Another year has come and gone, and it was definitely an eventful one in my world (if not particularly on my blog). 2014 was a year of change for our family as we faced new challenges and adventures together.
The issue of choice is on my mind as I sit down to write this 2014 wrap-up. I made a lot of choices this year, both big and life-altering ones and smaller, everyday ones. Perhaps because of all the big stuff going on, my choices about how I spent my free time and particularly my reading time reflect what I needed this year.
I read a total of 55 books in 2014, none of which were re-reads. That’s significantly fewer than I read the year before but a respectable total nonetheless. I think part of the reason I read less was because I didn’t take an official vacation, all my time off being spent packing and moving and settling in. And even though I haven’t been working since the move I’ve stayed pretty busy, to the point that sitting down and reading during the day doesn’t feel like an option. Again, though, I suppose it’s a choice, isn’t it?
I’m going to join in Jamie’s annual end of year book survey to share some of what I read in 2014.
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
I’m going to have to go with The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Definitely Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. Oh my lord was that one a stinker. Such a disappointment.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
The Quick by Lauren Owen. I thought it was going to be about one thing and it went in a totally different (bad, bad) direction.
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Hmm. I can’t say that I “pushed” anyone to read it, but I definitely have recommended The Martin by Andy Weir several times.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Anne Bishop’s ‘The Others’ series is really good and I’m looking forward to reading more as soon as she writes more! I loved both the first one, Written in Red, and its sequel, Murder of Crows. I finally finished reading Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series and thought the last novel, Beyond Reach, was a worthy if sad series ender.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Jandy Nelson. Wow, but the woman can write some crazy beautiful prose.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s science fiction, full of technical language and long scientific explanations, and I loved every minute of it. Now I have to convince my husband to give it a try.
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I don’t know that I would use those adjectives to describe any of the books I read this year, but Karin Slaughter’s books are probably the most fitting of them. I really liked her latest, Cop Town.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I already want to re-read both of Jandy Nelson’s books just to savor the language a little more. I’ll definitely be re-reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith sometime, too.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
I loved the cover of All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld but unfortunately did not love the book.
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Bernadette from Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. I loved her.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I lost track of how many heart-stoppingly beautiful lines I came across.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I really should have read this book as a teenager.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
I never remember to write down favorite quotes unless I’m reading an e-book and highlight the passage. Bad reader.
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest – The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins
Longest – Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (boo)
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I can’t say I was really “shocked” by anything I read this year.
18. OTP OF THE YEAR
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
I think this means the best couple? Probably Adele and Frank in Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. Their relationship is so sweet and true.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Flavia de Luce and her bicycle, Gladys. It inspired me to get my girls bicycles for Christmas this year, and they’ve already named them, too.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I liked Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
That one’s easy–Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. And it’s AWESOME.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Mark Watney from The Martian. He’s like Macgyver in a spacesuit.
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I didn’t read any debut novels that came out this year that I would really recommend.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Written in Red by Anne Bishop.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is as charming as everyone says it is.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Oh, loads of books make me cry, though not usually the same ones that make other people cry. I don’t remember specifically bawling at anything this year, but The Fault in Our Stars by John Green was sad.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
None of my favorites were hidden gems, but were rather all quite public ones. 🙂
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Soul still intact this year.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was very unique.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Probably In the Woods by Tana French. I liked it but the lack of resolution between the two main characters was very frustrating.