My Reading “Best of” Lists


I thought it might be possible for me to read as many books as I had last year (35), but I didn’t quite understand the demands that two little ones would put on my time as opposed to just one little one. Plus, I’ve committed to reading all of Shakespeare so I had several intervals of focusing on the sonnets or plays of the Bard – all time well spent. Two reasons my list is shorter than last year’s (26), but not any worse in terms of the range of topics or genres explored. If I have one critique to make it is that my 2014 reading list is in want of some international perspective.

Nevertheless, I’ve read enough books to make two short Top Five lists. Here are my top five fiction reads from 2014 and my top five nonfiction reads from 2014. Maybe add them to your list in 2015?

Top Five Non-Fiction of 2014 (in no particular order)

  1. The Art of Character by David Corbett
  2. The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher
  3. Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters by Diane Jacobs
  4. A Faith Not Worth Fighting For edited by Tripp York and Justin Bronson Barringer
  5. The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor and Sally Fitzgerald

Top Five Fiction of 2014 (in no particular order)

  1. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  2. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
  3. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
  4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  5. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Well, I’m still going. What started as an attempt to pick five favorite fiction and non-fiction books from those I read in 2014 has grown to include a five best overall of fiction and non-fiction from the past three years. I love lists. And reading. And writing. Three of my favorite things for one post, and I’m lost in the thrill of it all. Not a bad way to finish the year if you ask me.

Top Five Non-Fiction of Past Three Years (in no particular order)

1. Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White
2. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
3. The Miracles of Exodus by Colin J. Humphreys
4. The Art of Character by David Corbett
5. A Faith Not Worth Fighting For edited by Tripp York and Justin Bronson Barringer

Top Five Fiction of Past Three Years (in no particular order)

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2. Brodeck by Philippe Claudel
3. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
4. Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
5. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

If you would like to see a full list of what I have read, check out my Reading page. I always welcome reading recommendations in the comment section of this post or the Reading page – what have you enjoyed reading the past year? Or three years? Or ever?

4 Responses to “My Reading “Best of” Lists”

  1. Carrie Rubin

    I always enjoy seeing what’s on other people’s reading lists. I recently finished ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.’ Really liked it. It’s a great book club read which is why I first came across it.

    Shakespeare? Really? Wow, you impress me!

      • Carrie Rubin

        It’s best if you don’t read any reviews about it beforehand. I didn’t even read the book blurb. I discovered the book from a Twitter bud’s recommendation, and my book club had heard about it too, so we decided to read it. All I knew was there was a big twist in it, so I wanted to go in blind so it wasn’t ruined for me. 🙂

  2. rslavoie

    Yes!! I love when you post these lists 🙂 I’ve made a list of books to read and I’m definitely going to add some of these. Thanks for sharing!


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