I understand now why magazines and organizations present a Person of the Year, Best Movie of the Year, Best Book of the Year, Best New Musician and so on. These nominations give us something to write–or read–about on dark, cold winter nights when cabin fever begins to freeze body, mind and soul. Thus far, I have relied on biting sarcasm and hot chocolate with coconut rum to warm my brain and keep me sane while the winds howl outside. However, I now offer a serious post. Seriously.

A year ago I read about a man who reads 200-250 books every year. That is a huge pile of books, and his story inspired me to read more. However, since I had no idea how many books I read annually, I decided to keep a list in 2013. I hoped the list would include at least 100 books. A year later, my 2013 Reading Log has grown to 134 titles, and I have two weeks left! Now, my reading goal for 2014 is 150 books, and I will again post my evolving list, top right corner of Jane’s Journals. 

Should you be interested in reading some of the same topics, I have created a (serious) summary of the best of my reading. Note: most of the books below are Kindle. I indicate if I listened to the Audible editions or read Print versions. You will also see below that I have read several books and also listened to their Kindle version. Why? I want to write like them and the dual processes of reading and hearing offer different insights.


1st Place     The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

Second Place    Death of Ivan Ilych, Leo Tolstoy

Fiction Collections

1st Place:  O. Henry Short Stories

2nd Place: The Pearl, John Steinbeck

Nonfiction: Travel,  Adventure, Outdoors  (Favorite Category)

 1st Place: The Old Ways, A Journey on Foot, Robert MacFarlane  (Audible and Kindle)

2nd Place:   Here, There, and Everywhere: Stories from the Road, William Heat Least-Moon  (Audible and Kindle)

Honorable Mention:   Father Water, Mother Woods, Paulsen  (Audible)

Honorable Mention: Call of the Wild, Jack London

Honorable Mention: To the Mountain, Nan Shepherd

Nonfiction: Memoirs, Biography

1st Place:  Old Jules, Sandoz  (Published in  early 1900s,  Print)

2nd Place:   A Man in Search of Meaning: Jack London, Stewart Gabel

Nonfiction: Spiritual Journey

1st Place : John Muir: Spiritual Writings, Tim Flinders

Nonfiction: Western Life and History (print)

1st Place:    Living in the Runaway West: Partisan View, Writers on the Range (print)

2nd Place:   Pulling Leather, Mullin  (print, written in late 1800s)

Non Fiction: Living

1st Place:  Cravings: Why We Can’t Seem to Get Enough, Manekwala

Nonfiction: Environment

1st Place: Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability, Ehrenfeld   (print)

2nd Place:   Countdown, Alan Weisman

Nonfiction: Collections

1st Place: The Best Creative Nonfiction 

2nd Place: Broken Pieces:Essays Inspired By Life, Rachel Thompson, Jessica Swift, Natasha Brown, Bennet Pomerantz


1st Place:   Between Two Souls, Kownacki and Ryokan

2nd Place:   Songs of the Open Road

Professional Reading

1st Place:     Sacred Scripture, Sacred, War: The Bible and the American Revolution, Byrd

2nd Place:   Embracing an Adult Faith, Marcus Borg

Writing Skills 

1st Place: Writing Tools, Clark (Audible and Kindle editions) 

2nd Place: Flash Nonfiction,  Rose Medal Press

Grand Prize Winner, In All Categories:  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain


2 thoughts on “Jane’s Journals: Book of the Year

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