Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Fifteen Books I Read In 2014

Hosted by: The Broke and Bookish

This year was definitely the year of new authors for me. If you stopped by last week, you'll definitely notice a lot of the same books that I posted then. But that's ok because they deserve a double dosing of recognition :) ...but because I'm lazy, if you stopped by last week and think some of my thoughts sound oddly familiar...they are...

Going Bovine - Libba Bray


God, this book was nothing like I expected, and so much better.  I can't even begin to describe what it's like. It's definitely not for everyone, but if you're ok with things going pretty surreal you should give this a try. And that's all I'm going to say about this because you just really need to experience it for yourself.


I'm definitely a black sheep on this one. Most of the reviews for this were pretty lackluster (I don't think I know ANYONE who loved it!), so I was not expecting to totally love this the way I did. That audiobook was pure magic and man...the descriptions are super steamy sometimes (without being explicit) which an art all in and of itself!


I don't know what it was about zombies this year, but it was pretty much my zombie awakening, and I'm so glad that this series got to be a part of that.

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern


God this book is just such a work of art! (Speaking of, look at that cover! I want to put it on my wall.)  I've mentioned before that I'm a total sucker for beautiful prose, and this just really nailed it for me.

Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger


This was my very first audiobook, (that I completed) and I couldn't recommend a better audiobook for newbies!  The narrator is perfect and the story is just SO freaking fun, and totally absorbing.  I haven't got my hands on the third book, but hopefully I won't have to wait years for that to happen! (Also she has an awesome retro fashion blog and is involved in steampunk. And apparently loves Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley, aka my two favourite authors/heroes/rulers of my life.  What's not to love here?)


Umm, is an explanation even needed for this?! Celaena Sardothien. Queen Sarah J. Maas. Expect to see her books on every list I ever make for TTT for the next four years. (But let's be real, probably for all of time)

Anatomy of a Boyfriend - Daria Snadowsky


This is probably the book I'd consider Important Book of the year. I wish, wish, WISH that someone had put this book in my hands as a teen/before I had sex.  If you know anyone - boy or girl (although I don't have much faith in boys reading this, but they should) who is at the age where they're curious/thinking about sex, this book is amazing.  It is so open - Dom (the MC) has some supremely awkward sex moments (and trust me, all of us who have gotten to that point have had it!), and the relationship isn't a magic fix it all.  It's basically the book that would have reassured me that everything I was going through was ok and normal, and definitely would have answered some questions I didn't have someone to ask.  (And I have a REALLY open relationship with my parents - but there are lines. I was lucky I could ask them anything I was comfortable asking, but I know a lot of people don't have that. GIVE THEM THIS BOOK. Added bonus? It talks about safe sex in this book in a way that isn't preachy, but still gives a lot of thought.)

Froi of the Exiles - Melina Marchetta


I know Froi is the second book in the trilogy, but I just need to reiterate for the millionth time that this book is like...the book of my soul.  Finnickin of the Rock is amazing, and I loved it...but this book? This is the book that made the trilogy for me and made it stand out from the billions of fantasy novels I read any given year.  Also it's probably the shippiest ship ever for me this year. (Well ok other than Heir of Fire. Because Chaolena forever. Although Rowan almost rocked that boat for me...but I just want him in Celaena's life in anyway, not necessarily as the love interest. Wait, what was I talking about?)

The Drowned Cities - Paolo Bacigalupa

The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2)

Man, I wish Paolo Bacigalupi had more buzz in the YA book community. I know a few people irl who know his adult books, but I don't hear about his YA books very often.  And let me tell you - if you like dystopias, this is like...the dystopiest dystopia you'll come by.  And the kicker? It also feels like the most realistic of all the dystopias I've ever read, because the core of what's happening in these books? It's happening now.  Look to your third world countries.  Look at the child soldiers and children living in extreme poverty.  Yeah.  So no, you aren't going to be finding much in the way of swoons in these books, but man you are going to find a lot to think over.

So remember how I was a sucker for prose? This book might have taken the cake on that. Magic realism always seems to have the most gorgeous prose! Also that cover might be one of my favourite covers ever. I still can't really articulate the atmosphere and emotions that this book evokes...but it's just all so gorgeous.


So here's another author you should expect to see on all my best of the year TTT's for pretty much the rest of EVER.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Recurring theme of this list? If you write pretty words I heart you.

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell


So most of you have probably read Rainbow Rowell at this point, so I don't even need to explain why I love her books.  I actually haven't read any of the other for some reason (it doesn't matter how much I love a contemporary work/author, they just don't call to me the way fantasy does, so I usually have to actively remind myself to grab a copy), but all her books are definitely on my TBR pile!

Newsflesh Trilogy - Mira Grant


Ahh, the series that started it all.  I can't thank Meg enough for introducing me this series. It's really a toss up whether Melina Marchetta's trilogy or this one is my favourite of the year. I legit can't decide because they are so amazing, and even if you think zombies aren't your thing? You should totally check this out anyway. It might change your mind.

Dragonsong/Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey


It's no secret that I love Anne McCaffrey's books, particularly her Pern ones. (I think I might have got rid of the space ship ones by accident when I moved *sobs*)  For me, the first two books in her Harper Hall trilogy are golden, and are right up with there with her first Pern book

Honorable Mentions: (I had to cut the list off somewhere, right?) The Kiss of Deception, The Truth About Alice I wouldn't call these flawless books, but they are probably the most innovative books I read this year as far as formatting the narrative is involved, and I thought both of them did that very, very well.


  1. Laini Taylor and Rainbow Rowell both made my list this week! I was so tempted to copy half of last weeks list this week, I'm so lazy!, but tried to limit myself on how many could be the same!

    I have simply got to read Heir Of Fire, for some reason even though I loved the first two books the hype on that one got to me and so I put off buying it and now I'm desperate for it! =)

  2. FANGIRL was my number one book of the year last year! Ooh, I really need to read THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER. Also, HEIR OF FIRE, yesss.

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  3. afjdslk I LOVE YOUR LIST!!! Where do I even begin...ahhhh, I WANT to read Froi! I loved Finnikin. I've actually reread it twice (I never do that 0.0) and I'm about to go for a 3rd time on audio and I'M EXCITED. once I've listened to it again I'll read Froi. I do have to be in the mood for fantasy...but Throne of Glass has completely converted me to NEEDING SO MUCH FANTASY IN MY LIFE. omg Chaolena forever. (I'm sure I spelt that wrong. But you knoooow what i mean.) I agree about Rowan. I love him but not as the love-interest.
    Omg that Heir of Fire ending.

    Here's my TTT!

  4. Lisa @ Captivated ReaderDecember 16, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    I haven't read any of the books you've mentioned in your post. I'll have to check them out! Here is a link to my TTT list for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-i-read-in.html

  5. I am currently reading Heir of Fire (just started it) so I'm very happy to see it on your list! :-) Looks like you've had a great reading year!

  6. FEED. YES. Feed is probably my best book of 2014, I loved it so much.

    I love your list, you have some great picks here and a lot of them are on my TBR! I own a copy of Etiquette & Espionage so I should really give it a read soon. :) Anatomy of a Boyfriend sounds like a really interesting read, I'll have to give it a try.

  7. Oh my goodness, I loved the Pern books when I was in middle school... it has been so long since I've read them! Love seeing them on your list!

  8. Agreed! Rowan should be to Caelena what Roar is to Aria. Chaolena all the way!

  9. I read Mira Grant's Parasite this year and loved it - will have to check out Feed. I agree with your comment on Paolo Bacigalupi, more people should be reading him.

  10. Yay for The Night Circus! And Zombies! Though actually I've not read very many zombie books but they all look really intriguing. The Forest of Hands and Teeth most especially. Maybe next year will be my zombie awakening and you can just nod all knowingly and wisely:0)! Great List as always!

  11. Ahhhhhh!!!! I just did a Tell Me Tuesday of books I am looking to read during my Winter of Self (reading) Contentment and I said at the end I knew I was forgetting some. I did remember to list The Night Circus, but I forgot Forest of Hands and Teeth, the Smoke and Bone books and the Ava Lavender book (is that a stand alone?), your last week's post reminded me of. And the Going Bovine book. Now I want to not only read those Marchetta books, but that Dystopian by Bacigalupi, tooooooooooooo..... bargles!!!! Your blog is going to sap me of all my reading strength. Lol. My top book is a secret until my New Years Eve post. I am doing that Top Ten blog hop thingy, so I am glad it is an Adult book, so I can do a top ten YA books for that hop.

  12. Thank gawd I don't read any straight up Contemporary because your book lists would gut me!.

  13. And the Forest of Hands and Teeth mention reminded me I forgot The girl with all the gifts. *crawls away whimpering*

  14. Yeah I kind of wish I'd limited myself to books I hadn't used last week (then I would have had more books too in the sense that all last week's books would have counted)

    Yes! I'm totally the same when it comes to hyped books/books people keep telling me to read. Except, in this instance, you really should get it asap!

  15. I don't read a lot of contemporary literature, but this year I actually had a really good run with all my contemporary reads! (Fangirl was definitely best of the lot though)

  16. Wow...I don't think I know anything you've reread! This series is on my need-to-buy-as-soon-as-you-stop-being-broke list so that I can reread it like a billion times. (But really...will I ever not be broke? WHY HEART? Why couldn't you love something sensible like...I dunno...accounting? Why music damn it?! And while we're complaining, you were supposed to go find a rich doctor or something, not ANOTHER musician. Useless organ.)

    I'm a fantasy girl all the way, so I'm the exact same way about contemporary haha - hence why I STILL haven't read Eleanor & Park. But really - Froi is one of my favourite books EVER, and how many times can you say that about a middle book? And if you want ships...oh my god. THE SHIP.

    Celaena and Rowan's relationship is so..intense and awesome. I almost wonder if a little bit of that is based on SJM relationship with Susan Dennard? I mean, I'm reading Celaena/Rowan as platonic so this could be why, but they basically seem like bestie soulmates. And if people are going to believe in soul mates, why on earth wouldn't there be bff soul mates?

  17. Yes!! But let's be real. SJM is going to basically rule my TTT lists forever lol. And I really have had such a good year! I had like maybe two bum months and there just wasn't a lot of reading done during those (...and I think it was also related to ARC's. Things feel better now that I'm not doing them)

  18. I read the trilogy in January and I was like...holy hell how is anything going to top this?! (And I'm pretty sure it hasn't. Although the Finickin of the Rock trilogy is probably tied with it for best read).

    I mean obviously I'm biased, but I really don't think you can go wrong with either of them haha

  19. Yeah that's probably when I first discovered them too! I hadn't read any other than the first, but I randomly found a bunch of her books in a library sale and have had a resurgence haha

  20. I can't believe I haven't read Parasite yet considering my all encompassing love for her Newsflesh trilogy. Seriously, I think it might be the best read I've had of the year (although it's tied with Melina Marchetta's trilogy). And yes! I think it's hard to sell people on Bacigalupi because it's not so much a flaily thing, and there's not really much in the way of ships, but I'm determined to find some way to get the word out about him! (...aka having his books show up on at least one TTT a month haha)

  21. Great list! Yay for Fangirl, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The Night Circus :D

    My TTT

  22. Yes! I approve of zombie awakenings! If you do read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, that was definitely my favourite of the trilogy. I actually found it in a used bookstore recently and am just going to keep it as a standalone book because I loved it so much on it's own. (Not that the other two books aren't great too...I just didn't bond with them in the same way. ..and now I feel all zen and new agey saying things like that hahahaha)

  23. Bahahahaha I seriously cracked up when I saw all of these comments!! The Ava Lavender book is a standalone! (Thank goodness because man...these days they're all series which automatically makes my tbr pile triple!) Man, I always try and say ok..THIS year I WILL make it to..so and so books. And you know what? That rarely happens. I like read maybe...one of the books I name. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! So I wish you the best of luck with your books - hopefully you're better than I am at prioritizing what you read haha. I'm so curious what your top book is now! I'm going to be camping over New Year's, so I'm going to have to waaaaaait. Hmmm speaking of your posts...I don't think when I hit follow you on bloglovin it worked bc I usually visit your blog to comment and don't get any new ones in my bloglovin feed....must go remedy...

    This was a really good year for contemporary with me.. I think last year I maybe read like 3 contemporary books lol. I probably got a solid 10 this year and pretty much all of them were really good! ...one day I will not have to force myself to read them and will just pick them up readily.

  24. I read my first Contemp YAs this year, the first one, Summer on the Short Bus, was as a favor to an author (their friend published a book), and the others were because of pumping up Netgalley stats with Read Nows. Press Play and Tabula Rasa were wonderful (because they weren't Romances, haha).

  25. I absolutely loved Heir of Fire and Daughter of Smoke + Bone as well Elizabeth! :D And I've heard great things about The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and Feed as well. Thanks for sharing, and great choices! ♥

  26. Aaah I need to read more of Melina Marchetta's books! I have no idea what my problem is, but I avoid Aussie authors for the most part. When I should be embracing them! We studied her first novel in high school and I loved it, so it's like I have some sort of weird mental block going on lol

    Fangirl and Daughter of Smoke & Bone are two of my favourites *sigh* such good books!

  27. Yeah, I definitely had a good reading year! Do you have a blog? I'd love to stop by!

  28. Man, I kind of wish I lived in Australia (well for a lot of reasons), but having Marchetta's books as required reading sounds AWESOME! And I get weird mental blocks about things I've loved too - it's why I haven't finished any of Jenny Han's other books, despite loving The Summer I Turned Pretty. I just seriously have to FORCE myself to read contemporary fiction!


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