Another year has come and gone, and, in my opinion, it was a great year for reading. I’m usually inclined to say that, but I’ll say it anyways. Here are some books from this past year that I especially enjoyed. I hope you relive some of your own favorites or possibly find something new for yourself!
Non-fiction: I was a little lax on the non-fiction this year (I’m hoping to change that this year), but I greatly enjoyed Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. Marshall’s narrative enabled me to relate to Margaret as well as understood the time in which she lived. You can read my review here.
Realistic Fiction (formerly General Fiction): Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Carlos Ruiz Zafion The Shadow of the Wind. Both bibliomysteries have vivid settings and engaging, action-packed plots.
Science Fiction/Fantasy: This year, I discovered Brandon Sanderson through his Mistborn trilogy. His characters, setting, and plot led me to consume the trilogy in quick succession. I’m planning to read other books of his in the future. Matt Haig’s The Humans–a humorous and heart-warming take on alien invasion– and Ted Chiang’s thought-provoking Stories of Your Life and Others get nods as well.
Young Adult: Ruta Sepety’s Out of the Easy easily seizes this spot. I loved the story’s heroine, who is smart and possesses enough grit to follow her dreams. You can read a review here.
Graphic Novel: Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints takes this role. I found the story gave a good, approachable introduction to the Boxer Rebellion, and I liked the artwork. I also enjoyed Daisuke Igarashi’s Children of the Sea for its gorgeous art and unique premises and George O’Connor’s take on Greek mythology, The Olympians series.
Mystery: This category gets taken by Oliver Potzsch’s The Hangman’s Daughter; the setting–17th century Bavaria– is vividly portrayed, and I enjoyed the characters, particularly the hangman Jakob Kuisl, who I found darkly clever and amusing. The first two books in the series are great, and I intend to read the later ones in the future. I also enjoyed Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series. You can read my review here.
Here’s to good reads in 2014!