Dec 24

Our reading plans and goals for 2014, and some of the gifts that we put under our trees this Christmas.


Our 2014 reading plans:

Michael is not making any reading resolutions for 2014.  Instead, he’s given himself permission to read whatever he wants, because he’s felt too restricted with reading plans and resolutions.

My plan for 2014 is less intensive than 2013’s Project Short Story: I am going to focus on literature in translation this year. My goal is to read 10 books of literary fiction that have been translated from another language. I’m not going to put further restrictions on it than that. My first book in this category will be Jose Saramago’s Blindness.

My other goal this year is to read classics aloud together with my daughters. We’ve started with Great Expectations, and it’s been a lot of fun.

If you have any reading plans or challenges for 2014, let us know!


audiobooksAudiobook of the week (09:24)

Parasite Parasite by Mira Grant, narrated by Christine Lakin,  is Michael’s pick for this week’s Audiobook of the Week.

Special thanks to for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand. allows you to listen to over 40,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 7-day trial and free audiobook download by going to


Books we wrapped: (12:12)


Jane, the Fox and Me, by Fanny Britt and illustrated by Jane Arsenault

Ann and Nan are Anagrams, the sequel to Mom and Dad are Palindromes, both by Mark Shulman

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2014

1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die by Jeff Barr

What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diana Muldrow


Michael and I are taking next week off, so there will be no episode next week. We hope you find time to read a book or two, and maybe listen to an audiobook. Thanks for all of your support this year. We’ll be back in January!



  • Linda

    Ha, ha! I thought this was a perfect Christmas Eve listen to. Thank you Ann and Michael. Merry Christmas! May your Christmas tree be made of all exciting books that you can not wait to read.

  • My reading plan for 2014 is to read the books (I’m afraid to count, but probably close to 200) already on my shelf (shelves). So don’t recommend any new books, kay? 🙂 I can’t say that I won’t buy any new books, but right now I only plan to purchase for Booktopia CO and (if I get in) Booktopia NC and if Rohinton Mistry decides to surprise us and publish a new novel which I will be all over when/if it happens.

  • Michelle

    My 2014 reading plan is to read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It’s been on my nightstand for a year. It is definitely a read at home book…not even in bed…it is so thick that I probably need to sit up. 🙂
    My two favorite translations are: 100 Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Elegance of the Hedgehog-?.
    I so hope that I get to see you at Booktopia (Boulder).
    Happy New Year!

  • Carol Kubala

    I don’t know how this happens but frequently I’ll post a comment here, it will appear and then disappear. Can’t remember exactly what I said the first time round but I’ll try to repeat my thoughts.

    No reading resolutions for me again this year. I like the flexibility of picking up any book that suits my fancy, much dependent on my mood and what’s on my shelves. Recently retired from a library job, I did have what you could consider required reading. I never minded this as I loved my career but am finding retirement leisure reading a joy.

    Ann’s plan to read translations intrigues me. I look forward to hearing about these finds, particularly those in the thriller genre.

    I’d really like to read both of these suggestions:

    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

    Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diana Muldrow

    and have to check out What Does the Fox Say by Ylvis.

  • Tracy Slater

    Anne (and Michael), wanted to recommend to you and everyone a truly great new translation of the Japanese work of literary fiction A True Novel, by Minae Mizumura (Other Press –, for your 2014 goal of reading more lit in translation. It’s translated by one of East Asia’s most respected scholars, Juliet Winters Carpenter, and it’s a loose rendering of Wuthering Heights set in post-war Japan. It’s both a mystery and a love story and at the same time touches on some really interesting issues: the West’s impact on Japan (and the limits of that impact), the way Japanese literature and language obscure the subject/narrator of a story, class issues, the way love and hate are intertwined sometimes, etc. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Best to everyone, and Anne and Michael, hope you enjoy your break next week.

  • dogearedcopy

    I had a personal best reading year this past year, so it may surprise you that my goal for 2014 is *to read less*! When you did the podcast about plays, I realized that I hadn’t seen a play in years, despite working with actors and being in very close proximity to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. So, in 2014, I want to see more plays. From there I decided I would also like to see more movies and do more biking, hiking & kayaking. I will probably dial back down to around 100 books 🙂

  • Shannon Boston

    Ann, I love your reading goal for 2014! Blindness is wonderful. I am sure you have a lot of options and suggestions available to you, but I loved two translations….The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Art of Hearting Heartbeats. You may have already read both, but wanted to share!
    Happy New Year!

  • Mind the Book

    As usual I said ‘absolutely no reading challenges’ but this idea I love: reading something by all the authors mentioned in this song I believe the idea comes from the Swedish bookblogosphere : )

  • Susie

    I’m with Michael. I am not going to establish any reading challenges for myself this year (I did say on Goodreads I would read 25 books, which should be doable). I was so upset with myself that I couldn’t read the 30 books I said I would read in 2013, but sometimes life happens. And I do find it becomes a chore if I challenge myself too much or make myself read things. I was an English major and read lots of things I wanted to and an equal number of things I had to over the years! My goal is simply to read good books that I enjoy and maybe find some new authors. I also hope to read some books that are already on my shelves. I’ve been trying to talk books more and more with my girlfriends and I am happily surprised that they are reading more than I thought they were, so we have shared some great titles with one another lately.

  • Carolyn Rice

    Hi, Michael, I thought you might just enjoy this parody of your (not so very) favorite video.

  • May

    I’m with Michael, reading resolutions are not for me. I’ve been staring at Goodreads’ 2014 Reading Challenge and decided that I can’t do that! BUT I have done an analysis of the books I read last year and concluded that I need to read more books written by minority authors. Not really books in translation like what Anne is planning but books written originally in English. I’m happy to say that 60% of the books I read last year were written by women but only a mere 3% in the said category. Happy New to both of you and I’ve been enjoying this podcast so much!

  • Lisa

    I was so excited to hear of your 2014 plan to read books in translation. I tend to read a lot of translated books (a third of my total reading last year), and I like to support the small publishers that are trying to keep great books available to English readers. I hope you like Blindness. Saramago is one of my favorite authors, although I did not like the sequel to Blindness, called oddly enough Seeing. 😉 I have tried to read it three times and can not get through it. Good luck and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the books!

  • Teddy Ads

    Nice. I really like.

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