Books read in 2014 Q4

The year 2014 is coming to an end. Since it is highly unlikely that I will finish another book this year, it is okay to post the Q4 book report now even though the time is not up yet.

I finished 9 books in the 4th quarter, therefore reached my goal of reading 40 books this year. I am one of the 12,700 or so people (as of today) who completed their 2014 reading challenge on Goodreads. My plan is to set the goal at 45 for 2015.

  1. Christine by Stephen King
  2. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others by Daniel Pink
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran
  5. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang
  6. An Introduction to R by William Venables and David Smith
  7. Vanish by Tess Gerritsen
  8. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  9. A Room with a View by E.M.Forester

Quite a few of these books are amazing. It was interesting to read 3, 4, 5 in a row – each book helped me learn history of a different country in a different time period via memorable stories. I now have a better understanding of Nazi Germany during World War II, the French Revolution, and the Qing Dynasty under Cixi’s rule. The last one was particularly fascinating as it felt quite the opposite to the history I learned growing up in China.

“Kafka on the Shore” is the first book I read from the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The story is weird but I like it a lot. I will read more of his books in 2015.

“Christine” is the 27th book I read from Stephen King, who ranks the 2nd on my ‘most-read’ author list. The top is Agatha Christie from whom I have read 31 books.

I am looking forward to another good reading year ahead! Book reports will be posted quarterly as usual. Please let me know if you would like to connect on Goodreads. Here are the earlier book lists for this year: Q1 Q2 Q3

Books 2014Q4

mini book review – “The Book Thief”

I finished reading ‘The Book Thief’, with tears in my eyes. I was so deeply touched that I couldn’t even find the right words to write a review. This is one of the best books I have ever read.

It is a story that covers four years of a girl’s life, who was adopted by an ordinary family in a small town outside Munich in Nazi-Germany during the World War II. Certainly it was a very heavy and tragic time, yet my heart was warmed again and again by the unforgettable characters, the love and friendship, the small pleasures in life, the power of words and music. No matter how dark and evil the world is, it could never quench the sparkles of humanity and kindness.

The story is told by Death himself, who offers very unique perspectives on many things, in a beautiful poetic language. It is just a small story, really, yet its power touches your soul. Highly recommend to everyone, but especially book lovers and writers.

The picture below is from the movie, which is also very good. But even if you have already watched the movie, you should still read the book – it offers so much more.

The Book Thief