stories of the year

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There is something about the new year that still makes me a little bit giddy. Although it really is no different and the days will pass as they always have, the idea of newness and a fresh start always manages to find a home in the back of my mind. Maybe it’s simply the feel of crisp whiteness against the slate of grey days. I don’t typically make resolutions but last year I decided to set a goal for myself. 21 books. 2013 was the year that I spent as a twenty-one year old and I wanted to read as many books. As a kid, I grew up at the library. I hung out during the summer programs and volunteered there as a teenager. Now I try to visit the book sale whenever I’m back in town. But somewhere in the midst of college, my love of reading was buried beneath a stack of assignments and final papers. Last year I knew I wanted something to change.

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I wanted to practice the discipline of making time for something I loved so much, something that was nourishing for me as a human. To intentionally make my way to home base with a warm mug and a story to slip into. In 2013 I learned how to better make time for myself and in 2014 I learned how to appreciate it on a whole new level. This year, the goal was 22 books. I ended up surpassing that number a bit but I feel the same way I did at the end of last year; there are stories worth living and telling and there is great value in sharing them. No set parameters or specific books I had to read. I just wanted to READ. Here is my adventure in books this year:

A Long Way Gone
The Color of Water
Bridge to Terabithia
Where Things Come Back
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Dear Mr. Henshaw
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Wild
The Tale of Despereaux
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team
Peace Like a River
A Painted House
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume
Walk Two Moons
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Bud, Not Buddy
A Homemade Life
It’s Like This, Cat
Bread and Wine
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
I Am Malala
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
The Bite of the Mango
The Rosie Project
Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Charlotte’s Web
Gone Girl
Little House in the Big Woods
The Magician’s Nephew
Little House on the Prairie
Farmer Boy
All the Light We Cannot See

This year included a variety. Newbery medal winners, stories from countries far away, books that made me laugh, and a few that made me weep. There are stories that will stick with me for the rest of my life, stories that I cannot wait to pass on to my friends. It has been an incredible year of adventuring through these and I am already so excited to start reading in 2015. There were so many incredible books this year but these three stand out the most:

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Cheers to stories worth living and telling. If you’ve loved any of these, I always enjoy a good book discussion over coffee. Happy reading, friends!

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