I’m going to take the lead of a favorite indie author of mine, K.M. Alexander, and do a post about the books I read in 2014 (oh, I also stole the idea for this post’s header graphic—I’m a shameless thief). For the last couple years, I’ve participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge, where you can set a reading goal for the year and track it as you go. In 2013 I read 30 books. Not too shabby. But I considered the main reason I was able to read so many (mind you, I read slooowly) in 2013 was because I was laid up for a good chunk of the year. So, for 2014, my goal was 26 books. And with only hours to spare in 2014, I made it just under the wire.
So, here’s my list of the 26 books I read in 2014:
1. A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin
I know, I’m really slowly in catching up with this series. I still haven’t read A Dance for Dragons. It’s on my Kindle, and I plan to read it early this year so I’ll be finished by the time season 5 of the HBO series starts.
2. Changes, Jim Butcher
Probably my favorite in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. This book really took our favorite wizard private eye to some pretty dark places.
3. Divergent, Veronica Roth
Wanted to see what all the hype was about and read this YA dystopian novel before the movie came out earlier in the year. While I didn’t love it, for some reason the story stuck with me and I wanted to find out what happened next.
4. Write. Publish. Repeat., Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant & 5. Let’s Get Digital, David Gaughran
Read these two titles in preparation for the release of my own novel. Have to say I found virtually all the information in these books to not be very useful. Others will disagree, and that’s okay. But I’m not really not interested in gaming the publishing system. I just want to write good books.
6. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
Great fantasy novel. Probably one of my favorite books I read this year. I definitely plan to dive into the sequels in 2015.
7. Ghost Story & 8. Cold Days, Jim Butcher
Yeah, I read a lot of Dresden Files last year. I knew the next installment was being released in 2014, and I wanted to catch up in time for that.
9. The Sword & Laser Anthology
Sword & Laser is an online book club and fantasy/sci-fi podcast run by the incomparable Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont. They are my heroes. This year they released a short fiction anthology featuring stories written by the Sword & Laser community.
10. The Maze Runner, James Dashner
Again, another situation where I wanted to see what the hype was about before the movie was released. And also, I just wanted to read more YA fiction, since that’s the genre I mostly write in.
11. Skin Game, Jim Butcher
The most recent addition to the Dresden Files. I actually went to Kansas City for this release and for a book signing with the author. Yes, I got to meet Jim Butcher. It was awesome.
12. Greywalker, Kat Richardson
A book that had been sitting on my shelf for years. Thought I should finally get around to reading it.
13. Sand, Hugh Howey
I really dug (no pun intended) this cool book that takes place in a future version of Colorado, where the cities of the past are covered in sand and where people use special suits to dive for lost “treasure.” Pretty cool sci-fi premise. I don’t know, I think this Howey guy is heading places.
14. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Another book that was sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I bought it back when the movie was about to come out but never got around to reading it until this last year. I actually liked it a lot.
15. Fated, Benedict Jacka
I thought I should read some urban fantasy other than Jim Butcher, and since Butcher himself recommended this series, I gave it a try.
16. The Stars Were Right, K.M. Alexander
I don’t read a lot of indie fiction. Maybe that’s ironic. But anyway, I’m going to start reading more and so should you. Why? Because it’s getting better. There are some really good indie writers out there, and K.M. Alexander is at the top of my list. The world he’s created for this book and its sequel is pretty mind-blowing. Check it out!
17. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
Another shelf book. I know, I know. Should have read this book a long, long time ago. But at least I eventually got around to it. Right?
18. Doctor Sleep, Stephen King
I’m a huge King fan, in case you haven’t noticed. I haven’t read everything he’s written, but I’ve read a good chunk of his stuff. The Dark Tower series is one of my favorites. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining (which I finally read in 2013), and it is epic.
19. Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
This was a Sword & Laser pick, and it sounded interesting so I gave it a whirl. If genies and technology are your thing, you should take a look.
20. Eight Skilled Gentlemen, Barry Hughart
The final installment of The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. Historical fantasy set in China These books are unique and funny. Definitely recommend them if you’re looking for something unusual.
21. Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake
The book that convinced me teens can handle descriptive, gory scenes. Reminded me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Book 2 is on my Kindle, and I plan on reading it this year.
22. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
Not quite as exciting as the first book, but I’m interested in seeing how it gets translated to the screen.
23. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick
It’s kind of amazing I didn’t read this book until last year. I kind of loved it. Yes, Blade Runner (one of my favorite sci-fi movies) is based on this book, but it’s a lot different. It left me wanting to read more about this world. Too bad Dick didn’t write any sequels.
24. Angelfall, Susan Ee
Angel apocalypse. And like another angel book I read, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it kind of fell flat for me. I guess I don’t like books about angels. Which is strange since … well, never mind.
25. The Witching Elm, C.N. Crawford
I was pleasantly surprised by this book by another indie author. I’m expecting more great things from C.N. Crawford in the future. I’m looking forward to a follow up.
26. Old Broken Road, K.M. Alexander
The sequel to The Stars Were Right. In this book, Alexander manages to put his familiar characters in a completely new setting but deliver and equally riveting tale. Looking forward to book 3.
So, there you have it, folks. 26 books. How many did you read this year? Let me know in the comments.