Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Books.

Well this was  a sad year for my reading. I set a really low goal for myself of 30 books. In hopes that would give me time to read longer books without the stress of having to hit my usual over 50 goal.  But this did not happen. I instead took my leisurely time allover and just didn't read that much.

Just for reference in 2011 I read 17 books (I was still in grad school the spring of this year. 2012 I read 55 books and 2013 I read 56 books. So this year's 30 makes me sad, but that's okay I have more memories than just books this year so it's cool.

Since I only read 30 books I can list them all here, rank them and even blurby blurb a little about the ones I liked or really didn't.  Here's a link to my Goodreads page for this year, but I'll link my favorite ones or ones I think people should check out

  1. Wool - if you like speculative fiction this is a must! 
  2. The Magician's Land - read the whole series if you're a fan of Harry Potter or Narnia or both!
  3. Big Little Lies - Not yo-mama's chick-lit- read it if you're a woman
  4. Annihilation - read if you like to get freaked out and like sci-fi-y type stuff
  5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
  6. Landline - read if you didn't read a good Christmas story this year
  7. The Last Anniversary
  8. Attachments (edit after actually finishing the book) 
  9. Shift
  10. Dust
  11. Yes Please (audiobook, read by author) - listen to if you have a long car ride coming up
  12. This is Where I leave You - read if you have siblings
  13. Bossypants (audiobook, read by author)
  14. Sand Omnibus
  15. Night Film
  16. The Shell Collector - read if you're worried about global warming
  17. Three Wishes
  18. Eleanor & Park
  19. Delicious!
  20. The Book of Life
  21. The Husband's Secret
  22. The Timekeeper
  23. We Were Liars
  24. California (audiobook)
  25. Authority
  26. Hollow City
  27. The Giver (Half audiobook, read last half) - no 
  28. The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (audiobook) - no

Read in a previous year, reread, it's cheating I know. But I actually listened to both of these on Audiobook my first time around and this time I read the actual physical books in my hands- so not even on my nook. So hopefully that makes up for it...hmmm who did I lend these to...they aren't on my bookshelf. 
*The Magician King

Now when I rank books, I don't go back and look at the initial review I wrote on Goodreads, but go by what I remember. Because sometimes my review and what I remember 6 months later is drastically different. It's amazing sometimes how different the impression a book leaves on me versus the initial opinion.  I used to make myself sleep before I wrote my reviews, but I was especially lazy this year.

Another interesting thing about this year was the number of repeat authors. Five authors I read multiple books by.  The most being Hugh Howey, I read 5 of his books, more if you broke up the omnibus' I read.  He will definitely go down as my favorite author/new to me author of 2014. I got wrapped up in his Wool/Silo series and then needed to read everything else he wrote.  He's a really easy to read author, but a great world creator and a great speculative fiction writer because I'm terrified of all the things he wrote about.  Next is Liane Moriarty who is not your average Chick-Lit Author. Yes her target readers are women, but she talks about some seriously tough issues.  Tough marriage issues, societal issues and raising kids. I have really enjoyed all her books and look forward to what she does next.  If you haven't read any of her books I can't recommend Big Little Lies more. Then there's Lev Grossman who I read 3 books from, 2 were re-reads of and the 3rd was the finale in his Magicians Trilogy. I love his books. When I finished the series I thought I'd never find anything I loved as much as those books. It took me a while to get out of my post-read funk with those books, because They were amazing.  Rainbow Rowell I've also read 3 of her book this year.  Landline was a Goodreads Book Buddy read and I enjoyed it so much I picked up two more of her books.  The other two weren't as good but I enjoyed them enough.  Then Jeff Vandermeer I finished 2 of his books and am still working on the 3rd of the Southern Reach Trilogy. I loved his first so much it was a Goodreads first read and it freaked me out! The 2nd I didn't like as much so the third is dragging for me.

Then there are the audiobooks from this year.  Man I listened to some crappy audiobooks.  I don't know if it was the book or just the audiobook that was bad, but I am not a fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or The Giver and I know so many people who loves those! But the audiobooks were painful so I have no desire to continue those series.  I also listened to California on audiobook as it was a Goodreads promotion as well and I loved the story and think I really would have liked the book more had it not been read by a woman who sounded like a 12 year old boy. Seriously, it's higher on my ranking because I did really engage in the story.  Then I listened to two very good audiobooks- Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's books were delightful.  Well produced audiobooks and read by the author.  I think that's the key.  They were excellent books on their own, but I feel like when the author read's their own story it makes it so much more believable and engaging.  I loved those two audiobooks and am glad I picked them up.

So overall I'm not disappointed in this year of reading because of what I read but because of just the number. So my own fault completely.  I'm so glad I discovered Hugh Howey this year and some series I'd been reading wrapped up so that's nice and I think there are some books from this year I'll definitely still be thinking about into next year and recommending.  I read a good amount of bubblegum, just feel good books and that's okay.  Especially since it took me practically the entire year to finish my Murakami book.  I think next year I'll set my goal a little higher but not back up to my 50-55 yet.  We'll see how it goes, I feel like 40 is pretty reasonable.  

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