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2014 Year Of Reading Round-Up

Happy new year! This year I read 50 books, not as many as in the past but considering how much has gone on this year I can’t be upset. This year has been a learning process as I began editing in earnest, more than before, and have enough experience now to realise I need to overhaul my site. (This thought is combined with an ‘eek!’ as websites take a while to design, let alone write.) My database shows that I read a measly 3 non-fiction books this year; I realise I have an issue in that I love the idea of non-fiction and do love reading it, but the relative mental work it requires can make me push it back for a while. I cut down on review copies.

My usual best of the best list was difficult to create this year. A combination of fewer reads and fewer stellar reads means that technically this is almost a ‘because I’ve little to choose from’ list. Quite different to last year’s problem of having too many options! You’ll find my personal favourites at the bottom of the numbered (rated?) list.

As always, books that have been reviewed have a line underneath them and the title links to the review. The personal favourites is just a paragraph of book covers, because those covers (plus review links) are of course in the objective lists too. I’m keeping the navigation I created last year – if you want to skip the objective click here to view my personal favourites. There is of course some overlap between the lists.

The Best Of The Best (Objective list)

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  • Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl – Amy disappears and husband Nick seems not to care – could he be the killer or is there more to Amy than we think? Yep, I finally read it, and it’s as twisted but awesome as you all said.
  • Helene Wecker: The Golem And The Jinni – A master-less golem and a somewhat-freed jinni learn how to live in the world of humans whilst everyone around them learns how to live in a different situation. Fantastic.
  • Irène Némirovsky – Suite Française – As the Germans invade and conquer France, thousands of refugees move to areas that are still free and later adapt to life as the German soldiers move to live amongst them. An excellent book.
  • John Green: The Fault In Our Stars – Two teenagers with cancer, one in remission, the other in a stable condition, fall in love amongst the happiness and trials in their life. One of those rare books I found lived up to the hype.
  • Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games – In a dystopian world, children are chosen to fight to the death in a televised ‘game’, and Katniss has volunteered in order to save her sister. Loved this book, enough said.

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My Personal Favourites

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This year was about reading as much as I could whilst working around challenges (life ones rather than bookish). I had a vague notion of reading more classics but when it came to my goals, that I met any at all was mere luck. I will be making goals for this year but, as I’ve started to do, they will be general.

In many ways, even though the reading itself fell mostly in the latter months, this year was about long classics. If I wasn’t reading them, I was thinking about them, especially those I hadn’t finished. I couldn’t take more than 50 pages of Nicholas Nickleby per few days, especially given that it started to hurt my back to read it (and I would counsel that it’s not worth the aches), but the effort was there all the same. There was also a somewhat sudden flurry of Christian fiction that was interesting despite the fact I knew I wasn’t the audience for it. I made minor progress in my aim to get back to Asian fiction, but it was enough to leave me thinking of it constantly and I very much look forward to reading Jung Chang’s Empress Dowager Cixi.

Quotation Report

If Elene of The Leopard Unleashed had to counsel, she’d speak of her unintended success in throwing cups about when arguments were in full swing. It won her both the battle and a bit of something else she might refer to with a blush.

In the next few days I’ll be posting my goals for 2015 and, after that, my second film round up.

What were your favourite books of 2014?


vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

January 2, 2015, 1:49 am

I think I’m the only person left in the world not to have read the Nemirovsky, which given that it sounds totally my thing, I really need o get to it (This is quite a familiar feeling, of course!) Best wishes for a wonderful 2015!


January 2, 2015, 2:37 am

I’ve not read Suite Francais, either, and it DOES seem to be so popular with people. But sometimes i get tired of the plethora of books set in WWII, and it’s hard for one to really stand out from the crowd enough for me to actually pick it up and read it.


January 2, 2015, 11:31 am

Happy new year!

50 books is amazing, especially considering you read Gone With the Wind and all those big classics. Looks like you’ve had a good year for books, lots in the 5-4 star range.

I look forward to your goals post!

Laurie C

January 2, 2015, 12:33 pm

Happy New Year! I loved The Golem and the Jinni, too, and still haven’t read Suite Francaise. Didn’t read much YA this year, but The a Fault in Our Stars was really good!

Literary Feline

January 2, 2015, 5:01 pm

Happy New Year, Charlie! At least you read three more nonfiction books than I did. ;-) I can’t believe I did not read any. It feels like a crime.

In the Fault of My Stars was in my top 10 list, although technically I didn’t make one–at least not to mention on my blog.

Good luck with your business this coming year and may you read many wonderful books.

Belle Wong

January 2, 2015, 5:37 pm

Great list! I am hoping to read Hunger Games this year, as part of my self-challenge to reduce my TBR stash. I’d also like to get to The Golem and the Jinni – glad to see it’s in your personal favourites list.


January 2, 2015, 6:43 pm

Happy New Year Charlie! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t feel you had so many good books to choose from for this post. I also read less in 2014 but I still found it hard to dwindle down my reads to just a top 10. I am pleased to see The Hunger Games and Catching Fire on your personal favourites. I loved both of them. I wish you happy reading in 2015.

Alex (Sleepless Reader)

January 5, 2015, 10:57 am

I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one not succumbing to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I often though “what is wrong with me” because everyone raved about it and I decided to quit half-way through!

Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

January 5, 2015, 4:19 pm

Happy New Year! I love the fact you’ve included all your ratings – not just the highest ones! I broadly agree with most of your rankings and also felt the books I read were of lower quality this year. I really need to try some John Green in 2015 as I feel I’m missing out. Hope you read many more amazing books this year!


January 16, 2015, 6:14 pm

Vicki: It took me ages to get to her (and I’d had the book for three years) so I understand you there. Give it a read this year – it you reckon it’s your thing then it’s almost certain to become a favourite, and I wouldn’t often suggest that :)

Aarti: Same here, there are so many of them. I suppose it makes sense because it’s close enough that there are so many sources and people still alive to provide information, but there are different eras, too. I think you’d like it, and it is different in the way the story’s told, not least because of the background.

Alice: Yes, when I saw there were a good number in 4-5 that made it seem better. Better to read fewer, good, books.

Laurie: I can’t remember if I said it on your blog, so Happy New Year, Laurie :) Same here, not as much YA, but yes, TFIOS is fab and made up for it.

Literary Feline: Happy new year! To a year of non-fiction! Your list still counts, and that’s great to hear. Thank you and same to you in your work and reading. I’m glad you’re back and blogging :)

Belle: Do it; they’re great books. Yes, The Golem and the Jinni is well worth it.

Jessica: I’m envious! I’ve actually stopped reading my first book of the year because it was just so bad and I want to be more successful in my choices this year. Yes, those two are excellent. Happy new year!

Alex: I’m glad to read your comment because being in the minority it is difficult not to wonder what’s wrong! It was a struggle to finish it; you made the right choice. I think I’d try The Killing Moon but I’m done with the Kingdoms series.

Jackie: It feels weird to include them all from a ‘should I?’ point of view, but I figure if I’m including some then the others should be included, too. I hope you like Green; I know he doesn’t ‘work’ for everyone but if TFIOS is anything to go by I reckon there’s at least one book for each person to enjoy if not love.



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