2014 Books (First Half)

My book reading slumped off during the first half of 2014 – graduate school will do that to you (as will Girl Scout cookie sales and homeschooling a stubborn child). A lot of my choices reflect my need to escape from having too much to do and not enough time to do them. Nothing says “time management” quite like throwing your hands up and saying, “Screw it! I’m going to read a book!”

(2014 Manga/Graphic Novels – First Half)

(My favorites are thumbnails, images linked. The rest are titles only.)

Adult Favorites
(P&P and Soulless are perennial favorites)
any duchess ocend end lane outlander p&p Print

*Any Duchess Will Do – this was my first ever foray into the romance genre. It was included on a list of recommended reads that came through my email. It sounded interesting, so I gave it a go. Glossing over the romance novel body part vernacular, I enjoyed the banter between characters and the fact the women weren’t doormats.
*The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman is one of my all-time favorite authors. I love the oddness and quirkiness of his books, and this one is no exception. There is a sense of wonder amongst the darkness, and darkness can be triumphed over even though you will be left slightly damaged in the process.
– I’ve known about this book for ages, but have always avoided it because I assumed it would be a romance novel based upon the general demographic that has read it. However, I saw an advert for the upcoming tv show and actually took the time to look into the plot. A man in a kilt will do that to you.
*Pride & Prejudice – I came into Jane Austen only within the last five years (I had a disastrous encounter with Emma when I was 11). My husband was deployed, I was in the lonely romancy mindset, and decided to give the Colin Firth production a shot (my sister, Sophia, being an Austenophile). The wordplay and snarkiness got me hook, line, and sinker. I bought the DVD and bought and read the book. P&P is one of several books I read pretty much once per year.
*Soulless – This book became an instant favorite the first time I read it, joining the club of books I read every year. The snark has me snorting, and I love that Alexia is not a stereotypical heroine.

Adult Fiction
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern
The Cat Who Turned On and Off
The Cat Who Saw Red
A Week to be Wicked
A Night to Surrender
The Cat Who Played Brahms
Her Mad Hatter
Gerard’s Beauty
City of Lost Dreams

Adult Non-Fiction
Consider the Fork

Young Adult Favorites
(Sunshine is a perennial favorite)
cress grasshopper jungle sunshine

*Cress – (third book in The Lunar Chronicles) I’m trying to reflect on why Cress is is one of my favorites so far, and all I can come up with is that it is a strong continuation of the previous two books. This is what happens when I take too long to write my thoughts down.
*Grasshopper Jungle – This is an odd book. I can’t decide if it’s really a favorite, but several months later, and I’m still thinking about it. And if you took a shot every time you read the word “horny”, you’d be too drunk to finish reading. I will read it again at some point because I can’t get it out of my head.
*Sunshine – I first read Sunshine about seven years ago, and have read it several times per year since then. I love the narrator’s voice, that she is noticeably flawed because of her encounter with the vampires, and that there is no neatly tied-up happy ending. That being said, I really want to know what happens next.

Young Adult Fiction
Legacy of the Clockwork Key
Ruby in the Smoke
Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman
The Agency
Newt’s Emerald

Children’s Favorites
cats tanglewood

*The Cats of Tanglewood Forest – I read this aloud to my daughter, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed it. At its heart, it is a story about decisions, consequences, and taking responsibility for your actions. The prose was lyrical and the main character believable in her quest to make things right.

Children’s Fiction
(read aloud to my daughter)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Classic Starts: The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Time Warp Trio: Marco? Polo!
Classic Starts: Anne of Green Gables
Classic Starts: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Classic Starts: Around the World in 80 Days
Classic Starts: War of the Worlds
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban++
The Time Warp Trio: DaWild, DaCrazy, DaVinci
Classic Starts: The Three Musketeers
George’s Marvelous Medicine

++I have to make a note that in HP3, the phrase, “Harry, Ron, and Hermione” was used with such frequency, that you would be well into your cups if you took a shot each time you read it.

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