Real talk: 2014 was, overall, a pretty shit year for everybody. But we have less than twelve hours left in this year, so we might as well try to reflect on the good stuff that happened. Like how many good books we all read this year. So, please enjoy Loud Bookish Type’s Favorite Books of 2014. As always: these are the books I read in 2014, not necessarily ones that were released this year. Because I can’t be running off to the store and spending thirty bucks on every new hardcover that comes out. I mean, Jesus.
Anyway, this year I read and loved…
Chirst. This was a tough one to read.
I don’t just mean it was depressing. It was, obviously – a book about a poor family being forced from their home during the Great Depression and having to beg for the chance to pick cotton at fifteen cents per hour can’t be anything except depressing – but it wasn’t the most depressing book I’ve ever read. That honor probably goes to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, although I guess Angela’s Ashes is a close second.
This is not a comedy book.
I mean, it’s funny. Amy Poehler can’t write a book and not be funny, because she’s Amy fuckin’ Poehler. But (and this is not the first time I’m going to compare the two memoirs) where Tina Fey’s Bossypants contained humorous essays written specifically for the purpose of being funny, Poehler’s does not. Everything is presented in a straightforward, matter-of-fact, fashion, and although a lot of the book is very, very funny, it never seems like this was the specific goal behind the essays.
This is also not a book about comedy.
It’s always nice to revisit Aubrey and Maturin. I’ve only read a couple books from this series, and I never feel any serious need to find more installments, but I always enjoy them when I do. And this is one of the best ones – not only because it’s pretty similar to the movie version and picking out what they changed/didn’t change for the adaptation is a fun game, but also for other reasons, which I will now list:
“The Walk to School on the Day After Labor Day
I was sad that summer was over.
But I was happy that it was over for my enemies, too.”
Take a minute and examine your reaction to that quote, one of the shortest pieces (I can’t in good conscience call it a story) in BJ Novak’s collection of short stories. I imagine that your reaction was similar to mine when I first read it – you probably smiled a little, maybe did one of those almost-laughs where you just blow air out your nose, and thought, “Oh, that’s clever” and then immediately forgot about it.