HELLO, LOYAL BLOG READERS/MINIONS OF MINE! I’m posting yet another wrap-up post today… and probably at least two more after that. If you don’t like them, I’m sorry. But I have lots of stuff to recap! So expect to see a post about the best books I read in 2014 (which may or may not be a top ten list – I haven’t decided yet), and a post about diverse books read in 2014. (Plus a post about bookish goals for 2015.)
The subject of today’s wrap-up post is: all the books I read last year. Yes, that’s right. ALL of them. I wanted to read at least 100 books in 2014, but I ended up reading 203! (Go, me!)
I thought it might be fun to see which books I read when, the wide variety of genres I explored, any bookish trends I followed, et cetera. So, let’s get started!
P.S. To keep this post from getting out of control, I’ve limited myself to listing just the title, author, and a one- or two-sentence remark about my opinion of the book. Enjoy!
2. My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Read for the homeschool academic superbowl – we studied pioneer America.
3. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Dark yet humorous at times!
4. Son by Lois Lowry. A disappointing conclusion to the series that began with The Giver.
5. Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani. Not as good as its predecessor, Viola in Reel Life.
7. Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Yay for diverse reads!
8. Harry Potter, Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe. Fascinating, especially if you’re into film design.
9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Probably the most unique book I read in 2014.
10. Ash by Malinda Lo. OMG THIS WAS THE BEST BOOK I READ LAST YEAR OMG OMG OMG.
12. Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. Not quite as good as her other book. (See above.)
13. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris. BLAH.
14. Stuck in the Middle: 17 Stories from an Unpleasant Age edited by Ariel Schrag. Stories about middle school? Meh.
15. A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson. Short yet heartbreaking.
17. The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim. I loved the illustrations in this one!
18. Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel. A creepy story for the middle-grade crowd.
19. Moomin, Vol. 1 by Tove Jansson. Very cute.
20. Boxers by Gene Luen Yang. Historical fiction in the form of a graphic novel!
21. Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Ditto.
22. Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf. This was about the early days of the Beatles!
23. Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 by Naomi Shihab Nye. One of my biggest reading regrets from last year is that I didn’t read more poetry; I enjoyed this.
24. My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary. The autobiography of her adulthood!
26. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I just really love Meyer’s writing.
27. Cress by Marissa Meyer. THIS WAS SO FREAKING GOOD.
28. The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart. Yes, sometimes even I read entire books about boyfriends! (Are you surprised?)
29. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. MEH.
31. Oz by Eric Shanower. A graphic novel retelling; very pretty!
32. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. This is my favorite modern vampire story.
33. Sidekicked by John David Anderson. This book looked so good, but it ended up being disappointing.
34. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I’m not surprised that I loved this; I’m a fangirl too.
35. Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart. A modern retelling of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis!
36. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I don’t understand all the hype over this book.
38. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. How is it even possible for a book about teenage-aliens-on-the-run to be boring?!
39. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. An absolutely BRILLIANT, dark, and very very short classic I only wish I’d read earlier!
40. Malice by Chris Wooding. My favorite middle-grade book read last year!
42. Sceptre of the Ancients by Derek Landy. OH MY GOSH I FREAKING LOVE THE SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT SERIES.
43. Playing with Fire by Derek Landy. This was hilarious. (“Vaurien Scapegrace, Killer Supreme!”)
44. They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie. I should’ve read more Christie in 2014.
45. Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr. This was OK.
46. Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic. If you’d like to learn more about the Vietnam War – if you’d like a very personal perspective of the conflict – then I highly recommend this book.
47. Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim. Diversity in graphic novels is excellent.
48. Harvey by Herve Bouchard. Sometimes I read foreign graphic novels.
49. Peanut by Ayun Halliday. Meh?
50. Bad Holiday by Doug TenNapel. Also meh?
52. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen. Of course, everything went wrong.
53. Mercury by Hope Larson. Creepy!
54. Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg. Not quite as good as the first book, The Plain Janes.
55. Escape from “Special” by Miss Lasko-Gross. Yay for autobiographical graphic novels!
56. A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross. Ditto.
57. Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. So apparently if homeschooled girls switch to public school, they’ll suddenly become obsessed with getting a boyfriend – who knew?
59. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Yay for dystopian novels that are set somewhere other than the United States!
60. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. Adorable!
61. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines. Big fat MEH.
62. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Very cute!
63. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. This was the point where the Heroes of Olympus series started to become amazing!
65. Inheritance by Malinda Lo. Aliens, bisexual protagonists, and love triangles? Yes, please.
66. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. Pretty cool, but not as amazing as I expected.
67. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. If you like history and etymology, read this book.
68. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. I loved this play.
69. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Definitely one of the BEST YA dystopian books I’ve read since The Hunger Games.
70. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. OH MY GOD YES.
72. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Sometimes I read classic dystopian novels!
73. Bad Girls by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple. Yay for middle-grade nonfiction about historical villainesses!
74. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I can’t believe I waited until 2014 to read this marvelous book.
75. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. Sometimes this book was slow; sometimes it was wonderful.
76. The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb. I probably shouldn’t have read this book in public; everyone gave me weird looks and I had to explain that yes, I’m reading a book with a swastika on the front cover but it’s about DEFEATING the Nazis, not being one!
78. Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment edited by Anne Curry. Working for National Geographic Magazine is my dream job!
79. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. A decent, if morbid, sequel.
80. The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller. I really need to read its sequel, All You Desire.
81. Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers by Kirsten Miller. Not as good as the first two books in this series.
82. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller. BRILLIANT.
83. The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno. Well, this book certainly wasn’t about what I thought it was about.
85. Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender. Pretty cover, pretty sloppy story.
86. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. If you’re looking for nonfiction that reads like a story, try this book about a World War II soldier.
87. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. My brother recommended this short, dark Russian sci fi classic to me and I’m glad he did!
88. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. If you liked Inkheart and the Chronicles of Narnia, I think you’d appreciate this book.
89. Planet Urth by Jennifer and Christopher Martucci. DEFINITELY THE WORST BOOK I READ THIS YEAR.
90. Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. Meh!
91. Venture Untamed by R.H. Russell. Double meh!
93. Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli. A must-read for Potterheads and those who used to be one. (AKA myself.)
94. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. I LOVE her writing style!
95. The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy. OH SKULDUGGERY YOU POOR THING!
96. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. A very summery graphic novel.
98. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Read for school.
99. Captain America: Man out of Time by Mark Waid. This was the first Marvel
comic I ever read!
100. The Death Cure by James Dashner. Sometimes I loved this finale; sometimes I didn’t.
101. The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Vol. 1. by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell. Decent.
102. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel by George R.R. Martin and Ben Avery. I really should read the original.
104. Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker. If you enjoyed the movie, you NEED to read this book!
105. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. A decent story, yet not captivating enough to make me read the rest of the series right away.
106. Fan Art by Sarah Tregay. Read this instead of Boy Meets Boy.
107. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I don’t normally enjoy contemporary YA, but I adored this SO much.
109. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. So glad I started reading this series!
110. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. Very sad.
111. Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts. Read this instead of The Fault in Our Stars.
112. Flawless by Sara Shepard. Me like.
113. Perfect by Sara Shepard. Ditto.
114. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. So glad that I finally read this classic!
115. Going Solo by Roald Dahl. I enjoyed this book – it’s the sequel to Boy and the autobiography of his adulthood!
116. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Didn’t like this as much as I liked The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
118. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. A thrilling conclusion!
119. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK.
120. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I don’t like the books these authors wrote individually, so I don’t know why my dislike of this book surprised me so much. FILLED with stereotypes and junk.
122. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. Two boys being extremely uninteresting for the duration of this book.
123. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. HILARIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL.
124. A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo. Graphic novels about World War II!
125. Foiled by Jane Yolen. This was cute.
126. Koko Be Good by Jen Wang. Did this book even have a plot?
127. Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Nathan Hale. Very creative.
128. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Man, I really hated The Grapes of Wrath, and thought I’d hate this too – I was wrong!
129. Will O’ The Wisp by Tom Hammock. Meh.
131. YOLO by Lauren Myracle. The earlier books were better!
132. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. SO. BORING. AND. POINTLESS.
133. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Mildly cute.
134. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi. Oh my, Marjane was a precocious child, wasn’t she?
135. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi. I love her drawing style!
136. Tomboy by Liz Prince. I really related to this book.
137. The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Edginton. I liked this!
139. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. LOVED this nonfiction book!
140. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. An adorable, creative graphic novel.
141. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. This play was irritating.
142. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Didn’t love this as much as I thought I would.
143. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. Cute and Christmassy!
144. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I hate Lola, basically.
145. Looking for Alaska by John Green. Why does John Green suck so much at writing complex, three-dimensional female characters?
146. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. I read this shortly after watching the new webseries adaptation!
148. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. This may very well be the only graphic novel I’ve ever rated five stars; if you love dystopian stories, you NEED to read it.
149. Rumpelstiltskin: The Graphic Novel by Valdez Y. Alanis. Nope!
150. Sleeping Beauty: The Graphic Novel by Martin Powell. Ditto.
151. Red Riding Hood: The Graphic Novel by Martin Powell. Ugh.
152. Cinderella: The Graphic Novel by Beth Bracken. No.
153. Rapunzel: The Graphic Novel by Stephanie True Peters. Just no.
154. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. Darkly comic short stories.
156. Dark Days by Derek Landy. I adore this series.
157. Mortal Coil by Derek Landy. I AM STILL NOT OVER THE ENDING OF THIS BOOK AND I SERIOUSLY DOUBT I EVER WILL BE UGHHHHHH.
158. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Very, very sad.
159. A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel by Charles Dickens and Sean Michael Wilson. I prefer the original.
160. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. An autobiography told in verse!
161. Jane Eyre: The Graphic Novel by Charlotte Brontë and Amy Corzine. Meh.
162. Death Bringer by Derek Landy. Yay for six-hundred-page fantasy books!
163. Kingdom of the Wicked by Derek Landy. This book was so dark, and I can’t believe the first few in this series were so happy and light-hearted.
164. Tanith Low in… The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy. I’ll admit it, I have a humongous crush on Tanith. BECAUSE SHE’S AWESOME AND HAS A SWORD.
166. El Deafo by Cece Bell. This was SO CUTE, but the story lacked that little “something” to make it stand out.
167. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. Not very interesting.
168. The Pit and the Pendulum: The Graphic Novel by Edgar Allan Poe and Sean Tulien. The original is scarier.
169. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle and Hope Larson. I know we’re supposed to like Charles Wallace, but I’ve always hated him… oops.
171. The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti. SO many plot elements were missing, and the art was terrible.
172. Great Expectations: The Graphic Novel by Charles Dickens and Brigit Viney. I haven’t read the original yet, actually.
173. The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew. Yay for Asian-American superheroes!
174. Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner. Simultaneously interesting and frustrating.
175. Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel by Mary Shelley and Lloyd S. Wagner. I enjoyed this!
176. Captain America: To Serve & Protect by Mark Waid. Cap is my favorite superhero, all right?
177. Captain America: American Nightmare by Mark Waid. So I read lots of books about him.
178. Reality Boy by A.S. King. Sometimes I laughed, but sometime this was painful to read – not because it was bad, but because its protagonist dealt with a bunch of horrible things.
180. I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn. I wasn’t expecting such a short book to make me so sad.
181. Set to Sea by Drew Weing. A short, cute read!
182. Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston. I adore Emiko.
183. Cardboard by Doug TenNapel. Meh.
184. Tyranny by Leslie Fairfield. A disturbing graphic novel about a girl with an eating disorder.
185. The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff. THE WATERCOLOR ARTWORK IN THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL WAS BEAUTIFUL.
187. Young Avengers, Vol. 2: Alternative Culture by Kieron Gillen. They have so much attitude!
188. Young Avengers, Vol. 3: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space by Kieron Gillen. And they’re so gay!
189. Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks. Now this was goofy.
190. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol. Liked this one much more than I expected to.
191. Life Sucks by Jessica Abel. I had no idea that this was about vampires.
192. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri. Very sad.
193. Orange by Zhang Bin. Beautiful artwork!
195. War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by Sharon E. McKay. I should probably read the original.
196. The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown. Packed with facts, but rather dull.
197. Lies in the Dust: A Tale of Remorse from the Salem Witch Trials by Jakob Crane. A short, lovely book.
198. The Saga of Rex by Michael Gagné. Adorable!
199. The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I liked this book, although I still don’t quite understand its plot.
201. Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner. Perhaps a little too weird for my tastes.
202. Captain America: No Escape by Ed Brubaker. So much love for these books.
203. Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy. Remember when the Skulduggery Pleasant books were filled with jokes, not sadness?
How many books did YOU read this year? (You can list them all if you want to, but you certainly don’t have to!) Did you manage to read more than me?!
Be sure to tell me what you’ve read lately, too! I just finished Carrie by Stephen King, and am currently reading Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy. After that, I’m going to read The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy and The Green Mile by Stephen King!
…and according to the introduction of Armageddon, Stephen King is one of Landy’s authorly inspirations, so basically I APPRECIATE STEPHEN KING A LOT RIGHT NOW.