Books Read in 2014

I enjoy reading other bloggers’ lists of the books they read in the previous year.  So this past year (inspired by A Pilgrim in Narnia) I decided that I too would keep a list.

My list is only of books that I read from cover to cover, and they’re listed in the order I read them.  If these kinds of lists interest you, check out the lists from Brenton Dickieson and Ross Murray.

So here’s how I spent a good part of my evenings last year:

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, ed. Daniel Imhoff

As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Food Movement is Changing the Way We Eat, Tanya Denckla Cobb

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss

Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food took over the American Meal, Melanie Warner

Home Fires Burning, Robert Inman

The Reconciling Community:  The Missional Mending of Scriptural and Social Relationships through Local Church Ministry, Charles H. Warnock

Backyard Market Gardening: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Selling What You Grow, Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman

Ava’s Man, Rick Bragg

Good Food:  Grounded Practical Theology, Jennifer Ayres

The Works of John Wesley (14 volumes), ed. Thomas Jackson

The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay 1776-1854, William Freehling

Sustainable Market Farming, Pam Dawling

Genesis and the Rise of Civilization, J. Snodgrass

Living on a Few Acres, USDA

The Quaker Way, Phillip Gulley

The Radical Wesley, Howard Snyder

The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein

Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison

Radical Theology and the Death of God, Thomas J.J. Altizer and William Hamilton

Thirteen Discourses on the Sermon on the Mount, John Wesley

The Holy Bible (ESV) 

American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood, Paul Greenberg

Libel: Sex and Sexuality in the Bible, J. Snodgrass

Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad

Chaos, J. Snodgrass

Ten: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-out Culture, Sean Gladding

You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe

The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America, Jeff Biggers

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Daniel Quinn

I’ve already started my new list. Happy reading in 2015!


22 comments on “Books Read in 2014

  1. Eumaeus says:

    Lord, let me not be envious of Bill’s list. Let me enjoy my games of UNO and Sandra Boynton.


  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, my book list for the year would be very short compared to yours. I do have a book in progress all the time but my focus for reading is pretty short and lasts only long enough to get through a few pages. Magazines are my reading material mostly. The articles are just about the length of time it takes before a break is needed. My book that I’m reading right now is a book written by Michael Talbot about the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Michael Talbot is a singer that was popular in the 80s and 90s who has dedicated his life to one of simplicity just as St. Francis did. I’m not a Catholic but this book is a gold mine for the simple spiritual life in a greedy worldly culture. St. Francis was born in 1181/1182 and died in 1286. He is known for founding the Franciscan Order, the creator of the nativity scene, and a patron saint of animals and the environment. October 4th is still celebrated by Catholic and Anglican churches as feast day when animals are blessed. It’s an amazing read for any person whether spiritual or not.

    Have a great book reading day.


  3. That’s a huge list of important books. Rachel Carson blew me away (about 8 years ago?), and I’d love to do academic writing like that. I’m just starting to explore Faulkner, but knowing your vocation, I see why you are drawn there.
    How was “Slow Church”?


  4. Laurie Graves says:

    So interesting reading your list! Thanks for sharing. I’ll soon be writing about lists and a different kind of New Year’s resolution I made this year. I’ve kept a book diary for years, and this year I’ll be starting a movie diary as well. Helps a memory that is not always perfect 😉


    • Bill says:

      I used to keep a book diary and a movie diary. Kept them for years before I stopped. Seeing the end of year reading posts last year inspired me to start doing it again. We watch so few movies now there’s no point in keeping a movie list, but I’m planning to keep track of books again in 2015.


  5. Rachel says:

    You were a much more responsible reader than I was. I read 150 books in 2014, but not a lot of them had “meat.” My goal is to read more profound stuff this year!


    • Bill says:

      I’ve always preferred non-fiction and I’ve never gotten into “light” reading. My wife, who reads a lot more books than me, alternates. She reads heavy stuff but mixes in thrillers and the like. I’d say just read what you like. 🙂


  6. I make that 32 books you actually finished in the year. Wow. And some of that – most of that – is not what most I would call light reading, not at all! I suspect you must be a fairly disciplined reader. You do all this in the evenings? Wow. I can get through a few chapters at best in an evening, before I’m nodding off!


    • Bill says:

      It helps that I don’t have any hobbies. 🙂

      I go to bed around 10. Once the outside work is done I read till then. So in the summer I only get to read about an hour. This time of year it can be 3 hours.

      But I did have something else consuming a lot of my time this past year, as tomorrow’s post will reveal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bobraxton says:



    • Bill says:

      I enjoy reading. This is a modest list compared to the number of books I’d read back in the day when I spent a lot of time on airplanes. Although some of these are obviously whoppers.


  8. Silent Spring started me down the road to environmentalism is 1970. Shortly after reading it, I became executive director of Sacramento’s Environmental Center.


    • Bill says:

      That book has been sitting on the shelf a long time before I took it down. My wife read it long ago and it had a big impact on her as well. I assumed it would be dated by now, but all these years later it still packs a punch.

      She did a lot of good with that book. Including, it seems, setting you off on a journey that would do so much good.


  9. EllaDee says:

    An interesting list, I read it with another window open to Goodreads to facilitate searching. I love people’s reading lists as I always have a book on the go, there were 50 on my Read-2014 Goodreads List. I’ve added for 2015 – Silent Spring, Salt Sugar Fat, Good Food, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit 🙂


    • Bill says:

      Good choices. 🙂 I highly recommend Ishmael. A brilliant friend of mine wrote that he read that book the summer after graduating college and learned more from it than he learned in all of high school and college combined. I don’t know about that but it gave me plenty to think about. I’m confident you’d enjoy it.


  10. shoreacres says:

    “Ishmael” and “Slow Church” look interesting.My first “slow read” for this year is Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, and my first bit of pure delight has been Edna Ferber’s “Giant.”

    Every time I see “Ishmael,” I remember a game that was published somewhere, some years ago. The point was to change the meaning of the first lines of novels by changing the punctuation. One of the entries read, “Call me, Ishamel.” 🙂


    • Bill says:

      Both are excellent. Slow Church has made a lot of top-10 lists this year and I highly recommend it. Ishmael was a recommendation of a writer whose work I admire. It stretched my mind, in a good way. 🙂

      I like that game. It’s the kind of fun us book geeks enjoy. 🙂


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