Must Read in 2014 – Final Update

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time for me to do my final wrap up on my 2014 reading challenge, known as the Must Read in 2014 (#mustreadin2014), over on Twitter. Many thanks to Carrie who got us all organized with this challenge and is graciously hosting our updates, so be sure to head over to her blog for the official link up. Below is the list of books I initially posted about in January that I wanted to read during 2014. It is mix of older titles, 2013 titles, and new 2014 titles. I’ve crossed out the books I have read to date. 

So, how did I do? Of my 38 titles listed, I finished 29 titles and sadly abandoned one additional title. Books I’ve finished since the last update in mid-October are marked in red; previously completed titles are noted in blue. Ones that I especially adored and recommend are marked with double asterisks, **.

Newbery Challenge goals–I wanted to read 12 books. I read 9 titles.

Caldecott Challenge g0als–I pretty much went nowhere with that one.

Did I bite off more than I can chew for my 2014 goals? Probably. I find I’m to easily distracted by all the shiny new books that everyone is talking about, but I’m glad I had this as a rough guide to encourage me not to forget these other titles. 

If you’ve done an update for this challenge, please share the link in the comments. I’d love to come check out what you’ve enjoyed, too! Happy Reading!


Must Read Books in 2014

Read 29/38

Abandoned to date 1/38

Not Read 8/38

Books for Adults


Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri Read October 2014**
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson Read April 2014
Delancey by Molly Wizenberg Read in June 2014**

Middle Grade Novels


Runaway King (Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer Nielsen (2013)
Hold Fast by Blue Balliett (2013) 
Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle (2013) Read January 2014 **
The Year of Shadows by Claire LeGrand (2013)


The Apprentices (The Apothecary #2) by Maile Meloy (2013) ABANDONED November 2014 (I found it very disorganized and jumpy)
Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton (2013) Read October 2014
Rump by Liesl Shurtliff (2013) | Read January 2014 **
Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (2013) Read January 2014


May B. by Caroline Starr Rose (2012) Read in May 2014**
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (2012)
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (2011) Read in May 2014**
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean (2012) Read in August 2014**
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (2010) Read in November 2014**
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (2011) Read January 2014
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko (2009) Read in August 2014**
Al Capone Does My Homework  by Gennifer Choldenko (2013) Read in September 2014**
Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery (2012)

Young Adult Titles


Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (2013)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (2013) Read January 2014 **
The Living by Matt de la Pena (2013) Read January 2014 **
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner (2011)  Read in August 2014**
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007) Read in May 2014**
Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Saenz (2012)


Me Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Read in July 2014**
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles Read in August 2014**

Graphic Novels


Drama by Raina Telgemeier (2012) Read in May 2014**
The Great American Dust Bowl by Dan Brown (2013) Read January 2014 **

2014 Titles I’m most looking forward to reading:



Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger Read in May 2014**
The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore Read in June 2014**
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee Read in February 2014 **
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle Read in February 2014 **
The 26-Story Tree House by Andy Griffiths Read in April 2014 **
Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets!by Kate Messner Read in March 2014 **
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm Read in October 2014**


Newbery Challenge Goal

Read to date: 9/12

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry, Newbery Medal 1949 Read in February 2014

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli, Newbery Medal 1950 Read in March 2014

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates, Newbery Medal 1951 Read in May 2014

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes, Newbery Medal 1952 Read in May 2014

Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark, Newbery Medal 1953 Read in June 2014

And Now Miguel . . . by Joseph Crumhold, Newbery Medal 1954 Read in August 2014

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, Newbery Medal 1984 Read in August 2014**

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Newbery Medal 1995 Read in August 2014**

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, Newbery Medal Read in October 2014

My goal was 12 books, or an average of one per month. I’m grateful to have fellow blogger, Elisabeth, from The Dirigible Plum along for the ride as we slowly plug through the challenging middle years of the Newbery Challenge.




Caldecott Challenge Goal

Progress to date : Meh

I’m aiming to get through all Caldecott Medal and Honor winners through 1979. I found I really got weighed down in the 1950s, but I’m hoping to get back some steam for the Caldecott Challenge.

No real progress made here . . .



Cheers and may your 2014 be filled with many wonderful reading memories!

4 comments on “Must Read in 2014 – Final Update

  1. carriegelson says:

    I agree with your praise for these ** books. Many great ones! You did an amazing job!

  2. Loved reading your update! The Newbery Challenge…. BAH! In some last-minute rushed reading in December, I did manage to finish 11 Newberys (I’d committed to 12), but I had to stop reading the older titles and “cheat” with more recent Honor books. I ended up abandoning one book on my #Mustread list–The Raven Boys. I know so many love this series, but I was so incredibly bored. I got about 60 pages in, I think, which does feel like giving a book a fair try. I never got to September Girls at all, but otherwise, I did manage to read everything. I thought I was so clever making a short list of 15 books–how could I not finish 15 books?! But it turns out that it’s always possible for me to flunk a reading challenge! I didn’t do much with the Caldecott Challenge this year either–maybe next year. I do have a few of the early winners/honors checked out right now. They look horrible, but at least they’re short!

  3. Lorna says:

    Yes, a short list sounds appealing, but I fear I too would find a way to miss it somehow. Good job on your Newbery progress! I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in needing to abandon a book! Hard when others you respect adore something, but not all books fit all readers! Hope your holiday season has been merry!

  4. I’m really impressed! I agree with many of your ** books. I loved Better Nate than Ever, and five Six, Seven Nate. I’ve got a Temple Grandin book on my list that I didn’t get to last year either. I’ve started a 2015 must read professional book list and added it to that. I’m sad to read this about The Apprentices by Maile Maloy, as I really enjoyed the Apothecary. Good luck next year!

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