I know, I'm late to the party. But, just like cheese, I get finer with age...or moldier. Ok, let's forget the cheese reference. I didn't do any blogging last year, but I did get some reading in. Here are my top ten favorites that I read in 2014, let's just dive in shall we?:
1. The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde: I love the entire series, The Chronicles of Kazam. However, this little beauty happens to be my favorite out of the series, at least thus far. The next book is arriving today, so that might change. The Chronicles of Kazam are full of lighthearted British humor (I bet you didn't know that existed) and whimsy. There are dragons, wizards, and of course, the ever elusive quarkbeast. I highly recommend this series. They're fairly quick reads, give 'em a try!
2. In A Handful of Dust by Midny McGinnis: Ok, so you're probably noticing a trend...I like series. I think it's because I don't like a story to end (at least if it's good). This is a companion to Not a Drop to Drink, which if you haven't read, you should. Like now. These are distopian novels, but very, very believable. Sh*t gets real, if you know what I mean. They definitely make me grateful for what I have, like clean water, medicine, and food.
3. Curtsies & Conspiracies and Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger: Ok, so I'm counting both of these as one book. There are worst things in the world, like pickles and beets, and of course other non-food related items. I digress! Gail Carriger is one of my top favorite authors. Period. I just adored her adult series, and while her YA series isn't quite up to where her adult series stands, they're just as fun and whimsical. I love the steampunk setting, Carriger pens the Victorian era so, well. It might take you a bit to settle into her style of writing, but it's sooo worth it!
4. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: This book is for anyone who has every felt out of place and didn't know where they fit-in, or if they were ever going to. So basically like every high school kid. Ever. Words can't describe this book, it really is an experience that you can only accomplish by reading it.
5. My Life as A White Trash Zombie and Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland: I am confident, dear reader, that you have come to accept that I am going to break the rules, and I thank you. Another series! Woo Hoo! These are both quirky, light reads that had me chuckling along the way. They came as recommendations from two online readers/bloggers that I have bonded with over my years of book blogging. When I got their recommendations, my first reaction was "you can't be serious." Well, the story is based around a white trash zombie, so I leave the level of seriousness for you to decide. P.S. We're half-way there!
6. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: As much as I would like to say that I am not a contemporary reader, Sarah Ockler has won me over time and time again with her YA contemporaries. I half-listened to the audio book and half-read the actual book (I had to take the audiobook back to the library mid-way through the story. Darn those teens and their love of audiobooks!). I melted into the story within the first few sentences. This book center's around the main character's father, his early onset of Alzheimer's, and how said character copes. Ok, if you know nothing about me, that is about to change. I'm a nurse. I've worked in the nursing field since I was 16. I have spent a lot of time with dementia and Alzheimer's patients. Ockler got it exactly right. I highly encourage everyone to read this book, even if you don't like contemporaries. ;)
7. Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams: This book combines my love of cooking, cooking shows, an reality cooking shows. What more could I ask for?! I would get so hungry while reading this! After a while I would have to stop reading and whip up some pasta or cookies...so definitely not a book that kept me on a healthy diet.
8. Cress by Marissa Meyer: Ok, so I like steampunk. However, The Lunar Chronicles are so different from the series' that Gail Carriger writes. I love how Meyer incorporates fairy tales into her own steampunk creations. WHO DOES THAT?! It's pure genius! I can not wait for the next book in the series! Meyer, why must you torture me so?!
9. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: So I put off reading this book for a loooong time. I just didn't get how the creepy pictures could be incorporated into an actual story that I would believe, much less like. Oh little child! I couldn't have been more wrong. My fiance fiiiinally convinced me to read this and once I started, I devoured it. John bought me the squeal, Hollow City, for my birthday, which I am reading now. At this point (about 25% through the book), I like Peculiar Children better, but only time will tell which book will end up victorious!
10. Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis: This little gem was the final book I read in 2014. Way to go out with a bang! If I had to compare it, I'd say it reminds me of a YA version of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Very mysterious and dark, an absolute treat to read. I'll definitely be looking at Ellis in the future for more treasures like this!
Honorable Mention: The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass: Again, this was a series that I had waiting a long time on before actually reading. Sometimes, when a book or series gets a lot of hype, I get turned off. There are times when I've been right to be weary (Twilight, anyone?) and times when I feel like I've missed out by waiting so long (Harry Potter). This series falls in the latter group. However, it didn't land in the top ten because I think there are some consistency issues. I enjoyed the first book, loved the second even more, then the third felt like a step back. Heir of Fire had this essence of being stretched out for stretched-out sake. The slower pace and prolonged storytelling did not add anything the book or series. It felt like the author was trying to sate her fan's appetites, while unsure of where the story will go. That's just my opinion. I still read the third book with gusto and plan to continue the series, but I will hold on to my reservations.
Ok, that's it folks. If you made it through this list, I thank you. I'd love to hear your input, so comment below! Here's to another great year of reading in 2015!!!