Back at the end of June I posted my 2014 Midway Process Report – and now suddenly it’s the end of the year! So, how did I do all up with my many reading challenges?
Over on Goodreads I aimed to read 150 novels and hit that target on December 23rd – so it seems like a good target, what with the restrictions I lay on that challenge. In the end I managed to read 155 books – but then, with comics, short stories and CBCA reading included (CBCA was 370 books alone!) the actual tally would be much, much higher. What a year!
Expanding Genres 2014
Each month I picked a novel from the listed genre as below – most were incredibly enjoyable so hooray for that!
January: Historical Fiction – The Golum and the Jinni by Helen Wecker
February: Fantasy – Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
March: Science Fiction – Debris by Jo Anderton
April: Fairytale or Fable retelling – Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee
May: Classic – Flowers for Algeron by Daniel Keyes
June: Non-fiction – Night by Elie Wiesel
July: Steampunk/Cyberpunk – The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
August: Modern Retelling – Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding
September: Mystery/Crime – Dead Point by Peter Temple
October: Horror – The Strain by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
November: Contemporary – I Was Here by Gayle Forman
December: Dystopian – The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Anticipated Books of 2014
So far out of my list of Anticipated Books of 2014 I have read 18 books from an original list of 36 books. To be fair, nine didn’t end up being released in 2014 so it’s really 18 out of 27 books.
Really, other than kickstarter rewards, there’s only two books on this list that I didn’t manage to get to that I’m really dang excited for:
To Read in 2014
Out of my list of books that I’m aiming to read in 2014, I have only read an appalling twelve books. Out of like, 74. What a joke! And six months ago I posted that I’d read seven books, so I was even more slack in the second half of the year. I really need to get onto these, even if I attempt them and throw them aside, as sad as that is to say. But one does tend to move on from books they once thought they wanted to read. I need to account for these and clear them off my list, one way or another – hopefully reading and loving them!
Some examples of books I need to read asap are:
More than 500 pages: The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke
Forgotten Classic: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
Book that became a movie: Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
Published this year: The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Number in the title: Eleven Doctors, Eleven Stories by various
Written by someone under 30: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
Book with non-human characters: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Funny Book: Liquid Gold by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Female Author: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Book with a mystery: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
One-Word Title: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Book of short stories: Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran
FREE SQUARE: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Set on a different continent: Oracle by Jackie French
Non-Fiction: Night by Elie Wiesel
First book by a favourite author: Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Heard about online: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl
Best-selling book: What a Croc! by NT News
Based on a true story: Yoko’s Diary by Pau Ham
Book at the bottom of TBR pile: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Book my friend loves: Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Book that scares me: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
More than 10 years old: Walking the Boundaries by Jackie French
Second book in a series: The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
Blue cover: The Amazing Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick
Book with female heroine: Guardian by Jo Anderton
Book set in a high school: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Last of a trilogy: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Book with ‘colour’ in the title: Written in Red by Anne Bishop
First book in series: Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
Book set in the future: The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Book with a break-up: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Book without a love triangle: Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal
Book that became a movie: Battle Royale by Takami
Book set in Paris: Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Book set in the past: Nanberry by Jackie French
Book with magic: Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan
FREE SQUARE: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Book set in summer: Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Book with a dragon: The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams
Book that made you cry: Abhorsen by Garth Nix
Graphic novel: Saga Volume Three by Brain K. Vaughan (Writer) and Fiona Staples (Artist)
Book based on a myth: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Classic YA: The F- It List by Julie Halpern
Book with a Lion, Witch or Wardrobe: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (with a wardrobe!)
Book with an incredible fight scene: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Book heard about online: Landry Park Bethany Hagen
Book set in another world: Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
Book with epic love story: To Love a Sunburnt Country by Jackie French
Book with music: Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
December Reading Challenge
In December a few of us had a challenge to read books that fit against 20 different challenges. All up I managed to hit 17/20 – I tried to do a different book for each, so I’m pretty happy with that! All up I had 18 books for the 20 challenges.
The ones I failed to get were:
5) Read a book that you’ve had on your shelf for over two years.
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde.
18) Start a new series!
Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn and Grim #1) by Juliet Marillier.
19) Read a middle book in a trilogy.
This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Since two of them were for Aurealis reading (which I’d have to get to in January anyway) I put them aside in favour for other books I wanted to get through, using the challenge as the incentive. In the last few days when I was running out of time, it came down to choosing between The Eyre Affair and Havenstar – and Havenstar won!
I feel hitting 17/20 of the challenges was a pretty good attempt, but wish I could have finished it properly. If only family hadn’t come around for Christmas, I would have nailed it!
End of Year Bookish Survey!
2014 Reading Stats
Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
4 – all so I could read sequels!
Genre You Read The Most From:
Best In Book
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
Argh it’s so hard to pick! H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding – never thought I’d like it as much as I did!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Well, always The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, but also Pantomime and Shadowplay by Laura Lam.
5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Best series: Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
Best sequel: Drowned Vanilla by Livia Day
Best finale: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
So many to choose from, but Naomi Novik!
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Night by Elie Wiesel
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Action Packed: Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2) by Brandon Sanderson
Unnputdownable: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
11. Most memorable character of 2014?
It may have been just a sneak peak, but Holland in A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab calls to me, people.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Yoko’s Diary by Paul Ham
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
To Love a Sunburnt Country (The Matilda Saga #4) by Jackie French
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
“We carry the lives we’ve imagined as we carry the lives we have, and sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost.”
― Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
Longest: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson at 1088 pages
Shortest: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells at 104 pages.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
After a lot of thinking this one through, I think it would have to be Jade/Moon in Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Sabriel and Moggat from the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix has stuck with me.
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Fool’s Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Athos from Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Musketeer Space
23. Best 2014 debut you read?
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Again, it was just a preview and I won’t get to read the novel until next year, but A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Drowned Vanilla (Café La Femme, #2) by Livia Day
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Fool’s Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Phantazein by Tehani Wessely – easily one of the best, magical anthologies I’ve ever read.
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The F- It List by Julie Halpern
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
What a Croc! by NT News – a collection of their best headlines, such as WHY I STUCK A CRACKER UP MY CLACKER – such a classy newspaper.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Anthony Horowitz – oh that book made me want to throw it against a wall! I loved it!
Blogging/ Bookish life
1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?
As awful as it sounds, I don’t really read book blogs – I have enough trouble keeping up with my to-read pile as it is!
2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?
3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
Nominations Open for Hugo Awards 2014
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Jackie French writing workshop – though her book night the night before was also excellent. She said once I’ve written something, she wants to see it!
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
When a publisher said they’d look into an inappropriately acting author when I said I didn’t feel comfortable reviewing his work.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Laura Lam Giveaway
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
None, really? Me wishing they got love doesn’t really help matters, just means I need to have a better first sentence to grab people browsing, or be more interesting/cross post to other platforms in general!
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I finished the goodreads challenge, the genre challenge, the reading bingo cards (as was discussed above) and manged to get to all but two books on my ‘anticipated reads for 2014’, but failed on my December reading challenge, as well as my ‘books to read in 2014‘ list.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Currently Glenda Larke’s ‘The Dagger’s Path’ – you can read an excerpt of it here!
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
- The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The first instalment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!
Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
Series ending: Masquerade (Micah Grey #3) by Laura Lam
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
Clear more books from my shelves and ‘to read’ pile.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
So that’s it! I’m not sure whether I’ll utilise the same challenges for 2015. Maybe I just need more will-power to get to the books I feel I need to read.