As some of you know, I am completing a master’s program and spent my reading time last semester on Jungian psychology texts, monomyths, and the hero’s journey while this semester has been spent reading ancient Greek and roman texts (with a little Shakespeare thrown in). Therefore I haven’t had a lot of time for pleasure reading. I am hoping to change that after the next two papers have been submitted. So I’ve been surfing around to find book lists that can give me some ideas of what I want to read.
There are a lot of book lists out there: best selling, most notable, editor picks, genre picks, and the lists readers post on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Several show up on more than one list like A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison, and The Dog by Joseph O’Neill. Some lists have lighter fare or mixed fare like the best selling lists. Here are some of the lists I found:
- The New York Times Sunday Book Review published their list of 100 Notable Books of 2014
- Publishers Weekly has Best Books lists by year
- Goodreads Best Books of 2014 has some lighter fare included on their list and it can be sorted by genre
- Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2014 in traditional books has several children’s and middle grades books on it and some repeats from the other lists
- Amazon’s Kindle Best Books of 2014 list has some similarities but is definitely more focused on the adult reader
- Then, of course, there are the Greatest Books of all time
I’m not surprised that I have read very few on the lists for 2014 but I was a little surprised at how many of the greatest I have read. Of course, it has been years since I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter, or Hamlet for school assignments. With my recent coursework, I checked several of these off, like The Iliad, The Tempest, and the first part of The Divine Comedy. I gave myself extra points for reading Madame Bovary and Candide in French.
So when I can get back to reading, I plan to alternate popular and literary fiction, switch up the entertaining reads with the artistic ones, and toss a few craft books in also. The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim has been on my bookshelf since the summer. I think I’ll start with an entertaining romance (any suggestions for the best new one of 2014?) and then read the Bettelheim for research on my MLA project and then . . .
P.S. If you are looking for some great book ideas for the holidays, make sure to read Nancy’s post on December 14. She has some great ideas and links with great ideas and giveaways for the holidays. I certainly will because I have found several books on these lists that are going on my to-be-read shelf and am looking for others, too.