Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My 2014 Book Bucket List

I kind of love that no hardly any books are published in December. The fall always feel rushed and chaotic, with work and life, and I never manage to read all the new releases I intend too (not that I do in any season, but it's especially noticeable in the fall.) December is my catch-up month. I get invigorated to read as many books as I can before the year ends. And as I work in academia, I get almost two weeks off for the Christmas and New Year holidays, so there is a lot of time to read (even with a baby.) I started making my list of books I really want to read before the end of the year, and it is impossibly long. Then I cut it down to twenty. Twenty. Instead of feeling defeated, however, I rallied to make my bucket list to help prioritize reading the books I most want to read and that have been on my TBR for longer. Of course, I also want to read some of the 2014 releases I haven't yet. And I want to start reading 2015 releases. But rather than prescribe all my reading for a month (that sounded like a chore), I decided to pick five titles from my TBR to commit to reading before the end of 2014. That gives my reading some structure, but it also leaves me a lot of room to read whatever strikes my fancy from my other piles.

My 2014 Book Bucket List:

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes is the next book I'm picking up. It won the Women's Prize (now Baileys Prize) last year, and I'm excited to read it. It's set at Thanksgiving, so after a certain amount of time putting it off, I decided to wait to read it over Thanksgiving. And what says Thanksgiving like a dysfunctional family drama? (I'll take mine in fiction rather than reality, of course.)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I started listening to this novel on audio. I soon realized it wasn't the right fit for me on audio, but I haven't managed to pick it up again, even though it was on list after list last year. But now there's a sequel on the way. And Gillian Flynn called A God in Ruins "one of the best novels I've read this century." And Kate Atkinson is perhaps the author I'm most embarrassed to have never read. 

The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone was longlisted for the Orange Prize (now Baileys Prize) in 2011. I've had it on my shelf since then, and it's time to read it. The Burmese setting also intrigues me, as there is a large Burmese immigrant population in Des Moines.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali has been on my TBR list for years (it was published in 2003.) Then I read her most recent novel, Untold Story, which I loved. It's time to read more of Ali's work.

Keeping Up With Magda by Isla Dewar was longlisted for the 1996 Orange Prize (now Baileys Prize.) It's Dewar's first novel, and it was the first year of the prize. I picked up a copy when my desire to read all of the longlisted novels ever seemed more attainable. And every list should have one lighter title on it, right?

Now tell me: what's on your 2014 Book Bucket List?

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  1. Your list looks great. The Road to Wanting is one that slipped my radar, but the Burmese setting is calling my name.

  2. Great list! Brick Lane is a wonderful read, one I hope to reread at some point. Good luck meeting your reading goals :)

  3. I read another Monica Ali book and have wanted to read Brick Lane for a while, like you. I am interested to hear your take on May We Be Forgiven - I read it this year, and have some opinions! You cant' go wrong with Kate Atkinson, but I wish she would write another Jackson Brodie mystery.
    Good luck with your end of year reading.

  4. I tend to not make big promises this time of year because the holidays just consume me with end of the year work projects and wrapping stuff up before my time off begins. I completed my Good Reads goal which I am happy about. I just need to write the reviews. I want to end the year with The Rosie Effect, which I already started and Murakami's new book The Strange Library and then I may turn to short stories.

  5. I'm in the middle of Brick Lane right now. It was on my TBR for far too long. I'm struggling with it. It is just slow going, but I don't know if that's just me or the novel.


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