I’m not an amazingly good reader – I dip in and out of books and they are nearly all non-fiction. My New Years Resolution last year (posted on the 10th of January! In Happy Birthday Mum’s Days) was to read more and while I think I did OK, I’ve decided this year I would make it easier to tell if I have achieved it or not by creating a reading list.

This list is embarassing when I think about my cousin who’s doing an MA in English. She reads this many books in a week. But we all have our strengths and weaknesses, right?!

A large chunk of these books (the first 4) come from Leonie Dawson’s Top 20 Books of 2013, so if you like them, please do go and have a look at her full list! I’ve also asked some of my favourite bloggers to recommend their favourite book from 2013, resulting in an exciting collection!

My Reading List for 2014 – Non-fiction

1.  The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood – Started

my 2014 reading list

I’ve started reading this, decorated the front page of a new “Creative Mama” note book, done some doodling AND bought it twice more for my two favourite mamas. It’s hippy to say the least but I never let that put me off, so I suggest you don’t either. From the foreword this book touched me. And, in fact, this has also been a topic discussed on the Mum’s Days facebook wall (albeit not in depth) …How do you keep your identity AND be a mum? Or do you just have to be a mum and forget about keeping yourself happy. No!!! Bloody NO you don’t and this book gives you permission and the tools you need to be both.

p.s. creativity basically means the thing that you are interested in, so don’t turn your nose up because you’re not an artist or a musician, I recon it’s for all of us.

2. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There

This is a collection of letters from an advice column that Leonie thought was ace, I liked the sound of it so I’ve bought it!

3. Ask Graham – Finished! Review here: What Graham Norton Taught Me

my 2014 reading list

Leonie also suggested Graham Norton’s advice column book, and she says: “His book is tender and superb. I felt like I learned about humanity and relationships and love from it! I know! WTF!”

That was good enough for me, and I’ve given it to my brother for Christmas too. I then read the whole thing on holiday, which is the first time I’ve started and finished a book on holiday for a long time.

4. Honestly: Notes on Life – Started

 Again, recommended by Leonie, I thought this would be interesting as she is an Aussie columnist and maybe I would like to be a columnist. I’ve started and I loved the intro into how she works and what she gets up to with her many children but I’m only 4 articles in and she’s already Britain bashed twice! I understand that she lived here for a while and she was desperately happy to be home again, but it’s made me a bit depressed when she slags off our fair land (although, she has some obviously good points – but like being mean to my brother, it’s OK for me to do it but not you!)

5. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) – Started

Mike got me this book for Christmas and although you might think it sounds dull as anything, am bloody loving it! It’s basically a guide to getting all the things in your head done. It’s the reason I’m now blogging and writing every day, and also the reason I now use Reuben’s naps for 1 thing that I really want to get done rather than rushing about and feeling like I’ve achieved nothing with my day.

6. The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons

This is one of those books that was recommended to me by Amazon (shows the kind of things I look at…) and, I’m not going to lie, I liked the cover. I want my kids to be out and about, wearing cute hats and eating apples…

7. Blogging for Creatives: How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success

Hannah from Make, Do and Push has suggested this book saying it was her favourite book of 2013 (I have a feeling Hannah and I have more in common than just a name… my favourite book from 2013 was also a blogging book – Blog, Inc.). Funnily enough I own this book but haven’t read it yet!! Hannah says…

“I bought this quite early on in the year as my blogging addiction was just starting to blossom; I wanted some ideas for my blog design, and general SEO tips to get readers visiting. It’s quite a basic book but is fantastic for the blogging novice I was at the time! It’s also very pretty to look through as she’s chosen some beautiful blogs to feature. AND imagine my joy when I found out she was speaking at BritMums Live 2013 – I was a proper fan girl during that session… In conclusion, it’s fab for blog ideas and inspiration.” Brill, thanks Hannah!

8. and 9. Drop the Pink Elephant: 15 Ways to Say What You Mean… and Mean What You Say and Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action

Suggested by Joanna from Mysterious Babies who’s also trying to read more…she’s just finished these two and said they were great – which means, in the nicest possible sense, that I might be able to manage them too!

10. Outliers: The Story of Success

my 2014 reading list

We’ve got this in the house and I’ve been meaning to read it for years. The secret behind success – totally my kind of read!

My Reading List for 2014 – Fiction

I never read fiction anymore and I miss it. I read one fiction book last year, in January, called The Woman who Went to Bed for a Year, by Sue Townsend (of Adrian Mole fame – another book I haven’t read!), and I really enjoyed it! I am making a concerted effort to read more fiction books and if they have been recommended by these lovely ladies, then they’re going to be good!

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Vonnie from Nowt Special recommended this. She says it defined her summer, reading this book around the pool while her 4 children played in the sun. Sounds lovely!

2. The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Helen from Actually Mummy suggested this. She said “[it’s] such an easy read, but leaves you thinking long after” – it’s like you read my mind, Helen. She also suggested for kids The Grk by Josh Lacey: “really funny, butt-kicking dog who gets into adventures and scrapes in the name of doing good.” Sounds just up my street and I might read it with Gabby too.

3. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Again, I own this book but haven’t read it!! Alice from More than Toast has suggested it as she said it was her favourite from last year…”It’s an absolutely beautiful book!”

I’ve also had some suggestions on the Mum’s Days Facebook page – thank you ladies, as always! xx

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Vix Leaney says she hasn’t finished it yet but it’s brilliant. I just love her name!

5. Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James

Recommended by Jenny Sparks. She says “it’s got to be done. I loved it…not everybody’s cup of tea I know but I was sad when I finished the last one.” Well in that case, Jenny, it’s time I bite the bullet, so to speak.

 6. onwards…

Abi Jay said any book by Lesley Pearse… You can’t go wrong. And Judith Finnigan said Jackie Collins and James Patterson were both great reads.

That’s it for now! If I found I’ve finished them all by June, I’ll add more. But to be honest if I manage that lot, I shall consider my New Year’s Resolution a success!

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions xxx