Reading 2014

Each year, my reading list seems to get shorter and shorter; however, I know that in both 2013 and 2014 the cause was two-fold.  Firstly, increased work responsibilities have cut into my time for reading and secondly, the books I've been choosing have largely been of greater length and substance.  2014 was a year full of non-fiction reads, and I particularly found the books Quiet, Willpower, and The Power of Habit to be both well-written, insightful, and applicable to regular life.  So without further ado, here's Charity's 2014 Reading List:

1.     10.1.14 Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight by William Davis *kindle
a.     Though controversial (mostly for his look at agriculture),  the ideas he writes about wheat’s effect on the body seem quite sound, and convinced me to eliminate wheat from my diet.  So far, no adverse results have come.
2.     7.2.14 The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
a.     I originally read this just two years ago and reread it in order to find possible passages to have my students read in comparison with their reading of Rena’s Promise.  I find this to be the most hopeful WWII memoir I’ve ever read.  I would definitely recommend this in anyone’s library.
3.     15.5.14 The Giver by Lois Lowry
a.     I have no idea how many times I’ve read this, but I found it just as compelling as ever.  I picked it up to survey it for one of my possible literature classes next year and felt compelled to keep on reading.
4.     8.7.14 The Perks of Being a Wallflower *kindle
a.     I read through this while flying to the States.  I didn’t find it particularly haunting or riveting, but perhaps I would have had I read it in my teen years.  Nonetheless it was an interesting read that felt like a genuine expression of a coming of age experience of a person in the real world.
5.     27.7.14 The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business *kindle by Charles Duhigg
a.     This was a great read.  It went in depth to the neurological explanations of why  and how habits are formed, and how they can be weakened or strengthened.  Great insight, great writing style, well-researched.  I’d highly recommend it.
6.     1.8.14 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen *kindle
a.     Travelling brings out the need for a light read, so I thought I’d go through this classic again.  An easy familiar read.
7.     9.9.14 Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
a.     I saw this in my flat and picked it up because it looked like a light read.  It was fairly predictable, but since a teacher in the preparation portion of a school year wants a little leisure, it was suitable for that.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it (seeing as based on the cover, the blurb on the back and the first chapter basically allow you to predict the whole story).
8.      14.10.14 Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney *kindle
a.     This book overlapped a lot with the ideas from The Power of Habit and even Quiet.  I found it a nice exploration of the neurology of willpower.  I would definitely recommend it.
9.     31.10.14 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain *kindle
a.     Again, this book overlapped a lot with ideas in Willpower and The Power of Habit.  It mostly explored characteristics of introversion and extroversion and the benefits of introversion that are often overlooked in a extroversion-praising Western society.
10. Mid-Nov. 2014 Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make us Holy More than Happy? By Gary  L. Thomas *kindle
a.     I was highly recommended this book by a friend, and was not disappointed upon reading it.  It presents a Biblically sound and challenging picture of marriage, based on the principles of selfishness, serving the other, and sacrifice.  Definitely a good read, and one that I will likely need to revisit.
11. December 2014 The Core of Johnny Appleseed: the Unknown Story of a Spiritual Trailblazer *kindle
a.     I’d wanted to learn something about the historical John Chapman, and this book provided that and a large focus on his spiritual life.  He was more universalist than I expected, but it was an interesting topic—perhaps another author could have written it with more style, but this author knew particularly about Chapman’s religious sect.
12. December 2014 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley *kindle
a.     I’d seen a horrible performance of this that made me want to do Shelley the honour of reading her unadulterated original work (albeit the later publication and not her first).  I found it compelling in a way that our pop culture adaptations wouldn’t make us think.

Partially Read (and abandoned) books
·      On 22.2.14 I finally returned Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs to the person I’d borrowed it from.  I read all but pages 162-182 and 208-248 (336 total pages), though I had skimmed those pages.
o   Generally, it had some good ideas, and to those who have never come across the concept that respect is the primary need of a male in a relationship and love is the prominent need of the woman, it could be revolutionary.
·      June 2014 Parts of: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
o   A colleague was doing this with a literature class, and to support her with it by working some on the text in my English lessons with the same students, I picked it up.  I found it more compelling more quickly than my first read in high school, and I regretted to return the copy to my colleague.
·      (Started in June 2013…finally returned sometime spring 2014): First 10 chapters of Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama

Finally, if you've got any recommendations for me, I'd be happy to hear them.


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