Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Five Favorite Reads of 2014!

I'm a little OCD about tracking my reading through Goodreads. If I haven't logged it on Goodreads, then I haven't read it.  Two of my favorite Goodread's features are the yearly reading challenge and the stats pages.  This year I have read 60 books for a grand total of 21,720 pages. This is really only a competition with myself, so for comparison’s sake, in 2013 I read 23 books amounting to 9,711 pages. Dramatic improvement.

Looking back on my favorite reads of 2014, it would appear that I was in a science fiction/fantasy mood.  The only five books I gave five out of five stars were The Chronicles of the Black Company, Dracula, Ready Player One, The Martian and Off to be the Wizard.

 Chronicles of the Black Company – No joking, my favorite book of all time and forever. As a young gun, I really enjoyed Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World.  These are better than those.  I bought into the plot and the main characters leapt from the page.  The pacing was pretty close to perfect - it was storytelling at its finest.  And the conclusion - the last 100 pages are maybe the best conclusion I've ever read - an otherworldly out-of-body experience (especially if you read them with a Pandora station based upon Lord of the Rings.)  Magical.

Dracula – This is my perennial favorite.  I read it every year in October and this time I read it with my brother, Dr. J.  He enjoyed it and we talked about it, which made it even more enjoyable.  The soothing syntax of B. Stoker with his 1897 style once again took a satisfying bite out of the neck of fundamental gothic fiction.  (Did you catch what I did there?)

 Ready Player One, The Martian and Off to be the Wizard – three most excellent science-fiction/fantasy reads.  Ready Player One & Off to be the Wizard  -  Dr. J recommended both of these books, and if you spent the 90s playing video games, like I did, you will really like them both.  The Martian – imagine something pulled from the Robinson Crusoe / Castaway archetype, but with a slight intergalactic change of venue.  This one is hard to put down (not just because gravity is less oppressive for the protagonist).

Goodbye 2014 – from a literary perspective, you may have been the best year yet. 

Care to share your top-five favorite reads of 2014?  Feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy New Year!

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