Mogsy: Best Of 2014 and the Year in Review
This has been an amazing year for reading! At the time of this writing, in 2014 I have read a total of 191 books. Here’s the Goodreads spread for what that looks like:
So you see, choosing just 5 or 10 or even 20 books to highlight as the best of this year is going to be tough. So I apologize in advance for how haphazard this is going to be, but without further ado, here is my list of the best or most memorable books I read in 2014, and whatever I think should be getting more attention!
You can view my reviews and more information about the books by clicking on their cover images.
Starting off with Fantasy, the biggest category, this year I discovered quite a few new authors – some that were totally new to me like Angus Watson and Sebastien de Castell, and a couple who have been on my to-read list forever and now I wonder why it took me so long to read their books, like Robert Jackson Bennett and Juliet Marillier. I want to highlight Dreamer’s Pool as an absolute favorite.
Then it’s a parade of sequels! So many “book twos” have lived up to or surpassed their predecessors this year, always a great thing to see. In particular, Jeff Salyards and Brian Staveley went above and beyond with their sequels and truly blew me away (you will see my review for The Providence of Fire early in the next year).
It has been a great year for Science Fiction as well. This year The BiblioSanctum participated in the month-long Sci-Fi November event, and to see a more detailed list of my top sci-fi reads this year, be sure to check out the Top Ten post I put together for the wrap up.
Women dominate the horror scene for me this year, with Sarah Lotz’s The Three being a standout, and I also finally got to read my fist Lauren Beukes book.
M.L. Brennan’s Generation V novels and Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant books constantly vie for the top spot when it comes to my favorite urban fantasy series. Both released very strong follow ups this year (in fact, Brennan published two! Check out Iron Night as well, it’s amazing). Foxglove Summer is now out in the UK, with North America getting it on January 6, 2015. My review will be up later this week.
Young Adult/New Adult
This was a strange year for me when it comes to YA. A few of my favorite trilogies ended in 2014, not in quite the way I wanted, but it was nice that Throne of Glass lifted my spirits again with Heir of Fire. I also tried a lot of new series that, while decent, just didn’t make the cut. I did, however, discover Earth Girl. And the two standouts this year are from Joe Abercrombie and Chuck Wendig whose adult books I’ve enjoyed, and their YA releases proved quite different and refreshing. Golden Son was incredible, and I still have the book in this category though the series has noticeably matured and gotten a lot darker since Red Rising. My review of it will be up in the new year.
Heck yes, I love romance in my speculative fiction. And the frustrating this is, it’s so hard to find a book these days with a balance between the fantasy and romantic elements. So help me, I am thus driven to include this category to highlight these books for hitting that mark PERFECTLY, and if you are leaning towards something with more heart, more passion and fire, do check these books.
And if you’re still with me at this point, here are some interesting stats that I was able to pull from my shelves on Goodreads:
Books Read in 2014…
Number of pages read: 73436
Longest book: 1087 pages
By a male author: 51%
By a female author: 49%
That are for review: 67%
That are audiobooks: 27%
On My Shelves (some crossover):
Science Fiction: 30%
Young Adult: 23%
Urban Fantasy: 20%
I gotta admit, Dreamer’s Pool hit me in a big way as well. Glad to see The Barrow because I think my list may be the only other one I have seen it on (not that I have put out a list yet, but still).
But 191 books is so damn impressive. I know my total should have been higher but I got out of the habit of listening to audio books for half the year; have to work on that next year.
Good job Mogsy, and here is to another year!
Audiobooks definitely helped the count – almost a third of what I read was in audio format! That’s pretty much what I expected.
Yes, 2014 has been a splendid year for books. Some great debuts and some surprising smashers. I havent read and reviewed as much as I would have liked to this year but have still read some cosmic books. Great to see Gemsigns on your list, my love for the (R)evolution series knows no bounds. Great list Mogsy 🙂
Indeed, in the new year I will have to read Binary – couldn’t quite fit it in this year, but will definitely be on the list for 2015.
Sweet stats! How did you calculate the ones sure the end? I need to read The Mad Scientist’s Daughter then since I enjoyed the other two in that category. 200 is definitely my goal next year!
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200 was my goal last year, but somehow I knew I wasn’t going to hit that this year. I was close, though! As for the stats at the end, I had to calculate them myself, but it wasn’t too much of a hassle since it all depends on how you shelved/categorized your books 🙂
I keep hearing amazing things about Dreamer’s Pool as well as other Juliet Marillier stories. I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading them (that TBR list just keeps growing and growing…), but I’ll have to make a point to do so!
I know what you mean. Before Dreamer’s Pool came out, I had Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest on my TBR for like more than two years. Then I discovered the beauty that is her writing and got on the Sevenwaters series right away!
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So you liked Daughter Of The Forest, too? Someone else had recommended that book to me. Is that a good starting point for anyone who’s new to Marillier’s work?
Well, I started with Dreamer’s Pool then almost immediately went to check out Daughter of the Forest (finally!) because her writing intrigued me that much. I would say either would be a good place to start. I’ve already worked through two books of her Sevenwaters and very soon I will start the third (I think that series has six books in all). She also has a YA series or two out I think.
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Gotcha. Thanks, Mogsy! 🙂
I honestly didn’t know you could do all that cool stuff with GR! I need to get over there NOW and make myself a cool graphic:-D But a truly awesome list! I am so jealous with the shear number of books you are able to read. There are a couple on your list I’m going to try hard to get to next year, especially Dreamer’s Pool.
They only have that chart which I really like, because it lets me see all the books I read in the year and how I rated them. I do wish they had more parameters and also half stars though! The stats at the end of the post I had to calculate myself, however, but it wasn’t bad because of how I’d obsessively shelved my books. All I had to do was take the totals and do some simple maths with them 😛
191 books? Wow. I think I read about a third of that! Pretty awesome that it was almost a 50/50 split between male and female authors though.
Also, I had completely forgotten about the existence of Foxglove Summer. Happy to be reminded that it’s finally been released and I haven’t read it yet, happier to see it on a best of list… 😀
I was kind of happy with the near 50/50 split – it’s so close that we’re at the point where even one or two books will tip the balance one percent or the other so it is pretty much half and half. The cool thing is, I really didn’t plan it that way, throughout the year I just read what I wanted to read and that’s how it turned out.
Traitor’s Blade I liked, but something held be back from a 5-star review. I’m really hoping the sequel delivers like I suspect it will. The Barrow was a ton of fun, and I really wavered between 4 and 5 stars on that one, but I’m glad you included it.
Bennett, Sanderson, Staveley, and Salyards – 100% agreement there!
The Barrow definitely needed more attention in my eyes. It was kind of an underground hit with grimdark readers. And yes, I told you your list and mine would have plenty in common 🙂
You know, I’m so happy to see you’re like me and it’s not possible to choose 10 books. How can we possible do that right? I’m always so impressed by the persons who can do that. It’s a great list! I haven’t read all of them but I like the ones I did. We almost read the same numbers of books, it’s near 220 books for me. I hope 2015 will be as good!
You and I both read a ton so yeah, absolutely no way to narrow it down to 10! You clobbered me with your 220, though! I think I managed to read that many books last year, but not so much this year alas. I’ll aim again for 200 in 2015! 🙂
Fantastic list. I have now found that I really really really want to read the Bloodbound. I also need to go to the store and pay some major bucks for that hardcover, Dreamer’s Pool. That cover is very nice.
Everything about Dreamer’s Pool is gorgeous – the cover, the story, the writing. I hope you’ll love it 🙂
191 books. Nearly the double century club. Whoa
It was more than 200 for me last year, and I was actually trying for that many this year but I didn’t quite make it. Year’s not over yet though, I may read a couple more before the 31st 😉
Great list! A lot of the books I enjoyed are on here as well. I had an internal struggle if I would include The Barrow or not. I ultimately decided against it, but I’m regretting it now. I did really like that book. That aside, 191 books is very impressive. I only got as far as 40! I need to up my game, it seems!
The Barrow was a strange one, I agree. It’s the kind of book that I can understand why a lot of readers would be on the fence about putting it on a best of list. It hovered between 4 and 5 stars for me too (in the end I think I gave it 4.5, haha) but it’s the kind of book that I realized really stuck in my mind and that alone made my decision for me.
Awesome year!! I need to start thinking and putting together some stats too
very true – I should do a male author / female author shelf I guess! Any tips you have on how it was made easier for you I would greatly appreciate. And thanks to your first image up there at the top of the post it made me realize there were a TON of reviews I had forgotten to rate and load to goodreads so I went about doing that this morning. GAH it took forever!
The Horror list list great. I have Horrorstor in my Amazon cart. This is a good spot to learn about books. I really am interested in audiobooks. I was starting to think it was lazy to do audiobooks, but i think it is an art to be able to have that skill and do it well.
I’m in awe of your 191 books! I hit the 130 mark today, and it’s the best I’ve done in the four years that I’ve been blogging. I really need to read M.L. Brennan and Pierce Brown’s novels already. It’s cool how you broke your stats by the author’s sex.
There’s so much love for Dreamer’s Pool going around! I see that you’ve now read Daughter of the Forest – hopefully it was good too. Gotta read those Rachel Bach books & I’ll be starting the Generation V series soon. Impressive reading stats, Mogsy!
Ha! Love that your Horror list is almost the same as mine 🙂 It really was a great year for women horror authors! And I really need to read Dreamer’s Pool and The Barrow!
Just wow! Congrats! I have no idea how you do it! I had trouble with my measly 99. So many of these are on my want to read list. (I so blame you) Yay for Generation V. I just finished that series and I loved it! I read Golden Son last year too and it was so good. Much better than the first. I was so tense because I knew people were going to die. Talk about a book hangover! I enjoyed reading your stats. I didn’t even think of the male/female author thing when I did mine. I usually read more by male authors but this year it was the opposite.
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