Left-Out Books of 2014

I read a total of 72 books this year. That’s a low for me (I usually read over 100), but because I spend most of my reading with research articles now for Ph.D. research, books have taken a backseat. While I usually write about every book I read, this year I didn’t. And there are books I read for my Ph.D. comp exams that I wrote about but didn’t post on this blog—yet. I bet you can’t wait to read those posts! They may never see the light of day on this blog, but they might.

So today’s post is a list of books I read this year but didn’t review. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but here they are.

Agnes Grey (1847) by Anne Brontë

This book is about a girl who takes a post as governess and has to deal with difficult children and their difficult parents. It was disappointing and boring. I’ve enjoyed other novels by the Brontë sisters, but this one isn’t as good as the others.

Men Explain Things to Me (2014) by Rebecca Solnit

Solnit’s collection of essays, one of which is the genesis of the term “mansplaining,” are witty and timely. I loved the ideas she presented, and her experiences reminded me of some of the frustrating experiences I’ve had in dealing with sexism. If you’re into feminism, you’ll like this book.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) by Maria Semple

where'd you go bernadette cover

This book was popular in 2013, and I finally got to it early this year. I felt like jumping on the bandwagon since so many of my friends and fellow bloggers had commented on this book and how much they enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too. It is a wacky story of a mother, daughter, tortured genius, architecture, family, and fitting in.

We Should All Be Feminists (2014) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is more of an essay, rather than a book, but I read it through the free download in ibooks and enjoyed it while sitting in the Colorado Springs airport in September. The essay is from Adichie’s TEDx talk of the same title. She explains her experiences with being labeled a “feminist” and how she came to embrace the term and understand it. I loved it.

Eve and the Choice Made in Eden (2002) by Beverly Campbell

This is a religious book, one written at a plain and simple level for audiences of all backgrounds. I mostly skimmed it for information to round out a lesson I was teaching to the women at my church. Recently, I revisited it for some research I’m doing for a women’s discourses project at my church’s history library.

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (2005) by Richard L. Bushman

This is also a religious book, but not really. It is about the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my religion, from a historical perspective. Bushman does an excellent job of presenting Smith accurately, warts and all, and I think this should be recommended reading for any practicing Mormon. I feel more of an affinity for the history of my church, and I’ve come to understand how nobody is perfect. Fallibility makes us human, and we are all inherently worthy of God’s love.

Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights (2005) by Martha Sontag Bradley

This is also a “religious” book, but also historical, about the upheaval caused within my religious community during the 1970s and 80s when the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed. I learned a lot by reading this book. I gained further appreciation for the difficulty of historical research.

How many books did you read this year? Are there any you didn’t bother to review? What is your goal for books to read next year?