how these books have influenced us). The story takes place a thousand years from now, in a place called OneState run by the Benefactor, and everything is structured through logic and Mathematics, even people have only alpha-numeric names.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
Wow Karen.


message 15: by Karen (last edited Dec 30, 2014 06:13PM) (new)

Karen (karinlib) JUNE
41. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck by John Steinbeck John Steinbeck

Finish Date: 06/01/2014
Genre: World War II historical fiction
Rating A-
Review: To be honest, this is a favorite Steinbeck of mine. I think it's because of the time period: WWII. A small town is invaded by army needing it's coal mine, and it's coastal location. The invasion and takeover is peaceful. The invading officers are hopeful, that it will remain so. Then the occupation begins.

42. 43. 44. An Army at Dawn The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #1) by Rick Atkinson The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #2) by Rick Atkinson and The Guns at Last Light The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #3) by Rick Atkinson by Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson
Finish Date: 06/09/2014 - 12/23/2014
Genre: American History, WWII- Eurpean theater: 1942 - 1945
Rating: A
Review: Atkinson's Liberation trilogy is wonderfully written history of America's involvement in the European war against Hitler and the Axis Powers. The scope of this trilogy is immense, and Atkinson is up to the task.

JULY
45. The Gift of Rain by Twan Eng Tan by Twan Eng Tan Twan Eng Tan
Finish Date: 07/10/2014:
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rate: A
Review: I have now read two of Tan's books, and he is a gorgeous writer. The Gift of Rain is a story that slowly builds toward the climax, with beautiful descriptions of life on the Island of Penang in Malaysia. Penang is a mix of cultures and nationalities prior to the Japanese occupation in WWII.

46. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr by Anthony Doerr Anthony Doerr
Finish Date 07/13/2014
Genre: Historical Fiction - World War II
Rating A+
Review: It seems as though I read a lot of books on WWII this past year both Fiction and Non-Fiction, all of them good. I have recommended this book over and over, because it was that good. Marie Laure becomes blind at the age of six, but her father teaches he how to navigate the streets of Paris by building her a model of the city. When they are forced to flee to Saint-Malo, where her uncle lives on the coast, her father builds a model for her again.
Werner is a orphan boy growing up in Nazi Germany, and attends an elite Nazi military school because of his innate mechanical abilities.

47. Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power by Jon Meacham by Jon Meacham Jon Meacham
Finish Date: 07/16/2014
Genre: American History
Rating: B
Review: I enjoyed this book on Jefferson, and I learned a lot about the man that I didn't know before. Although Jefferson is not my favorite Founding Father, I admire his intellect and his activities to bring about our nation.

SEPTEMBER
48. A Suitable Boy (A Suitable Boy, #1) by Vikram Seth by Vikram Seth Vikram Seth
Finish Date: 09/21/2014:
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: B
Review: This book takes place over the course of year, in a particularly interesting time in India's history: newly independent and the constitution has been created and court cases are being decided on it. This is a huge book, that covers religion (Hindu and Muslim), politics, family life and finding a Suitable Boy.
OCTOBER
49. The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig by Stefan Zweig by Stefan Zweig Stefan Zweig
Finish Date: 10/22/2014
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A
Review: I am not a huge fan of Short stories, but Zweig kept me interested in every one of his stories and to keep reading

NOVEMBER
50. 11/22/63 by Stephen King by Stephen King Stephen King
Finish Date: 11/28/2014
Genre: Fiction/Time Travel
Rating: B
Review: Prior to this year I had not read much Stephen King, and even though I had tried to read the Stand, I couldn't get past the first chapter. This year, I decided to bite the bullet and try 11/22/63. I have to admit, I liked the premise of the book: Jake is shown a portal that goes back to 1958.Wouldn't it be great to stop the assassination of Kennedy. I enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. I liked it enough to try the Stand one more time, and I am glad I did.

The Stand by Stephen King by Stephen King Stephen King


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44128 comments Mod
I am very impressed Karen.


message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) Thanks Bentley.


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