Best of 2014

Happy New Years friends!

2014 was an awfully grand year -- it brought me a lovely baby girl which might be the reason I managed to only read 108 books. Despite that number being on the smallish side, I feel like I was a lot more selective about the books I chose and really discovered some winners. I also did quite a bit of rereading old favorites (Melina Marchetta) and binge reading on particular favorite authors.

Due to my complete neglect of this bloggy, I thought I give a quick recap of my favorites of 2014. 

Best Series Finale (sort of)
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
I say sort of because while it is book seven and technically the resolution to the series, Ilona Andrews still has yet another three Kate books yet to come. Huzzah! Books from this series continue to top my yearly best of lists and it's no surprise. Magic Breaks nicely wrapped up Kate's first encounter with her god-like father Roland in a totally unexpected and ultimately satisfying way. Keep the good stuff coming.

Best Short Story Collection
Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs never disappoints and Shifting Shadows was a perfect chance to get inside of the heads of many of my favorite supporting characters since the series is usually told from Mercy's or Charles and Anna's POV. Some, like Warren, I knew I'd love their story hands-down but Ben's tale totally blindsided me. That one made my little geeky heart light.

Best Space Opera
Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach
2014 was the year of the Sci-Fi novel for me. It all started with this book as a  recommendation from Ilona Andrews. Devi is the best of kind of brash, in-your-face fighter who would never apologize for being anything other than who she is. A bit fanatical about her guns and specialized armor, Devi has this profound sense of loyalty and honor that belies her first impression as a brainless fighter. She's quick and clever and never afraid of taking charge. And I love her to pieces.

Best New (to me) Author Discovery
The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff (Confederation series)
Coming hot off my Fortune's Pawn hangover, I once again have to thank Ilona Andrews for pointing me in the direction of this outstanding series about a group of space Marines led by the indomitable Staff Sargent Torin Kerr. Danger, wit, fuzzy space reporters, and a tough-as-nails female military lead. Just. Read it.

Best High Fantasy
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Wrapping up the Mistborn series, Vin and Elend get their final battle and boy, was it EPIC. I only have to conclude that anything Brandon Sanderson writes is solid gold.

Best I-had-no-idea-I-would-love-this-book-so-much Book
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A story about a dog and his race-car driver owner? Not something I would normally read, but then again Enzo is not your normal dog. Make sure you have the tissues handy though.

Best Witty Romance
Nearly a Lady by Alissa Johnson
Cute and funny love story with an adorable hero whose self-depreciating humor won me over faster than you can say 'Regency.'

Best YA & Best Cover
Jackaby by William Ritter
That silhouette! Gah! Such an atmospheric cover and the insides happily match. It's an unusual mix of a genius detective a la Sherlock set in turn of the century America populated by paranormal creatures hiding in plain sight. Good things indeed.

Biggest Author Binge
Susanna Kearsley and Mary Stewart
I had been trying to parse out Susanna Kearsley's books for just the right time, but wound up blowing through every single title in her backlist in a matter of weeks after baby #3 was born. After that, I then proceeded to devour all the Mary Stewarts' I hadn't read to date and wound up with a severe book hangover that proved murderously hard to beat. I did manage to save two single Mary Stewarts' to read at a future date because I just can't imagine not having another of her books to read for the very first time. Such are the problems in my little world.

And that, dear reader friends, is my 2014 in books. What titles caught you this year?


Angiegirl said...

Ah, a Stewart binge. No finer thing.

Nomes said...

I loved Nearly A Lady too (I tried the other two in the series and didn't find them nearly as addictive and charming, though :( )

I am def going to be trying out Jackaby (and agree it has the best cover)

Hope you find some more awesome reads in 2015 (and I loved reading your list)

joolee said...

Oooh, you've given me a fantastic new list of books to read this year! Most of these I haven't even heard of! But I must say I loved The Art of RAcing in the Rain as well - and I'm not even a dog lover. :)

Michelle said...

Angie - YES.

Nomes - Thanks so much! I think you'd like Jackaby -- it's great.

Julie -- I think I actually read RACING IN THE RAIN because of YOU! HA! But I think you'd like some of these. We should really live closer to talk books...

Liviania said...

I *still* need to read Magic Breaks. Can't believe I've waited this long.