Best of 2014

Again, I thought it would be interesting to pull all my favorite books of the year into a single post. I’ll organize them by age and fictionality.

Middle grade books:

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I recommend the Percy Jackson series to anyone who likes adventure fiction with a touch of fantasy. Much better than the movies.

Goliath by Scott Westerfield. Fancy a bit of steampunk, alternate history WWII action? Then try this series (this is the third in the series, started by Leviathan).

YA/teen books:

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle was a favorite book when I was a teen. I reread it this year and still loved it.

The Terrier/Bloodhound/Mastiff series by Tamora Pierce provided me a kick-butt heroine in a fantasy setting.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is about two British girls and their efforts to help fight the Nazis during WWII. Read it if you like WWII fiction and go into this one blind (don’t read my final thoughts or it’ll spoil part of the book).

Adult fiction books:

Coda by Emma Trevayne was a fascinating science fiction story where music was turned into a drug.

Hild by Nicola Griffith was a surprisingly intriguing, historical fiction book (look, I’m not just recommending science fiction and fantasy!) about a strong women back when women didn’t usually have power. Bonus that it’s based on a true person.

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton is a quality Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel, back when Hamilton was edited a bit tighter and there wasn’t any sex.

Feed by Mira Grant is a different take on zombies and a post-apocalyptic world. Everything doesn’t come out perfect in the end, but the ride is certainly exciting.

The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss scratched my itch for epic fantasy, while I’m waiting for George R.R. Martin to write the next Song of Fire and Ice book. Of course, now I have to wait for the next book in this series as well.

The Martian by Andy Weir is smart, technical science fiction that I didn’t want to put down. Mr. Curiosity enjoyed it as much as I did.

Nonfiction:

Teach Your Own by John Hold and Pat Farenga was a bit of homeschooling inspiration for me by one of the granddaddies of the homeschooling movement.

What If? by Randall Monroe is an irreverent bit of scientific writing. Even though none of the situations included in the book are likely, it’s still fun to read about.

I also had a surprising number of books I didn’t finish this year at seven. Usually they were random books I either picked off the shelf to try to fulfill a letter on my Alphabet Soup Challenge, or a random book off my Kindle. Sometimes I find some interesting books just picking something off the shelf, but I’m definitely at the point where I won’t bother finishing a book if I’m not enjoying it after 50 pages.

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