It’s that time of year ago–the one to take a look back at my reading for 2014. I read more books this year than I have in years (thanks to a small increase in audio from last year and lots of graphic novels), but I wasn’t absolutely blown away by any single book. I guess 2014 was the year of quantity over quality. Bummer, huh?
So below is my 2014 Year in Reading. Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has yet again provided us with the questions. I hope you’ll play along! Any links I have to book posts will be down at the bottom.
Best of Reading in 2014
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
The Sparrow by Mary Donia Russell. Runner up goes to East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Definitely Possession by A.S. Byatt. I so wanted to be swept away but now a year later I remember it being a tedious slog.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
I adored The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. While I can’t call it a favorite, it was perfectly cozy at the time.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell–if readalongs count. We had a great turnout for that readalong. Drood was another one I pushed for a readalong and I couldn’t even finish it.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
While I did read some series books this year, the only one I’m actively reading is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I hope to start Drums in Autumn (#4) after the new year. Hub and I started the first Stephen King Dark Tower book on audio during our roadtrip, but I fell asleep halfway through.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Is John Steinbeck a silly answer? He’s certainly not new, but this year was my first to read his fiction.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Hmmm. How about superhero comics? I really enjoyed Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and look forward to reading more next year.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The first half of Room by Emma Donoghue, parts of The Sparrow, and definitely Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager by Gabaldon.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
If I were a re-reader, I wouldn’t likely re-read anything so quickly as next year. Though Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is one I could pick up and read in little snippets again and again and again.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
Something you lose with audiobooks and ebooks, I think. Tampa is definitely one I was glad to have in ebook form. The most loverly constructed book is definitely Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I couldn’t stop touching the pages.
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Emilio from The Sparrow? Junie from Tell the Wolves I’m Home? Or just Jamie and Claire from Outlander. Yup.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
The Sparrow. So many dogearred pages in my copy. I’m not quite done with it yet, but Tiny Beautiful Things is gorgeous as well.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Hmmm. Maybe Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. It made me think and think and think. I’m still thinking about it. Also Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Talk about validation!
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Why was I so intimidated?!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
TBD. Guessing it will most definitely be something from Tiny Beautiful Things.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (144 pages). It was also one I mostly skimmed.
Longest: Without looking, likely Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. Though I read several really long books this year.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
Tampa by Alissa Nutting. Teacher who is sexually obsessed with her students. What a train wreck. Runner-up is Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer–even more frightening is that his is nonfiction.
18. OTP of the Year
(OTP = one true pairing — don’t worry, I had to look it up, too)
Duh. Jamie and Claire. And now on the Silver Screen as well. Sigh.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Anne and Emilio from The Sparrow were two of my favorites. Lee, Samuel, and Adam from East of Eden. Ma and Jack from Room. June and Toby from Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Should I stop there?
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I enjoyed In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson–and I’ll continue to read more of his books. Of course the Gabaldon (because I’m a broken record).
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Um. Like 90% of my reading list would qualify as recommended. It wasn’t peer pressure, but I HAD to read The Sparrow after ALL the praise I had seen.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Newest? Can I cheat and say Older Jamie? Because he’s aged well. Yup, nope. No other crushes. Mike Noonan from Bag of Bones by Stephen King or Emilio from The Sparrow would likely be the only other two contenders.
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. Next year I should keep track of how many new releases I actually read.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I’m trying not to make all of my answers The Sparrow. Of course The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman was very descriptive. Also major kudos to The Martian by Andy Weir for the best scientific worldbuilding.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The audio for The Martian was fantastic and both hub and I got many giggles out of our listening.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
It was a tearless year for me in terms of books. I need more bookish tears in 2015! The books that touched my heart the most were The Sparrow, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, East of Eden, and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I had to reach for that answer…
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Sparrow. The Sparrow, The Sparrow, The Sparrow.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
Insert any of the thirteen graphic novels I read here?
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
One Day by David Nichols. I throw the book across the room when I was finished. The characters were incredibly insufferable.
31. Books that I Abandoned?
I had to add this question so I could include Drood by Dan Simmons here. I read half of it (almost 400 pages!), but yuck.
There is also a blogging section and a 2015 section to this little survey. As my answers were mostly uninteresting, I skipped it. Bottom line is I don’t have any specific reading plans for 2015. I love having a clean slate!
So What Did I Read in 2014?
1. One Day by David Nichols (paper)
2. Possession by A.S. Byatt (paper)
3. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (audio)
4. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (paper)
5. Spirit Boy by Paul Apowida (ebook)
6. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
7. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel (graphic novel)
8. French Milk by Lucy Knisley (graphic novel)
9. Boxers by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
10. Saints by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
11. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (ebook)
12. Castle Waiting by Linda Medley (graphic novel)
13. A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirached (graphic novel)
14. Relish by Lucy Knisley (graphic novel)
15. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard (ebook)
16. Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs (graphic novel)
17. Stitches by David Small (graphic novel)
18. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (ebook)
19. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (paper)
20. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (paper)
21. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (ebook)
22. The Unfinished Child by Theresa Shea (ebook)
23. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (ebook)
24. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (ebook)
25. The Martian by Andy Weir (audio)
26. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (audio)
27. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (audio)
28. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (ebook)
29. Redshirts by John Scalzi (audio)
30. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (paper)
31. Room by Emma Donoghue (paper)
32. Tampa by Alissa Nutting (ebook)
33. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (paper)
34. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (paper)
35. Austenland by Shannon Hale (ebook)
36. Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason (paper)
37. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (paper)
38. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller (graphic novel)
39. Quiet by Susan Cain (audio)
40. Kindred by Octavia Butler (ebook)
41. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (audio)
42. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (paper)
43. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (audio)
44. Night Film by Marisha Pessl (paper)
45. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (paper)
46. Crimes of Paris by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler (paper)
47. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (paper)
48. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (audio)
49. The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert (graphic novel)
50. Marbles by Ellen Forney (graphic novel)
51. Bag of Bones by Stephen King (ebook/audio)
I Like Stats
Audio: 92.4 hours
Book Posts: 31 (61%)
E-books: 13.5 (26%)
Audios (including dual reads): 9.5 (19%)
Graphic Novels: 13 (25%)
Young Adult: 6 (11.7%)
Books for Review (from pub, etc): 4 (7%)
Library Books: 12 (23.5%)
From the Shelf (before 2014): 16 (31%)
Male/Female Ratio: 21:29 (42%:58%)
Fiction/Non-Fiction Ratio: 34:17 (67%:33%)
Published in 2000s: 37
Published in 1900s: 14
(kept track with Tally Track App)
How was your 2014 Reading Year? What were your favorites?