Best of 2014: A Year in Reading and Reviewing

It boggles my mind that 2014 is almost at a close, but there you have it. 2014 has been a transitional reading year for me, since it was my first year blogging and subsequently I’ve found some books that I never would’ve heard of otherwise. Generally I have a good sixth sense for what kinds of books will work well for me – but every now and then something will really surprise me and I’ll find a new fave. Thanks to my blogging buds I’ve read more books out of my comfort zone than ever before!

Reading Stats

What would I do without Goodreads? Honestly I couldn’t tell you, since I’ve been using it for 6 years. It really is such a good way to keep track of my stats. Look how many four star books I read this year! I feel pretty smug about that. You’ll notice there’s only one book that hasn’t been rated – it is The Walled City by Ryan Graudin and it’s unrated because I DNFed it. It was my first DNF ever…sigh. Guess that makes me a real blogger now.

2014 Reading Stats

I beat my Goodreads challenge of 75 books by 21 (I expect to finish my current read before the new year), but that’s not too surprising since 75 was a pretty conservative number. I’m not quite sure why I chose such a low number, but I’m guessing I thought that school would keep me too busy to read much for personal enjoyment. All I have to say to that is HA! As if I would ever let school outstrip personal reading time. Thankfully I read a fair amount and found some real gems.

Let’s jump into the favourites! You can click on the cover image of each title to see my review for it, with the exception of my “Best Literature” picks which will link to their Goodreads pages.

Best in Urban Fantasy

My favourite genre! I’ve read some really great UF this year, including a few new-to-me authors and a couple auto-buy authors. Visions was my favourite book this year (love you, Kelley Armstrong!), but there was a title in another category that came pretty close to unseating it.

Visions20705702Three Parts DeadGrave Witch

Best in Fantasy

Honestly I didn’t read that much fantasy this year, but most of what I did read was awesome. These four are definitely the standouts, with Dreamer’s Pool coming in at a close second on my “best of 2014” list. Almost beating out Kelley Armstrong is a big deal!

Dreamer's PoolThe Scroll of YearsThe Demon KingHis Majesty's Dragon

Best in Science Fiction

Now anyone who reads the blog regularly knows that I’m not exactly a seasoned sci-fi reader, but I tried to read more widely this year and that resulted in some pretty awesome finds.

Parable of the SowerLock InThrough the Ever NightGod's War

Best in Graphic Novels

It may surprise some of you to hear that before 2014 I had read very few graphic novels; after a quick check on Goodreads, it looks like I only read one graphic novel in all of 2013! But now I absolutely love them, and I’ve been fortunate enough to read some really outstanding graphic novels with amazing artwork to boot!

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish LieutenantRat Queens Vol 1Saga Volume 1Through the Woods

Kind of weird looking at this list and seeing only two YA novels…I wonder what that says about how my reading habits have changed. Honestly I blame it on the six-month UF binge I’ve been on! Some reading goals for next year: finishing all the trilogies I’ve started, reading more books by authors of colour, and reading more sci-fi.

Here’s hoping that 2015 turns out to be an even better reading year than 2014!

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  • Tammy Sparks

    Looks like you had a really good year! I’ve got to figure out how to do that GR graphic, you’re the second blogger I’ve seen use it! I’m glad to see Three Parts Dead on your list, as well as Through the Woods. Lots of books I haven’t read but want to, like Dreamer’s Pool!

    • Okay, quick run down: go to “My Books” on Goodreads, then look on the top right hand corner above your cover images and you’ll see a small “Stats” link. That’ll take you to a page where you can see a stats breakdown for all the years you’ve been using the site. To get the graphic click on the orange bar that says “2014” then take a screenshot of the stats! That’s how I did it anyway. 🙂

      YES to Three Parts Dead! I’m looking forward to reading more by Max Gladstone in 2015. Through the Woods was such a wonderful & spooky surprise, so glad you loved it too!

  • Tammy Sparks

    OK, I just found it.:-D

    • Haha, oh well! I’ll leave my explanation up so other people can see it. 😉

  • Jan

    You had a great reading year…some really good books, Danya. Some I’ve read and others I’ve got in my TBR list. I’m still working on my end of year post.

    • Damn right I have! 2014 was a great year in books. I look forward to reading your end of year post. 🙂

  • I did the same thing with my DNF books I don’t rate them. I think I had four or five this year. Dreamers Pool was definitely amazing and urban fantasy is probably one of my favorite subgenres, maybe even my favorite lol

    Looking forward to another of your awesome blogging

    • It just feels unfair to me to rate a book that I didn’t finish…who knows? Maybe it got better at the end haha. Whoop whoop UF! I can’t get enough. Thanks, Tabitha! 😀

  • You know, you have pretty good taste. Dreamer’s Pool, God’s War, Three Parts Dead, The Scroll of Years. Good books all.

  • Congrats on killing your GoodReads goal! Those are some impressive stats for your first year of blogging! I’m psyched to see Visions, Burn for Me AND Grave Witch up there are you fav Urban Fantasy reads of 2014. You think your 6 month UF binge is bad? Try 4+ years. LOL! Awesome list, Danya!

    • Thanks girl! It’s been a really fun year. Wow, more than four years – that makes me feel much better about being so far behind on all these UF series. I’ll catch up eventually. 😉

  • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Wow! Saga is the only one on your lists that I’ve read, though several are on my TBR. And I agree, Saga belongs on the list 🙂 And great job blowing away your Goodreads goal!

    • Whoop whoop Saga! I bow down to Brain K Vaughan and Fiona Staples, they are my graphic novel gods.

  • YAYYYYY SO MUCH WIN!! WINNING EVERYWHERE!!

  • LOL I guess I’m not a real blogger yet because I haven’t DNF’ed anything since I started blogging. And yeah, I’m so glad I had way more 4 and 5 star books this year than I have 3 and below. Great list here, Danya! I have a bunch here that are on my list I have to read.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    • HA of course you haven’t! You are a machine when it comes to that TBR pile. Thanks! A lot of these picks were suggestions from y’all. 🙂