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1. The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer

Amanda has made a career built on asking for help and yet found herself unable to accept freely offered help from her husband. Yes, she's the complete opposite of the kind of person I'd normally choose to hang out with, but after this book I felt so much respect and yes, love, for her. This book is raw, real, and inspiring.

2. Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein

(Arc from Netgalley.) I reviewed this here.

3. By Permission of Heaven, Adrian Tinniswood

I'm torn between being glad I read this after London so that I could picture it more clearly in my mind and being sad that I didn't read it before London so that what I saw there would have been even more historically informed. It's hard to imagine a disaster on this scale, much less how London emerged quite literally like a phoenix from the ashes.

4. As You Wish, Cary Elwes

Charming, just charming. I had no idea The Princess Bride wasn't a resounding success when first released, but thank goodness it's gotten the recognition it deserves now. This is a lovely mix of personal recollections, behind the scenes trivia, and love letter to the source material.

5. A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey

Pretty pictures, of course, but I loved the tidbits about the costuming and set dressing.

6. Texts from Jane Eyre, Mallory Ortberg

Really probably better in small doses (none of the new material was quite as funny when read start-to-finish in book form as when the orginals were published individually on The Toast), but really, it doesn't get better than the P&P, Jane Eyre, and Gone With the Wind sections.

7. As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust, Alan Bradley

(Arc from Netgalley.) Yes, a new Flavia de Luce book! I wasn't sure what to expect from this, seeing as it has Flavia torn from her beloved Buckshaw and exile to Canada. But the framework remains the same: a body, a mystery, and a host of interesting people with varied hidden motives. The questions raised at the end of the last book (being intentially vague here for those who aren't caught up) are left almost more unanswered than ever, and this ending was not at all what I expected, but it seems highly likely that we shall see another Flavia book to follow. Haroo!

8. American Assassin, Vince Flynn

I'm looking for something to fill my action-adventure novel gap while waiting for a new Jack Reacher book - this series will do nicely, even if Mitch Rapp is a bit of a Gary Stu.

9. The Tummy Trilogy, Calvin Trillian

This is supposed to be funny essays about food. It's not funny.

10. The Language of Houses, Alison Lurie

Musing on architecture, of course.
_______2014 Statistics__________

2014’s total: 96. Perilously close to my all-time low (90 in 2005, the year I started working full time) but since that low came in another year of great personal change, I’m not too surprised … nor do I feel guilty about it, even though I hate seeing that uncompleted Goodreads challenge. Looking at page numbers, the gap narrows a bit - I did read a fair number of lengthy books this year (thank you, Great Gabaldon Reread of 2014!)

For the first time since 2010 nonfiction outpaced fiction, making up 51% of my total.

Only 15 were ebooks, and without exception they were either consumed while traveling or were arcs only available to me in eform. It’s just not my preferred method of reading. Audios suffered even more - only one! But I have hopes that this year will see my audio consumption increase again, as I’m finding them a great companion while cooking or cleaning, at least once I've caught up on my podcasts.

My reading of kids and young adult books continue to fall (63% in 2011, 33% in 2012, 20% in 2013), being only 12% this year. Not sure what’s up with that, except that I’m finding more and more of them to be inferior rehashes of the same old storylines. I’m not knocking the genre - I know there’s great stuff out there, but it’s not crossing my path and I’m not deliberately seeking it out.

Rereads continues to climb - this year was 12%. Probably has something to do with how often I feel compelled to read Blackout/All Clear. :)

Authors I met this year: Ben Crystal, Bill Bryson, James Patterson, Henry Winkler, David Levithan, Maggie Stiefvater, Eoin Colfer.

I got REALLY CLOSE to meeting Shannon Hale. Sigh.

I'm going to forgo singling out any books for specific awards this year because, frankly, I just don't feel like it. But there you have it: my year in reading.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
I haven't used Goodreads much because some people followed me there to whom I was sort of embarrassed about exposing all my reading choices.

So I started using LJ to keep track of my reading, but it isn't really ideal for tracking, more for sharing and reviewing. I like your way of keeping track on GR and just doing a summary here. I may steal it.

Thanks for posting.

I think like Shem and you, I also want to analyze my year's reads.

And paint my gold fixtures bronze.

So, really I am playing Harriet Smith to your Emma this year.

Jan. 9th, 2015 03:29 am (UTC)
I have wished, on occasion, that GoodReads had a feature for making certain books private. =P Oh well. Let them judge!

I promise not to dissuade you from marrying any farmers. ;)
Jan. 3rd, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
Ridiculously impressive as usual. ;)
Jan. 9th, 2015 01:16 pm (UTC)

I friended you because it seems we have so many books in common ;)
Jan. 9th, 2015 07:04 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm glad! Thank you!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )