Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Favorites | The Books

I've always had a hard time picking just ten books and this year, considering how many books I've read I'm not even going to try and go for ten. I've had to be very strict in what is my 'favorite,' and I've decided to go with: books I wouldn't change anything in, that I was instantly sucked into, and just immediately loved. (Which did cut some books that I wanted to mention, but didn't fit into this, which was probably good).

This is a very vague list, kind of separated by genres, and I'm not including any comic series or such because I'm going to be making a list of all the comics/graphic novels/manga I read in 2014 because I have a feeling this list is going to be long enough and I don't want to crowd it more. (Much more, I read a lot of good things this year. And a lot of good comics/graphic novels). Also, I'm not counting any rereads... technically. I am counting series that I read all of the books of this year, even if the first book was a reread, because it just makes more sense to put the series.

  • Everything I read by Brandon Sanderson. I wish I was even slightly joking, but I'm just not. I read a good chunk of Sanderson's works this year, and don't have much left to read. So, to list them off (in vague order of my obsession): The Way of Kings, The Mistborn Trilogy,  Alcatraz #1 &#2, Steelheart, Warbreaker, Infinity Blade: Awakening. (All of Sanderson's books I've read so far have been incredible. And I think that's all the ones I've read this year. A fantastic writer, and all of his books have incredible and original worlds and magic systems. Highly recommended, kind of everything he does). 
  • The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (I feel in love with the first book almost instantly, just fell in love with it. Which isn't a frequent occurance to me. It was different then just loving a book with it's story and characters, I don't know what happened but - read the things. The writing, the characters, the atmosphere. So good).
  • The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare (There aren't really anything I'd change in this series, although I did reread the first one to continue. It wasn't that I didn't like it when I first read it, it was just that the first book is just okay, good, but not heart-wrenching, where the other two are. I didn't want to put both series on my list, but I think this one is way better then TMI. Mostly because they're more mature, the three of them are fantastic, and just the pure pain you can feel it... awful. I highly recommend it).
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Why did I take so long to read this? Or to watch the movie? Watching the movie late one night, made me pick up the book and I stayed up way too late reading it. I think I still prefer the movie, but just the slightest amount. I'd highly recommend both, and I think that's just my opinion because I saw it first).
  • Curse Worker's series by Holly Black (I was surprised at how much I ended up loving this trilogy. I guess it was just perfect book, perfect time syndrome, but I read one book right after the other in about 7/8 hours. Highly recommended).
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (I've just realized that's two Holly Black items on this list, but I don't care. I read this one before Curse Workers and it was fantastic and lovely. It's coming out so soon now, so there will be others, hopefully, shouting their love from rooftops. It's a faerie story, but not really a nice one, also not really an evil one. I really loved it).
Science Fiction:
  • Redshirts & Old Man's War by John Scalzi (Scalzi was a new author for me this year. I'd been meaning to read his stuff for a while, with a book club, but had never gotten to it. And now the two books I read from him are on my best books of the year list. He has a very funny writing style, that's also just intriguing. I'd highly recommend either book and am excited to read more by him soon).
  • Leviathan Wakes & Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey (These are books one and two in The Expanse series. It's space opera which is, one, a fantastic genre title and, two, something I never realized that of course I would love. It's also pretty hard SciFi, it's set mostly not on earth, but all the science was pretty good, meaning from my limited view and it didn't make me roll my eyes at any point. Fantastic start to a series I'm very looking forward to continuing).
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (This is a classic, that I was not expecting to like as much as I did. And it's the only exception to the 'had trouble getting into it' category. The letters at the beginning are awful to trudge through, but I loved the rest of it so I can forgive that.
  • Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour (I'm not a normal contemporary reader - I just like different elements too much, I think - but I loved this book. This book sent me off on a little contemporary binge, getting me to read some of the ones I've been meaning to. Also, this includes great relationships, all around, and the romantic relationship was adorable).
  • Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (This was a debut novel, a debut. And holy shit. I was not expecting to love this one so much, probably because of the female friendship that was done so well. They didn't fight over the guy, because they were best friends and... now I want to reread this, I did writing up my New-to-me authors post, too. Highly recommended, cute contemporary).
  • Anna and the French Kiss companion series by Stephanie Perkins (I'm still surprised about how much I loved this series. However, I think everyone else had read, and probably loved, this series so I'm not going to say too much about it. It's really cute).
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (I really loved this book. It was dense to get through, but I was never not into. It's dense as hell, 700 pages, I think, but it's creepy and claustrophobic and just strange. And I very much enjoyed it. It definitely screws with your head quite a bit).
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy ( I only read the first two books in this series, but I really loved both of them. Fantastic sense of humor, smart, and the dialogue was fantastic. A bit ridiculous, but never completely over the edge. Fantastic middle grade series).
  • This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl (and others) (I was familiar of Esther's story before reading this, as I think most people in the nerdfighter community are. And some of it just hit hard. Where she lived is close to me and the internet friends stuff was hard. It was a fantastic book, though, worth the pain and tears and I highly recommend it).
  • Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (More lighthearted then that and kind of a ton of fun. It's kind of feminist retelling of historical figures, she distinguish pretty well, in my opinion, what's fact and what's historians just guessing. It's really interesting though and there are historical women being badass, sometimes pirates. It's pretty awesome).
  • Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science by Jim Al-Khalili (Very interesting. And everything was explained well, in a way that made complete sense to me, but I think I'd still like to go back and refresh my memories. Still - if you find hypothetical paradox questions interesting, then this is the book for you).
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other concerns) by Mindy Kaling (Very funny, very real feeling. I loved the way it's told, the order and everything, it's just a lot of fun to read. And very interesting, actually).
Whew, I had some issues with blogger not saving this post and now I just hope everything is right again. To wrap it up, just quickly, there are eighteen items on this list (just counting bullet points, not separate books), and I'm honestly surprised it wasn't more. To be fair, though, the guidelines I set for myself were very strict.

Now - what were your favorites of the year? Let me know in comments, feel free to post a link to your own blog post (I love reading all of that). And I hope it was a good reading year!

1 comment:

  1. I want to read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.... It's on my reading wishlist.