Archives: Books Read in 2014

January

  • The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty (B – interesting, page turner, chick lit)
  • Mad About the Boy, by Helen Fielding (C+ – Bridget Jones all grown up? Meh.)
  • The Goldfinch, by Donna Tarrt (B – well-written trainwreck about stolen masterpiece, but I wanted more payoff)
  • A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki (A- – enjoyed it, but people who don’t like skewing reality will hate it)

February

  • What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty (A- – a woman forgets the last 10 years of her life – and doesn’t like who she’s become)
  • The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd (A – great story about friendship, abolition and women with courage – good read for a book club)
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey, by Richard Morais (D – I actually only made it half-way through this before giving up. It was too scattered.) 
  • Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg (A – I can’t believe I waited so long to read this. I recommend it to all women – or anyone raising a girl.)
  • 600 Hours of Edward, by Craig Lancaster (A – Reminded me of “Silver Linings Playbook” – it’s about Aspergers/OCD but in a really personal way)

March

  • The Rest of Her Life, by Laura Moriarty (C+ – decent story, relatively well written, but it dragged)
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain (A – Hilarious. Political. Fun. Powerful. Under-appreciated.)
  • CoActive Coaching (B – it’s a book for school – not thrilling but covers a lot of ground)
  • Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, by Chalmers Brothers (A – book for school, but good stuff for everyone)
  • Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan (C – True story of a woman who went crazy for a month due to a rare brain disease)
  • One Summer, by Bill Bryson (B+ – Bryson strikes again – the most entertaining exposure I’ve had to the first quarter of the 20th century)

April

  • The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty (B+ – Definitely a beach read, but with a stalker)
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Christ Hadfield (B+ – Enjoyed the first-hand accounts of space travel)
  • The Secret Keeper, by Kate Morton (B+ – story of love, loss, identity, deception and atonement – good beach read)
  • Flash Boys, by Michael lewis (A- – crazy true story about high-frequency traders and how we’re all getting screwed)
  • Casebook, by Mona Simpson (C+ – first half was boring, second half was better. Divorce, love, lying and growing up.)

May

  • Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (A+ – this was my second time reading it – as good as I remembered it)
  • Focus, by Daniel Goleman (B+ – solid read, interesting topic, definitely shaped my thinking)
  • The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes (B+ – well written, though I’m not sure I understand the hype)
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zavin (A- – I think book lovers will forgive the somewhat melodramatic arc and find this story quirky, touching and an enjoyable read)
  • Drive, by Daniel Pink (B- – A look at what motivates us and the intrinsic third drive; the first two sections of the book were tedious, but third was very actionable)

June

  • The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer (B – Eye-opening novel about the plight of Hungarian Jews during WWII, but it could’ve been shorter)
  • Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King (A – Classic King but without the supernatural elements – the man’s a master)
  • Night Music, by Jojo Moyes (D – Lame. Widow gets stuck in the Money Pit with a crazy neighbor and bad romantic plot)

July

  • Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell (C – Trite. Mindless. Chick-Lit at best.)
  • The Inn at Rose Harbor, by Debbie Macomber (D – Horrible. Poorly written. Garbage. Free Amazon book. Not worth the time.)
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath (A – Great book on organizational and personal change)
  • The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood (C – promising set-up and writing, but relied on too many coincidences and unsympathetic characters)
  • The Litigators, by John Grisham (B – I’m not a Grisham fan but was craving a quick pool read – which is exactly what this is)

August

  • Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath & Jim Harter (B+ – short & sweet, backed with research – what we need to know to ensure we’re firing on all cylinders)
  • All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (B – loved a lot about this book centered around a blind girl entrusted with a treasure during WWII, but my attention wandered a fair amount)
  • Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See (C – had potential and I enjoyed learning about Chinese Americans in the mid-century, but it was pretty depressing without much redemption, unlike See’s other books)
  • Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (A – really solid debut contrasting the stories of two families across continents)

September

  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast (A – Illustrated memoir by a New Yorker cartoonist about caring for aging parents – raw, real, good)
  • Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank (C – Written in 1959, this does a great job conjuring what life following nuclear war might look like – but it lacked depth so just OK)
  • Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey (B+ – fun, futuristic book about a savants who are at war with the regular human population)

October

  • You Are Now Less Dumb, by David McRaney (A – solid and fun review of behavioral/psychological studies)
  • The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion (B – what happens when a scientist with Aspergers goes on a quest to find a mate? Fun.)
  • 14, by Peter Clines (D – this had great reviews, but it’s about an apartment building that has some kind of haunting at play – dumb)
  • The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (B – interesting premise, but predictable and a bit slow-moving)
  • Archetype, by MD Waters (A – entertaining sci-fi about a future of infertility and revolt with a bit of “Valley of the Dolls” thrown in for kicks)
  • Delirium, by Lauren Oliver (C – sci-fi for teens – in a future where “love” is considered a disease and people get cured on their 18th birthday – first in a trilogy; I won’t be reading the others)

November

  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, by Anton DiScaflini (B- – think “Lolita” meets “Secret History” and you’re in the ballpark, but this fell short for some reason – maybe it was the horses?!)
  • Bag of Bones, by Stephen King (C – a custody case + a widower with a haunted cottage + a crazed tech millionaire + a New England town where the locals have a secret legacy = too much going on)
  • The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro (B- – a London society wife in the 1950s learns she’s been left a fortune by a stranger in Paris and sets off to understand why; fun, mysterious beach read)

December

  • Night Film, by Marisha Pessl (A – dark and mysterious cat and mouse game with a reclusive director)
  • The Promise of Stardust, by Priscille Sibley (C+ – page turner ethnical dilemma but far-fetched)
  • Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann (A – cleverly woven together stories use the backdrop of Philippe Petit’s World Trade Center walk to conjure up a snapshot of 1974 NYC)
  • The Book of Joe, by Jonathan Tropper (B – bestselling author has to go home after 17 years and deal with the aftermath of smearing everyone in his book because his dad is dying)

Books Started But Not Finished

  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, by Eric Larson 
  • The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks
  • Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
  • Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
  • Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
  • The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson
  • First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Tavis Bradbury
  • CoActive Coaching (for class)
  • Coaching with Backbone and Heart (for class)

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