Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Number Crunching and Favorite Books

And here it is... yet another break down of my reading year given to you in two parts. First the number crunching and then the Top Ten Favorites list, in which I cheat as usual.


Total Books Read: 85
Total Re-reads: 2
Total Pages: 26,868

Men: 18
Women: 67

Book Club: 10
Challenges: 0
Blog Tours: 5
Reviews for ARCs received (both physical and kindle): 24
Read Alongs: 0
Utah Authors: 22
On my own for fun: 46
(yeah, so a few of those overlap!)

The library: 17
My own stash (including new books bought and ARCs received): 30
Kindle: 35
Borrowed: 3

YA and MG: 61
Adult: 24

From the YA category:
Fantasy: 14
Science Fiction (including dystopian, paranormal, horror, steam punk, etc.): 19
Contemporary/Romance: 15
Historical Fiction: 6
Middle Grade: 7

From the Adult category:
Non Fiction: 9
Classics: 1
Literary Fiction: 5 
Science Fiction/ Fantasy (including dystopian, paranormal, horror, etc.): 2
Historical Fiction: 4
Romance: 3

Star Rating:
5 star: 23
4 star: 35
3 star: 21
2 star: 6

My thoughts:

  • I read most of my books on Kindle this year. Wait, what??? How did this happen?
  • I'm still feeling really bad about that classics number as I have been for the past few years.
  • Non fiction seems to be gaining ground!
  • My numbers used to be about half adult and half YA... yeah, so that percentage has changed too!
  • What happened to literary fiction! I need it back!
  • I guess you can see the reflection of my NetGalley and Edelweiss usage. I can't pass up some of those opportunities!
  • Did no one tempt me with a read along this past year? What's up with that? (Actually I think I tried one and failed right out of the gate.) Well, I'm fixing that this very month and starting one of my very own!
  • I like me some fantasy and science fiction, as usual. That's not likely to change much over the course of the years I'm afraid, though contemporary/romance seemed to gains some ground this past year in the YA category.
  • I didn't quite make my 90 book goal for the year, but here's hoping for next year!


And because I like to cheat at this listing business, I have two lists, one for adult books and one for YA and since I didn't read that many adult books... well...we'll see how that goes. (It turns out I've managed six adult books and 14 YAs which all works out in the end, right?) And as I did last year, instead of linking to my review, I'll give a snippet from something I said on my review (that is, if I've reviewed it, if not I'll just give a snippet!) Also, the lists are in no particular order... slightly perhaps, but not definite, if that makes any sense at all.

ADULT Favorites

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: I knew the story would be a pretty unbelievable one but still, I was surprised at the things this guy had to endure and am so impressed that he came out of it so well. I found it interesting that he still struggled, that it took him four years or so of crap before he could pull himself out it and live again.

2. As You Wish by Cary Elwes: Such a fun look at the behind the scenes story of The Princess Bride from Cary's (aka. Westley's) point of view. I laughed out loud at many parts and fell in love with this actor all over again. A must read for fans of the movie.

3. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen: But once I got the feel for it, I loved it. Like, really really loved it! And the language and wordiness ended up being really awesome and I want to talk like that! 

4. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson: We talk a lot about how much we love bantering between characters and let's just say that Shallan and Kaladin have this down! So much fun! They get  stuck together at one point and these scenes were definitely my favorites of the whole book.

5. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld: We learn about all these different things and see all the different perspectives through the eyes of this mentally ill death row inmate. It's all colored with amazing imagery and beautiful poetic prose. Pair that with the things that go on in a prison and you get this strange and unusual mix that is oddly compelling and riveting.

6. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: It's a wonderful tale where we get a glimpse of life at a huge manor house in England, complete with a maze and a mysterious cottage, all ruled over by a witchy mistress and her crippled and sort of sadistic husband. We get a glimpse of life in the middle of Jack the Ripper London. 

YA Favorites

1. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill: Basically, I loved everything about this book! It's left me speechless and I don't know what else to say but gush gush gush.

2. All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry: And once I started, I could NOT put it down. Except for those moments where I started getting nervous for the characters and I had to stop to breathe and gear up to read what I knew. . .felt. . . thought. . . was coming next! Ah, I love books like that were you are scared and nervous and anxious for the characters and you are DYING for certain things to happen and certain things to NOT happen.

3. The Kiss of Deception of Mary Pearson: Given the title you'd think that I'd have been prepared for something, I don't know... deceiving. But it hit me smack on the head and I was blown away! Ah, this book killed me!

4. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski: To fall in love and then do what he did? And to fall in love and then do what she did? What an amazing conflict and set up! New-to-me author to keep my eye on!

5. Dreams of Gods and Monsters (and Days of Blood and Starlight) by Laini Taylor: But most importantly, I really really love the characters Such unique characters. Angels and demons? I mean, hello. And these are not your typical angels and demons. Sometimes the angles are pretty demonic and the demons are pretty angelic. It's all a bit confusing! 

6. The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain: I just thought it was really fun and page turning and one of those books that I couldn't stop thinking about when I wasn't reading.

7. On the Fence by Kasie West: This is the prefect (and literal) boy next door story, and you know I love those. And even though it's simple, it also encompasses all the complicated feelings of teenager-hood, and done just right. And the love story? So much swoon to enjoy! 

8. Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman: The characters are a blast. We have a shy and humble hero, a damsel in distress that isn't at all the weak sort of damsel one might expect, a quirky funny sidekick that tends to steal the scenes and the annoying "I'm the coolest" nemesis. Ah, but he causes some grief for our poor hero! And then there's the Jabberwock himself... and that's all I'm going to say about that!

9. Death Sworn by Leah Cypess: Loved this book! Much sneaking around, cool fight scenes, a dark and mysterious boy, a powerful girl, a scary setting, a creepy old master. Not to mention the awesome writing. I want to write like this! 

10. Dangerous by Shannon Hale: Such a fun story, interesting romance, quirky characters, awesome heroine and fast-paced writing. It was a little bit Aliens meets X-men meets World War Z meets... oh, I don't know what else, but I'm sure there was something!

11. Champion (and Prodigy) by Marie Lu: An awesome and exciting story with some characters who have been added to my list of all time favorites.

12. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi: Ah, the end of a wonderful series. Wow, I devoured this series! For me, it had everything. Awesome romance, cool characters, unique setting with both futuristic and past elements, understandable goal, despicable villains, twists and turns, sad stuff and happy stuff. And many swoon-worthy moments! 

13. Noggin by John Corey Whaley: There's so much to think about here and it's touching and sad and funny and crazy. What a great story. JCW, you've done it again!

14. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: Awesome! I loved this story and could not put it down. I've read a lot of time travel books but not much about alternate reality travel. This is sort of new, yes? 

Well, there you have it! Did you read any of my favorites? Where they your favorites too? I feel bad for a few I left off, but you know, I had to narrow it SORT OF down, right? :) 

Here's another year of awesome books and reading! I can't wait to see what ends up on my list!


  1. Great picks! I love love loved The Enchanted. I hope she writes more soon.

  2. We tried to get you to do a read along! Lord of the Rings! Remember? I'm surprised at your classics number. I thought you were the classics queen.

    1. Kami: Once upon a time I was the classics queen. That was a long long time ago. And yes, I do remember the almost LotR read along. :(

  3. Oh dear - did my comment get eaten up?

    1. Argh! I see that it did. I said I love seeing your stats. And I have to start on The Forgotten Garden now - it's been on my audiobook to-read pile for quite a while.

    2. Belle: Why does the comment thing keep happening? You are among many that have been affected! Dang. You'll love The Forgotten Garden.

  4. Unbroken was intense! Forgotten Garden was one of my absolute favorites too!

    1. Melissa: I need to read more of hers soon.

  5. Um, yeah, like Kami said. We tried to get you to read The Lord of the Rings with us. So, yes, you were tempted, but you didn't take the bait. ;)

  6. You always have so many favorites. Even Adkins my pathetic numbers this year I struggled to find ones I loved. I'm so negative. Sigh!

  7. Awesome lists! I loved UNBROKEN, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, and ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME. I want to crack open Julia Berry's new book ASAP. It looks like fun!

  8. Unbroken is one of my all-time favorite nonfictions...and was on my overall "Best of" list a few years back.

  9. I loved On the Fence. I think you had a great reading year! I hope you have a great 2015.

  10. So cool to see someone else also liked All Our Yesterdays !

  11. Oh, Unbroken, so, so, so good. So hard to read but in the end so inspiring. Did you see the movie yet?

  12. Love the breakdown. It's always fun to see other people's numbers. And we have just a little overlap on our lists! I, like Jenny, struggled to find enough to fill out ten favorites this year, so I love seeing your enthusiasm.

  13. Yay for nonfiction! I've also had a hard time passing up ARCs this past year :)

  14. I think I just put your entire YA list on my TBR :) I so agree with All The Truth That's In Me. That was a great book I wouldn't have heard about if it wasn't for you!

  15. I don't think we had any overlap this year, but I really need to read at least The Forgotten Garden and Unbroken without fail this year!

  16. Unbroken was definitely on my list too! I haven't read any other books on your list though. That's crazy!!



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