2014 Wrap-up Post

This is certainly been quite a busy book year for me, during which I read a total of 57 “funfunfun” books. Pair this with the kazillion things I have to read for work (a PhD in Shakespeare), and it’s no wonder my eyesight has gone out the window!

My booktastic Christmas tree this year.

I’m also really pleased to have completed both the reading challenges I decided to take up back in March. I’m really glad I decided to take on the challenges, because they motivated me to read some fantastic books I wouldn’t have otherwise come across (though I’ve also had to trawl through some pretty awful stuff). So here are all the non-work books I read in 2014:

  1. Georgette Heyer – Arabella (30 Jan)
  2. Julian Short – An Intelligent Life (1 Feb)
  3. Georgette Heyer – Cotillion (2 Feb)
  4. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief (3 Feb)
  5. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics, ed. Richard Maxwell) (7 Feb)
  6. Mark Haddon – A Spot of Bother (10 Feb)
  7. Friedrich Nietzsche – Ecce Homo (Penguin Classics, trans. R. J. Hollingdale) (11 Feb)
  8. Ian McEwan – Solar (13 Feb)
  9. Sarah Rees Brennan – Unspoken (14 Feb)
  10. J. D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye (21 Feb)
  11. Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children (24 Feb)
  12. J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit (24 Feb)
  13. Jane Austen – Persuasion (Penguin Classics, ed. Gillian Beer) (27 Feb)
  14. Anne Maria Nicholson – Weeping Waters (1 Mar)
  15. Diana Gabaldon – Outlander (3 Mar)
  16. Diana Wynne Jones – Fire and Hemlock (6 Mar)
  17. Franz Kafka – Metamorphosis and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics, trans. Michael Hoffman) (10 Mar)
  18. Gaston Leroux – The Phantom of the Opera (Dover, trans. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos) (13 Mar)
  19. Philippa Gregory – The Other Boleyn Girl (13 Mar)
  20. David Gaider – Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne (17 Mar)
  21. Kate Quinn – Mistress of Rome (22 Mar)
  22. Henry James – The Golden Bowl (26 Mar)
  23. Janet Fitch – White Oleander (31 Mar)
  24. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (10 Apr)
  25. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars (12 Apr)
  26. Rene Denfeld – The Enchanted (15 Apr)
  27. Ha Jin – In the Pond (18 Apr)
  28. Nikolay Gogol – Dead Souls (Penguin Classics, trans. Robert A. Maguire) (3 May)
  29. Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics (trans. Terence Irwin, Hackett) (17 May)
  30. Gabrielle Zevin – The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry (19 May)
  31. Amanda Hocking – Wake (1 June)
  32. Annie Proulx – The Shipping News (7 June)
  33. Jo Riccioni – The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store (15 June)
  34. Lois Lowry – The Giver (18 June)
  35. Aeschylus – The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides (trans. Robert Fagles) (19 June)
  36. Ann-Marie MacDonald – Fall On Your Knees (26 June)
  37. Michael Cunningham – The Hours (1 July)
  38. Lauren Oliver – Delirium (2 July)
  39. Elizabeth Harrower – In Certain Circles (17 July)
  40. Alice Munro – Dear Life (31 July)
  41. Kim Harrison — Dead Witch Walking (12 September)
  42. Natsume Soseki – Kokoro (trans. Meredith McKinney) (14 September)
  43. Lois Lowry – Gathering Blue (20 September)
  44. Lauren Willig – The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (28 September)
  45. Classical Literary Criticism (3 Oct)
  46. Cath Crowley – Graffiti Moon (4 Oct)
  47. Anne Bishop – Written in Red (10 Oct)
  48. Claudia Carroll – A Very Accidental Love Story (25 Oct)
  49. Antony Miall and David Milsted – The Xenophobe’s Guide to the English (23 Nov)
  50. Alexandre Dumas – The Black Tulip (Oxford World Classics) (27 Nov)
  51. Cathy Lamb – Julia’s Chocolates (28 Nov)
  52. Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (6 Dec)
  53. Arnošt Lustig – Lovely Green Eyes (14 Dec)
  54. Marcus Pfister – The Rainbow Fish (15 Dec)
  55. Barbara Kyle – The Queen’s Captive (25 Dec)
  56. Emily Gillmor Murphy – You & I (26 Dec)

These books correspond to fulfilling these two reading challenges:

The Colour Coded Challenge (hosted by My Reader’s Block)

1. A book with “Blue” or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title.
2. A book with “Red” or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title.
3. A book with “Yellow” or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title.
4. A book with “Green” or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title.
5. A book with “Brown” or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc) in the title.
6. A book with “Black” or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title.
7. A book with “White” or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc) in the title.
8. A book with any other color in the title (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.).
9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.).

1: “Blue”: Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie
2: “Red”: Written in Red by Anne Bishop
3: “Yellow”: The Golden Bowl by Henry James
4: “Green”: Lovely Green Eyes by Arnošt Lustig
5: “Brown”: Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
6: “Black”: The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
7: “White”: White Oleander by Janet Fitch
8: “Other”: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
9: “Implied”: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


The Alphabet Soup Challenge (hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book)

A: Arabella by Georgette Heyer
B: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
C: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
D: Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne by David Gaider
E: Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche
F: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
G: The Golden Bowl by Henry James
H: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
I: An Intelligent Life by Julian Short
J: Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
K: Kokoro by Natsume Soseki (trans. Meredith McKinney)
L: Lovely Green Eyes by Arnošt Lustig
M: Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie
N: Nicomachean Ethics (part two) by Aristotle
O: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
P: Persuasion by Jane Austen
Q: The Queen’s Captive by Barbara Kyle
R: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
S: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
T: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
U: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
V: A Very Accidental Love Story by Claudia Carroll
W: Weeping Waters by Anne Maria Nicholson
X: The Xenophobe’s Guide to the English by Antony Miall and David Milsted
Y: You & I by Emily Gillmor Murphy
Z: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig


And finally, for a few notable mentions of sorts:

Most unexpectedly hilarious:
Antony Miall and David Milsted – The Xenophobe’s Guide to the English (23 Nov)

Most unexpectedly disappointing:
Lauren Oliver – Delirium (2 July)

Most “why-has-this-book-not-ended-yet?”:
Claudia Carroll – A Very Accidental Love Story (25 Oct)

Best challenge book I’d otherwise not have read:
Marcus Pfister – The Rainbow Fish (15 Dec)

Most thought-provoking (and possibly life-changing):
Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics (trans. Terence Irwin, Hackett) (17 May)

Most brainlessly fun:
Diana Gabaldon – Outlander (3 Mar)

Top three novels:
Jane Austen – Persuasion (Penguin Classics, ed. Gillian Beer) (27 Feb)
Janet Fitch – White Oleander (31 Mar)
Ann-Marie MacDonald – Fall On Your Knees (26 June)

You can go here to check out my thoughts about these 2014 books. Thanks so much for keeping me company throughout the year, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am about the reading fun that’ll happen in 2015 (for which I’ll shortly make a post)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *