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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ranking the Books I Read This Year

Since I titled this post books, I kept the top ten as strictly books. That's why Macbeth is right there at number eleven. It's a play. Nevertheless, shoutout to Goodreads for keeping track of everything I read.

40. I'm Only Here for the Wi-Fi by Chelsea Fagan - Eh. This was just too pretentious for me.

39. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli - I wasn't a big fan of The Prince and that's probably because I could never get into it.

38. What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles - It was alright for what it was, but I just found that it was somewhat poorly written.

37. Life Is Too Short by Mickey Rooney - Following Rooney's death, I began this reading book, but it was too tongue-in-cheek to his own consciousness for me to appreciate.

36. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - I could understand this book and appreciate it for what it was, but I didn't really enjoy reading it.

35. Antigone by Sophocles - A pretty good story, but it didn't hold up as well when I compared it to the next play we read in English class.

34. Medea by Euripides - I don't think I'll ever be quite sure why, but for some reason I just preferred the story of Medea to that of Antigone.

33. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - I loved Serial, but I couldn't really get into the dry true crime story that unfolded over these pages.

32. In Praise of Reading and Fiction by Mario Vargas Llosa - A very short book that is taken directly from Llosa's speech, but it splendidly captures love for reading.

31. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - It was a good book; there's no denying that. But the intelligent language couldn't quite make up for the lax story.

30. Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill - A play that is about addiction through and through, but the twist is unexpected.

29. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams - A very abbreviated, if you will, play that delves so far into the characters that I have to love it.

28. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - I'm not really that into war literature so you know this book was a quality one. Great use of language.

27. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris - This was such a wonderful book, but the novella-aspect of it makes me wish for more Sedaris. That's not a hard problem to solve, though.

26. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak - The best new children's book I read all year! B.J. is such a genius.

25. Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community by Saul Austerlitz - It was really great to read about so many shows I love and analyze them on a deeper level, but the writing became a bit pretentious at times.

24. Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. by Rob Delaney - A really hilarious book that exemplifies why Delaney is such a gifted comedian.

23. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Dear Lord, this man really was an intellectual mastermind, wasn't he?

22. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel - I really wasn't sure if I was going to like Haven Kimmel's memoir, but I had nothing to fear. I loved it!

21. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom - It was sappy and sentimental, but it was always going to be that way. The overall message of the book loomed larger.

20. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose - I knew that as soon as I saw her last name, I was going to enjoy this novel. It was a wonderful commentary on the beauty of art in literature.

19. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron - The last collection of essays ever published by Ephron was made so poignant by that fact.

18. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - Vonnegut was such a great writer and this one might just be the best example of his underrated work and his satirical insanity.

17. This Is a Book by Demetri Martin - Wryly and dryly laugh-out-loud funny, just like Demetri himself.

16. The Best American Essays 2013 by Cheryl Strayed - Some of these obviously resonated more than others, but each one increased my knowledge of life and made me think.

15. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Thanks for all the fish, Mr. Adams.

14. The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson - What's better than a biography of William Shakespeare?

13. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert - Dear God, the pages of Colbert's book drip with biting satire at each turn.

12. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - I want to put this memoir even higher, but I read it in between 2013 and 2014 so it must stay here. I loved it, though!

11. Macbeth by William Shakespeare - To date, this is my favorite Shakespearean play that I've read.

10. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - I liked this book. I finished this book. So it goes.

9. Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller - The seven hundred page behemoth that perfectly encapsulated the history of Saturday Night Live in oral form.

8. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - My Goodreads challenge for 2014 was to read forty books. This was the fortieth. It was one of those books where I consciously felt bad about putting it down because I never wanted to stop reading it.

7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - A delightfully insane book that featured my favorite opening line of a novel ever written: "It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."

6. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - A microcosm of modern adventure in America that probably seemed anything but micro to Bryson.

5. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron - Ephron, a wonderful talent in expository writing passed away in 2012, but I was still able to get a glimpse into her mind.

4. The Princess Bride by William Goldman - The timeless tale of everything that was Goldman's favorite book in the world, even though he hadn't read it.

3. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris - I've now read four essay collections by Sedaris, but I feel as if I will always return to this one as my favorite.

2. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak - A collection of short stories I was looking forward to for months did not disappoint.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - It is absolutely possible to be in love with a novel.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad The Princess Bride ranked so high on your list! And I have to read The Great Gatsby. And I forgot about that Sitcom book, want to read that, too!