Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Best Books I Read in 2014

Here are a few of the best books I read in 2014.

Global Mom: Eight Countries, Sixteen Addresses, Five Languages, One Family by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

Melissa Dalton-Bradford has a gift for distilling and analyzing nearly two decades worth of experiences as her family explored and lived in country after country. This isn't an ordinary travelogue turned memoir, but a weightier and more illuminating story of a family bound together through travel and grief. The last half of the book explores how the family has lived with their grief for their son and brother, Parker. If you want to know what it is like to live in a foreign country, learn a language, or struggle with loss, then this is the best book to read.

On Loss and Living Onward: Collected Voices for the Grieving and Those Who Would Mourn With Them by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

This primer on grief contains essays, quotes, poems, and songs about grieving, especially those who mourn children. After reading this book, I felt like I was better prepared to genuinely mourn with friends who have experienced devastating loss. I feel like every person on this planet should read this book because we will all experience death and loss and we will all be tasked with mourning with those who face death and loss. It is essential to the human experience.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

Absolutely required reading for anyone who wants to understand the reality of being female in Afghanistan. The stories are true, riveting, and powerful. A sensitive and thoughtful reader will find much to ponder in the way gender roles are perceived, taught, and discussed in one's own culture and compare and contrast it to the function of gender in Afghanistan.

The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Future by Christine Kenneally

If you are remotely interested in genealogy or family history, you need to read this book to understand what DNA and history can tell you about your past and your present. The book is densely filled with stories, science, and connections. Be prepared to develop a burning desire to get your DNA tested--along with everyone in your family you can cajole into getting the testing done as well.

Made From Scratch: Reclaiming the Pleasures of the American Hearth by Jean Zimmerman

A fascinating book which discusses the role and value of homemaking both anciently and modernly. The author explores why homemaking is so demonized today and why it is making a comeback. I think this could qualify as a homemaker's manifesto in being able to explain why possessing skills of cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. are valuable and meaningful in our modern world.

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic In Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Warning: Be prepared to be very hungry as you read. There is a reason Ruth Reichl was a restaurant critic for the New York Times and why she was the editor for Gourmet magazine. Her food prose is divine. A must for any foodie or person who just likes to eat, read about food, or think about food.

What were your favorite books you read in 2014?


1 comment:

Luisa Perkins said...

I've got to read Made from Scratch!