Dec 21, 2014

2014: The Year in Review

As usual I'm amazed at how quickly the months roll by and before I know it, I'm saying good-bye to the year and thinking back on the books that occupied my time. Though I didn't read as many books this year as last, I did read more books for my own pleasure rather than ARCs and that was very satisfying to me. There were so many great books released this year and I tried my best to get my hands on many of them. There is one book I started last year and didn't get it finished and that was THE GOLDFINCH by .  The reason I didn't finish doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the book/writing. I have no doubt I will return to it early in the new year because I'm sure I'm going to love it.

There were also some really great movies released this year that were based on books I've read. Though I don't go to the theater, I did manage to see a couple OnDemand and I have a whole list yet to be seen. I'm way behind in watching these movies but I enjoy watching them in the comfort of my own living room. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE GIVER and UNBROKEN,  which opens Christmas Day.

There were a few big changes in my reading this past year due to the progression of my eye disease.  I relied on audio books more than ever this year, but thankfully, I've grown very attached to audios and I'm enjoying them more and more. The other big change in my reading this year is that I don't think I read any actual paper books. The ebook is my best friend and even though I miss the smells and the feel of a real book in my hands, the ebook has been a savior to me. My Kindle is like an appendage to my body. I go nowhere without it. That being said, I do understand why some people loathe the ereader but for people like me, they are a life saver.

I read several non-fiction and health related books this year as well.  I also started reading a series by suspense/thriller writer Karin Slaughter this year. The Will Trent series is a spin-off of her Grant County series. The first book, TRIPTYCH, was so intense and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was a great way to start off a series! I'm now on book three and I'm anxious to continue with it.

I thought I'd put together a few lists to summarize the books I read this year..

TOP 5 BOOKS: (In no particular order)


  • A FARM DIES ONCE A YEAR by Arlo Crawford (Non-Fiction)
  • LABOR DAY by Joyce Maynard (I think I'd enjoy the movie better)


  • Fiction: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
  • Non-Fiction: STILL FOOLIN' 'EM by Billy Crystal

  • This really surprised me - the two most visited posts didn't have anything to do with fiction books. I did a review of JJ Smith's 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse and then after I completed the cleanse, I posted my results and those two posts were each visited over 1,800 times! I knew that book was special when I finished reading it and I've seen all the recognition JJ Smith has gotten for her knowledge in healthy eating and I couldn't be happier for her.  If you're looking to try a cleanse this year, I would skip all those juice cleanses and try this green smoothie cleanse. Its a smart, healthy way to rid your body of toxins and a proven weight-loss program.  I won't lie to you - it was TOUGH! But it did teach me a whole lot and I lost 12 pounds in 10 days. I'm glad so many other people could benefit from my experience. 


  • Oh Calamity! - from BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty.
This has certainly been a year of great books, even though I didn't get to many that I wanted to and I'm very excited to see what next year brings. More on that next Sunday when I post about goals I have for 2015. Thank you for visiting Southern Girl Reads and Happy Holidays to you all! 


  1. Great lists, Lisa. I just bought The Martian and can't wait to listen. I'm also a fan of my kindle. I love being able to adjust the font size and the background. I read print from time to time but always appreciate going back to reading on my kindle. My Favorites List will post on Tuesday. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. I don't think we often think of ereaders as being lifesavers, but I think in certain situations - like yours - they definitely are. For me, I think headphones are becoming lifesavers, because of tinnitus that I have developed this year so I can semi-relate.

    I keep seeing people mention The Martian...hmmm. Maybe I should read this book...some day, some week, some month, some year. ;)

  3. I can see why ereaders and audio books would be wonderful for you! A friend lent me her copy of The Martian eons ago and I haven't made the time to read it yet.

  4. My mom says the same thing about her Kindle. She can read so easily by enlarging the print that she has a harder time with print books now. AJ made my fave list too (posting tomorrow).


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