Top books of 2014

I set myself a challenge to read 25 books all the back at the beginning of the year. Realising how easy that might turn out to be, I decided to go a little more ambitious and aim for 40.

Smashed that too!

I’m sure some people argue that it’s not really been 40 as at least 8 were graphic novels (one of which – The New Ghost – is only about 10 pages long!) but they still count. I have been keeping track of them all and it’s quite easy to forget about really great books at the beginning of the year.

So for my first post in months**, I thought I would look back at my year in books and see any notable reads worth highlighting!

I set myself a challenge to read 25 books all the back at the beginning of the year. Realising how easy that might turn out to be, I decided to go a little more ambitious and aim for 40.

Smashed that too!

I’m sure some people argue that it’s not really been 40 as at least 8 were graphic novels (one of which – The New Ghost – is only about 10 pages long!) but they still count. I have been keeping track of them all and it’s quite easy to forget about really great books at the beginning of the year.

So for my first post in months**, I thought I would look back at my year in books and see any notable reads worth highlighting!

I set myself a challenge to read 25 books all the back at the beginning of the year. Realising how easy that might turn out to be, I decided to go a little more ambitious and aim for 40.

Smashed that too!

I’m sure some people argue that it’s not really been 40 as at least 8 were graphic novels (one of which – The New Ghost – is only about 10 pages long!) but they still count. I have been keeping track of them all and it’s quite easy to forget about really great books at the beginning of the year.

So for my first post in months**, I thought I would look back at my year in books and see any notable reads worth highlighting!

The Book Thief – Markus Zuzack

I believe I bought this at the beginning of the year, started in July and only finished a few weeks ago. This is a long book, although very interesting once you are into it. The Book Thief is narrated by death and is a story about Liesel and her time on Himmel Street during Nazi Germany. Rudy stole my heart and I shed more than just one tear at the end.

It’s an investment but if you love WW2 or Nazi Germany reads, then I would definitely recommend.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Another one I started earlier in the year and is actually the last book I will read this year. Another long book at 405 pages. I seriously considered leaving this out. The premise drew me in immediately. Harry August, among others, will live the same life over and over again, remembering all of his other lives as he goes on. And he’s not along. Then a message comes through from the future to Harry. The world is ending and they need his help.

This book had me glued to my seat until I got half way through and completely lost interest after about a two day marathoning it. It wasn’t until a few days ago and I couldn’t sleep I picked it up and forced myself to get passed that part and it took me less than 24 hours to finish. It is long, it goes off topic sometimes and I wasn’t too interested in the actual main plot or antagonist. But the premise is interesting and it did have me hooked so deserves a mention.

Maus – Art Spiegelman

This was my first experience of a graphic novel, playing right into my love of historical fiction around the WW2 and Nazi Germany. This is a particularly well-known graphic novel so I won’t go into the description.

You just need to see this.

All my friends are superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

I have read all of Kaufman’s available books this year. Gulped them all up like a big piece of pie. His stories are magical and weird. All My Friends are Superheroes started me off after I randomly bought it in a bookshop after seeing the cover (although I wish now I had the 10 year anniversary edition!). In this world, everyone is a superhero with a special power except for Tom. On his wedding day to The Perfectionist, she is hypnotised to be unable to see or hear Tom and now is boarding a plane to be without him. At 100 pages, it’s a quick but great read.

War Crimes For The Home - Liz Jensen

War Crimes from the Home – Liz Jensen

Hilarious. HILARIOUS. And then heart breaking. I did not see the ending coming (although I thought I had an idea, I was off base!). The format is a little different which can be quite jarring but you get used to it and the protagonist, Gloria, is a hilarious old and vile woman who you come to love. The story flips between her in a nursing home in old age and back in her youth in the home front in Britain in WW2 (are you seeing a pattern?).

Ethel & Ernest – Raymond Briggs

I was a mess at the end of this: a blubbering, crying mess. It took me half an hour to finish and was just wonderful. It is the story of Briggs’s parents from when they met until their deaths.

** It is probably worth saying now that I won’t be posting regularly anymore. I have started a master’s degree as well as working full time and therefore all of my spare time is being either poured into my degree or maintaining my relationships so something has to give. However, I will be hoping to post more regularly than I have been previously (i.e. not at all!).

What were the highlights of your reading this year? I’ve bought a ton of new books on kindle but I always need new recommendations!

Have a great new year!

The Book Thief – Markus Zuzack

I believe I bought this at the beginning of the year, started in July and only finished a few weeks ago. This is a long book, although very interesting once you are into it. The Book Thief is narrated by death and is a story about Liesel and her time on Himmel Street during Nazi Germany. Rudy stole my heart and I shed more than just one tear at the end.

It’s an investment but if you love WW2 or Nazi Germany reads, then I would definitely recommend.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Another one I started earlier in the year and is actually the last book I will read this year. Another long book at 405 pages. I seriously considered leaving this out. The premise drew me in immediately. Harry August, among others, will live the same life over and over again, remembering all of his other lives as he goes on. And he’s not along. Then a message comes through from the future to Harry. The world is ending and they need his help.

This book had me glued to my seat until I got half way through and completely lost interest after about a two day marathoning it. It wasn’t until a few days ago and I couldn’t sleep I picked it up and forced myself to get passed that part and it took me less than 24 hours to finish. It is long, it goes off topic sometimes and I wasn’t too interested in the actual main plot or antagonist. But the premise is interesting and it did have me hooked so deserves a mention.

Maus – Art Spiegelman

This was my first experience of a graphic novel, playing right into my love of historical fiction around the WW2 and Nazi Germany. This is a particularly well-known graphic novel so I won’t go into the description.

You just need to see this.

All my friends are superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

I have read all of Kaufman’s available books this year. Gulped them all up like a big piece of pie. His stories are magical and weird. All My Friends are Superheroes started me off after I randomly bought it in a bookshop after seeing the cover (although I wish now I had the 10 year anniversary edition!). In this world, everyone is a superhero with a special power except for Tom. On his wedding day to The Perfectionist, she is hypnotised to be unable to see or hear Tom and now is boarding a plane to be without him. At 100 pages, it’s a quick but great read.

War Crimes from the Home – Liz Jensen

Hilarious. HILARIOUS. And then heart breaking. I did not see the ending coming (although I thought I had an idea, I was off base!). The format is a little different which can be quite jarring but you get used to it and the protagonist, Gloria, is a hilarious old and vile woman who you come to love. The story flips between her in a nursing home in old age and back in her youth in the home front in Britain in WW2 (are you seeing a pattern?).

Ethel & Ernest – Raymond Briggs

I was a mess at the end of this: a blubbering, crying mess. It took me half an hour to finish and was just wonderful. It is the story of Briggs’s parents from when they met until their deaths.

** It is probably worth saying now that I won’t be posting regularly anymore. I have started a master’s degree as well as working full time and therefore all of my spare time is being either poured into my degree or maintaining my relationships so something has to give. However, I will be hoping to post more regularly than I have been previously (i.e. not at all!).

What were the highlights of your reading this year? I’ve bought a ton of new books on kindle but I always need new recommendations!

Have a great new year!

The Book Thief – Markus Zuzack

I believe I bought this at the beginning of the year, started in July and only finished a few weeks ago. This is a long book, although very interesting once you are into it. The Book Thief is narrated by death and is a story about Liesel and her time on Himmel Street during Nazi Germany. Rudy stole my heart and I shed more than just one tear at the end.

It’s an investment but if you love WW2 or Nazi Germany reads, then I would definitely recommend.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Another one I started earlier in the year and is actually the last book I will read this year. Another long book at 405 pages. I seriously considered leaving this out. The premise drew me in immediately. Harry August, among others, will live the same life over and over again, remembering all of his other lives as he goes on. And he’s not along. Then a message comes through from the future to Harry. The world is ending and they need his help.

This book had me glued to my seat until I got half way through and completely lost interest after about a two day marathoning it. It wasn’t until a few days ago and I couldn’t sleep I picked it up and forced myself to get passed that part and it took me less than 24 hours to finish. It is long, it goes off topic sometimes and I wasn’t too interested in the actual main plot or antagonist. But the premise is interesting and it did have me hooked so deserves a mention.

Maus – Art Spiegelman

This was my first experience of a graphic novel, playing right into my love of historical fiction around the WW2 and Nazi Germany. This is a particularly well-known graphic novel so I won’t go into the description.

You just need to see this.

All my friends are superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

I have read all of Kaufman’s available books this year. Gulped them all up like a big piece of pie. His stories are magical and weird. All My Friends are Superheroes started me off after I randomly bought it in a bookshop after seeing the cover (although I wish now I had the 10 year anniversary edition!). In this world, everyone is a superhero with a special power except for Tom. On his wedding day to The Perfectionist, she is hypnotised to be unable to see or hear Tom and now is boarding a plane to be without him. At 100 pages, it’s a quick but great read.

War Crimes from the Home – Liz Jensen

Hilarious. HILARIOUS. And then heart breaking. I did not see the ending coming (although I thought I had an idea, I was off base!). The format is a little different which can be quite jarring but you get used to it and the protagonist, Gloria, is a hilarious old and vile woman who you come to love. The story flips between her in a nursing home in old age and back in her youth in the home front in Britain in WW2 (are you seeing a pattern?).

Ethel & Ernest – Raymond Briggs

I was a mess at the end of this: a blubbering, crying mess. It took me half an hour to finish and was just wonderful. It is the story of Briggs’s parents from when they met until their deaths.

** It is probably worth saying now that I won’t be posting regularly anymore. I have started a master’s degree as well as working full time and therefore all of my spare time is being either poured into my degree or maintaining my relationships so something has to give. However, I will be hoping to post more regularly than I have been previously (i.e. not at all!).

What were the highlights of your reading this year? I’ve bought a ton of new books on kindle but I always need new recommendations!

Have a great new year!

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