2014: A Year in Books and introducing The Year in Books: January

2014 was a good year for reading, I think.  I read 60 books, completing my Goodreads Challenge.  Here's a quick round-up of what I read, using some of the questions in Jamie's survey.

Best book in 2014?

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne.  I loved it.

Book I was excited about, thought I would love, but didn't?

Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French.  Thought it would be funny, it wasn't.

Most surprising book (in a good or bad way)?

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.  Everyone said it was good, and it really was.

Best series I started in 2014

This has to be A Song of Ice and Fire, I wasn't sure I would like it, but did enjoy it once I got into it.  The rest of the series is on my Kindle waiting to be read.

Favourite new author I discovered in 2014

Clare Morrall.  I especially like it when I find an author I like, then realise they've already published other books!

Best book from a genre I don't typically read

A Game of Thrones.  I don't like fantasy books, I expected not to like this, but it proved me wrong!

Most unputdownable book of the year?

A History of Loneliness.  I read it in a matter of hours.

Book I'm most likely to re-read next year?

I don't reread books.  

Favourite cover?

I can barely remember any of the covers, which implies they haven't really stuck in my mind.

Most memorable character?

Danny, the young swimmer from Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Most beautifully written book?

The Sea, although it took me a whole month to read.

Most thought-provoking book?

Considering I'm not a sporty person, Double Fault by Lionel Schriver and Barracuda are books which made me think about sport, professional sport, and the dedication it takes to even try and be successful.

Book that shocked me the most

Silence by Natasha Preston simply because it was so poorly edited and littered with errors.

Favourite book I read in 2014 from an author I've read previously

Possibly Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult.  I've enjoyed all her books.

Best book I read in 2014 which I read solely based on a recommendation

Astonishing Splashes of Colour as recommended by Snowy Owl.  Brilliant.

Best 2014 debut?

Gin Glorious Gin by Olivia Williams. Although it's non-fiction.  Does that count?

Book that put a smile on my face

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg which was gently funny, all the way through.

Book that (nearly) made me cry

I rarely cry at books.  I don't think any made me cry in 2014.

Hidden gem of the year?

Ooh.  Not sure.  The Red House by Mark Haddon?  I don't know anyone else who has read it, or even heard of it.

Right, that's my 2014 reading summarised.  On to 2015!

I am so pleased that Laura is running The Year in Books again this year - I've enjoyed seeing what other people are reading and have found a few new blogs to read I doubt I would have found otherwise.  I also have many new titles to add to my ever-growing list of books I'd like to read.

My book for January is The Lie by Helen Dunmore.

It's one of the many books I brought home from my Mum's house when I visited at Christmas  - a general rule with our reading is that if she liked a book, I will like it.  We can generalise a bit further, if I like a book, she might like it, if I love a book she will either love it too, or hate it.  Anyway, she liked The Lie, so I expect it to follow our reading rule!

I've loved reading other people's summaries of 2014 - here's to an even better reading experience in 2015!


  1. I loved The Shock of the Fall too! Another I was pleasantly surprised by was The Girl With All The Gifts, I really enjoyed the different perspective on a post-apocalyptic theme. If you've not read it yet I'd definitely recommend it! x

    1. Another one to add to my list of books to read! Quite frankly, I am never ever going to read all of them! Even if no more books were ever published, I don't think I'd read through my list! Not that I am complaining there are so many good books out there!

  2. Ooh what a fun idea, I'm totally doing it! I glad you love Game of Thrones, I've yet to meet someone who didn't like the books! My mum and I do not have that rule - generally if I love it, she hates it. She's still not forgiven me for making her read The Time Traveller's Wife... :)

    1. I admit it took a while to get into AGOT, I spent a lot of time going pah, that's not real, that wouldn't happen, oh that's a bit violent, but then I stopped thinking those those and just enjoyed the story. Need to be in the right frame of mind to read the next one, though!

  3. I've got The Lie too. I will move it up the pile so I can compare notes at the end of the month. I have followed The Year In Books since it started and would love to join in but I need a blog first!

    1. Ah, brilliant. I've almost finished, it's been quite a good read (a tad emotional in places!). You could always start a blog...? Do you have Twitter? There's going to be a Twitter chat at the end of the month...

  4. YES big up for GoT :) I actually had to read the A Song of Ice and Fire books twice before I truly fell in love with them. this is a great idea - I think I will set myself a Goodreads reading challenge this year, though knitting is quickly taking over my assigned reading times (on the bus to work and lunch times) :p
    A series of books that I read this year made me BAWL my eyes out though - Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, have you read them? I read all 4 and cried myself into headaches after the first and last books. jenny xx

    1. Yes! Noughts and Crosses! I read the first one many years ago, and loved it, then a year or so ago I read the fourth one, not realising it was the fourth one. So I need to go back and read two and three which might help me understand four! But yes, very emotional and so thought-provoking. You've reminded me to go and try and find the other books!

  5. Oooh I enjoyed Gin Glorious Gin too! And disappointed to hear about that Dawn French book. I read her first one and wasn't overly impressed, but bought Oh Dear Silvia to give her another go. Haven't read it yet though and guess I'll keep putting it off!

    1. It's a shame when you really want to like something, but don't!


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