Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014 TBR Pile • Top 20

On my 2014 "to be read" list... (in no particular order)



Homeland by Cory Doctorow
I read "Little Brother" this month and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Couldn't put it down actually - finished it in one sitting).

I've already started reading this and unfortunately it's MUCH slower paced than "Little Brother" so far. According to the online review though, if you can plod through the first 75 pages, the rest is much better.



The Circle by Dave Eggers
This book sounds interesting and the cover was illustrated by one of my current favorite illustrators, Jessica Hische... so that means it must be good, right? Like "Little Brother", this is also a techno-thriller story... technology takes over the world and the little guy fights back. Sounds promising!



Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
I started this book a couple years ago and really liked it. I was just... distracted... like I have been for years... so never finished it. This is the year for finishing books I've started though so I'll definitely be picking this one up again.



Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
The second in the series Beautiful Creatures. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next. I recently read the first book and watched the movie and this one definitely needs a place on my TBR list... as soon as I stop seething about how horrible the movie was.

(In case you didn't know and don't mind a slight spoiler... the movie severely subtracts from the book's plot, piles on a bunch of new stuff, and completely rewrote the ending... the last 1/2 hour of the movie never even happened in the book! Needless to say, this completely irks the book-lover in me.)



Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I'm sure this book needs no introduction, but in case you've been living under a rock the last couple years... this is the 3rd in a series called Divergent. I've been looking forward to concluding this trilogy and the only question now is... whether or not I should re-read the first two books so I can refresh the storyline in my mind.



Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
I know nothing about this book except that it looks fun and the premise is interesting - a random nobody becomes a royal somebody overnight. Yes, I realize this sounds exactly like The Princess Diaries... but that's okay. It sounds fun and interesting, and... really now, what better reason do I need to read something?



Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
I've been meaning to read this sequel to Wicked for probably 10 years now. Wicked was an excellent book, a fascinating twist on the classic story Wizard of Oz. I've never seen the musical (nor do I have  any desire to), so I have no idea how it compares. I just know that I have great expectations for the rest of this series, so why not plug along at it this year?



Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I'm actually reading this book right now and it's very good! Cinder is a dystopian futuristic take off the story of Cinderella, from the point of view of Cinder, a cyborg, who is "volunteered" to undergo plague testing by her evil stepmother. So far, so good, and I can't wait to read more!



The Magician by Michael Scott
Yet another second in a series that I have been meaning to get to. I got this and Cinder for Christmas, so they are definitely on my TBR for this year. It's basically a series about magic and wizardry, centering around some kids who team up with the immortal Nicolas Flamel (of Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone fame).

Interesting tidbit: Nicolas Flamel was actually a real guy, and was apparently very interesting and mysterious because people keep adding him into fiction series to help move the plot along.



Extras by Scott Westerfeld
This apparently came out about 7 years ago and I just recently discovered that it existed. It's the fourth in a series called Uglies that I absolutely loved and devoured. I had thought it was a trilogy and only recently learned that there were four in the series, not three, so am super excited to read more about this dystopian universe!



Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
I keep being reminded of this story lately and have never actually read it, so... on my TBR list it goes.



Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
I read The Tipping Point a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Malcolm Gladwell has written several other books, including this one, and they all seem incredibly fascinating. If I had to categorize his style, I'd say his books are in the same vein as Freakonomics. He basically writes about sociological phenomenon presented in a very consumable, easy-to-read mannner.



And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
This is a new book by the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. He writes fictionalized accounts of real situations that occur in his home country of Afghanistan. These page-turners made my heart ache for those innocents caught in a war-torn country of extremists, and I expect this book to be just as heart-wrenching.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book looks super good and the movie is coming out this year also. I hope to read this before I watch the movie! It's set in 1930's Nazi Germany, and looks like it'll be quite a page-turner.



The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Another story-turned-movie based in Nazi-Germany that I've been meaning to read/watch. I also plan to read the book before I let myself see the movie, so we'll see how that turns out.



Timeline by Michael Crichton
Or really any book by Michael Crichton will do. I read the two Jurassic Park books years ago (yes, there were only two - where they got the plot for the third movie, I have no idea). I really, really, really loved the JP books - as page-turner-y as Dan Brown - so look forward to reading more by this author.



The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Like Peter Pan, this classic has been on the back of my mind to read for awhile. Why not this year?



How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson
I'm always a sucker for "how our brain works" books, and this one looks to be just as interesting as all the rest. He dives into how (and why) to be be more still and how our modern society is constantly trying to thrwart that.



Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The movie was great and I've been meaning to read the book (I know, shame on me for seeing the movie first). Plus it has a cool book cover that has been grabbing my eyes for years.



The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley
Last but not least, this journalistic effort by Amanda Ripley looks fascinating. She follows the stories of three American high school students who study a year abroad, and documents what they learn about how Americans are viewed oversees, how our public school system is failing, and how raising children differs in other cultures. The topic of education and how we do things compared to how other countries do things is intriguing to me, so I look forward to reading this.


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What's on your 2014 TBR list? Have you read any of these books?

1 comment:

  1. Nathan has several Michael Crichton books that I'm sure you're welcome to borrow. I'm sure the library does, too, since they're classics. :)

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