Sunday, January 4, 2015

My 2014 Reading Retrospective

I like looking back at my reading "year in review" and being reminded of all of the worlds I've spent time in and characters I've gotten to know over the past year of reading. In looking back at this year, I read many more picture books, tried to get to more middle grades because of my committee obligations, and started a #bookaday picture book read aloud goal with my classes for this school year. All in all, 2014 was a great year of reading, although I did feel that I was doing more reading out of obligation instead of just by choice/pleasure, which might have impacted what I was able to read, and felt like I missed a lot of YA books I wish I would have had the chance to read.

The Stats
2013-2014 School Year Novels Read: 114
2014 Calendar Year Novels Read: 119
Total Books Read in 2014: 439
Book Pages Read in 2014: 49,755

The Best of What I Read
Not all of these released in 2014, that's just when I read them. Also, I have not included any 2015 releases that I read or picture books in this post, but will be talking about those soon.

The book I wish I would've read earlier because it was so amazing...
WINGER by Andrew Smith

The series ender I've been waiting over a year for, which didn't let me down in any way...

The book I recommended the most to other readers this year...
THE SECRET SKY by Atia Abawi

The book I wish my high school self would have had available...

The book I felt especially lucky to read early and help build buzz for...
BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

The book that I read in one sitting on the beach & was glad I had time to read straight through...
RITES OF PASSAGE by Joy N. Hensley

The book I gave as a gift because it is magical...
A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd

The book I was so thankful was written-if only because I wasn't ready to leave this character...
SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater

The book everyone was buzzing about, and I'm glad I read spoiler/hint free...
WE WERE LIARS by e. Lockhart

The book that most changed my perspective and related most to what was in the news...
HOW IT WENT DOWN by Kekla Magoon

The romance that lived up to the long wait for it, and left me swooningly happy...

The book I waited to read until the whole trilogy was out, and was glad I did...
SHADOW & BONE (& the rest of the Grisha trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

The book by the author who continues to show me what National Book Award writing sounds like...
THREATENED by Eliot Schrefer

The book that had me laughing out loud and wanting to hand it to every boy reader I know...

The book that made me realize maybe I do like steampunk...

The book that was such a good fantasy story it made me get over my "no more girls in pretty dresses" cover issue (and the sequel is great, too!)...
THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkowski

The book that was the most unique and left me wanting to reread it immediately after the final lines...
IN THE SHADOWS by Kiersten White, illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

The book series ender most requested by my students...
GASP (Visions book 3) by Lisa McMann

The new book series that has been most often passed hand-to-hand by students in my classroom...

The books I read advance copies of last year, and talked about the most this year...
BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg &
EXILE by Kevin Emerson

The books I wish I would have gotten to because they've been recommended to me so often this year, but haven't yet, so will be on my "backlist" TBR stack to get to this year...
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

My Goal(s) for 2015
~Read more YA books, even if they don't fit the criteria for my committee lists, because I need to know them for my students.
~Continue to read picture books at a high rate so I can continue on with #bookaday read alouds next year, which means I need a new set of 180 picture books to read!
~Make a priority to read diversely & books taking place in the communities like my students live in.
~Try to read into my gap with historical fiction, especially for my 7th graders who are required to read in that genre for curriculum/standards, so I have more titles to recommend.


  1. I counted - from your list on top, I've read 10 of those books. I feel like I could add all the rest to my to-read list. So many awesome books!!! And never enough time. :( xx Thanks for sharing. Liza

  2. Great categories! Believe it or not, I've never read an Andrew Smith book. I'll be fixing that soon. Gary

  3. I just wanted to say that I love your goals for 2015. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It's nice to see that their are teachers out there that really care about their students. I was lucky enough to have a few of them myself and I know the numbers can be limited. I think you're doing great things and I just wanted to let you know that. Keep up the amazing work!


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