Reading List 2014

Off to a slow start this year. . .

1. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens, Finished Feb 10, 2014

This was a chore to read. I apparently do not enjoy the classics very much at all. hopefully my next book is a less tedious beast to finish.

2,3,4. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie, Finished April 16, 2014

Excellent. Full of imagination and mystery. Must be read again sometime to be fully appreciated though I think. I look forward to reading this trilogy again.

5. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston, Finished April 24, 2014

Great story and very interesting. Plus strong female character with many other real, developed characters! My favorite kind of story often has those elements. 

6. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway, Finished April 26, 2014

A good read. Well written and I enjoyed it but perhaps not the most compelling story I've read recently. But It does feel nice to say I have at least read one Ernest Hemingway work. Plus I must admit the characters all felt very modern and well developed. 

7. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy, Finished June 3, 2014

Considering that this novel/ series of novella's was written from 1873 to 1877, it is amazing how modern the characters are and how well their motivations are developed. Sure it has a few moments when I just can't quite relate to the ladies, like the style of some of the dresses and hair-do's they mention for dances; but for the most part these were characters I felt I could relate to. By far this has been my favorite classic novel so far. Only downside is how long it is,  it has been a while since I read anything that was over one thousand pages.

8. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë, Finished June 13, 2014

Another classic which I enjoyed! It was a really enjoyable novel. So I guess I don't dislike classics as much as I thought I did.

9. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Finished June 17, 2014

This was a strange and magical little story. It really is a novella and not a proper "full length" novel, and it did only take me an afternoon of light intensity level reading to read from start to finish. It is an excellent story to read when you begin to feel like the grown up world is making a you contrary and cynical. It will remind you of some simple truths in life without being preachy or to heavy handed. A delight to read is my verdict.

10. No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy, Finished June 24, 2014

Finally another novel by McCarthy I don't dislike entirely. While I did enjoy this novel it probably wont be read again. If you enjoyed the movie or have seen the movie you have pretty much the entire story anyways, the novel only adds a little bit to the experience of this particular story. Which is unusual really, most of the time the novel is a landslide better than the movie.

11. A Game Of Thrones - George R. R. Martin, Finished July 3, 2014

Have you read this series yet? You pretty much have to. Honestly one of the best book series I have ever read. This is only book one, there are currently five published and supposed to be two more on the way. I have read these novels before but I thought it might be time to try them again, and I was right. Seriously, read these books, it is a wonderful time.

12. A Clash of Kings - George R.R, Martin, Finished July 29, 2014

Must know every detail of this series by heart, that is the goal. Will know everything!

13. A Storm of Swords - George R. R. Martin, Finished August 9, 2014

Keeping a pretty decent pace on this read through, not my fastest read of the series, but I am trying to find all the little details and hints that I might have missed on earlier reads.

Also I have a 3DS now, and I love it. . . Last year was the year of reading, this year might be the year of video games.

14. A Feast For Crows - George R. R. Martin, Finished August 15, 2014

Speedy read through what people typically call the hardest or slowest book to read. But I think that is only because a fourth book in a series is when it starts to become difficult to carry all the characters and plots at once. The trick is the carry on, read on, and then read again. Long fantasy series are pretty much meant only for people who sincerely love to read I think.

15. A Dance with Dragons - George R. R. Martin, Finished August 29, 2014

What an excellent way to finish the summer.

16. Fool's Assassin- Robin Hobb, Finished August 30, 2014

If you are paying attention to the dates you will see that this novel took me a single day to read. One day for a novel means I must have loved it and literally never put it down. These are true things about Fool's Assassin. Have you read the other novels by Robin Hobb? If you haven't I suggest you look them up. This is the first book in a brand new trilogy about the Farseer Royal family, and it lives up to all the novels which came before it. I cried real tears from the feels this novel gave me and bitter ones at the end because now I must wait for the next book in the series to come out.

17. Time Keeper - Mitch Albom, Finished September 4, 2014

A modern re-telling of the myth of Father Time. The story begins with a man from long ago trying to measure the world around him and in the process invents time. A story which will make you reconsider how you spend your time and value what time you have more deeply.

18. The Black Dahlia- James Ellroy, Finished September 8, 2014

This was not my favorite thing to read but not the worst ever. The style of the writing took me a while to get used to and it just didn't seem to have the right flow for me when I was reading it, a lot of re-reading paragraphs which is something I don't usually do. The Black Dahlia was also much darker than I am used to reading, I like a pretty fantasy story and this was a gritty, harsh imagining of a truly gruesome crime. There were a lot of details which were hard to read and somethings I just didn't need to picture or think about. I appreciate the challenge this novel presented me but I might not want to read it again.

Also made me feel a little guilty about my Black Dahlia costume for Halloween a few years ago. . .

19.  Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov, Finished September 13, 2014

This was a very naughty novel. . .You know what the story is already I am sure. I don't think I enjoyed it, but I was able to finish reading it at least.

20. A New Spring- Robert Jordan, Finished September 14, 2014

A prequel novel to the Wheel of Time Series, which I read in entirety last year. I loved the whole experience and this novel keeps to the standard the rest of the series set. "Five Stars would read again" is my rating. Though it technically ends a full sixteen years before the start of the first Wheel of Time novel, so maybe I can even hope for another novel or two in this series? That would be a swell little surprise in the future.

21. Rain Wilds Chronicles

Dragon Keeper - Robin Hobb, Finished September 16, 2014

A separate trilogy series in the universe of the Farseer Kings and Dragons. A side story to the main one of Fitz and the fool. if you know of it. I love this universe and this book was delightful, an actual "can't put it down" kind of story for me. Forget Classic novels I am going to keep reading fantasy!

22. Dragon Haven - Robin Hobb, Finished Spetember 17, 2014

A lot of tension as the trilogy continues but a complete story. I appreciate when a trilogy still manages to put an ending in the middle book instead of just doing a cliff hanger ending. Those are lazy in my opinion.

23. City of Dragons - Robin Hobb, Finished September 19, 2014

I am devouring these novels, they are great! However, most of the series written by Robin Hobb are trilogies, and so I was expecting this novel to be the end of my dragon story. It was not there is yet another book in this series so now I must hurry and finish reading it because I am nearly dying to know how this story ends. This novel doesn't exactly have a cliff hanger ending, but there is still so much unresolved, great book but not the most satisfying of endings. Thanks goodness I can move right on to the next book!

24. Blood of Dragons - Robin Hobb, Finished September 22, 2014

An excellent end to this series. I am quite happy. Now to move on to another story in this universe created by Robin Hobb in the Liveship Traders!

25. Liveship Traders

Ship of Magic - Robin Hobb, Finished September 24, 2014

Goodness only two days to read over 700 pages. That there is a sign of a good novel. This is most likely my favorite of the stories I have read by Robin Hobb, which is saying something because I have read a lot of them. On to the next one swiftly!

Set along side the Farseer Novels I read last year, this is the story of Bingtown, the people who live there and the magical Liveships, Ships with living, talking, moving, figureheads. The characters are so real and vivid I almost instantly fell in love with them.

26. Mad Ship - Robin Hobb, Finished September 27, 2014

Excellent novel, this author might be my favorite after I finish these novels. This is some of the best writing and most fully developed characters that I have ever come across. The story is compelling and I am hooked completely.

27. Ship of Destiny - Robin Hobb, Finished September 30, 2014

The only bad thing I can say about this, is that it was the last novel in this series. Loved every page. Don't even want to spoil a little bit of these they were so great.

28. Misery - Steven King, Finished October 3, 2014

This was excellent. Very compelling and terrifying. I was captivated and best of all, unlike most Steven King that I have read so far, this one was good right to the end for me! Usually I start to roll my eyes somewhere in the third act of a Steven King novel, not sure why that is. He is obviously a prolific and talented writer but I sometimes wonder if he struggles with ending his work. . .  Thoughts for later since I plan to spend all October and maybe longer reading some more Steven King novels. Yay for Halloween and spooky times!

29. Dark Half - Steven King, Finished October 7, 2014

A pretty good story, was interesting and most of the time was almost believable, which always makes horror scarier. However, I will say that once again the ending leaves just a little bit to be desired for me. It isn't as bad as some other Steven King endings that I have read before, but I donno it still feels like he just has some struggle towards the end of his writing.

30. Thinner - Steven King, Finished October 10, 2014

I saw the movie adaptation of this when I was still in high school, I remember thinking it was pretty good but I couldn't for the life of me remember how this one ends. I thought it must be like most Steven King novels in that the majority of the novel is pretty great, and then the ending just goes off the rails This was not that, this novel actually had a perfect ending! This is a great, short horror novel for Halloween time.

31. Dreamcatcher- Steven King, Finished October 15, 2014

I picked this one next because I had seen the movie as a teenager and it was one of the first movies when I thought to myself at the end that "this was a hot mess of a movie". I was curious if the novel of the story would somehow be better than the movie adaptation was or at the very least make the silly movie make some sense to me finally. I got what I hoped for, the book is much clearer and while it is a still a pretty silly story, it makes sense and even better, the ending isn't even too bad. Not bad Mr. King, not too bad at all.

32. The Tommyknockers - Steven King, Finished October 24, 2014

An excellent novel! I didn't find it too frightening but it was nearly realistic, good characters and a story which didn't end up going off the rails. Though I might recommend skipping the film version of it, it doesn't look very good and the story in the book is much much better.

33. Needful Things - Steven King, Finished October 26, 2014

Another one which was surprisingly good. It also had a unique story line where Needful Things is the name of a store which has just opened up in town and it seems to have exactly what everyone is looking for. This is the kind of story which highlights the difference between what is truly a needful thing and what is something that is only desired or coveted to own. Minimal Steven King tropes were present in this one and I think I might be starting to appreciate Steven King a little better. I still think he could redo a few of his endings for better novels however.

I joined a book club! So sadly my Steven King reading month is coming to an end a little before the actual end of the month, but that is alright I figure because I am now reading:

34. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis, Finished October 30, 2014

I did not really enjoy this novel. It is very violent and graphic and not really my thing. A lot of the reading was bland descriptions of all the brands and styles of clothes worn by everyone. I will probably enjoy talking about this novel with my friends significantly more than I enjoyed actually reading this. Lets hope the next book they pick to read is more along my lines.

In the mean time:

35. Cujo - Steven King, Finished November 4, 2014

I already don't think I am going to like this very much. . . Dead, injured and sick dogs are a bad trigger for me, but maybe this will be the most effective Steven King novel for me? Who knows. . . Check back later for my thoughts (November 3).

The sick and dying dog wasn't as bad for me emotionally as I feared it might have been. This was one of the better and more realistic Steven King Novel I have read, but reading the dog point of view parts was a little much. Poor Cujo really was a good dog. . .

36. Mistborn Trilogy

The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson, Finished November 11, 2014

A captivating start to what I hope will be a good trilogy. A world is ruled by a tyrant and a group of people who are essentially serfs or slaves try and fix their flawed world. With magical powers. Awesome.

37. The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson, Finished November 12, 2014

So what does happen when you overthrow a god-like tyrant ruler. . . while the world literally falls apart around you. Find out with the middle book in this trilogy and enjoy it like I did.

38. The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson, Finished November 13, 2014

Finally how to fix the world. I really enjoyed this series and was satisfied with the ending. Plus it was over two-thousand pages and I read it all in less than a week, that is usually a good sign that it was a well written and enjoyable piece of literature.

39. Insomnia- Steven King, Finished December 10, 2014

This one took me an oddly long time to finish reading, and not because I wasn't enjoying it. I think perhaps the pacing in this novel was just not quite right, it felt a little long and a lot of action seemed or felt drawn out to me. So this might be another one where I enjoyed it but still feel like Steven King could do with a better editor before he publishes a novel.

Also after reading a fair few Steven King books I am noticing that almost all of them are support works for the Dark Tower Series, which I read last year and greatly enjoyed.

All things serve the beam. . .

40.  Under the Dome - Steven King Finished December 8

YAY! 40 books! half way through this year I was worried I would only read like twenty novels this year and was disappointed in myself after my bomber reading year last year. Forty is a much more respectable number. Might even hit forty-five if I read swiftly before New-Years.

41. Yes Please! - Amy Poehler, Finished, I have no honest idea. I forgot to add this one. My bad, and my apologies.

Anyways, I was hoping Yes Please would be similar to Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, but it was not. Poehler lacks the same strength in her narrative voice, her story felt disjointed and awkward to read at times. Which does help at least endear you to her more in light of what she reveals in the book. It was fun to read and while I enjoy her acting, humor and admire her work ethic, I don't think writing a personal narrative like this was quite her ball game. But good on her for trying something new. It takes a brave person to step out into new territory.

42. Dead Zone - Steven King, Finished December 13

This was surprisingly good! I was very attached to many of the characters, I felt invested in the story, the pace was well set. My goodness I have almost no complaints with this one. Bravo Mr. King. Also pretty sure this one goes into the universe of The Dark Tower series. All things serve the beam!

44. Flash Forward - Robert J. Sawyer, Finished December 28

Another selection from my book club, but one I had read before. In fact I recommended a friend read this novel and they put it in as one of their picks for our book club book selection list. It is a great science fiction novel, very well written and the story and plot are very tight. It is a short novel and definitely worth reading again.

45. A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L'Engle, Finished December 31

This novel was originally given to me when I was in grade five by my teacher. I don't think I was having the best year, I never quite fit in at school and had difficulty making friends. When I read this as an angry eleven year old the only thing that stuck out for me was that the heroine succeeds because of her faults, and I was insulted that my teacher wanted to bring attention to my faults. But after re-reading it as an adult I now see that this might be one of the reasons why I never tried harder to fit in, because as long as I was happy with me, I was ok and everyone being the same would be terrible.

Plus now I have learned that there are three more books in this series so I might be reading those in the new year.

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