Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 book tally

I wanted to read 25 books in 2014.
I was not so awesome. The MBA gods were unkind.

BUT I made it to 15, which is not too shabby for a full-time working professional and full-time student! I'll take it. I am updating my books page for 2015 and putting this here.
  1. Divergent; Veronica Roth
    • I am sad that I didn't enjoy this more. I think it's because it wasn't the Hunger Games and Tris does not even approach Katniss badass status. Maybe in the next books? We'll see if I get there... Also: less teenage lovey dovey, more overthrow of corrupt system, please.
  2. Night Film; Marisha Pessl
    • OK. This book, sometimes... SO SCARY. I needed lights turned on. I needed puppy cuddles. It also has a really interesting multimedia element -- there is an app you can download (I read the hardcover version, so I'm not sure how the ebook would work), and scan symbols hidden throughout the book for extra content. It's always a surprise what comes up (video? text? audio?), so that's fun. Throughout the book also, the text is interspersed with clips from magazine articles, photos with "handwritten" captions, etc. I can see how other readers might find this gimmicky or a novelty distracting from the story... but I thought it was cool. It's a mystery, so these are like little pieces of evidence that are being revealed to the reader and the protagonist side by side. Like I said, the story was very suspenseful and engaging. Other reviewers on Goodreads were disappointed in the ending, but I found it oddly poignant and just... heartbreaking. Months later, I still think about it.
  3. Chew Vol. 1: Taster's Choice; John Layman (art Rob Guillory) (Yes, short volumes in graphic series count. My goal, my rules.)
    • Light. Funny. Crude. Gross. Entertaining. Awesome art.
  4. Chew Vol. 2: International Flavor; John Layman
    • Same as above.
  5. The Shining; Stephen King
    • I think it was 6th grade when I got really into Stephen King books and other pulpy, imaginative, high-action fiction. Oddly enough, though, I didn't read The Shining until after watching a documentary on Netflix called Room 237. It is kind of a kooky movie. It's all about hidden symbols and diversions from King's original story which Kubrick intentionally used in the making of the movie. Kooky... but interesting. The book starts slow but gets really scary. Scarier than the movie. Something about inanimate objects taking on evil intentions (hedge animals... I just can't) which the movie did not capture and which gave me nightmares while reading the book. It is certainly interesting to see the differences between the movie and the book. Now I need to watch the movie again from the perspective of having read the book.
  6. Doctor Sleep; Stephen King
    • This is the sequel to The Shining, which I would definitely recommend reading first. What's with all the scary books this year? This book catches up with Danny, the kiddo from The Shining. It turns out that "shining" is much like other traits that are relatively harmless in children but become kind of devastating in adulthood. I read this immediately after The Shining. Throughout The Shining, it's pretty clear that life is really never going to get that much easier for this kid -- whatever that means -- so it's good to catch up with him. It carries on and expands on the idea of "shining" -- Danny is kind of isolated in his "gift" as a kid, but he begins to understand and meet others like him. Danny has a sort of second coming of age, which is very satisfying to read. While it's not as scary as The Shining, and I do not think it carries itself enough as a standalone (nor, honestly, does it intend to,) it's a suspenseful, enjoyable read.
  7. Watchmen; Alan Moore (art Dave Gibbons)
  8. Saga Vol. 1; Brian K. Vaughan (art Fiona Staples)
    • Alana is a badass, Marcus is a hunk, and Hazel is a really fun narrator. I totally love Fiona Staples's art; it is so beautifully vibrant (without being cartoony) and expressive (without being too serious). I'm going to stick with this series.
  9. Saga Vol. 2; Brian K. Vaughan
  10. Acacia: War with the Mein (Acacia #1); David Anthony Durham
  11. The Dark Knight Returns; Frank Miller
  12. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief; Lawrence Wright
  13. The Goal, Eliyahu Goldratt
    • Required reading for an MBA course billed as a "novel." SPOILER ALERT: if you have a multi-step process, speed up the slowest one first, before you look at any of the other steps. Now you don't have to read it. Terrible. Just... terrible. It was a novel, so I'm counting it. And it was a comically awful experience, so upping my book count is the one bright spot.
  14. The Year of the Flood (Maddaddam #2); Margaret Atwood
    • Awesome trilogy -- Finished Maddaddam (Maddaddam #3) in the first days of 2015, so at least I have a head start on that list.
  15. The Magicians (Magicians #1); Lev Grossman
    • Also fantastic! Can't wait to read the next two over the summer or 
  16. The Likeness, Tana French
    • In progress... never finished (oops)
  17. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat; Hal Herzog
    • In progress... never finished (oops)
  18. The Other Lands (Acacia #2)
    • never finished (oops)
Goodreads is seriously the only way I can keep track. Whenever I hear about an interesting book on the radio, or a friend makes a recommendation, I try to pull up the app and add it to my "to read" shelf. There are currently 353 445 books on that shelf. I will never make it through.

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