Friday, 16 January 2015

2014 - A Year of Books


I found this fun survey on Fluffy Owl's Adventures and Words That Can Only Be Your Own and decided to (belatedly) give it a go.  The original questions were thought up by Jamie and there's a whole pile and more here.  I thought it was a bit of a shame that I pretty much gave up on my monthly book posts in the last part of the year, so this is a bumper version to make up for it...

Best book you read in 2014?
I loved loved loved the Song of Ice and Fire books by George RR Martin, but A Storm of Swords (book 3) was a particular highlight.  I was reading it on the train when something pretty significant happened and I was bursting to tell someone but all I could do was sit and gawp while my brain processed what was going on.  
On the other side of the genre scale, I also loved Emma by Jane Austen.  I have no idea why it took me so long to read it but I savoured every delightful word.

Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons seems an obvious choice - I thought it was going to be stuffy and old fashioned in a bad way, but it was entertaining and old fashioned in a good way.
Conversely, from the way everyone raved about The Fault in our Stars by John Green, I thought it was going to be the ultimate weepy love story.  It was a predictable cheese fest.


Book you can't believe you waited until 2014 to read?
I could repeat myself and say the Song of Ice and Fire series but... I'll have to go with a tie between Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

Shortest and longest books you read in 2014?
(totally just realised you could do this on Goodreads!)  Not surprisingly, all seven Ice and Fire books are in the top eight!  The other high number is The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp by Eva Rice, a lovely book about a girl who becomes a singer in the 1960s (and is sort of related to her most awesome book, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.)
Three books claimed not to have a page number, but the lowest seems right anyway, a Shire book on Holiday Camps by Kathryn Ferry.


Book that made you the most mad? (although doesn't necessarily mean you didn't like it)
A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon looked a bit like fluffy nonsense at first glance, but the story of a girl recovering from cancer by purging her belongings actually held up through the many (many) pages.  I was pootling along quite briskly with it, wanting to see how it ended, then in the last couple of chapters it became clear it was heading off in a completely ridiculous direction.  And I got mad.

Best book from a genre you don't typically read?
I'm not a crime/thriller fan in the slightest but I got totally hooked on Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson.  The film was typically a bit naff though...


Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn't?
I was looking forward to reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell when I came across it in the library, but it just felt a bit predictable.  And the names of the twins annoyed me.  That's all I've got, but it's enough.  I think I'm over Young Adult reading for the moment, it's been a bit of a touchy genre for me this year. 

Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
I got very into The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and have kept her in mind for another easy read in the future.  I also really liked The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, an odd story about a group of friends who find a cottage in the woods and decide to live there for a year after finishing university.  Unsurprisingly, things take a sinister turn...

In 2014 I aimed to read 50 books and I read... 50 books!  It was a bit of a surprise to realise I was right on target!  I've set the same goal for this year, although I don't take it too seriously.  Reading is my fun time and I've always read a lot, but it doesn't matter to me if I hit a certain number, as long as I enjoy the journey.

:)

16 comments:

  1. Ballet Shoes! Oh my goodness I had forgotten just how much I loved books by that author! I am very tempted to go to the library right this minute to see what copies I can find in the children's section!

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    1. Yes do it! Although I also read Circus Shoes and wasn't fussed on that, but the Gemma books were good :)

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  2. I read the ice and fire books to! Finally finished the 5th one, and am now hoping I dont forget everything until the next one comes out - the 3rd book is by far the best one, I really struggled with the 4th book. There are just too many people to keep track of! And I'm dying to know if all my theories are true or not

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    1. Same, the fourth book was such a slog, I don't care about Theon's clan! I'm also hoping I don't forget everything, my memory is not the greatest...

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  3. I have loved every Kate Morton book. They are great reading for when you need a good story but not tons of thought. I don't mean that in a bad way! :)

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    1. Yeah I totally get you, glad to know the others are good too! :)

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  4. I completely agree with you about 'The Fault in our Stars' - the characters just annoyed me too much for me to be moved to even welled up eyes never mind tears. I've also been delving into young adult books this year but with mixed results - I loved the Hunger Games trilogy (well the first 2 anyway) but I read Malorie Blackman's 'Noughts and Crosses' and hated all the melodramatic lines they must think teenagers love. Loads of great and varied recommendations here for my 2015 reading list - thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Ah good, I thought I was the only one! I felt the same about Hunger Games, it dragged a bit by the end.

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  5. I've heard (read) a couple of people's suggestions of Cold Comfort Farm recently - sounds exactly my cup of tea! I've never read a George RR Martin though... I keep thinking I should, I loved the TV programme. Can I say that on a blog post about books?!

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    1. It's really good, a funny read. Definitely do the books if you loved the show, that's how I got into them!

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  6. I have several comments:
    - I still haven't read The Fault in Our Stars. I reckon I must be the only blogger out there who hasn't read it yet. No reason really, I just haven't picked it up from the library yet!
    - I've just added the Tara Jupp book to my 'to read' list (I also loved her Secrets one), not really sure why I didn't already have it on my list so thank you!
    - Shire books are awesome, most people I've met haven't heard of them but they're excellent books for learning quite a lot about niche subjects. I have the Holiday Camps book on my shelves plus about 15 other Shire books.
    - Lastly, how long is that Dewey number on the Girl Guides book!?
    :-) xx

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    1. Yay get those books added! I love Shire books, they have so many random topics! I got Tam a bunch for his birthday last year and he's reading about beach huts at the mo :) I never even noticed that number, what a niche book haha!

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  7. I love Cold Comfort Farm, it was one of the few books I had to completely dissect during English Language at college but still loved by the time we finished with it!
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is my favourite by her, it's a cracking book.

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    1. Ha I know that's usually an instant way to put anyone off a book so it must be good! Ooh I'll look for that one next :)

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  8. Ah this post was really helpful as I am aiming for 40 books this year! Been doing lots of reading on the tube lately so have been going through books like mad! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Ooh that's a good aim! The only thing I miss about commuting is the dedicated reading time, I've fallen a bit behind since I moved! :)

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