My Best of 2014

Lots went on this year. Personally, it was rough for me and I spent a lot of time in the slumps, though you can’t really tell from the totals. (A look at my Goodreads shelf and there are a lot of 3 and 4 star books.) Well, a couple of things were different: I read a lot more graphic novels, more YA than Middle Grade, and I reread a lot more than I used to. It was the year of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, and I’ve started paying more attention to the (lack of) diversity in my reading. (Seriously. I need to either keep better track of it and/or read more.) In retrospect, it wasn’t a bad year reading, though I think I read less broadly than I usually do. But, tomorrow’s a new year (and the Cybils’ shortlist announcement!) and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find some great books out there.

By the Numbers:

Middle Grade Fiction: 52
YA Fiction: 62
Graphic Novels: 24
Non-Fiction: 18
Adult Fiction: 19
(Number of those that were sci-fi/fantasy books, not counting graphic novels: 57)
(Number of those that were by authors of color: 12)
(Number of those that had prominent characters of color — that I can remember: 24)
(Number of those that were audiobooks: 14)
(Number of those that were rereads: 17)

Grand Total: 175

Abandoned: 9

And now this year’s awards:

Best Adult Fiction: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Best YA book: Everything Leads to You
Best Middle-grade book: The Great Greene Heist
Best MG Fantasy: The Greenglass House
Best YA Fantasy: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Best Sci-Fi/Distopian: The Infinite Sea
Best Graphic Novel: Sisters
Best Non-Fiction: Gulp
Best MG/YA Non-Fiction: Port Chicago 50
Best Romance: The Crane Wife
Best Mystery: The Killer’s Cousin
Best Audiobook: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

And in other categories…

Cover love: 


Don’t judge a book by its cover: The Winner’s Curse, Everything Leads to You

Best in-person book group book: Gulp

Best YAckers book: Reality Boy

Couldn’t finish it, but a Great Discussion: Cloud Atlas

*Blush*: The Chocolate Thief

Kids’ Books for Grown-ups: The Night GardenerEgg & Spoon

A Year of Memoirs: The World’s Strongest Librarian, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, The Art of Asking, Dad is Fat, Rethinking Normal, Brown Girl Dreaming, Lifesaving Lessons

We Got Art: The Art Forger, The Art of Asking, I’ll Give You the Sun, Isla and the Happily Ever After, The Summer Prince, Girl in Reverse, Under the Egg, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Favorite reread: Graceling/Fire

Twists FTW: We Were Liars 

The Summer of John Green: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Let it Snow

My Favorite John Green book: An Abundance of Katherines

Best John Green discussion: Looking for Alaska

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic isn’t overdone (yet): The Summer Prince

Not Out Yet, but Worth Looking For: Ms. Rapscott’s GirlsMosquitoland, The Terrible Two

Begs to be Read Aloud: The Night Gardener

Poetry? Who knew?: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, The Importance of Being Ernest, What the Heart Knows

Give it up for religion: Zealot, I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister, So Long a Letter, Killing Jesus, Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite 

Superheroes!: The Princess in Black, Shadow Hero, Minion, Dangerous

Why Not Talking Cats: Cleopatra in Space, Mouseheart

History (Real and Alternative): Sugar, Madman of Piney Woods, Boys in the Boat, One Summer, The Inventor’s Secret, A Horse Called Hero, Wanderville, Hidden, Port Chicago 50, Dollbaby, March, Book One 

Books I should have read AGES ago: Obsidian Mirror

Mean Girls: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

Awesome LGBTQ+: Everything Leads to You, I’ll Give You the SunNeil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, Drama, Afterworlds, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, The Vacationers, The Summer Prince, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, City of Heavenly Fire, Grasshopper Jungle, Rethinking Normal

WTH Did I Just Read: Grasshopper Jungle

Evil Incarnate: Half Bad

Snorting milk outta my nose award: Life of Zarf

Series I devoured: The Casson Family 

I’m in love with everyone: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Woo-hoo, they’re back!: Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, Thursdays with the CrownThe Whispering SkullCress

Waaaah, it’s OVER: The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw, Unmade, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, The Blood of Olympus, The Mortal Heart, The Grimjinx Rebellion, Return of Zita the Spacegirl, The Last Present, The Bitter Kingdom

Loved it, but can’t seem to sell it: Blue Lily, Lily Blue, The Shadowhand Covenant/The Grimjinx Rebellion, Shadow Hero

Indulging in my desire to carry around a photo of Nathan Fillion: Raging Heat

Books I finished but didn’t feel the love for: Dear Committee Members, The Bridge of San Luis Ray, S. , Riverman, Egg & Spoon, Dorothy Must Die, Fablehaven

Author everyone else loves that I discovered I liked: Jim Gaffigan (Dad is Fat, Food: A Love Story), A. S. King (Reality Boy), Rene Telgemeier (Smile, Drama, Sisters)

Author Events I dragged the girls/family to: Gabrielle Zevin (she was the best one!), Kristopher Jansma, Stephen King, Wendelin Van Draanan, Linda Greenlaw, Robert Gates

What are some of your bests this past year?

5 thoughts on “My Best of 2014

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