- The Man With The Shattered World - A. R. Luria
- The Winter Ghosts - Kate Mosse
- The Windchime Legacy - A. W. Mykel
- I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
- Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
- The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
- Little Children - Tom Perrotta
- The Rosary Girls - Richard Montanari
- The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1 - Roald Dahl
- Relentless - Simon Kernick
- Ellis Island - Kate Kerrigan
- Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
- Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella
- Need - Carrie Jones
- How Did All This Happen? - John Bishop
- Entice - Carrie Jones
- After Obsession - Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
- Tithe - Holly Black
- Ironside - Holly Black
- Valiant - Holly Black
- Fire - Kristin Cashore
- We Have Always Lived In The Castle - Shirley Jackson
- American Gods - Neil Gaiman
- Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
- Down And Out In Paris And London - George Orwell
- The Last Lord of the Moors - Isabella Brooke
- Teaching The Old Duke New Tricks - Isabella Brooke
- As The Crow Flies - Damien Boyd
- The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
- The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
- The Genesis Code - John Case
- Middlesex - Jeffery Eugenides
- The Girl With All The Gifts - M. R. Carey
- The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
- Never Saw It Coming - Linwood Barclay
- Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life - Nina Stibbe
- The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
- Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
- Daughter - Jane Shemilt
- The Aftermath - Rhidian Brook
- Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld
- Hannibal - Thomas Harris
- Hidden - Marianne Curley
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler
- Broken - Marianne Curley
- Together Apart - Natalie Martin
- Finding Emma - Steena Holmes
- Game - Justine Elyot
- Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
- The Girl Who Never Came Back - Amy Cross
- Blacklands - Belinda Bauer
- Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Phew! 52 books. I'm actually really proud of my achievement, and whilst some of these were tough going (Pride and Prejudice, I'm looking at you!), for the most part I really enjoyed my year of reading. Here are some of my favourites and not-so-favourites; these are by no means meant to be reviews or anything like that, just a little sentence or two on what I liked about my favourite books of the year.
American Gods, Neil Gaiman I'd not read any of Gaiman's work until last year, but I really enjoyed American Gods; the concept of the story was one which really appealed to me and I think it worked beautifully, Gaiman's writing style is right up my street and I'm definitely keen to read more of his work. American Gods is definitely a longer read and it did take me a couple of weeks, if memory serves, but I found it well worth the effort. I also really enjoyed Neverwhere, which was the first book of Gaiman's I read.
The Cuckoo's Calling, Robert Galbraith I started this knowing full well that it was written by J.K.Rowling and I have to admit, I half-wish I'd had the opportunity to read it not knowing. That aside, I loved the book - the characters were really nicely built up, the storyline drew me in, and I finished feeling like I'd got to know Cormoran Strike. I was keen to read more and actually pre-ordered Silkworm on my Kindle, which again I really enjoyed, and I can't wait for the next installment.
Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides I read The Virgin Suicides a few years back now and remember being in two minds about it (I wanted to love it and found the whole concept so interesting, but felt like something was lacking in the execution). I happened to flick through Middlesex at a friend's and ended up being unable to stop thinking about the story, so I bought it and found it an absolutely fascinating read. The idea behind the tale and its presentation were spot-on for me. Again, Eugenides is an author I'd love to read more of.
The Girl With All The Gifts, M. R. Carey I think this was my favourite book of the year, I absolutely loved the premise and the execution - such a good story and so beautifully told. I really felt like I got to know the characters, and became invested in their lives. I started this without really knowing what to expect (the blurb gave very little away) but quickly got hooked in! Another author I'll be looking to read more from in 2015.
Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld I was actually sent this to review (you can read my thoughts here) and as I mentioned in my post, I really liked the idea behind this tale and how the two halves of the story worked together and reflected each other, progressing one alongside the other. I started reading Westerfeld's Uglies series but got waylaid by Pride and Prejudice so I only actually read the first book, so the rest of them are on my list for this year.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler As a Psychology graduate, I found this utterly fascinating! I won't give away the premise of the story but suffice it to say, you should expect the unexpected with this one - it's a book that's stuck with me and I actually bought this for my best friend for Christmas, I enjoyed it so much. In one way, it's a tale about a typical family, but it's also a lot more than that.
Blacklands, Belinda Bauer Indulging my love of the morbid and macabre, I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons, not least because I find serial killers endlessly fascinating! I was also glad that Bauer kept her nerve, so to speak, and went with the logical ending (to my mind) rather than going back on herself somewhat in pursuit of a happy ending.
Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell I wanted to love this, I really did! I actually enjoyed the first third or so of the book and thought it had a lot of promise... And then it kind of lost me, and the rest of the book was a real drag to get through. I loved Animal Farm so I was really disappointed that this went downhill so rapidly for me, although it didn't put me off also reading Down and Out in Paris and London... which kind of lead me to conclude that Orwell isn't for me and Animal Farm was a one-off.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen I was so hopeful when I bought this! I'd been meaning to read it for years and this edition was so beautiful I decided it was a sign... Unfortunately, the pretty cover didn't really make up for the fact that this was a supremely dull story. I'm sorry, I know it's a classic, but it just did nothing for me and I managed to drag it out for around two months - I could have read another ten books in that time but I just didn't want to read it! Nothing happens!? Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't think Austen is for me.
All in all, I've really enjoyed my year in books, and putting this post together has been a lovely look back on my reading over the past twelve months. I'll definitely be keeping a list again this year to keep track of what I read, and I've got a little idea for a bit of journaling, too, which I might share if I get time to actually get round to doing it! What was your favourite book of 2014? Have you read any of these? Any recommendations for me to read in 2015?