I know this is a few days late for a New Year post, but it’s the first weekend of the New Year, so I think I can get away with it. Anyway it’s my first post of the New Year! I stole… er, BORROWED the idea for this from a blog post by @JohnBooth, author of Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek. I’ve actually read several posts about this sort of thing, but John’s was the most interesting and the one that sticks out in my mind.
Also, this past year was the first time I consistently was able to keep track of the books I read, because I was trying to win a free bookstore gift card from my friendly neighborhood library. I know that I’ve posted about books I’ve enjoyed before, but maybe something in my list might be of interest to you. I’m not sure what everyone counts as books, but I count pretty much everything – paperbacks, graphic novels, e-books, and audiobooks. Anyway, Happy New Year!
BOOKS I READ IN 2014
1. MIND NOISE by Helen Howell A wonderful novella by my lovely Twitter pal and fellow #FridayFlash-er, Helen, about a gifted child in a perilous situation.
2. DHARMA OF STAR WARS by Matt Bortolin I’m actually rereading this right now, so this also doubles also my first read of 2015. It’s a wonderful guide for the layperson who would like to learn about Buddhism in the context of the Star Wars movies. It’s quick and easy-to-understand, offering both an introduction to the philosophy and an interesting insight for the current practitioner.
3. THE WALKING DEAD: volume 1 DAYS GONE BYE (graphic novel) – by Kirkman and Moore Does this really need an introduction? The obvious inspiration for the hit television series, the graphic novel differs enough to still be interesting to those already acquainted with the other storyline.
4. BETWEEN TWO THORNS by Emma Newman A lovely fantasy by another #FridayFlash-er
5. LAST GOD STANDING by Michael Boatman A very odd look at the Abrahamic God as a stand up comedian. It was very weird, and I both hated and loved it.
6. THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR by Kirkman and Bonansinga This was actually a novel that I read as an e-book, rather than a graphic novel. I couldn’t put it down. It fulfilled the title’s promise to reveal the origin of the series’ most notorious villain, but I can’t say I actually enjoyed the book because it was so disturbing.
7. HOGFATHER by Terry Pratchett For those unfamiliar with Pratchett’s work, he’s primarily known for his Discworld novels; these humorous fantasies do take place in the same universe and sometimes share the same characters, but each novel is a stand-alone. This particular book features the Disc World’s equivalent of Santa.
8. BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS by Kurt Vonnegut (audiobook) I checked this out of the library on the recommendation of another Twitter buddy of mine, Paul Weimer. The plot is really, really odd but comes together in an unexpected way. Though I’m generally not a big fan of Vonnegut’s writing, I did enjoy this one.
9. HOOT by Carl Hiaasan (audiobook) This one I checked out for World Book Night, because it was the book selection I was given to hand out in my local community… as a paperback, not an audiobook. It’s a Middle-Grade novel about a Huck Finn-ish character that gets the new kid in town involved in environmental activism. It was a pretty fun story to listen to.
10. CINDER (The Lunar Chronicles: book 1) by M. Meyer This is a science fiction take on Cinderella. Poor Cinder is a cyborg in a society that looks down on them as less than human. I also reviewed this for Functional Nerds, but the biggest warning I can give you is that this series is so AWESOME you will be completely addicted to the world Meyer’s created and the characters in it. YOU MUST READ THIS.
11. THE ENCELADUS CRISIS by M.J. Martinez I’m just going to link to reviews I’ve already done from here on out, but this book blends fantasy and science fiction.
12. TAINTED by A.E. Rought BROKEN may have been a gripping science-fiction version of Frankenstein, but this sequel puts it to shame. Another MUST READ.
13. DOCTOR WHO: THE SILENT STARS GO BY (Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary) For the 50th Anniversary, several novels and novellas were released (or rereleased) to highlight each of the incarnations of the good Doctor. This novel features Eleven, along with companions Amy and Rory, as they face off with yet another set of Doctor Who villains, namely the Ice Warriors.
14. WIZARD by Helen Howell Another excellent fantasy that hasn’t quite been published yet, but when it is everyone should read it!
15. CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus (graphic novel) This is really cool story about Cinderella as a spy whose cover is as a glamorous celebrity that owns a chain of shoe stores.
16. THE CHRONIC ARGONAUTS by H.G. Wells (graphic novel by Jason Quinn and Russ Leach…) A great story featuring time-travel! Surprised, right?
17. FLATLAND by Edwin A. Abbott (e-book) A classic novel that illustrates the concepts of higher and lower dimensions with an engaging story that’s part adventure, part philosophy, and part satire. There’s a reason this is a classic, folks!
18. HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams (audiobook) This is my favorite book, one that I’ve read and reread many times over, and the audiobook is wonderful as well.
19. SCARLETT (The Lunar Chronicles: book 2) by M. Meyer The science-fiction, fairy tale saga of Cinder continues with this original take on Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.
20. APOLOGY OF SOCRATES (audiobook) Again, does this really need a description?
21. THE GHOST TRAIN TO NEW ORLEANS by Mur Lafferty This sequel to THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY is full of the same intrigue, creatures, and humor as its predecessor.
22. GOBLIN QUEST (Goblin series: book 1) by Jim C. Hines I was late coming to this particular series, but it was worth the wait. Jig the Goblin is a reluctant, yet endearing, unlikely hero when a band of adventurers ventures into his goblin cave.
23. DOCTOR WHO: FUGITIVE (volume 1) (graphic novel) This was a great deal I obtained through Humble Bundle, a wonderfully illustrated graphic novel featuring Doctor number 10.
24. THE CROSSOVER by Larry Kollar When I read this adorably nerdy novel by my Twitter buddy and fellow #FridayFlash-er, Larry, I loved it. Fantasy characters transported to our own mundane world, mixing with geeks and gamesters. What’s not to love?
25. THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE by Douglas Adams (audiobook) See #18.
26. CRESS (The Lunar Chronicles: book 3) by M. Meyer Continuing to blend science fiction and fairytales, Meyer introduces the character of Cress, a hacker trapped on a satellite in this futuristic take on Rapunzel.
27. GOBLIN HERO (Goblin series: book 2) by Jim C. Hines A funny sequel to Goblin Quest featuring poor Jig the Goblin and some of his fellows as they face off against an invading horde of…. fairies.
28. TITUS ANDRONICUS (Shakespeare audio) This horror play makes the most chilling Stephen King novel look like child’s play.
29. THE ODYSSEY by Homer (Fagles translation) I borrowed this for a class I was taking online, and what I liked most about this was the how this translation was so easy to understand. I thought I was already familiar with the Odyssey though the other adaptations I had read, but I was wrong. Another MUST READ for the mythology lover!
30. THEOGONY by Hesiod (e-book) A poem about the origins of the Greek gods.
31. 1984 by George Orwell (e-book) Another book in my top ten that I have reread many times.
32. DOCTOR WHO: AGENT PROVOCATEUR by Gary Russell and Nick Roche (graphic novel) This novel features Doctor number 10 along with his companion, Martha.
33. THE WALKING DEAD: volume 2 (graphic novel) – by Kirkman, Adlard, and Rathburn See item #3.
34. THE WALKING DEAD: volume 3 (graphic novel) – by Kirkman and Adlard See item #33.
35. THE WALKING DEAD: volume 4 (graphic novel) – by Kirkman, Adlard, and Rathburn See item #34.
36. THE WALKING DEAD: volume 5 (graphic novel) – by Kirkman, Adlard, and Rathburn See item #35.
37. INTO THE ICEBOUND by Larry Kollar Another book in the Accidental Sorcerers series, you don’t need to be familiar with the other novels to enjoy this story!
38. THE AGAMEMNON of Aeschylus The first play of the Oresteid Trilogy!
39. THE GIRL WHO TWEETED WOLF (Hobson and Choi: Case 1) by Nick Bryan I originally started reading this as weekly installments for #TuesdaySerial, but I quickly became enamored with Bryan’s writing style, world, and characters.
40. JERICHO: SEASON 3 (CIVIL WAR) (graphic novel) When the cult television series ended on a cliffhanger after only two seasons, the story continued on in graphic novel form. It’s awesome.
41. GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin (audiobook) An excellent story, heavy on the political intrigue and backstabbing, with a dash of fantasy thrown in. The audio was read well. A very addictive series.
42. BOUND SOULS by Eric J. Krause A steamy, supernatural romance!
43. JERICHO: SEASON 4 (graphic novel) See item #40.
44. DOCTOR WHO: TESSERACT (graphic novel) The Tenth Doctor and Martha go on another epic adventure!
45. DEATH WARMED OVER by Kevin J. Anderson (e-book) When a zombie detective investigates his own murder, aided by his ghost girlfriend and a human lawyer, what can go wrong?
46. CODE BREAKERS by Colin F. Barnes (e-book) I got this one on the cheap through BookBub (I think) and though it wasn’t my favorite book, it was interesting enough to almost be worth what I paid for it.
47. INTO THE FIRE, PART 1 WOLVES by C. Gockel (e-book) Humorous and addictive, these novels follow the exploits of the Norse god, Loki, and his human companion throughout this world as well as several others. I raced through this series. The first book is free, but you have been warned: It IS addictive!
48. INTO THE FIRE, PART 2 MONSTERS by C. Gockel (e-book) See item #47.
49. JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach (paperback) A sweet novella about an outcast seagull who learns to transform himself and ultimately teaches others how to progress in their lives.
50. INTO THE FIRE, PART 3 CHAOS by C. Gockel (e-book) See item #48.
51. INTO THE FIRE, PART 3.5 IN THE BALANCE by C. Gockel (e-book) See item #50.
52. INTO THE FIRE, PART 4 FATE by C. Gockel (e-book) See item #51.
53. INTO THE FIRE, PART 5 WARRIORS by C. Gockel (e-book) See item #52.
54. STAR WARS, THE OLD REPUBLIC: REVAN (audiobook) The voice work on this audiobook was great, though the story itself didn’t grab me in the same way as other Star Wars stories I’ve read. What’s interesting about the characters, however, is that it features several characters that use both the dark side and light side of the Force at different times in their lives.
55. BLINK by Larry Kollar (e-book) I was privileged to be given a copy of this humorous superhero story, which is currently being released in installments on the author’s blog. It’s worth a read!
56. SHATTERED SHIELDS (e-book) edited by B. T. Schmidt and Jennifer Brozek This anthology of military science-fiction and fantasy short stories features strong, realistic characters of both sexes in believable situations and interesting, sometimes heart wrenching, stories. My biggest complaint would be that I wanted each story to last longer.
57. THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE by Douglas Adams (e-book) Yes, I know I listened to the audiobook and I’ve also read this as an e-book before (2013). I have a problem, okay?
58. DOCTOR WHO: THE STONE ROSE by J. Rayner This was one of the better Doctor Who novels I’ve read with the Tenth Doctor. Rose and the Doctor visit ancient Rome after Mickey discovers a statue of Rose in the British Museum. Unfortunately, Rose must learn to be careful what she wishes for.
59. DOCTOR WHO: ONLY HUMAN by Gareth Roberts (Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary) The Ninth Doctor and his companions discover a Neanderthal in modern day Britain. While Captain Jack stays behind to instruct the poor creature on contemporary living, Rose accompanies the Doctor back to prehistoric times to solve the mystery of the Neanderthal’s temporal displacement, only to discover futuristic humans living in the past. I couldn’t stop reading this, and I could never have predicted the plot in a million years. Another MUST READ.
Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get to #60. I decided to go to a party that night instead.
If any of these selections interest you, you can either follow the links or google the titles. Except for comics I obtained through incredible Humble Bundle deals, I bought most through Comixology because I enjoy their Guided View Reading tech. It zooms in on panels so I can read my comics even on small screens like my cell phone. Audiobooks I mostly checked out through my local library or downloaded for free. I also got several deals on free or cheap e-books through BookBub. A lot of the series, as I stated within the list, I got hooked on through an initial free e-book, so buyer (or consumer of free stuff), beware!
I will try to get back on a semi-regular posting schedule again in the next few weeks. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!