Friday, January 2, 2015

My 11 favorite reads of 2014

Quantity-wise, 2014 hasn't been a good reading year for me. I've read just a little over 30! And to think that I usually average around 100 books in a year. Something must have happened. And that something is TV. I've been watching TV a lot these days. It has become my "go to" for stories. And TV has been coming up with a lot of interesting shows lately, yes?

Nevertheless, I did read some good books this year, and I've listed my 11 favorite reads below. Now why an uneven 11? Originally, I had a list of 10 books, which I compiled mid-December. I figured I'm never going to get any reading done during the holidays, with the numerous parties. It's gotten so ridiculous lately, that I sometimes say no to a few of them because of scheduling conflicts.

Also, I thought that I would just use the free time I to catch up on sleep. I've only been getting 5 hours max of sleep leading to the holidays because of work and personal stuff. But in the last week, I chanced upon this young adult novel at a bookstore while waiting for a friend. So I bought it, went to a café, and before I knew it, I was halfway through!

10 of 11 of my favorites for 2014
Anyway, here are my 10 favorite reads for this year, in random order.
  • Lexicon by Max Barry – The science fiction buzz book of 2013. Yes, the hype is warranted! Quite an exhilarating read.
  • Wasted by Gerry Alanguilan – A locally published graphic novel about a man thwarted by love. Violent and extremely graphic. Loved it.
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – Such a heartbreaking read, this one is. Made me teary eyed.
  • Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler – A memoir about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality, while living with his religious parents.
  • Dolly by Susan Hill – Not as scary as The Woman in Black, but still creepy and atmospheric. Hill rules the ghost story genre!
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – The first book in the Southern Reach trilogy. Made me curious about the other 2 books.
  • The Children Act by Ian McEwan – I'll read anything by McEwan. I've always admired how controlled McEwan's writing is.
  • Tree by F. Sionil Jose – The 2nd book of the Rosales Saga. I loved its episodic chapters and its symbolism.
  • The Bees by Laline Paull – This spoke to the biologist in me. Paull's debut fiction rocked my geeky brain.
  • Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Stapes – Still the best ongoing graphic novel series out there. Couldn't quit it.
My favorite read for 2014
And my favorite read for 2014 is this—Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It's a deeply moving coming-of-age story about 2 boys. I turned the final page, went online, and then immediately recommended it to everyone. It deals with finding love, getting to know what you really want, and coming to terms with family. I highly recommend it!

So how about you, dear reader? How was your 2014, reading-wise?


David Wagner said...

I also read 30 titles this year! That includes two short books and a short story collection...

My favorite reads included:
-- The Liveship Trilogy by Robin Hobb
-- A Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Pat Rothfuss
-- Night of Cake and Puppets, by Laini Taylor
-- The Blade of Tyshalle , by Matthew Stover
-- The Red Knight, by Miles Cameron

I usually read more than 30 as well, but really usually about 35-40... nowhere near 100. For me, the time-stealing culprit is games (rather than TV), and Minecraft in particular...

Peter S. said...

Oooohhh!!! I have yet to try Minecraft!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Tree is also among my best reads of 2014, as part of the Rosales Saga. :P.

Peter S. said...

I haven't read the 1st and the last book of the Rosales Saga. But I was really floored with Tree. Such beautiful writing!

Rob said...

I also slowed down on reading this year. This was a stressful year for me, and I think I often had a hard time focusing. Also, video games.

I forgot the third Saga was out! I'm really excited about that one.

Rob said...

Oh, I was thinking of Saga Volume 4, which just came out last week. But you still reminded me, haha.

Louize DG said...

I will pick up 'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake' by Aimee Bender and 'The Children Act' by Ian McEwan from this list, Peter, and add it to my Mt. TBR.

Happy 2015! :)

Tin said...

Oh Lexicon sound really cool. And Annihilation too and Bees! And Saga Vol 1 is one of my best graphic novels last year. I have yet to read the succeeding installments. I am eager to know more about The Will and Lying Cat. And now I have to bump Aristotle and Dante on my list. :) Great list Peter! Have a great 2015!

Peter S. said...

Rob, I'm waiting for our local bookstores here to stock up on the 4th volume of Saga!

Louize, McEwan is always a good choice, yes?

Tin, have a great 2015 too!

Anonymous said...

Annihilation seems to be in a lot of lists. I'm hoping to get that into my reading list this year.

Aristotle and Dante is my 2014 best read too. Read it at the start of the year, expecting it to be some usual YA, but what I got left me speechless.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Iphios! Thanks for the visit! Yes, I do hope you get to read Annihilation!