A Year in Books

Candice over at Candice Does the World did a great book wrap-up the other day (which she, in turn, apparently stole from Jamie at Perpetual Page-Turner), and so, because I love books, and round-ups, and this one reminded me of those questionnaires that everyone used to do when Facebook and Tumblr were just becoming a thing, I decided to do one myself!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Number of Books You Read: 134

Number of Re-Reads: 7

Genre You Read the Most From: Fiction

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

I had a list of seven different books here, and then I deleted them all because, for me, this year in books really all comes back to this one:

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

#girlboss – I hated it, so insufferable and tone deaf, ugh.

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Neil Patrick Harris’s Choose Your Own Autobiography – The format was so interesting! I thought I would hate it, but it was actually really fun to flip through and skip over parts and then come back, and then go back to see what would have happened if you went the other way. NPH is a consummate entertainer, and his autobiography is no exception.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

The Saga graphic novel series, and I’ll Give You the Sun

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Laini Taylor, Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell (all female, all YA authors, interesting)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Saga graphic novel series – getting into graphic novels in a BIG way, because WOW, the stories they tell

Dear Life by Alice Munro and Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood – I have never really been into short stories, but these collections blew me away.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I have no idea how to even answer this question. There were so many that I couldn’t put down.

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

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

willowwonderland

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half – Not so much a character, but the way Brosch depicts herself in her comics. Bryan and I still refer to that book and the character’s physical quirks on the regular.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (at some point it will become obvious that this was my favorite book of 2014)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – I mean, it literally changed my life. Reading Cheryl’s raw, unfiltered, painfully honest advice motivated me to change my circumstances, and changed my approach to changing my life. Her words invigorated me and forced me to confront the things that I had been fearing, and to stop coming at life from a place of fear.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro. I never read ANYTHING by Alice Munro until this year, and that is a travesty, because I love her. Her stories are such perfect slices of normal life writ large, and I can’t get enough.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs, and sound bites, on must-see movies, must-do experiences, must-have gadgets, when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart, reaching up for the connection to whoever might be in the room or leaning into our mattress as we draw our last breath. I hate to put it in such dramatic terms, but it’s kinda true.” – Dee Williams, The Big Tiny

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (725 pages)

Shortest: A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen (50 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Karou and Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and Eleanor & Park

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Ken and his van in Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas – I have been getting more and more into simplicity and alternative ways of living within your means, so Ken’s story of getting rid of his huge debt and living in a van for two years was a great reading experience.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton – I pretty much always love Kate Morton’s books, and this one was no exception.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

There was really only one book I read based solely on someone else’s recommendation, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I know a lot of people really enjoy this series, but I felt it was really bogged down and the protagonist is the most insufferable character I have had the displeasure of reading about.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Akiva from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Dustlands trilogy by Moira Young

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy McNoughton – Even if you aren’t so much into tattoos, this book is basically just full of people’s stories. It is like in-depth people watching, where you get to touch a piece of their soul for a minute. As soon as I was done, I immediately opened it and started reading it again, which I believe is the first time I have ever done that.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

The Light Between Oceans by

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Eleanor & Park

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – Though the different lifelines got frustrating sometimes – there were stretches where it felt like I was stuck in a Groundhog Day-style time loop because I kept having to re-read nearly the exact same thing over and over again – I really enjoyed the premise.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

#girlboss

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver – The end of this book was such a cop-out, I nearly threw it across the room in anger. All of that emotional investment and journey, for nothing. And from an author that is capable of so much more.

 

When it comes down to it, there were SO MANY GOOD BOOKS that I read in 2014, there is no way that a round-up like this could take them all into account. I didn’t even talk about The Big Tiny by Dee Williams and how much it touched me to read about her experience, or The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau and how it helped me jumpstart 2015, or The Creative License by Danny Gregory which opened me up to the world of drawing. Plus so many more. If you are interested in more of the books that I read last year, you can find them over at my Goodreads.

What did your 2014 in books look like? I would love to see it if you also complete a round-up like this!

A Year in Books

2 thoughts on “A Year in Books

  1. I want to read that Neil Patrick Harris book soooo much!!! I need to put it on hold at the library.. like right now. Saga is also a book series I love. I do have the 4th volume on hold at the lirbrary. It’s like we are book soul mates… a lot of the books you picked I’ve read and loved!

    End of Year Survey

    1. Jessica says:

      You do! NPH’s story is so fascinating in and of itself, and choosing a weird way to present it just makes it better. I’d like to know what you think of it when you do get your hands on it. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

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