2014 Reading Review

I came across this reading survey by Perpetual Page Turner, and even though it’s February, I couldn’t resist doing it for 2014. Lots of book recs ahead!

Number Of Books You Read: 141

Number of Re-Reads: 3 (The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix)

Genre You Read The Most From: YA9780062278227

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? A full list is here, but my favourites were Nimona by Noelle StevensonA hero at the end of the world by Erin Claiborne, and Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith. All very diverse, and YA/NA.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade. Ayoade is one of my favourite comedians, so I was expecting to find this hilarious, but it sticks to the same joke (him interviewing himself) the whole way through, and it quickly got grating. There was no actual content beyond the satire.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I’m not into video games, so I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this book as much as I did.

97818470832344. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014? May We be Forgiven by A. M. Homes. I read this when I was working my way through the Bailey’s prize winners, and it was so brilliant I told everyone I knew to read it. I think 3 or 4 people did.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014? The Magicians by Lev Grossman was the best new series (EXCELLENT- a cross between Narnia and Harry Potter), and the best series finale was Clariel by Garth Nix. The only sequel I read in 2014 was The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness, which was a very stressful read. I have the final Chaos Walking book, but I can’t bear to go through the trauma of reading it just yet. A great series about war on a new planet.

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014? A. M. Homes. I’ve also read Music for Torching, which was just as excellent. Brilliant Breaking Bad levels of family collapse and drama.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? I don’t usually read any horror, but Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix was absolutely incredible. Brilliantly scary, and kudos to the great design of the book, which looks like an Ik17345646ea catalogue.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, which is just…I have no words to describe this book. Incredibly fast paced eery literature thriller.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Haha, The Next Together by Me, Lauren Never-Going-To-Stop-Editing-This-Book James.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014? Definitely Everything leads to you by Nina LaCour. I still get this book off my shelf just to stare at it occasionally.

image11. Most memorable character of 2014? Charles Maxim from Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.

Think of night-time with a speaking voice. Or think how moonlight might talk, or think of ink, if ink had vocal chords. Give those things a narrow aristocratic face with hooked eyebrows,
and long arms and legs. […] He was
thirty-six years old, and six foot three. He spoke English to people and French to cats, and Latin to the birds. He had once nearly killed himself trying to read and ride a horse at the same time.”

That’s pure art.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014? Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. You can’t read this without whispering the words under your breath. Excellent.

“It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobbled streets silent and the hunched courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.”

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 158280792014? Lies We Tell Ourselves
by Robin Talley. Tackles homophobia and sexism and racism and bullying and bravery and is absolutely life-changing.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. I adored the tv series, so I don’t know why I didn’t immediately start reading the books at the time…but I’ve since more than corrected my mistake. I now have Jeeves and Wooster Opinions, especially on the Sebastian Faulks sequel. Grrrr….

15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? Basically any line from The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald.

“Florence had noticed one or two eccentricities in herself lately, which might be the result of hard work, or of age, or of living alone. When the letters came, for example, she often found herself wasting time in looking at the postmarks and wondering whoever they could be from, instead of opening them in a sensible manner and finding out at once.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013? Shortest was probably The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen, and the longest was either Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides or The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. At least, they felt the longest.

1614334717. Book That Shocked You The Most. Obviously, obviously it’s We Were Liars by e. lockhart. Best plot twist of ever.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Ewan/Oliver from A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne. I spent a good day and a half just solidly squeeing with Alice Oseman about this pairing. Urgh. So good.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Evie and her dragon from The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

There are a lot more questions, but I’m all linked out, so I’ll leave this at 20 questions! I highly recommend doing this survey, it was a lot of fun.

THE NEXT TOGETHER, a reincarnation romance, comes out in September. You can add it on goodreads, preorder on amazon, or you can subscribe to my mailing list for updates nearer the time here

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

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