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Books read in 2014

Time now to think about the sort of reading year I had in 2014. In some ways, it has to be said, it was a hugely successful year for me. For the first time ever - at least since I've been keeping a record - I've managed to read 100 books in one year. I'm quite a slow reader so, to be honest, I never previously thought it was possible for me to do this. The point at which I realised it might be possible was in June when I saw that I'd read 57 books already and that if I carried on that way I would wind up with a total of 100 or more. I started to run out of steam in September. It was inevitable really, 10 books a month is hard to keep up. And the last couple of weeks with Christmas and so on it's been really hard to concentrate on reading. 'But' I got there.

So what now? Well, nothing. I have absolutely no intention of ever trying to do it again. Why? Because it's a pretty pointless exercise really. I read because I love reading and books. Not to clock up numbers. It's a bit like the differance between Twitchers and Bird-watchers. The former have lists and collect birds to fill their lists. The latter just go out and watch any bird because they love them and that's the way I feel. Next year I will read less. Not necessarily less words and pages but probably less books. It seems like a peculiar thing for a book lover to say, but it is so. But that speculation is for another post. In the meantime these are the books I read in 2014:


January:

1. Spilling the Beans – Clarissa Dickson Wright
2. The Long Winter – Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. Space Plague – Zac Harrison
4. Consider Phelbas – Iain M. Banks
5. The Yellow Dog – Georges Simenon
6. Darke – Angie Sage
7. Strictly Ann – Ann Widecombe
8. Shards of Honour – Lois McMaster Bojold
9. Tentacles – Roland Smith
10. The Talisman Ring – Georgette Heyer


February:

11. Have His Carcase – Dorothy L. Sayers
12. Lock 14 – Georges Simenon
13. Letters from the Horn of Africa – Sandy Curle, ed. By Christian Curle
14. The Mad Hatter Mystery – John Dickson Carr
15. Sundiver – David Brin
16. A Voyage Long and Strange – Tony Horwitz
17. Good Evening Mrs. Craven – Mollie Panter-Downes
18. Maigret in Holland – Georges Simenon
19. A Moment of Silence – Anna Dean
20. A Greedy Man in a Hungry World – Jay Rayner


March:

21. The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers
22. Touch Not the Cat – Mary Stewart
23. Sisters of Sinai – Janet Soskice
24. West with the Night – Beryl Markham
25. Fer-de-Lance – Rex Stout
26. The Middle-Aged Mountaineer – Jim Curran
27. A Gentleman of Fortune – Anna Dean
28. A Woman of Consequence – Anna Dean
29. Among Others – Jo Walton
30. Madame Maigret’s Own Case – Georges Simenon


April:

31. Thirtheenth Child – Patricia Wrede
32. Huntingtower – John Buchan
33. The Red House Mystery – A.A. Milne
34. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
35. Lost Things – Jo Graham and Melissa Scott
36. What Makes this Book so Great – Jo Walton


May:

37. Cuckoo’s Egg – C.J. Cherryh
38. The Man in the Queue – Josephine Tey
39. A Fete Worse than Death – Delores Gordon-Smith
40. Death by Silver – Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold
41. The Outcast Dead – Elly Griffiths
42. The Last Continent – Terry Pratchett
43. Detective Stories from the Strand – ed. Jack Adrian
44. The River of Adventure – Enid Blyton
45. Demon in the House – Angela Thirkell


June:

46. Alanna: The First Adventure – Tamora Pierce
47. The Moving Toyshop – Edmund Crispin
48. Death in the Clouds – Agatha Christie
49. The Fair Miss Fortune – D.E. Stevenson
50. More than Love Letters – Rosy Thornton
51. The Turkish Embassy Letters – Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
52. Buried for Pleasure – Edmund Crispin
53. The Sixth Lamentation – William Brodrick
54. The Burning Soul – John Connolly
55. Out of the Deep I Cry – Julia Spencer-Fleming
56. Up with the Larks – Tessa Hainsworth
57. Holy Disorders – Edmund Crispin


July:

58. Sovereign – C.J. Sansom
59. Charlotte Fairlie – D.E. Stevenson
60. The Rendezvous and other stories – Daphne du Maurier
61. The Library Book – Ed. Rebecca Gray
62. Sanctus – Simon Toyne
63. The Overloaded Ark – Gerald Durrell
64. Helliconia Summer – Brian W. Aldiss
65. Lorraine Kelly’s Scotland – Lorraine Kelly
66. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches – Alan Bradley
67. A Shilling for Candles – Josephine Tey
68. For the Time Being – Dirk Bogarde


August:

69. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built – Alexander McCall Smith
70. Wild Strawberries – Angela Thirkell
71. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
72. Anthem for Doomed Youth – Carola Dunn
73. Letters from Skye – Jessica Brockmole
74. Elizabeth and her German Garden – Elizabeth von Arnim
75. Watson’s Choice – Gladys Mitchell
76. They Came to Baghdad – Agatha Christie
77. Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman
78. Come, Tell Me How You Live – Agatha Christie Malloran


September:

79. Hag’s Nook – John Dickson Carr
80. Silver Borne – Patricia Briggs
81. The Twenty-third Man – Gladys Mitchell
82. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – David Sedaris
83. A Coven of Vampires – Brian Lumley
84. Night of the Living Deed – E.J. Cpperman


October:

85. Love Lies Bleeding – Edmund Crispin
86. The Unburied – Charles Palliser
87. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush – Eric Newby
88. Clouds of Witness – Dorothy L. Sayers
89. The Sittaford Mystery – Agatha Christie


November:

90. The Hills is Lonely – Lillian Beckwith
91. Laurels are Poison – Gladys Mitchell
92. Surgically Enhanced – Pam Ayres
93. Murder on the Links – Agatha Christie
94. Point of Hopes – Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett


December:

95. Point of Knives – Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett
96. Recipe for Love – Katie Fforde
97. Once Upon a Christmas – Sarah Morgan
98. A Christmas Hope – Anne Perry
99. Gone West – Carola Dunn
100. A Christmas Grace – Anne Perry


Basically, for me, 2014 was the year of the vintage mystery. I had a 'lot' of fun with Bev's Vintage Mystery Bingo challenge, (reading 25 books for it in all) and while I'll not be doing it in 2015 I will certainly return to it another year. I discovered authors I'd never even heard of and the experience definitely enriched my reading for 2014.

I didn't do brilliantly with non-fiction - 21 this year - but then I never seem to. I fancy I did slightly better in 2013 but not much. On the other hand, the 21 I did read were all pretty good.

In no particular order, here're my top 5 non-fiction:

1. A Voyage Long and Strange - Tony Horwitz
2. Sisters of Sinai - Janet Soskice
3. What Makes this Book so Great - Jo Walton
4. Come, Tell me How You Live - Agatha Christie Malloran
5. The Hills is Lonely - Lillian Beckwith


I'll do a top 12 for fiction.

1. The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder
2. Have His Carcase - Dorothy L. Sayers
3. Among Others - Jo Walton
4. The Outcast Dead - Elly Griffiths
5. Charlotte Fairlie - D.E. Stevenson
6. Nine Tailors - Dorothy L. Sayers.
7. Helliconia Summer - Brian W. Aldiss
8. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
9. Letters From Skye - Jessica Brockmole
10. Point of Hopes - Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett
11. Out of the Deep I Cry - Julia Spencer-Fleming
12. The Sittaford Mystery - Agatha Christie


I'm not going to choose favourites. This is partly because there was no stand-out fabulous book this year. And secondly, I liked all of these books for different reasons.

And just to whet my own appetite for next year's reading, here's a shelf of books I hope to get through next year:

bookshelf 012x2



If I get to the end of the year and have read most of these and nothing else, I shall still be a happy bunny.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading in 2015 to all those who pop in and read my ramblings whether you comment or not.

Comments

Congratulations on achieving 100-books-read last year! Although you may not want to keep up that strenuous pace in future, it's an accomplishment not everyone can match (I can't, for instance).

The main thing is your having enjoyed them.
Thanks, Guin! I can say with all honesty that I really did enjoy most of the books.
Wow, 100 books! How brilliant! Fandom has destroyed my reading ethos, although I am starting again now.

I have really enjoyed your reviews - they have made me relook at old favourites and buy some more. I got all the Farthing trilogy after a mention of the author in your journal, and I suspect there are some more, too.

Thanks for all the posts; I really enjoyed being able to chip in.
Thought I'd answered this... clearly *not*.

Yeah, I read no mainstream books at all when first got into Pros and was devouring all the fanfic. 'Tis nice though.

Thanks for all your kind words on my bookish ramblings. I'm not the best reviewer... just keen to natter about lovely books. Glad you enjoy the posts and chipping in.
Ah, heh, 'just nattering' is the best fun!