Late in 2013 I debated making 2014 my year to join the “100 Book a Year” Challenge. I did the math an estimated I’d need to read approximately one book every three to four days.

This thought stressed me out tremendously.

Although the 100 BAYC is on my bucket list I didn’t go for broke last year. I did set a goal to best my previous record of ‘most books read in a year’.  Since the year I began recording what I read (’09) I never had a year that came out over 38 books. I decided that anything over that number could be considered a success.

I’m pleased to say I read 45 books in 2014. Some of these books I purposely selected, some I fell upon: books left on airplanes, tossed over to me after a friend had completed it, or what was available in the bookshelf of the condo in Maui. I made an effort in early 2014 to consult some of my well-read friends and literary enthusiasts on their "must read" book list as well as aspirational reads. Caitlin, Crystal, Dejana, Karen, Katie, Rhiannon, and Sarah all provided big-time inspiration for this years reading list (or at least the more serious reads below). While I look back on the list I wince a little: some of the less-than-literary reads (ahem, the Divergent series, some of the chick-lit pieces) as well as some of the blockbuster reads (cough, Grisham) that don't show much imagination and a little laziness on my behalf. For most of those lighter weight reads I attempted to counterbalance with a heavy weight: Oryx & Crake, Blood Sports, California, and Boy on Ice topped off the emotional sluggers of the list. My three favourites reads this year came from Jay Onrait (because I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud), Terry Fallis (Up & Down, clever and quirky) and Herman Koch (I read the entire novel slack-jawed, in disbelief, rapidly turning the pages to find out what happened next).

The list below is what I conquered in 2014, in order of what I read. Feel free to make a 2015 suggestion!

  1. Someday, Someday, Maybe LAUREN GRAHAM
  2. Oryx & Crake MARGARET ATWOOD
  4. The Burgess Boys ELIZABETH STROUT
  5. Crow Lake MARY LAWSON
  6. The Telling of Lies TIMOTHY FINDLEY
  7. The $100 Start Up CHRIS GUILLEBEAU
  8. Divergent VERONICA ROSS
  9. Insurgent VERONICA ROSS
  10. Allegiant  VERONICA ROSS
  11. Let's Pretend This Never Happened JENNY LAWSON
  12. Star Island CARL HIASSEN
  13. Cycle of Lies JULIET MACUR
  14. I feel bad about my neck NORA EPHRON
  16. Wedding Night SOPHIE KINSELLA
  17. Anchor Boy JAY ONRAIT
  19. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared JONAS JONASSON
  20. Men and Dogs KATIE CROUCH
  21. Up and Down TERRY FALLIS
  22. The Grace to Race SISTER MADONNA BUDER
  23. Overwhelmed BRIGID SCHULTE
  24. Faith: a Novel JENNIFER HAIGH
  25. Best Laid Plans TERRY FALLIS
  26. Sycamore Row JOHN GRISHAM
  27. California EDEN LUPUCKI
  28. Gone Girl GILLIAN FLYNN
  29. Total Waste of Make Up KIM GRUENENFELDER
  30. The Silent Wife A.S.A HARRISON
  31. The Rosie Project GRAEME SIMSON
  32. Boy on Ice JOHN BRANCH
  33. The Method Method ERIC RYAN AND ADAM LOWRY
  34. Swimming to Antarctica LYNN COX
  35. Finding Ultra RICH ROLL
  36. What I know now ELLYN SPRAGINS
  37. Girl Runner CARRIE SNYDER
  38. Laura Lamont's Life in Photos EMMA STRAUB
  39. Blood Sports EDEN ROBINSON
  40. Boys in the Boat DANIEL JAMES BROWN
  42. As Husbands Go SUSAN ISAACS
  43. The Heart of the Matter EMILY GIFFIN
  44. The Dinner HERMAN KOCH
  45. The Other Boleyn Girl PHILIPPA GREGORY