In 2014 I:
witnessed the birth of my beautiful granddaughter and became a nonna for the first time ... highlight of the year, little Mia is such a joy
pursued my love of photography and moved a little closer to turning it into a career
bought a Macbook Pro and I love it!
read 79 books (76 fiction & 3 non-fiction)
completed 3/5 reading challenges (but only updated 1)
cooked quite a few recipes from my Pinterest folders
saw Robbie Williams in concert again
stuck with my fitbit and walking with BookBlogWalkers for a full 12 months ... pats self on back :)
didn't have a hospital stay for my kidney or heart ... YAY
holidayed in England, Scotland and Paris for 4 weeks, saw historical places I've been reading about for years and took photos I'm deliriously happy with.
read even more Australian fiction (4 Australian authors** on my favourite reads list)
Loved participating in:
- It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Thanks to Sheila @ Book Journey
- Weekend Cooking Thanks to Beth @ Beth Fish Reads
- BookBlogWalkers Thanks to Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
I love that so many of my bloggy friends did this challenge, it was really motivating. Along with my fitbit, it's the longest I've stuck with a challenge, 12 whole months and I've signed up for FitReaders 2015 - the new version of Book Blog Walkers co-hosted by Geeky Book Blogger and That's What I'm Talking About.
FAVOURITE READS IN 2014
These aren't all 5 star reads but they are reads that have left a lasting impression on me for one reason or another. Wow did I read some amazing contemporary and historical fiction last year. Click on the title if you want to see my full review.
THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee - an emotional read with a touch of whimsy and magic, if you believe in the healing power of food and following your heart, you'll adore The Glass Kitchen. It really was love on a plate!
LITTLE MERCIES by Heather Gudenkauf - unputdownable. Heather Gudenkauf has a gift for taking readers to an often uncomfortable place, immersing you in issues of sensitivity and judgement but with such compassion you're enlightened and enriched.
THE ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes - The One Plus One encompasses the meaning of family and belonging, it's a story of love, resilience, determination and second chances. Poetic and uplifting, this one had me alternatively laughing and sobbing.
GOODNIGHT JUNE by Sarah Jio - what a joy to read, sincere and heartwarming. It earned a special place in my heart.
THE PROMISE OF STARDUST by Priscille Sibley - A stunning, emotionally wrenching, beautifully written debut. It's a story of unconditional love and heartbreaking decisions.
BITTER GREENS by Kate Forsyth** - Haunting & bittersweet, Bitter Greens holds a world you slip into effortlessly. Binding and mesmerising, Kate Forsyth weaves magic.
SELDOM COME BY by Sherryl Caulfield** (Iceberg Trilogy #1) - exquisite tale of love and loss, forgiveness and healing. To be so completely transported and immersed in characters' lives is testament to an author's care and skill, and despite the heartache I loved every minute.
LYREBIRD HILL by Anna Romer** - lush, haunting and addictive. I was immersed, my senses evoked ... eucalypts, camp fires, the scent of bush flowers, birdsong, connection with the land and the aboriginal people tangible.
ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline - (audiobook) A story that simultaneously broke and warmed my heart. Narrated beautifully with such authenticity I felt like a participant rather than an observer.
THE SUMMER QUEEN by Elizabeth Chadwick (Eleanor of Aquitaine #1) - (audiobook) Evocative, expressive, exquisite detail rather than tedious minutiae, The Summer Queen encompasses all that I love in historical fiction, I can't recommend it highly enough.
THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd - (audiobook) It's about strength, courage and the wings of change. Vivid, appalling, haunting and compelling; a must-read!
THE WITNESS by Nora Roberts - (audiobook) heart-in-mouth unputdownable. Exceptional narration by Julia Whelan. Smart, strong, fascinating heroine and best dog ever!
DESERVING DEATH by Katherine Howell** (Ella Marconi #7) - paramedic voyeurism and investigative punch. This one warrants sleep deprivation!
ME SINCE YOU by Laura Wiess - understated beauty. Laura Wiess is an author whose writing transcends age and Me Since You is a story that should be read.
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell - a sweet, funny, sincere, complicated, bittersweet, unexpected ride.
And it wouldn't be right to not mention these wonderful reads: more Aussie love :)
BILLABONG CREEK by Jennifer Scoullar**
OUTBACK GHOST by Rachael Johns** (Bunyip Bay #3)
NO RIVER TOO WIDE by Emilie Richards (Goddess Anonymous #3)
ACCIDENT OF MARRIAGE by Randy Susan Meyers
WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY by Wendy Wax (audiobook)
SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Victoria Purman** (Boys of Summer #2)
This year I'm keenly awaiting:
- Sarah Addison Allen ~ First Frost
- Kristin Hannah ~ The Nightingale
- Michelle Moran ~ Rebel Queen
- Sherryl Caulfield ~ Come Full Circle (Iceberg Trilogy #3)
- Susanna Kearsley ~ A Desperate Fortune
- CW Gortner ~ Mademoiselle Chanel
- Susan Mallery ~ The Girls of Mischief Bay
- Emilie Richards ~ The Color of Light (Goddess Anonymous #4)
- Jill Shalvis ~ Still The One (Animal Magnetism #6)
- Wendy Wax ~ A Week at the Lake
Have you done a favourites post? Leave me link ... I love to add to my groaning TBR pile ;)