Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I Read in 2014

At the end of each year I do a summary post of what I read throughout the year. I find it interesting to see my reading habits, and to make note of what the best books were each year. Last year's post shows that I read 37 books, and I beat that handily this year. I use a standard five star rating method with five stars meaning I loved the book so much I intend to re-read it throughout my life, so there are rarely any five star books.

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger ** and a half
2. The Evolution of Inanimate Objects by Harry Karlinsky **
3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman ****
4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman ****
5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman ***
6. The Story of Britain by Rebecca Frasier ****
7. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins ****

8. How to Get the Part by Margie Haber ** and a half
9. A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons *** and a half
10. The Human Division by John Scalzi ****

11. Last Words by George Carlin ***
12. Accelerando by Charles Stross **
13. The General's Daughter by Nelson DeMille ****
14. The Many Deaths of the Black Company by Glen Cook *** and a half
15. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen ****

16. The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham ***
17. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey ****
18. Dropcloth Angels by Gerald D. Johnston ***
19. Countdown City by Ben H. Winters ****
20. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams ***
21. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain *** and a half
22. From a Buick 8 by Stephen King *** and a half
23. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ****

24. Seep by J. Eric Laing *** and a half
25. The Wasteland Saga by Nick Cole *** and a half
26. Blindsight by Peter Watts *** and a half
27. Three Men on a Bender by Patrick Rossi *** and a half
28. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie *** and a half
29. Anathem by Neal Stephenson *** and a half
30. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ****

31. Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith *** and a half
32. Hunter's Run by George R.R. Martin *** and a half
33. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer **** and a half

34. Sand Omnibus by Hugh Howey *** and a half
35. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi *** and a half
36. Horns by Joe Hill *** and a half
37. The Company by K.J. Parker *
38. Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey ****

39. Windhaven by George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle ** and a half
40. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson *** and a half
41. The Maze Runner by James Dashner ** and a half
42. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner **
43. The Death Cure by James Dashner **
44. The Kill Order by James Dashner **
45. Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith ****
46. Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith *** and a half
47. Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith ****
48. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith ****

49. Polar Star by Martin Cruz Smith ****
50. Red Square by Martin Cruz Smith ****
51. Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith ****
52. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman ****

So while I didn't have any books this year that I absolutely loved, I read quite a number of really good ones. The best was The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. The best series was the Arkady Renko novels by Martin Cruz Smith, and the most promising new series is The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. Happy reading!


  1. Impressive list--I notice you cruise through authors--you have several on here with a lot of repeats. Any reason? I find I get tired of style if it isn't actually a series, so I need to mix it up. Like I love Tom Robbins or Peter Straub, but I sprinkle them. I plan to read more Gaiman: I've only read The Graveyard Book thus far (loved it)--out of your 4-stars, which ONE would you recommend I read this year?

  2. Thanks, Hart. I loved the Martin Cruz Smith series with Arkady Renko. His style really works for me, though part of it may be that I studied Russian in college and lived in Russia for several years. You might check out one of those, say Gorky Park, and see if it appeals to you before trying the others. The best of the four star ones is The Invisible Bridge. I could have given that five stars if the story itself fit more into the type of story that I enjoy reading most. I only bothered with the James Dashner books because my wife had bought all of them for me and they were short, quick reads, so even though I didn't think much of them, I felt it a waste of money not to go ahead and read them. I don't recommend them, though. You might really like The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman. It's a lovely little story.