Letters of Mass Construction

My Favorite Books of 2014

I relaunched my blog after the new year had come and gone. So I missed the whole best of season. I was planning on skipping it entirely since we are in April now, but the whole Hugo blowup got me thinking about books and why I love them so much. Then I started thinking about what I read last year and decided what the hell I will do a list. If for no other reason than I wanted to celebrate books and the last week has felt like anything but a celebration.

The list is heavily science fiction and fantasy this year. That isn’t always the case with me. I thought about leaving off the “anything that wasn’t part of those two genres” but that isn’t how I have done lists in the past so I decided against it. The books on this list didn’t all come out last year. This is my best of list so many of the books are older and I just got around to reading them last year.

There are 22 books on the list. Several of them are from the same series so I listed them together. I pulled the list straight from my Goodread’s list. I read 114 books last year. This gave me a fairly large selection to choose from. Also, I think it is important to know that I am not a book finisher. If I don’t like the book I don’t finish it. Which means my Goodread’s list is just made up of books I actually liked (most of the time). I did rank the books in the order I liked them but honestly that isn’t as important. Except for the first three which were really easily my favorite books I read last year. I am still thinking and talking about them all the time. I hope that you can find a few you would like to sample (click on the images to get whisked away to Amazon for a better book description).

1) The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
Quite possibly the best zombie novel I have ever read.

2) Abaddon’s Gate/Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
The expanse universe is my favorite thing in science fiction right now.

3) Red Country/Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
I know George R.R. Martin is all the rage. For my money no one is writing better fantasy than Abercrombie.

4) The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis
An incredible mash-up of Lovecraftian Horror, Science Fiction, and alternate history.

5) Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Steampunk at its finest. Set in a girls’ boarding school that trains young ladies in the deadly art of spy craft.

6) The Martian by Andy Weir
One man must survive the deadly environment on Mars after a failed exploration mission.

7) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Probably one of the books that caused the Hugo blow-up this year. Apparently it’s not enjoyable. I loved it.

8) Annihilation/Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
The first 2 books of the Southern Reach Trilogy. I believe they would’ve received a Hugo nomination any other year.

9) Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
What if Lizzie Borden had been a monster hunter? If that sentence doesn’t intrigue you this story is not for you.

10) Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
An interesting book that uses internet usage statistics to look at peoples’ beliefs.

11) Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon
Hey look, we have opened a gateway to an alternate earth. Oh SHIT, zombies!

12) Lock In by John Scalzi
A horrible disease spreads across the world locking people into their body.

13) Half A King by Joe Abercrombie
His first young adult novel. Not quite as violent as his adult ones but just as good.

14) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
A very bad man and his very bad car are doing all sorts of evil.

15) Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins
My favorite collection of poems that I have read in the last ten years.

16) Making Money by Terry Pratchett
Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig is back to solve the Ankh-Morpork banking crisis.

17) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
A beautiful love story about two teens fighting cancer.

18) The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch returns to investigate a murder that strikes a little too close to home.

19) Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin is my favorite mystery writer on the planet. This one has Inspector Rebus and Malcom Fox. Full of win.

20) The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais
On the morning of his parole Max Holman finds out his police officer son has been gunned down. Someone has to pay.

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