My Top 10 Books of 2014

Here’s a list of my top books from this year; these books are not in any particular order.  All pictures are from Amazon:

  •  The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair: This book is a woman looking back on her childhood and the summer she visited India and discovered the secret that her mom fled from India to keep.  I thought it was well written and a good pick for anyone who loves reading South Asian fiction.
  •  Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South by David Beasley: I was really touched by this story, which focuses on several people, black and white, who were sentenced to death and the role that race played in determining whether or not the sentence was carried out.  This story particularly struck a chord with me because it takes place in Georgia, which is where I live….in fact, some of the locations mentioned in the book are literally within minutes of my house.  It was eye-opening to see how far we’ve come since the events in this book.
  •  Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11 by Geneive Abdo: When I first started reading this book and realizing it was written by a non-Muslim, I was weary of how the book would play out.  I think that the author did a great job of explaining the frustrations and difficulties that Muslim Americans have had to deal with since 9/11 without doing what most non-Muslims who write about Muslims have done and that’s to either demonize Muslims or to focus on the so-called Moderate Muslims who are anything but.
  •  Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell: This is a book about a young woman who is adjusting to college life and trying to figure out how to balance her love for the Simon Snow series (similar to Harry Potter).  I really connected with the main character and saw my own experiences at that age being played out in the book.
  •  Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: This was the first graphic novel that I have ever read, and I thought it was an interesting way to write a memoir.  It took me about a day to get through it; it was so interesting that I kept picking it up and reading through a few more pages!
  •  Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed: I thought this book contained a lot of good information.  I read it at one time, but I think it’s better to take your time going through it so you can implement some of the suggestions in the book.
  •  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline: This historical fiction book is about a little-known chapter in American history when thousands of orphans were put onto trains to be adopted out by families out west.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I did think the ending was a little cliche.
  •  Goodbye I love You by Carol Lynn Pearson: This is memoir about a woman who has to first come to terms with her husband’s homosexuality and then has to deal with his death from AIDS.  I thought this was a sad and thought-provoking book, but I found Carol’s husband to be very unlikable character and thought he was selfish and manipulative.
  •  Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico by M.M. McAllen: This is a history book on the short-lived and ill-fated reign of Maximilian in Mexico.  I remember seeing a picture of his execution in my high school World History textbook, but I knew nothing else about this period of time.  I was surprised to see how Maximilian was first tricked into accepting the role of emperor of Mexico by France and then later abandoned by them.  I think this is a good book for someone who is interested in learning more about World History.
  •  The Waste Lands by Stephen King: This is the third book in the Dark Towers series and my favorite so far.  I was really drawn into the story, and the only thing I really didn’t like about this book is that it ended on a huge cliffhanger.

So those are my top 10 books of 2014.  Overall I had a pretty good reading year and can’t wait to see what great books I end up reading next year!

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