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pearls before swine
It's the last midnight
It's the last wish
Final Reading List 2014 
25th-Apr-2015 02:36 pm
Looks like I forgot to post this at the beginning of the year:

In 2014, I read 54 new books. I also re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time since high school, in conjunction with re-watching the movies and every single special feature included on the extended editions.

Here is the list:

** = Definitely recommend
* = Enjoyed a lot
^^ = Hated. Stay far, far away

1. Inferno by Dan Brown**
2. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane**
3. Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot**
4. Valentine Princess by Meg Cabot**
5. Project Princess by Meg Cabot*
6. Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot*
7. Princess in Training by Meg Cabot**
8. Princess Present by Meg Cabot**
9. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin*
10. Party Princess by Meg Cabot*
11. Sweet Sixteen Princess by Meg Cabot*
12. Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot*
13. Wayward by Blake Crouch**
14. Princess Mia by Meg Cabot*
15. Forever Princess by Meg Cabot**
16. The Universe Versus Alexander Woods by Gavin Extence*
17. Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut**
18. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson**
19. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
20. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin**
21. Allegiant by Veronica Roth^^
22. The Immortal Circus: Act 2 by A.R. Kahler
23. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie**
24. The Magpies by Mark Edwards
25. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card**
26. Timeline by Michael Crichton
27. The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde**
28. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin**
29. The Crying Girl by Glen Ebisch^^
30. The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh**
31. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty**
32. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
33. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin**
34. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
35. Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslakovic*
36. Jaws by Peter Benchley**
37. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
(The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien)
38. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan**
39. The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto*
40. The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline**
41. The Giver by Lois Lowry
42. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith**
43. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin*
44. Don't Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto*
45. The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman**
(The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien**)
46. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
47. The Last Town by Blake Crouch*
48. Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins**
49. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King**
(The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien**)
50. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut**
51. Snow Bound by Blake Crouch*
52. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty**
53. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer*
54. The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Some notes:

A Song of Ice and Fire - I read these books as I watched the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, reading the book first, then watching the corresponding season, then reading the next book, then watching the next season, etc. I didn't get to the fifth book until 2015. I really enjoyed the first three books of the series. A Storm of Swords is probably the greatest fantasy novel I have ever read. A Feast for Crows was pretty disappointing, although I enjoyed Cersei finally being knocked down a couple of pegs.

Princess Diaries Series - I finished the series, and I stand by my statement from last year. These books are just fun. I wish the second movie had actually followed plots from the books. And I'm extremely excited for the new book due out this year!

Insurgent and Allegiant - Yeah, these books didn't really get better. The third book was utter crap. I did appreciate that Roth had the stones to do what she did with Tris, but that's about it. These books are so poorly written. Roth should have outlined her whole trilogy before writing the first book, instead of relying on magical serums to do all the work for her.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store - What a delightful book! It got away from itself a bit at the end, with the Google quest, but I really enjoyed this book and wish such a book store existed around here. And bonus: the cover glows in the dark!

The Magician's Land - Totally redeemed the horrible ending of the second book, and was a fantastic resolution to the trilogy. Alice returns! The book is worth it just for that. I also enjoyed a more mellow and mature Quentin. Wish we would have had more of him as a professor, though.

The Silkworm - I need this series to continue for at least 5 more books. 7 Harry Potters, 7 Cormoran Strikes; it's only fair. I loved Robin being more involved in the mystery this time around.

The Giver - I read this in anticipation of seeing the movie, but the book was so disappointing I never bothered to watch the movie. A lot of people my age read this book in middle school and hold it almost sacred, but I just didn't get the appeal. It was too two-dimensional, and the non-ending was just not satisfying.

Big Little Lies - This was my first Liane Moriarty novel, and I enjoyed it a lot and can't wait to read more of her work. The characters seemed like real people, and I loved the build up to the murder. My only quibble is that the answer to "Who is Ziggy's father?" seemed too coincidental.

Annihilation - The first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. Way too short; it was more of a novella. I also could not warm up to the author's writing style. He was too vague. For example, a character walks into a building that has evidence that a battle took place there. Instead of describing the scene, the character just states that there was stuff "too horrible to mention." Um. Okay. And then when the main character meets the "creature" at the end, there's no clear description and you have no idea what she's supposed to be looking at. That being said, the idea for the book was still pretty intriguing, and that premise alone was enough for me to commit to reading the other two books.

My goal for 2015 is 50 new books, and I'm running a bit behind, with only 8 finished and #9 and #10 in progress.

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