But didn’t I already do a Reading Report for 2014/2015? Kinda. I talked a lot about numbers and genres but I didn’t talk at all about quality or individual books. Since I shared that post a week ago, several people have asked me questions relating to what I actually read – did I enjoy it? What were the best books? What were the worst? Anything specific I’m looking forward to this year?
That’s what this post is about – the quality of the content vs the quantity.
How Many Stars?
Of the 55 books I read in 2014, here’s how they break down in terms of star rating:
- 2 stars: 6
- 3 stars: 14
- 4 stars: 26
- 5 stars: 9
That’s probably not bad, really. A lot of those 4-star books were amazing reads and it takes a lot for me to give a book 5 stars so for 35 books of 55 to fall in one of those two categories is very positive.
Favorite Books of 2014
Of course you can’t go wrong with any of those 5-star books but I’m not going to stick to only those for my favorite books. I’m going to create some random categories. Most of these will have reviews of some sort on my Goodreads account or elsewhere on my blog depending on when I read them.
- Best Classic: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
- Best Modern Classic: Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
- Best Historical Fiction: Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline)
- Best Mystery: In The Woods (Tana French)
- Best Book from Bookclub: The Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom)
- Best Non-Fiction: The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer)
- Best Book I Edited: The Last Superhero (Astrid ‘Artistikem’ Cruz)
- Best Book to Movie Adaptation: The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides)
Worst of 2014:
And of course we must give a few mentions to my least favorite books of 2014.
- Worst Book to Movie Adaptation, Fiction: Tie – Winter’s Tale (Mark Halprin), A Long Way Down (Nick Hornby)
- Worst Book to Movie Adaptation, Nonfiction: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)
- Best Message, Worst Typography: Make Good Art (Neil Gaiman)
- Most Slappable Characters: Tie – Goldfinch (Donna Tartt), The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman)
Looking Forward to Reading in 2015:
I don’t have an extensive list of specific titles I’m looking forward to reading in 2015, though my TBR shelf is currently very full. You can always check out my tbr (this is a list of physical books I own and haven’t read) and tbr_digital shelves on Goodreads to see what I might be reading next and even to make suggestions.
I mentioned one of my goals for this year is not to read too narrowly in both content and genre, including branching out into graphic novels and trying audio books.
For example, specific books I’m looking forward to include:
- No Land’s Man (Aasif Mandvi): “If you’re an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor who has spent more time in bars than mosques over the past few decades, turns out it’s a little tough to explain who you are or where you are from.” That’s not anything I have firsthand experience with, but let’s find out more! Comedy/memoir
- Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Sam Harris): 30% of Americans follow no religion. That’s a HUGE chunk of the population we each interface with each day. Regardless of my personal beliefs, it seems worth finding out a bit more from their perspective. Religion/spirituality
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll): A classic I’ve never read despite seeing many movie versions. Classic
- Almost Famous Women (Megan Mayhew Bergman): Short stories of unusual women just a step outside of being famous. Short stories/fiction/local author
- Faery Tales (Carol Ann Duffy): Retellings as well as new fairy tales from a Poet Laureate. Fairy tales
- Through the Woods (Emily Carroll), Kill My Mother (Jules Feiffer): Graphic novels
Each of those is outside my “usual” in one way or another and plays into one of the goals I set for myself in my post last week, whether it’s to read a genre I wouldn’t ordinarily or a topic I wouldn’t, to read more short stories, non-fiction, or classics.