2014 Wrap-up Post

This is certainly been quite a busy book year for me, during which I read a total of 57 “funfunfun” books. Pair this with the kazillion things I have to read for work (a PhD in Shakespeare), and it’s no wonder my eyesight has gone out the window!

My booktastic Christmas tree this year.

I’m also really pleased to have completed both the reading challenges I decided to take up back in March. I’m really glad I decided to take on the challenges, because they motivated me to read some fantastic books I wouldn’t have otherwise come across (though I’ve also had to trawl through some pretty awful stuff). So here are all the non-work books I read in 2014:

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Reviews: A December Assortment

December was a pretty interesting month (as I’m sure it was for you as well), but I managed to read all the books I’d needed to finish both my 2014 reading challenges. I’ll be putting together a wrap-up posts of sorts in the next few days, but for now, here are the books I read this past month:

53. Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (6 Dec)
54. Arnošt Lustig – Lovely Green Eyes (14 Dec)
55. Marcus Pfister – The Rainbow Fish (15 Dec)
56. Barbara Kyle – The Queen’s Captive (25 Dec)
57. Emily Gillmor Murphy – You & I (26 Dec)

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Reviews: November (Xenophobes, Dumas, and more chick lit)

November was, in short, an insane month on my end. I took the last week off to “catch-up” with “life things” (such as going to Belgium and doing NaNoWriMo and reading), which was when I managed to read these books (few as they are). Anyway, books!

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Reviews: July to October, with quite a bit of YA (and some “classics”)

Hihihihiii from Belfast! I know it’s been aaaaaages since I’ve posted, but things have been rather hectic with the move from Sydney back to the UK. In addition, I had quite a few writing projects going on during August (hence no books were read then!), and I’m now back to my PhD, which comes with its own set of eyeball-killing books… Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading over the last few months–some amazing titles, and some awful ones (unfortunately).

39. Lauren Oliver – Delirium (2 July)
40. Elizabeth Harrower – In Certain Circles (17 July)
41. Alice Munro – Dear Life (31 July)
42. Kim Harrison — Dead Witch Walking (12 September)
43. Natsume Soseki – Kokoro (trans. Meredith McKinney) (14 September)
44. Lois Lowry – Gathering Blue (20 September)
45. Lauren Willig – The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (28 September)
46. Classical Literary Criticism (3 Oct)
47. Cath Crowley – Graffiti Moon (4 Oct)
48. Anne Bishop – Written in Red (10 Oct)
49. Claudia Carroll – A Very Accidental Love Story (25 Oct)

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Reviews: Fall On Your Knees and The Hours

Happy Australian Financial New Year! On this monumental day, we have reviews of the two books I’ve been enjoying over the last two weeks or so!

37. Ann-Marie MacDonald – Fall On Your Knees (26 June)

I don’t remember when I got my copy, but I think I purchased it after hearing about it on Oprah’s Book Club over a decade ago. Anyway, I finally picked it up, and…wow.

37 - Fall On Your Knees

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Reviews: A little semi-mid-June update (with 3 YA books!)

I’ve been sitting on this update for aaaaaages, and, it being a Sunday evening, thought it’ll be a good idea to post this before a new week begins. I’m the lead (read: only) writer for Regency Love, a Regency-set iOS game/interactive novel, and have been working on new content for the app. It’s great fun, but significantly cuts down my reading time!

30. Gabrielle Zevin – The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry (19 May)
32. Amanda Hocking – Wake (1 June)
33. Annie Proulx – The Shipping News (7 June)
34. Jo Riccioni – The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store (15 June)
35. Lois Lowry – The Giver (18 June)
36. Aeschylus – The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides (trans. Robert Fagles) (19 June)

(In case you’re wondering, 31 was The Theban Plays, about which I’ve already posted.)


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Ancient May-hem: Sophocles’ Theban Plays and Wrap-up

Alas, I was unable to get through as many Classics as I would’ve liked in May, and only managed to finish one more book after the Aristotle. But hey, just because the month is over doesn’t mean the Ancient Awesomeness has to stop!

31. Sophocles – The Theban Plays (trans. E. F. Watling, Penguin) (23 May)

31 - Theban Plays

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Ancient May-hem: Finishing Aristotle’s Ethics

I finished the Nichomachean Ethics over the weekend, and have continued to process it throughout the week. It’s just such a tremendous work, and I can see myself revisiting it quite regularly in the future. I’ve already recommended it to a whole bunch of my friends, and I hope they—and you—will give it a go, because it’s really quite eye opening!

So, after the stunning introduction in Book I, Aristotle goes on to talk about the virtues of character and virtues of thought, and gives a very good idea of what each is and does.

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Ancient May-hem: A Stunning Start with Aristotle’s Ethics (Book I)

Almost a week into the Ancient May-hem Reading Challenge, and I have an announcement to make: I am crawling through the challenge at a reeeeeally sloooooow paaaaaaaace.

No, seriously.

EthicsSo far, I’ve only managed to get through Book I of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (more commonly known as the Ethics). That’s not a lot of reading being done. However, there’s been a lot of thinking being done, and that has been incredible. Need a distinction between quantity and quality? Look no further.

I decided to make this special post because I was so inspired by what I’ve read and learnt so far that I wanted to share it with you, and because, oh boy, my mind has been blown, and I feel my life is about to be changed.

Seriously.*

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Reviews: 5 fantastic books from April! (Mistry, Green, Denfeld, Jin, Gogol)

April was a rather quiet reading month with only five books, primarily because I was busy with the third draft of my manuscript, which is now complete and with my trusty beta-readers (yay!). By some stroke of luck, I enjoyed every single book I read, even if some of them took a while to complete—all of these have garnered at least a 4/5!

24. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (10 Apr)
25. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars (12 Apr)
26. Rene Denfeld – The Enchanted (15 Apr)
27. Ha Jin – In the Pond (18 Apr)
28. Nikolay Gogol – Dead Souls (Penguin Classics, trans. Robert A. Maguire) (3 May)

(Yes, the Gogol technically belongs to May, but I’m going to leave this month free for responses to my Ancient May-hem Reading Challenge.)

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