The topic of this Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Books I Read In 2014.
A couple months ago, I lost the file where I write all my reads for the year. It was pretty awful. It was the sort of silly thing I never felt the need to back up, but after it was gone I realized how much I used it. I don’t put every book I read on Goodreads, and while I have star reviews, I had an easier-to-see system going in that file to mark off my favorite reads. So, basically I’m whining about all this to say: there are gaps on this list. Lots of them. Because I don’t even have a list of all the books I read this year, much less my full reactions to them. There’s no real order, and I’m missing so many good books, and I just…sigh…
Lesson I never learn: back your shit up! Ah well, onto the books.
Best Sequel I Avoided For Too Long
N.K. Jemisin- The Shadowed Sun I think I kept putting this off because I wasn’t sure I could love any characters as much as I did Ehiru and Nijiri, but now I think I love Hanani even more.
Best I-Wish-I’d-Read-This-Sooner book
Daphne du Maurier- Rebecca This book. Just. This book, guys. I wish I’d read this in college. I wish I could read it again right now. It’s amazing. If I ever teach writing, I would teach Rebecca.
Best Nonfiction book
Bill Bryson- One Summer: America, 1927 I am forever thankful to my brother for introducing me to the works of Bill Bryson. This is a wild, silly, and surprisingly informative micro-history. I was actually interested in baseball for two seconds, which is something I never would have foreseen. And I learned a lot about aviation and politics and crime and all the sorts of weird facts that Bryson always digs up.
Best YA book
Marissa Meyer- Cress I waited so long to pick up Cress. Alas, not long enough, because we have to wait a damn year for Winter. Whhhhhhhhhhhhy? Oh my goodness, I loved Cress so much. It was adorable, and funny, and exciting, and poignant. I think it worked better as a sequel then Scarlet did, in terms of balancing the different storylines. Just such a great book.
Best Use of Puppy Cannons
Courtney Milan- The Suffragette Scandal All the squees. This is such an adorable book. It hit all my feminist buttons, and I was rather surprised how much I felt for the hero, Edward. One of my favorite Milans (actually, most Milans are my favorite…)
Best Use of Lord Byron (with bonus Eleventh Doctor)
Mary Robinette Kowal- Valour and Vanity I could read the adventures of Jane and Vincent for weeks and not get tired of them. This one had Venice and conspiracies and cool new applications of their glamours. It was billed as Jane Austen meets Ocean’s 11, which is just about right.
Best What the Fuck Did I Just Read?
Jeff VanderMeer- The Southern Reach Trilogy I never read books like this, and I’m still chewing them over in my mind.
Best Book That Broke My Hard Little Heart
Erin Lindsay McCabe- I Shall Be Near To You a fantastically written Civil War book that rather unexpectedly moved me quite a bit.
Best Introduction to a New Favorite Author
Tana French- The Likeness Cassie Maddox goes undercover when a dead body that looks exactly like her turns up, and she gets in way over her head. I absolutely adored this creepy mystery.
Best Use of David Hasselhoff
Jo Nesbo- Nemesis Might be my favorite Harry Hole book so far, although I’m only about halfway through the series at the moment. I loved untangling the mystery, and I loved the fact that the villain was constantly referred to as David Hasselhoff, though it was corny as shit.
Best Unexplained Time Travel/Alternate Universes
Andrew Sean Greer- The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells This book broke me in a lot of ways. And it was a lot better than the other unexplained time travel/alternate universe novel I read this year (no, I’m not telling)
Oooh, I think I hit more than 10! Guess I’d better stop.
What are your top reads of 2014?