Since I read 100 books last year, I wanted to do the same this year and I secretly wanted to try to read a few more. Well, cutting to the chase, I suceeded! I clocked in 114 books this year, 14 more than last year/over goal. Pretty good, if I do say so myself. Although I have been trying really hard to hit 115, I’m in the middle of 100 Years of Solitude, but it might take me 100 years to finish.
Within those 114 books, I read 35,963 pages, which works out to 98 pages per day. The longest book I read was Stephen King’s The Stand which clocked in at 1,153 pages. A close second was The Dark Tower at 1,050. Stephen King is a wordy fella.
Speaking of Stephen King, I started out the year reading several of his books. I had read a few as a teenager, but never really got into him, so I made a point to try this year. He’s not my favorite author, but he’s not the worst. I really enjoyed some of the books and didn’t care for a few others but I’ll get to that in a minute.
It was also the year of re-reads. Hugh Howey’s Dust was coming out and since I adored the previous parts of the story, I went back and read them all to prepare. It was totally worth it. I have a habit of reading and promptly forgetting, so this made it so that I went into Dust fully submersed in the Silo world. It was an incredible ending.
I also re-read The Chronicles of Narnia which were just as great as I remembered. Except I don’t think I ever finished the last few books because I didn’t remember them at all. I had fun reading those and discussing them with Keith, since I was actually reading his copies.
I also re-read Matilda, just to see if it was as magical as I remember and it was. I adore that book.
Some of my favorites this year (not including re-reads), in no particular order:
- The Stand by Stephen King
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- The Green Mile by Stephen King
- Dust by Hugh Howey
- Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV) by Stephen King
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
- The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin
- The Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin
- The Mystery Knight by George R. R. Martin
- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
- Snatched by Karin Slaughter
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The weirdest book I read this year? John Dies at the End by David Wong. I gave it 3 stars so it wasn’t terrible but I seriously had no idea what was going on the whole time. The weirdest series was The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I didn’t care for the first book, was hooked by the second, apparently loved the 4th, but by the end things got realllllly weird. I feel like Stephen King had a midlife crisis in the middle of writing it and lost his mind. Ugh. It could have been so perfect.
Absolute favorite book of the year was a three way tie: The Stand by Stephen King/Dust by Hugh Howey/And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The Stand was awesome. It was actually the first book I read this year and I just loved it. I read 13 other Stephen King books but it was the best. Also Dust by Hugh Howey, which I stated before, it was just a great ending to one of my favorite series. And the Mountains Echoed was just heartbreakingly beautiful. I have adored all three bookes by Khaled Hosseini. He is an amazing writer, I love that he writes about life in the Middle East as it is not something I would probably read about otherwise and he just manages to create these beautiful characters and storylines.
Biggest disappointment this year was The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like I must be broken. This book has over 400,000 reviews on Goodreads with an average of 4.5 stars. I liked it, but it didn’t really do anything for me. Friends of mine have said how they weeped through the book and although I may have gotten a little misty at the end, I didn’t actually cry. I thought it was well written, I enjoyed the characters and the storyline…it just missed the mark for me.
Biggest surprise were the three Dunk and Egg novelas by George R. R. Martin. I supposedly had been told about these before but had no recollection. They are set 90 years before A Song of Ice and Fire and are short little books about a hedge knight and his squire. Really enjoyed them. Wish there were 100 more.
In case you care, you can see all my other books/ratings for the year here.
Let’s shoot for another 100 in 2014!