Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LIST: Best Reading in 2014

Here is my 2014 Year in Reading. I fell apart on the blogging at the end of the year, but this is a good summary and it's practically all new content from me! 
Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has provided us with the questions that I copied from Trish.

Best of Reading in 2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline on audiobook, read by Wil Wheaton. Fabulous!

 2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
 The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
 I did like it, but didn't love it.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
The Hiding Place by Corrie ter Boom (audiobook)
I had never heard of this book, and didn't even realize it was non-fiction for quite a while. Written in 1974, it could be considered Anne Frank's lesser known 'hidden Jews in the house in Netherlands' cousin.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
  The Bear by Claire Cameron

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
-Series started: Her Royal Spyness - Rhys Bowen. Such a fun series! 1930s, London, tangential relationship to royalty. I read 3 in the series this year. Fun and cosy mysteries.

-Series Ender: Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason. I'm very sad this series is over.

-Series I Read the Most: Maisie Dobbs by  Jeannette Winspear. While the series didn't end, it could have. I read six books and got all up to date. Fabulous books.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
I kept to the tried and true authors for the most part this year, but a few were intriguing and I'd like to look into their previous books:  
Harriet Lane who wrote Alys, Always; and Emily St. John Mandel who wrote Station Eleven

 7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I didn't read much outside my comfort zone this year. The closest would be a science fiction graphic novel, which was fun. 
Federal Bureau of Physics Vol 1 - Oliver Simon (graphic novel)

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
This is why Ready Player One was my best book of the year! I remember being worried I wouldn't get through the 15h 40 min in the three week loan. Silly me! I couldn't stop listening at all.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Since Anne of Green Gables, of Avonlea, and of the Island were already re-reads (but I listened to them for the first time) I would have to say this series. I would listen to them again as well. Anne of Green Gables was  almost my top book of the year as well, but it didn't feel right to pick a book that I've read so many times. (But it still really was my favorite read of the year.)

 10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacNeal have lovely covers and I listened to all three. This is the first series that I've only listened to. 

 11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Anna, the five year old narrator who gets herself and her two year old brother out of the woods in The Bear was very memorable.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. Wasn't quite as lovely as some of her other books, but her style is the most unique of any author I read; modern day fairytales.

 13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. He's a pretty inspirational guy.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
I didn't read anything this year that could be called a classic book, nothing very old.  Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman qualifies only because I got it as a present probably 6 years ago and finally got around to reading (and loving) it.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
I never record quotes.

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Longest - has to the The Goldfinch at 776 pages, and Ready Player One at 15h 40 min (I dont' know how those compare)
Shortest - Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People by Douglas Coupland, 144 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Both Gillian Flynn books I listened to, Sharp Objects and Dark Places were full of surprises and great thrillers.
But Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson (a YA Sync Summer Download) was by far the craziest set of reveals in an unbelievable way.

18. OTP of the Year
(OTP = one true pairing — don’t worry, I had to look it up, too)
Even if I had one, I won't admit to this one.  Instead, let's make up another question to cover genres that this list doesn't have:
Best Historical Fiction was Longbourne by Jo Baker, based on Pride and Prejudice. Great historical and also a book based on another book. Maybe this is best sequel?

 19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
The friends from Three Pines and Inspector Gamauche are consistently fun to read about. How the Light Gets In and The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.

 20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
The Secret Place by Tana French. Love her mysteries.

 21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
We Were Liars by E Lockhart was recc'd by AMB at Misfortune of Knowing because of her intriguing review, which I only really started reading, and then stopped and read the book.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was a fun summer read given to my by a friend.

 22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Darcy O'Mara, the rogue-ish Irish fella who shows up at the perfect time to save Lady Georgiana in The Royal Spyness books.

 23. Best 2014 debut you read?
One More Thing by BJ Novak. Short and even shorter stories, from a funny guy. Very promising collection.

 24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood was pretty cool that way, as well as Ready Player One and Station Eleven for worldbuilding.

 25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
 The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips was a load of fun, as the knights not from the Round Table get to go on a quest. Plus, strong women, and gay men made this is Arthurian tale like no other.

 26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Mary Lawson never disappoints (both Road Ends and The Other Side of the Bridge) and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy got to me a little bit.

 27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan (audiobook) was a cute little slice of life.

 28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
 I don't know if my soul can get crushed? What does that mean - heart broken?

 29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
Ready Player One takes forever to explain what it is about because it really is unique.

 30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Easily The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I did sort of like it, but get an editor, and fix up the technology references which took me out of the story every time.

 31. Books that I Abandoned? trish's extra question
Oh dear, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. After two weeks and only reaching 150 pages, and not caring a fig what happened to silly Bilbo Baggins, I gave up. Maybe the movie?

32. Best Other Book that Didn't get Mentioned Already or Fit These Categories? my extra question
Sometimes audiobooks aren't my best way to take in information as I'm much more visual. But some audiobooks just hit the spot. The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison was a great listen, with two narrators describing the end of a marriage and I enjoyed it a lot.

Summary of Reading:
# Read: 94
# audiobooks: 36
# non-fiction: 7
# book club books: 9
# library books: 29 (but not audio)

whew. Thanks for reading to the end. Agree? Disagree? Let's see yours.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

The topic : Top New to Me Authors I Read in 2014. I read a lot of comfort authors this year, a lot of not new authors, which is different from a number of the last few years. This year was old reliable authors, with a few new ones thrown in. This list represents the ones I would read again.

George Saunders - The Tenth of December (short stories)

Chris Hadfield - Astronaut Extraordinaire

AS King - Reality Boy (really good YA story)

Graeme Simsion - The Rosie Project (cute, but I'm not sure I want to read the sequel)

Rhys Bowen - Her Royal Spyness mysteries (wonderful new to me series. Already read the second, and have the third on hand)

Jeanette Walls - The Glass Castle (already have the next book, Half-Broke Horses)

Claire Cameron - The Bear (5 year old narrator. Great book!)

 BJ Novak - One More Thing (short stories, and even shorter stories)

 ASA Harrison - The Silent Wife (audiobook, nice vibe, good narration)

Harriet Lane - Alys, Always (book club book, one of the books we've discussed the most. Interesting to look at motives, and reliability of narrator)