What I read in 2014

Jessica Jewett Author, Artist and Spiritual Intuitive Happy New Year, everyone! Well, not quite yet but I can feel 2015 breathing down my neck. How are we doing? Are we all hanging in there?

This past year has been especially bumpy for me with big changes in my living situation, fairly serious health problems, surgery for my mother, writing and editing jobs, financial struggles, and even adopting a kitten and a second puppy. Through all of that, I managed to read 33 books in 2014. Considering everything I’ve been through this year, I think 33 is pretty decent. My reading goal for 2015 has been bumped up to 50 books and with the Outlander series alone sitting in my Kindle, I’m sure to knock out at least 20 or so right there!

So what did I read in 2014? Let’s consult my GoodReads account, which has 31 of the titles.

Jessica Jewett, books

Jessica Jewett, books

Jessica Jewett, books

The other two books I read, which I didn’t get to list on GoodReads as finished yet, were these.

Jessica Jewett, books

Some of these books were written by friends of mine. Others reflected my love of history and spirituality. I wouldn’t say I loved every book I read this year though. There were some historical novels that I got on my Kindle but either never finished them or didn’t put them in my GoodReads list because I really didn’t enjoy them. It takes a lot to make me dislike a historical novel but sometimes I just cannot get beyond glaring inaccuracies with period characterization. Especially with novels set in antebellum America, there seems to be an inescapable Scarlett O’Hara complex with several lead characters that always turns me off in the end. If I wanted Scarlett, I would re-read Gone With the Wind.

One unexpected surprise was stumbling into the “Christian” niche of historical fiction. I’m not Christian, as you all know by now, but I don’t think I have to be in order to appreciate good storytelling. The truth is some Christian authors like Lynn Austin and Jocelyn Green are better at nineteenth century characterization and research than secular authors. I see very little difference between what’s marketed as “Christian fiction” and the real time period. Secular authors tend to not research quite as well and they’re too quick to throw sex in historical novels, which are two elements that rip me out of the period being depicted if they’re done wrong. No one actually needs to be Christian to read well-written historical novels that happen to have some Christian themes. Jocelyn Green, for example, penned one of my favorite novels that I read this year.

I’m curious about what books will end up on next year’s list! What did you read in 2014?

One response to “What I read in 2014”

  1. Mina says:

    It’s funny I agree with you on nearly every point. The only one I degisrae with is your definition and understanding of what I referred to as faith. To me, faith means believing in something for which there is no proof. My faith is of the ultimate kind: there isn’t a shred of evidence anywhere.I only have faith in one thing. It’s not a building that people go to every Sunday to feel superior to others. It’s not some dusty old book that is so completely out of touch with postmodern culture it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs. My faith is in the one and only true God, the creator of all things, whether that be the universe, the multiverse, the membranes, or whatever; and is all things, including every quark, every boson, every rock, every turd, every alien turd, every crocodile, and every human being on this planet; and knows everything, which some would say infers an intelligence, but I degisrae because I believe God has no intelligence. He IS intelligence, all of it. God is everything.This is the only God that exists, and it is the only God that could possibly exist, and that is certain from every logical angle you could possibly use to examine the issue.If you can point to any physical evidence that suggests that God does not exist, I would love to hear about it. Even if we knew everything there was to know about the physical universe, and knew how it came to be, and knew why it came to be the way it came to be, we STILL would not be able to know the answer to the question of why it exists. It is simply unknowable, and I think any scientist with any integrity would agree. If we acknowledge that we exist, then we must acknowledge that the universe exists, and then we must acknowledge that God exists. The only way to rule out the possibility of the existence of God is to rule out the possibility of our own existence. Which is what my best friend, Steve, did when he took his own life a year ago.If the universe has no creator, and is purely deterministic, and I have no free will, and I have no ability to make any choices or decisions about anything that I do, or say, or think, then I’m glad I am who I am. I’m glad that I am an automoton-of-the-universe that is more inclined to love than hate, more concerned with others than hisself, and happier to do good than to do wrong.But you may be right and I may be wrong. Either way, I have my faith, and the joy and peace that comes with it.Blessings Scott

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