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2014 Wrap-Up

December 30, 2014

Given that tomorrow I am cleaning and getting ready for a board game shindig I’m hosting, I probably will finish the book I’m reading today and that will be it for the year.  That will bring me to about 214 books read in this year, give or take a few for being unfinished or collections.  (Thank you, Goodreads.)  Some approximate statistics, since I was intrigued by this article on Goodreads about a gender-based reading poll:

46% were male

8% were by an author of color (that I knew of)

3.5% went unfinished (mostly for being boring or sexist; a few were unfinished because they were part of collections where I was reading selections for a book club)

71% of my goal reached for the year, because my goal was stupidly large

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My five-star Goodreads ratings for new (or new to me) books this year were:

-The first issue of Sex Criminals, because I haven’t been that drawn in by a first issue of a series since…I can’t remember.  Maybe the first Joss Whedon Astonishing X-Men?

-Jim Butcher’s Skin Game, because writing the fifteenth book of a series can’t be easy, and because when I’m thinking, “Did he watch a lot of Leverage this year?” you’ve probably done something right

-The first Veronica Mars book, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, because it was everything a book based on a TV show should be

Orange is the New Black, which isn’t like the show but I’m okay with that; I loved it for what it was

-Jo Walton’s My Real Children, a thoughtful alternative history where a woman with Alzheimer’s remembers two pasts

-John Scalzi’s near-future buddy-cop murder mystery, Lock In

Landline, a (not YA) romance with a twist from Rainbow Rowell

-The conclusion to Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, which kept me fascinated the whole way through

-Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a great book for your reading-obsessed mother

Gone Girl, a book that makes other thrillers look tame

-Douglas Adams’s non-fiction Last Chance to See, which I liked far more than any of his fiction, about searching out endangered animals

-Bill Willingham’s Fairest: In All The Land, because I still love Fables

Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent series, because it’s hard to write a middle book, and I think Veronica Roth did a great job with it

-Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster series, because holy crap, Wild Seed if nothing else, but the rest of the books are great too, even the one she didn’t like (trigger warning, as with many of Butler’s books)

-Margaret Atwood’s short story collection Stone Mattress, which includes one with the women from The Robber Bride!

The Scorpio Races, because Maggie Stiefvater made me care about horses (howwww)

Lies My Teacher Told Me, a must-read critical look at American history textbooks

and

Rat Girl, Kristin Hersh’s memoir of a year in the life of a young mentally ill musician

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Next year’s goals are as follows:

-50 books off the to-read bookcase in my house

-20 books published in November 2014 or later (“new books”)

-100 books total (I can’t NOT set a Goodreads challenge, okay?)

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I’m definitely going to save up for BEA, since this is the last year in New York that I know of, but I don’t know if I’ll go to that last day.  I probably will because I have a lot of friends who can’t get into any day BUT the last day, because they’re not in the business.

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I did watch more TV this year than usual, I think.  We committed to Netflix and Hulu but still don’t have regular service, so there are a lot of things I still can’t see.  The new shows I love the most are The Flash and How to Get Away with Murder.  I enjoyed Intruders but didn’t get a chance to finish it, even though it suffers from the British sci fi drama thing where the plot is basically whatever and the characters just act whatever way it needs them to (Orphan Black season 1 has this problem too), and Gotham and Constantine have been fun to watch if not solid.  I’m behind in Doctor Who, Grimm, and Agents of SHIELD by at least half a season on both.  Sometimes you just have to wait for Netflix.

Old shows that were new to me that impressed the heck out of me were Jericho, Leverage, Arrow, Archer, and Community.

Movie-wise, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 came to Netflix and I kept putting it off because I was afraid I wouldn’t love it, but I did.  We rented Frozen from the library and I found it cute but problematic.  I thought I wasn’t going to like The Lego Movie from the first couple of scenes because it was so frantic, but found myself loving it (and crying) by the end.  My husband and I watched Equilibrium (first time for me, not him), and I found it eye-rollingly over the top.  I watched Divergent and found that the world that sounds so bizarre in the book kinda works in real life.  Well, at least it strains less incredulity.

I watched The One I Love last week on Netflix and loved it.  I won’t be the one to spoil it for you.

I went to the theater a LOT for me this year.  I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, which I enjoyed except that AU murder porn is a lot tougher to take on the big screen than on the page.  I saw Veronica Mars twice, because I missed her terribly and a lot of people wanted to see it with me.  I saw If I Stay and The Fault in Our Stars and Mockingjay Part 1 because I’m all about the YA adaptations–also I got free tickets to the first, which impressed me by being not just an adaptation but a love letter to music performance.  I saw Gone Girl but thought it was lacking something from the book.

And of course I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, both excellent movies for very different reasons.

That is so many movies for me!

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I didn’t purchase many books this year with my own money.  Mostly, I turned in old books at the Book Barn and traded them for old favorites or book club selections, which I then traded in…you see how this goes.  I did buy a Buffy trade for myself, and I got a B&N gift card, so I will FINALLY get to read Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel!  I’m excited.

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Goodreads sent me an email about new books while I was writing this, and omg: more Lunar Chronicles, new Gayle Forman, another Veronica Mars book, maaaaybe the new Jo Walton.

There’s at least three for the new list. 🙂

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So, all in all, it was a good year to be a book/comic book nerd.  Or maybe it was just a good year to be me.

What was your favorite book from 2014?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2014 12:45 am

    We have very similar taste. 🙂 Loved Landline (and Fangirl was even better!), love Atwood anything (will look that up), Willingham is fab, Lies My Teacher Told Me is a fav from a few years back, and Gone Girl was amazing!

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