According to Goodreads I have read 59 books in 2014 and that’s just the ones I completed – there were a few I gave up on, I confess. My reading target at the start of the year was 36 – I think I just about scraped it 😉
These books have varied from Stephen King epics to erotica to picture books and have included Audio versions, hardbacks, paperbacks and ebooks and I thought I would share with you a few of my highs and lows of my 2014 reading escapades. (The full list of what I read – excluding books I gave up on – can be found by clicking here.)
First up, my Favourite Picture Book, was Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers which I was lucky enough to be able to review as part of the House of Blog series covering the Waterstones Book Of The Year Award shortlist. Not only did Tori and Arthur enjoy this book, but I loved it as well – possibly more than they did. It’s a picture book for a slightly older child audience and it is clever and funny and just feels like a luxury the entire time it is in your hands.
The Book I Didn’t Expect To Love was Dark Satanic Mills by Marcus & Julian Sedgwick. I grabbed this on impulse in the library because I liked the title and it had a motorbike on the front cover. I don’t really know why I was even looking at the graphic novel shelf because they aren’t something I ever usually read – I have struggled with all the ones I have picked up in the past – but I’m really glad that I did this time. I really enjoyed the dark, moody story and it really made me think. I didn’t get confused with the plot or the characters like I usually do with this medium and I found myself just as absorbed in the world and story as I get when reading regular novels.
My Favourite ‘Bad’ Book was easily Sharcano by Jose Prendes. It was truly terrible on the cheesy storyline front, ridiculous giant flying magma sharks being just a small portion of the silliness, but it was FUN. It’s never going to win any awards for quality of writing or literary merit but I utterly loved it in the same way that I love bad rom-com movies and tacky 90s pop music – it made me smile.
And now onto the two all important lists – my top and bottom 3 reads of 2014!
My 3 Least Favourite Books of the year were:
2) The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman. It hurts me to put this book on this list – I so desperately wanted to love it but it just irritated me beyond measure instead. I also feel bad because Hannah was utterly lovely when I met her in June… but sadly it just wasn’t my kind of book.
3) Ghosts and Gadgets by Marcus Sedgwick. In contrast to Dark Satanic Mills which I expected to hate but loved, I came to this book expecting to adore it after loving the first one in the series and instead found myself bitterly disappointed. It just didn’t live up to the promise of the book before and this made me a very sad bunny.
And finally, in reverse order, my 3 Favourite Books of 2014 were:
3) Dreams Of Gods And Monsters by Laini Taylor. I was so afraid that this final instalment of a trilogy I loved would be a disappointment that I put off reading it for months. I needn’t have worried, it was amazing!
2) Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. I genuinely believe this is a book that should be put in the hands of every single teenager out there. Painful to read but rewarding and thought provoking at the same time. Brilliance.
And finally, by a long mile, the Carole Finds Her Wings Top Book of 2014 is…
I have written not one, but two blog posts about this book and I could happily keep on talking about it now. I bought my Mum a copy for Christmas and know at least one other person picked it up and read it because I squeaked about it so much. If you haven’t read it, go find yourself a copy and lose yourself in it. It will beak your heart, but it is hauntingly beautiful and brilliant.