2014 in Books

2014 end of year

It’s that time of year! The books are read, and it’s time for reflection. This has been a very difficult and sad year for me in my personal life, so I’m glad to say that in reading, it’s been a really wonderful year. I’ve read so many fantastic books this year, which was a relief after last year’s dud-reading year!

As per usual, this post will include the end-of-year survey from The Perpetual Page-Turner, followed by my book/reading stats. Apologies in advance for the very long post!

books

1. Best Book(s) You Read In 2014?
These will be patently obvious by the end of the survey, but my best books of 2014 are:

– The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater – Character, friendship, humor, tension, everything… And considering I read each of these three times apiece, these definitely top my list in 2014.

– The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers, and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson – Amazing world-building, fantastic plotting, and I love the character growth over the series.

– Landline by Rainbow Rowell – Heart-wrenching and painful and profound all at once.

– Runner-up: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Such a sweet comfort-read kind of love story.

– Runner-up: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – Perfect end to this trilogy!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. This was my most-anticipated book of 2014, and while I loved 95% of it, one little thing turned it all sour for me. 😦

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
The Diviners by Libba Bray. This…um…had so many of the exact same detailed elements as a manuscript I’ve written that I was very surprised. They were used in completely different ways than I used them, but still.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
I pushed so many books this year. The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, the Raven Cycle, many of Rainbow Rowell’s books, The Supernatural Enhancements…

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Ah! Too many! Best started: Girl of Fire and Thorns series and the Raven Cycle both. Best sequel: other than the two I just mentioned, A Clash of Kings. Best series ender: Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
Oh oh oh…um…Maggie Stiefvater, Rae Carson, and Rainbow Rowell.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
All three of the Raven Cycle books. They were my only multi-read books this year. There were several weeks when these were the only books I could read. Over and over.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
The Raven Cycle books. I’m nothing if not predictable.

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

school 18782854 afterworlds

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Cath from Fangirl, Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns, aaaaand pretty much the entire cast from the Raven Cycle.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Ninepins by Rosy Thornton

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2014?
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
I could pull dozens of quotes I love from Maggie Stiefvater, but as this is the first one that made me laugh uncontrollably, I’ll say, “Blue was a fanciful, but sensible thing. Like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.”

Also, I have to mention a favorite quote from my other favorite series this year, from The Bitter Kingdom (book three of The Girl of Fire and Thorns series), because it also cracked me up: More arrows spear the brightening sky. Storm’s voice booms across the tiny valley, menacing and curselike. He’s intoning something in the Lengua Classica. Then a giggle bubbles from my throat when I realize it’s a silly rhyme about poppy fields and drunk sheep.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
Longest Book: A Storm of Swords (1128 pgs)
Shortest Book: An Age of License (189 pgs)
Longest Audio: A Discovery of Witches (24 hrs)
Shortest Audio: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (3 hrs)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)?
The Supernatural Enhancements. What a wild, unpredictable ride.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) (OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)?
Um, Blue and Gansey. No doubt.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?
Blue and the other raven boys (Adam, Ronan, Noah), plus all the boys’ friendships with each other. The group as a whole.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
If I don’t count sequels (which would make the answer automatically Dreams of Gods and Monsters), it would be Ninepins by Rosy Thornton.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I’d tried reading it in the past and didn’t get far. Memory, Jenny, and several others on Twitter bugged me to give it a second chance.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Um…Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah from the Raven Cycle. God I’m predictable. And yes, I mean I’m a little in love with all of them. Levi from Fangirl was pretty awesome too.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I think I only read three debuts this year. The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero tops that small list.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The fictional world of Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Definitely the Raven Cycle again, though especially The Dream Thieves, which had the most one-liners that made me laugh.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Honestly I’m not sure I understand this question. If it means “book that is generally unknown or underappreciated,” then I’ll have to go with Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy again.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
No real soul-crushers this year to be honest.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

look ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
The fourth Raven Cycle book, assuming it actually releases in 2015. Otherwise, Shadow Scale (Rachel Hartman), The Shadow Cabinet (Maureen Johnson), and Winter (Marissa Meyer).

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don’t know any…

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
All four of the answers I mentioned two questions back.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
Keep posting regularly despite stress and other upcoming major life changes.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I haven’t read any 2015 releases.

stats

My stats are a bit more extensive than the ones listed on Jamie’s survey. Here goes:

Total books: 53
New reads: 46
Rereads: 7

My goal was to read less than 75 books this year, though preferably no more than 52 (one per week). Far exceeded my first goal, and only read one more than my preferable goal, so I think I did pretty well this year!

Novels/Novellas: 47
–Speculative: 34
–Realistic: 13
Nonfiction: 5
Collections/Anthologies: 1

Definitely read more fantasy than any other genre this year. And I didn’t even bother to include plays or poetry in my count, as both were big fat zeroes.

Text/e-text: 36
Graphic/Photo/Art: 5
Audio: 12

My audio percentage held steady around a quarter of my reading this year. Normally it’s a bit higher. I would guess this is because I didn’t do nearly as much walking/running this year as in previous years!

Classics: 2
Contemporary: 51

It’s been quite a long time since I felt like reading classics. About three years now. I kinda wonder when my mood will switch back to them again.

Adult: 24
YA: 23
Children’s: 6

My YA percentage is MUCH higher than usual this year! Most years I generally read twice as many adult books as YA. I suppose a lot of my favorite YA authors did have books come out this year, plus I discovered a few YA authors I really loved.

By men: 13
By women: 38
By both: 2
New to me authors: 23 of 39 (59%)

No surprises here. This is about standard for me. I probably ought to try to read more books written by men, but honestly I don’t care enough to make that conscious effort.

Chunksters (450+ pages): 12
By/About POC: 13
In translation: 2
Languages: Japanese, Korean

I am really embarrassed by how few translations I read this year… My POC numbers are rotten, too.

Most read authors: If I count her pseudonym, JK Rowling comes out on top with four books this year. If I count multi-reads, Maggie Stiefvater comes out on top (three books, read three times each). Other authors with three reads each: George R.R. Martin, Rae Carson, Laini Taylor, Rainbow Rowell

Best Book-related Discovery: This year’s best discoveries were purely new-to-me authors. I am so excited and happy to have discovered Rae Carson, who I’d never heard of before and found through a random library grab; Rainbow Rowell, who I was really reluctant to try due to all the hype; and Maggie Stiefvater, who I’d given up on in the past. It’s incredibly rare for me to find so many new favorite authors in a year, so I am very grateful for these discoveries!

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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7 Responses to 2014 in Books

  1. Supernatural Enhancements does have a great cover, doesn’t it? And it is so much nicer when you are actually holding the actual book. Love the way it feels.

    You had a really good reading year. I think I only managed on re-read for the year. It has been getting harder to re-read with so many potentially good books so close to hand, but years of neglecting re-reading favorites means that I feel this building wave of desire for re-reading that may crash over me soon. Here’s hoping so.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      I have loved embracing rereads. I’ve always been a rereader and got out of the habit in my first years of blogging. I love that I don’t mind doing it now, even if that means reading multiple times in a row when I can’t get enough of a book!

      Like

  2. Memory says:

    I’m so, so glad you ended up loving the Raven Cycle!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      Me too! I got my friend Stephanie to read the first one even though she gave up on Shiver, and she raced through it and bought the next two on her nook because she couldn’t wait until she got to the store to buy hard copies! 😀

      Like

  3. Trisha says:

    I really need to read Supernatural Enhancements. And yay for The Raven Cycle. That series is just so powerful to me.

    Like

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