Books I Read In August, September, October, November, and December 2014

Well, this was either a bad year for books or else I no longer like books. Quite frankly I’d be astonished if I am actually able to come up with 10 favorites for my year end post. On the plus side I watched a lot of good TV, so you know. The circle of life! Except not really. (PS Who cares about books! Watch Peaky Blinders! Do it now!  #teamtommyshelby)

Anyway, here’s what I read:

64. The Vacationers by Emma Straub

the vacationers

I didn’t hate this, and it had some good moments, but several of these characters were of the “I’ll make these people interesting by making them incredibly awful” type of characters and I am well and truly done with that literary trope.

65. The Fever

the fever

This was legit terrible.

66. Station Eleven

station eleven

I loved this. It felt very spare and interesting and creepy.  Totally recommend. I told Erik to read it, which doesn’t happen very often. PS if you’re not into “almost all of us die of the flu” then maybe this isn’t for you.

67. This Dark Road to Mercy

this dark road to mercy

This was well written but it didn’t hold my attention. I kept having to make myself read it and then I’d fall asleep two pages later.

68. All the Light We Cannot See

all the light we cannot see

I wanted to love this, it was absolutely beautifully written, but it was FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE PAGES LONG. I’m starting to think I just don’t enjoy any books that are that long. It’s just too fricking long.

69. The Children Act

the children act

The first half was fine, the second half ruined it.

70. The Book of Unknown Americans

the book of unknown americans

This was on a ton of “best of 2014 lists”  but to me it read like one giant ethnic cliche.

71. Belzhar

belzhar

This may be the worst book I read all year.  Holy goodnight did I hate this book. If it wasn’t a library book I would have lit it on fire in my front yard.

72. Barracuda

barracuda

This was well written, but the main character was just so awful I only made it 311 pages in before I gave up.  Again, 448 pages? No. Can’t do it. Sorry.

73. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, Book #3)

blue lily blue lily

This series was originally supposed to be three books, she decided to make it four. I think you could tell in this book.  It was fine, but it felt like filler.

74. Althea & Oliver

althea and oliver

I liked this book. There’s a scene that gave the Goodreads reviewers fits of rage, but I didn’t have that issue with it. I really liked the character of Althea a lot, she felt like an original voice in a sea of crap.

75. How to Build A Girl

how to build a girl

This was my favorite book of the year. I loved it with every fiber of my being.  It was filthy and dirty and rude and at the same time so beautiful I took instagrams of my favorite passages.  I can’t wait to reread it.  I have heard it’s quite derivative of her memoir, but I haven’t read that, so I wouldn’t know. All I know is I loved it and I’m so glad I read it and if I ever wrote a book I would want it to be just like this.

76. Famous In Love

famous in love

This was your average mindless YAF. It was perfectly good for wasting an afternoon but I wouldn’t recommend it, probably. I did love the last line of the dedication, to Katie and Josh.  ALL THE FEELINGS I LOVE YOU PACEY WITTER.

77. Everything I Never Told You

everythink I never told you

This was beautiful and heartbreaking but these people were SO MISERABLE.  Ugh.

78. 100 Sideways Miles

100 sideways miles

Everyone loved this but me. I felt like it was beating me over the head with how cool it was at every turn. Quit trying to make fetch happen, book.

79. Fourth of July Creek

fourth of july creek

Dear god this WAS SO EFFING LONG. I think I liked this, but by page 415 I just wanted it all to end. I might make 2015 the year I just put the put the book back in the “DNR” pile if it’s over 350 pages long.  I’m over it.

Shit, I really need to read one more book! 80 is such a nice round number! I have five days! I can do it!

Best Books of 2014 post coming up sometime soon, promise. It might be two books long though, fair warning.

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6 Responses

  1. I LOVE your book lists. I add and cross out books based solely on your recommendations!

  2. I just started Station Eleven, and I have the new Caitlin Moran on hold!

  3. I’m half-heartedly listening to How to Build a Girl on audio, and ohhhh I want to love it. I maybe think audio books aren’t for me (which is a TRAGEDY, considering my commute time). Does it get better, say, in the second half?

    Also, I really enjoyed Althea & Oliver. I thought the end was kind of magical. I’d love to see it made into a TV show, actually. CW, pick that shit up!

  4. (Also, I’m with Amy! I’ve got such a crush on Reader Elizabeth.)

  5. I was so mad at Belzhar for ruining a perfectly good premise and for getting stellar reviews for a book that wasn’t good. I have begged everyone I know on the Printz committe ( 1 person )not to let it win anything or life would be untenable. The human MW seems to be a nice person but her books always make me crazy.

  6. You are making me rethink reading Belzhar. I have it from the library now but maybe I should just back away slowly.
    Also, I am not a fan of long reads either. I just can’t do much more than 350 pages. The editor in me wants to contact the author and say, “Really, you could do much more with less.”

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