The Books I Read in 2014

Reprising last year’s exercise, I’ve compiled the list of books I read in 2014. These titles were again collected from my journals, since I’ve refused to keep track of my reading in a more systematic fashion. A year ago, I hinted that I expected to read fewer books in 2014 than in 2013 (my total for 2013 was 119). This turned out to be true, though not by as much as I would have predicted. I read 93 books in 2014. They are listed below (titles I was rereading are in bold, titles I’ve blogged about on other occasions have links):

Rebel Heart Moira Young
Rose Under Fire Elizabeth Wein
Spell It Out David Crystal (did not finish)
The Merlin Conspiracy Diana Wynne Jones
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
Sorrow’s Knot Erin Bow
Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell
Pantomime Laura Lam
The Diviners Libba Bray
The Book of Salt Monique Truong
The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern
Silent House Orhan Pamuk
Uses for Boys Erica Lorraine Scheidt
The School for Good and Evil Soman Chainani
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Interrupted Tale Maryrose Wood
Flygirl Sherri L. Smith
Reckless Cornelia Funke
Fearless Cornelia Funke
Charm & Strange Stephanie Kuehn
Saving Francesca Melina Marchetta
The Piper’s Son Melina Marchetta
Defy Sara B. Larson
All the Wrong Questions: When Did You See Her Last? Lemony Snicket
The Final Descent Rick Yancey
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two Catherynne M. Valente
The Nethergrim Matthew Jobin
A World Without Princes Soman Chainani
The Magicians Lev Grossman
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Rae Carson
Midnight for Charlie Bone Jenny Nimmo
Grimm Tales Philip Pullman
The Magician King Lev Grossman
The Crown of Embers Rae Carson
The Bitter Kingdom Rae Carson
Tell the Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt
All Our Pretty Songs Sarah McCarry
Raging Star Moira Young
Wildwood Imperium Colin Meloy
I Am The Clay Chaim Potok
Girl in Translation Jean Kwok
Bitter Melon Cara Chow
Sex & Violence Carrie Mesrobian
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea April Genevieve Tucholke
In the Shadow of Blackbirds Cat Winters
Winger Andrew Smith
This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales
Breadcrumbs Anne Ursu
The Real Boy Anne Ursu
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Year of Shadows Claire Legrand
Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie
Where the Streets Had a Name Randa Abdel-Fattah
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Matthew Quick
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2 Marjane Satrapi
The Bells Richard Harvell
To Live Yu Hua
Chronicle of a Blood Merchant Yu Hua
The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde
A Spy in the House Y. S. Lee
The Body at the Tower Y. S. Lee
Witchlanders Lena Coakley
The Traitor in the Tunnel Y. S. Lee
Rooftoppers Katherine Rundell
The Impossible Knife of Memory Laurie Halse Anderson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor
Lost in a Good Book Jasper Fforde
The Well of Lost Plots Jasper Fforde
We Were Liars E. Lockhart
Complicit Stephanie Kuehn
Girls Like Us Gail Giles
Like No Other Una LaMarche
Something Rotten Jasper Fforde
The Screaming Staircase Jonathan Stroud
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
First Among Sequels Jasper Fforde
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing Jasper Fforde
The Dream Thieves Maggie Stiefvater
The Shadow Hero Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
Blue Lily, Lily Blue Maggie Stiefvater
The Woman Who Died A Lot Jasper Fforde
Days of Little Texas R. A. Nelson
Sabriel Garth Nix
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets Evan Roskos
The Falconer Elizabeth May
Five Flavors of Dumb Antony John
Lies We Tell Ourselves Robin Talley
The Glass Sentence S. E. Grove
Feynman Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick
I Work at a Public Library Gina Sheridan

A few remarks:

  • As in 2013, I did some series reading in 2014. The Thursday Next binge is probably most notable.
  • I didn’t dislike Spell It Out; it’s just hard for a non-fiction book to keep my attention when so many novels are beckoning. Also, the non-technical way Crystal threw around the terms “long vowel” and “short vowel” started to drive me batty.
  • I think I just might not be a Diana Wynne Jones person. She’s a fantasy giant, but I’ve never been able to enjoy a book of hers. A quote from my journal about this year’s attempt to read her: “I’m still slogging through this interminable Merlin Conspiracy which I swear has no plot (or at least the plot’s structure is very odd; I’m three quarters through and we don’t seem to have advanced much from the inciting incident, and there are all sorts of random side adventures involving cricket stadiums in France and circus elephants and contraband salamanders that seem to have no relation to the central conflict).” If you can recommend a Diana Wynne Jones book you think I’ll like, please do, but don’t say Howl’s Moving Castle.

Some number crunching for 2014:

  • Total books read: 93
  • Books in French: Um, zero
  • Books that were not novels: 4 (4%) (Non-fiction: 1 (did not finish); Fairy tale collection: 1; Graphic biography: 1; Humor: 1; also Persepolis, Persepolis 2, and The Shadow Hero are graphic novels)
  • Books read in translation: 7 (8%) (Turkish: 1; German: 2; French: 2; Chinese: 2)
  • Books read for the first time: 86 (92%)
  • Books read not for the first time: 7 (8%)
  • Books by female authors: 61 (66%)
  • Books by male authors: 32 (34%)
  • Books by authors of color (some authors appear more than once; also, how someone identifies can’t always be deduced from a name and an author photo, and I tried to be conservative): 17 (18%) (hmm, this is lower than I expected and represents a lot fewer than 17 authors…)
  • Books by category (as decided by me): Adult: 23 (25%); Young Adult: 51 (55%); Middle Grade: 16 (17%); Indeterminate: 3 (3%) (the two Persepolises and Grimm Tales)

Finally, my top books of 2014 (last year I picked 13 because it was 2013, so rightfully I should’ve picked 14 this year, but instead I rather arbitrarily chose 12–and if I’d drawn up this list on a different day it might’ve been a different 12):

  • Rose Under Fire Elizabeth Wein
  • Sorrow’s Knot Erin Bow
  • Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell
  • The Diviners Libba Bray
  • The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern
  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt
  • In the Shadow of Blackbirds Cat Winters
  • Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie
  • The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde
  • Witchlanders Lena Coakley
  • Complicit Stephanie Kuehn
  • The Glass Sentence S. E. Grove

2 thoughts on “The Books I Read in 2014

  1. I’m a big fan of the graphic novels you read this year!

    I also found Howl’s Moving Castle rather long and at times languid. But I couldn’t read it without comparing it to the amazing Miyazaki movie version, which obviously cut out entire chunks for time’s sake.

    • One of those graphic novels I read because I had access to your copy!

      I, uh, never actually finished Howl’s Moving Castle. It was my friend’s favorite book at the time, but I couldn’t get into it.

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