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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Book roundup for 2014 
2nd-Jan-2015 11:59 am
Summer
I continue to enjoy blogging about books. I like to talk about my impressions from books, the way the worlds are built and characters are crafted, and if the plot sustains itself. I also appreciate feedback from people who read my reviews, so I also try to recommend (or not) to particular types of readers.

This year, my favorite novel was The Martian, a science fiction telling of an astronaut stuck on Mars by accident. This choice is a departure from my previous two favorites (Written in Red for 2013 and Silence for 2012), which were both urban fantasy of various degrees. I also discovered my ranting ranty rant skills over a tasteless comic book and a paranormal romance that could have been really good if it had ditched the overshot romance part.

The total of books/comics/stories recorded as new reads this year was 61, but included quite a few single-story, online publications. 65 stories hit the re-read list, but I can confess to quite a few more tastings of re-reads. That was where I flipped open a book to re-read a few scenes and then put it back. Murder of Crows was one of those such books, as was The Martian.


2013 roundup post
2012 roundup post
2011 roundup post

Comics - 5
Fantasy Novel/Anthology - 28
Fantasy shorter than novel - 16
Science Fiction Novel - 4
SciFi shorter than novel - 1
YA Dystopia - 1
Other (including Paranormal Romance) - 6

I stole the following Q&A from Ambyr. I modified it so that we are only talking about full-length books rather than the many short stories and tidbits that I sampled across the year.

How many full-length books read in 2014?
50

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
All to None

Ratio of Male/Female/Mixed team authors?
By book - 17:26:7

Favorite book?
The Martian

Least favorite?
How to tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You

Oldest book read?
Legend - Oct 1, 1994

Newest?
Dead But Not Forgotten (Nov. 25, 2014)

Longest book title?
Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Shortest title?
Touch, Fated

Most books read by one author this year?
Seanan McGuire: Half-off Ragnarok, Sparrow Hill Road, Indexing, The Winter Long

Any books in translation or not in English?
Sadly, not this year.

Book that most changed my perspective
I didn't read a lot of mentally challenging books, as far as my perspective goes.
Lines of Departure brings up the idea that we are just bugs (pests) in an alien's perspective.
Fated gave the author the interesting challenge of surprising someone who can know the future.
The Goblin Emperor reminded me that there were many people who did not want to rule when they ascended the throne.

Favorite character
Mark Watney (The Martian)

Favorite scene:
The "final confrontation" (ha ha) scene between Kate and Roland in Magic Breaks

Favorite quote:
[If one comes to me, I'll put it here.]

How many would you actually read again?
I expect that I'll at least sample most of the books that I listed as keeping. So, at a guess, at least 20.

-----------------------------
The list, one more time:

2014 New Books:

January
1/4 - Goodnight, iPad, by Ann Droyd. Humor. Hardback. Giveaway box.
1/5 - Unidenfied Funny Objects 2, edited by Alex Silverman. Science Fiction Anthology. Paperback, 295 pages. Second in the series.
* 1/7 - Rex Regis, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. Fantasy. Hardback, 444 pages. Eighth in the Imager Portfolio. Keeping it.
* 1/8 - "Black as Blood", by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
* 1/8 - Touch, by Michelle Sagara. YA Urban Fantasy, hardback, 384 pages. Second in the series. Keeping it.
1/10 - I Think the Fish Is Broken, by Mel Hynes and J. Grant. Comics. Paperback, ? Pages. Book seven in the Two Lumps series. Keeping it.
1/13 - Shut Up I Am Delicious, by Mel Hynes and J. Grant. Comics. Paperback, ? Pages. Book eight in the Two Lumps series. Keeping it.
* 1/15 - "The Gift of Music" by Sharon Lee. Splinter in the Carousel Tides Universe. Currently available here.
* 1/21 - "The Rifle's First Wife" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Splinter in the Liaden Universe, set after I Dare. Short story currently available here
* 1/26 - Carousel Sun, by Sharon Lee. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 324 pages. Book two in the series. Keeping it.

February
2/5/14 - The Selection, by Kiera Cass. YA Dystopia. Paperback, 352 pages. Book 1 in the series. Liked it, but giveawaybox.
2/8/14 - Kitty Steals the Show, by Carrie Vaughn. Urban fantasy, paperback, 342 pages. Book 11 in the series. Keeping it for now.
* 2/18 - "Blocked" by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, e-publication on her website. In the InCryptid universe.
2/28 - Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. Fantasy. Paperback, 314 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.

March
* 3/8 - Half-off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 356 pages. Book 3 in the InCryptid series. Keeping it.
* 3/11 - "Ghosts of Bourbon Street", by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
*3/12 - Night Broken, by Patricia Briggs. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 352 pages. Book 8 in the Mercy Thompson series. Keeping it.
3/16 - Chicks Kick Butt, edited by Rachel Caine and Kerrie L. Hughes. Urban fantasy and regular fantasy anthology. Paperback, 349 pages. Loaned.
* 3/17 A Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 354 pages. Book two of The Others. Keeping it.

April
* 4/2 Games Creatures Play, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 356 pages. Anthology. Probably going to loan/give it away.
* 4/4 - Moonscapes, edited by Dean Westley Smith. Science Fiction Anthology. Paperback, 251 pages. Fiction River #6.
4/10 - Clean Sweep, by Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy (YA). Paperback, 227 pages. Keeping it.
* 4/15 - "Roving Gambler" by Sharon Lee. Splinter in the Liaden Universe. Currently available here.
4/16 - "Curran Naked Dinner POV" by Ilona Andrews. Short story in the Kate Daniels series, explaining the other side of why Curran stood up Kate for their special dinner. Found online here.
4/15 - "Curran POV Vol 2: Fathers and Sons" by Ilona Andrews. This is the side of the story after Curran wakes up at the end of Magic Bleeds and challenges his pack council for their twenty-two attacks on Kate. Found online here.
* 4/18 - Ghost Seer, by Robin Owens. Paranormal Romance (yes, that is a type). Paperback, 312 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.
4/20 - The Martian, by Andy Weir. Science Fiction. Hardback, 369 pages. Stand-alone.
4/21 - How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You, by Matthew Inman. Comics. Paperback, 131 pages. Giveawaybox. I actively recommmend against this book.
4/23 - Fated, by Benedict Jacka. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 295 pages. First in the series.
4/25 - The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani. Fantasy, paperback, 488 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.

May
* 5/5 - "Code of Honor," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Splinter story in the Liaden Universe, currently found online here.
* 5/5 - Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 307 pages. Stand-alone but part of the InCryptid universe. Keeping it.
* 5/8 - Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 305 pages. First in the Midnight Texas series. Giveawaybox.

June
* 6/2 - "IM", by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
* 6/4 - Blood Red, by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy, hardback, 312 pages. Book 9 (really 10) in the Elemental Masters series.
6/21 - Night Owls, by Lauren Roy. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 296 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.
6/29 - No Hero, by Jonathan Wood. Urban fantasy, paperback, 380 pages. First in a series. Giveawaybox.
6/30 - "Velveteen vs Santa Claus," by Seanan McGuire. Fantasy. Posted on her LiveJournal. One in a large series of short stories.

July
* 7/4 - Do You Bite Your Foot at Me, Sir? by Mel Hynes and J. Grant. Comics. Paperback, ? Pages. Book ten in the Two Lumps series. Keeping it.
* 7/12 - The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. YA fantasy. Hardback, 446 pages. Currently a stand-alone. Can't decide yet.
added to the list in 2015 after someone pointed it out"Each to Each," originally published in Lightspeed Magazine's "Women Destroy Science Fiction" issue. Available from Lightspeed, June 2014. Military mermaids in a science fiction sea.

August
* 8/1 - Magic Breaks, by Ilona Andrews. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 381 pages. Book 7 in the Kate Daniels series. Keeping it.
* 8/5 - "Oh Pretty Bird," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
* 8/5 - "Bury Me in Satin", by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
* 8/8 - Cast in Flame, by Michelle Sagara. Fantasy. Giant paperback, 492 pages. Book 10 in the Chronicles of Elantra. Keeping it.
8/17 - Legend, by David Gemmell. Fantasy. Paperback, 345 pages. Book 1 in the Drenai Saga. Giveawaybox.
* 8/27 - The House of Four Winds, by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Fantasy. Hardback, 300 pages. First in the One Dozen Daughters series. Giveawaybox.
8/31 - Indexing, by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 404 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.

September
* 9/1 - Fantasy Adrift, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Science Fiction Anthology. Paperback, 242 pages. Fiction River #7
* 9/3 - The Winter Long, By Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 358 pages. Book 8 in the October Daye series. Keeping it.
* 9/6 - Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson, by Patricia Briggs. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 450 pages. Short stories ranging in all of the timeline. Keeping it.
* 9/7 - "Stingers and Strangers," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, Incryptid short story published in Dead Man's Hand anthology, which I don't commit to finishing or keeping.
* 9/10 - "Best Served Cold," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, snow queen short story published in Streets of Shadows anthology, which I don't commit to finishing or keeping.
* 9/12 - The Mathematician's Shiva, by Stuart Rojstaczer. Fiction. Paperback, 384 pages. Keeping it (and loaning it around).
* 9/15 - Wickedly Dangerous, by Deborah Blake. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 328 pages. First in the Baba Yaga series. Unsure.
* 9/19 - "Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," by Seanan McGuire. Steampunk, stand-alone short story published in Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens anthology, which I don't commit to finishing or keeping.

October
The Cold Dish, by Craig Johnson. Fiction. Paperback, 400 pages. First in the Longmire series. borrowed.
* Only the Good Die Young: Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire, by Chris Marie Green. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 416 pages. First in the Jensen Murphy series. Giveawaybox.
10/25 - Fantasy Gone Wrong, edited by Martin Greenberg. Fantasy. Paperback, 309 pages. Anthology. Giveawaybox.
* 10/29 - Burn for Me, by Ilona Andrews. Paranormal Romance. Paperback, 382 pages. First in the Hidden Legacy series. Giveawaybox.
* 10/31 - The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss. Fantasy. Hardback, 159 pages. A sidestep in the Kingkiller Chronicles. Keeping it.

November
* 11/3 - "Velveteen vs. Global Warming" by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story published online
* 11/3 - "Snakes and Ladders", by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
* 11/4 - "The Fixed Stars," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, October Daye short story published in Shattered Shields anthology, which I don't commit to finishing or keeping.
* 11/5 - "Driving Jenny Home," by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy, stand-alone short story published in Out of Tune anthology, which I don't commit to finishing or keeping.
11/13 - Terms of Enlistment, by Marko Kloos. Science Fiction. Paperback and e-book, 334 pages. Borrowed.
* 11/15 - Lines of Departure, by Marko Kloos. Science Fiction. Paperback and e-book, 315 pages. Borrowed.
* 11/16 - Zen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational Folks, by Gavin Than. Comics. Paperback, 175 pages. Keeping it to loan it out.
* 11/20 - "Velveteen Presents The Princess vs. Public Relations" by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story of the Velveteen universe, published online.
* 11/21 - "Velveteen vs. The Thaw" by Seanan McGuire, Urban Fantasy short story in the Velveteen universe. Posted online.

December
*12/9 - "White as a Raven's Wing," by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the InCryptid Stories section of the web site.
*12/15 - "The Night Don't Seem So Lonely," by Sharon Lee. Urban Fantasy. Short story, published on the Baen web site.
*12/24 - Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. p. Keller. Urban fantasy. Hardback, 343 pages. In the universe of... Giveawaybox.
12/27 - Point Your Face at This: Drawings, by Demetri Martin. Comics. Paperback, 288 pages. Excerpts from The New Yorker. Giveawaybox.
12/29 - Slave to Sensation, by Nalini Singh. Paranormal romance. Paperback, 338 pages. First in the Psy-Changeling series. Giveawaybox


Re-reads:
1/3 - Do Not Sniff the Bees
1/3 - Princeps
1/4 - Hooray I'm Evil
1/4 - Imager's Battalion
1/21 - Cryoburn (epub)
1/24 - Silver Borne
1/27 - Sharing Knife: Horizon (partially in epub and partially in hardback)
2/4 - On the Prowl
2/24 - Shadows
2/27 - Glitter and Mayhem (book version)
3/16 - Paladin of Souls
3/17 - The Ship Who Searched
3/27 - Joust
4/22 - The Martian
4/23 - Home Improvement: Undead Edition
4/29 - Double Share
5/4 - The Wind Witch
5/23 - Imager's Challenge
5/28 - Imager's Intrigue
6/1 - Home from the Sea
6/15 - Clean Sweep
7/8 - Frost Burned
7/17 - Scholar
7/19 - Murder of Crows
7/22 - Magic Bites
7/28 - Princeps (yes, again)
8/8 - Murder of Crows (yes, again)
8/9 - Shadows (yes, again)
8/19 - Magic Bleeds
8/29 - Sharing Knife: Passage
8/31 - Changer of Worlds
9/2 - An Old Fashioned Girl
9/19 - Antiagon Fire
9/23 - Scout's Progress
9/29 through 10/10
Written in Red
Gunmetal Magic
Murder of Crows (4th time?)
Wild Magic
"Magic Dreams"
Excuse Me While I Wag
Shadows (3rd time?)
Shifting Shadows
10/11 - Chalice
10/12 - "Magic Mourns"
10/23 - Full Share
10/24 - On the Edge (not all of it)
10/24 - The Fluorescent Light Glistens off Your Head
10/25 - The Martian
10/27 - Squire
11/1 - Diplomatic Immunity
11/16 - "Curran POV Vol 2: Fathers and Sons"
11/20 - Moon Called
11/21 - Blood Bound
11/22 - Iron Kissed
11/24 - Bone Crossed
11/25 - Silver Borne
11/28 - Smoke and Shadows
12/2 - Smoke and Mirrors
12/4 - Smoke and Ashes
12/7 - Alta
12/9 - Eight Cousins
12/13 - Half-off Ragnarok
12/22 - Midnight Blue-Light Special
12/28 - When Demons Walk
12/30 - Shatterglass
Comments 
3rd-Jan-2015 05:26 pm (UTC)
Goodness that's a lot of books. And many of them look like good fun!
I read a couple InCryptid's last night after seeing you mention that some were available online. Thank you!

Do you know if it's common for authors to have tip jars where you can give a little when you really enjoyed a library book? I'm not interested in purchasing books because then I'd have to store them (and a higher percent would go to the author with the tip model, though I know it wouldn't actually help their publisher numbers). Things I thought of late last night and haven't bothered to go actually look up on my own.
3rd-Jan-2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
Many of the authors who I read online have tip jars. If they are not specifically obvious, then they are probably only "set out" during special events. If you have a specific author in mind, I can let you know if I know. I have the addresses for Lee/Miller and McGuire if those are two you need.
3rd-Jan-2015 10:27 pm (UTC)
The library that I use doesn't have a very good tip jar posting. (http://tuebl.ca/) I usually end up going to the author's web site and poking around.
12th-Jan-2015 06:15 am (UTC)
Love to read this !
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