My best reads for 2014

It’s that time of year again where we reflect on the past year.  I’ve had a great reading year and so choosing my Top 10 is always a bit problematic – basically, I want to cheat and be allowed more books.  Please Sir, I want more!!!  Anyway, I’ve come up with my best reads – these are not necessarily all new releases for 2014 and they’re not in any particular order.  My previous lists are here, here and here.

  1. Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence.  This is the fourth year in a row that Mark Lawrence has made my top 10.  I call that pretty damned impressive and I think it speaks volumes in itself.  I loved the Broken Empire books and strongly recommend them to fantasy fiends – particularly if you like your protagonist to be flawed and you like your fantasy a bit on the grimdark side.  Yes, I worried, you always do when an author you like moves on, will they pull it off?  The concern wasn’t necessary as Prince of Fools was an excellent start and brought us not one but two interesting and very readable characters.  Set in the same world and even with a small starring role from Jorg – this doesn’t have to be read as a follow up but stands alone so you don’t have to play catch up. It’s everything I expected and hoped for and has a slightly different feel than the last one – not that I can really put my finger on anything specific. Just go and read it.
  2. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.  This book is amazing.  It’s a huge series to take on, I won’t deny that – in fact I could reasonably use one of these as a step in the kitchen to reach the top shelves!  Really, I loved Way of Kings but Words of Radiance is simply next level epicness!  You need to get into this series now!!
  3. The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore – oh my God, where has Christopher Moore been hiding all my life.  I loved this book.  Loved it.  I confess it took me completely by surprise and that when I received it I kind of wrinkled my nose at it a bit and came over all ‘meh’ which is why I was so overwhelmed at the goodliness within the pages.  Now, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea – the Fool can be a bit of a raunchy, foul mouthed little so and so, so be warned, but I couldn’t get enough of this and will definitely be getting onto this author’s previous works.  Witty, snarky, intelligent and just ace.
  4. Age of Iron by Angus Watson.  Another surprise hit!  I didn’t know what to expect but I was completely hooked.  What especially made this for me were the characters.  All flawed, trust me on that one, but just so compelling to read!
  5. City of Stairs by Robert Bennett.  This book is incredible. I will be shocked if this doesn’t make virtually every top 10 of all the rather discerning bloggers that I know and trust out there!  Since picking up The Troupe I’ve read everything by this author and he never disappoints.  His range and imagination is fantastic.  But CoS – well, you tend to think that if you have great characters then the plot might be wanting somehow, or if the world building is great the plot might be weak.  This book has it all in buckets and spades.  Get on it right away.  So good.
  6. The Copper Promise by Jen Williams.  I actually must say that I think I’ve fallen in love with this author a little bit after reading this! (Don’t panic – I’m not a stalker!!)  I don’t know why I waited so long to pick this one up – it’s a mystery to me!  This book is just brilliant, old fashioned type fantasy.  It was just so incredibly enjoyable to read and frankly I never had a dull moment.  Plus, dragons.  No, really, dragons.  And, The Copper Cat – she must be one of, if not, my favourite fantasy character of the year.
  7. Generation V by M L Brennan.  This is a new series to me.  I only discovered it, literally a few weeks ago and yet I’ve read all three in the series already.  That should tell you immediately how I feel about this.  I can’t get enough.  I do have one bug bear – having sped through the series with great haste I now have one of those interminable waits for the next in series – oh well, the slings and arrows yahdahyah!
  8. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – this is another series that I hummed and ahhed over.  I had my beady eye on it for a while but confess the hype monster put me off a little until I decided to stop prevaricating.  Thank goodness – this is a brilliant read and one that I nearly missed *shakes fist at hype monster*!
  9. The Girl with All the Gifts by M R Carey.  Another book that seemed to take the blogosphere by storm.  A very engaging and entertaining read.  I’m not going to give away any spoilers in case you haven’t read it – BUT – if you haven’t read it, then, you know, stop doing the above mentioned prevaricating and shake a tail feather.  It’s worth it so treat yourself.
  10. The Martian by Andy Weir speaking of the hype monster – this book takes the biscuit.  It takes the monster to the next level.  This is the hype kraken.  And you’ll be pleased to know the hype is justified.  This book is really good and you won’t forget the main protagonist in a hurry!  Very entertaining.

A huge thank you to all you lovely authors out there!  You’re amazing.  And, a huge thank you to all you lovely bloggers (you know who you are) who point me in the direction of such good reading.  You people are all beautiful!!

Below is my long list:

  1. All The Truth That’s in Me
  2. Longbourn
  3. The Girl with All the Gifts
  4. Way of Kings
  5. The Serpent of Venice
  6. The Prince of Fools
  7. The Three
  8. Sidekick
  9. Blood Song
  10. Words of Radiance
  11. Icefall
  12. Half a King
  13. The Martian
  14. Annihilation
  15. Icefall
  16. The Thousand Names
  17. Moon’s Artifice
  18. Age of Iron
  19. Red Rising
  20. City of Stairs
  21. Broken Monsters
  22. The Copper Promise
  23. The Tropic of Serpents
  24. Generation V
  25. Burn for Me
  26. Blood Oranges

38 Responses to “My best reads for 2014”

  1. Michael

    So my resolution to whittle down my TBR pile just got a bit more complicated since I see a couple of items here I’d like to add to it!

    I really need to read the Sanderson epic fantasy books before I get too far behind on it. And City of Stairs is on my TBR pile.

    I will admit I think I’m the only person who didn’t LOVE The Martian. I liked it but didn’t love it.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think some people were not overly fond of the ‘working outs’ side to The Martian – and I confess I did tend to brush over those a little. I just really liked the sense of humour of the main character.
      You should definitely get into the Sanderson series now. It’s only two books in and frankly it’s going to be at least another 12 months (I think before there’s another) so you have plenty of time to catch up – and I do hate playing catch up so with books this size it tends to put me off. Way of Kings is so good but Words of Radiance is just fantastic – and it doesn’t feel like you’re reading a door stopper of a book. City of Stairs – well, these end of year lists will no doubt speak for themselves. I can’t recommend that one enough. It has everything.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    Awesome top ten! We have three of the same books, and there are a bunch that I want to read. Especially Generation V. I hope 2015 is just as good a year!

    • lynnsbooks

      I’m looking forward already to so many good books next year – these best of lists have exploded by tbr. I think I’ve already had a couple off you and LRR!! Really looking forward to Dreamer’s Pool which I’m just waiting for.
      I hope you enjoy Generation V – I’m loving that series. And, thanks to Nathan I’ve just finished Blood Oranges which I really enjoyed and will continue with – are you into that series?
      Lynn 😀

  3. jessicabookworm

    Looks like you’ve had a great reading year. I haven’t read any of your top 10 but I have seen The Martian on many top lists. I wish more happy reading in 2015 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I think the Martian is coming to the cinema this year believe it or not (that is a speedy turnaround) – so you could go and watch it instead (I think starring Matt Damon).
      Happy New Year to year.
      Lynn 😀

  4. otakutwins1

    The Martian was pretty good, I thought it lived up the the hype, I was thinking it’d be like 2001: A Space Odyssey but it was still enjoyable! I started reading The Prince of Fools, the cover is so beautiful!

    • lynnsbooks

      It is a lovely cover isn’t it – I confess that I love a good cover – I love it even more when the pages live up to the wrapping!
      Happy New Year to you.
      Lynn 😀

      • otakutwins1

        Happy new year to you too!!!

  5. deslily

    well.. i will look into the Copper Promise! Dragons are always a good thing! lol

    I hope 2015 is a good year for you and that you read many more good books!!!

    • lynnsbooks

      I hope you enjoy the Copper Promise – I thought it was really good and dragons are always good. I still have to buy the rest of the Pern series. At the moment I’m just collecting them randomly when I see them. Eventually I will have them all!!! Patience is a virtue.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Bart

    I’d not heard of City of Stairs until I started perusing Books of the Year posts, I am now of course mightily tempted by it!

    • lynnsbooks

      You’re in for such a treat – City of Stairs is just so excellent – it really is. I can’t say enough good things about it and I hope you pick up a copy and enjoy.
      Lynn 😀

  7. fence

    The only Sanderson I’ve read was his Wheel of Time books, I must check some of his original books out.

    I liked The Copper Promise, and would certainly read more the author, but it didnt make my top lists this year 🙂 I also really enjoyed The Martian and am really interested in seeing the film version, I’m hoping itll be worth the watch.

    Happy New Year.

  8. Genki Jason

    Your blog is essential reading! I bought my mother some books based on your reviews. I look forward to more guidance in great fiction from you in 2015!

    Happy New Year! 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Thanks Jason – the feeling is mutual!
      Happy New Year and here’s to loads of great films in 2015 😀

  9. thefictionalreader

    I just bought Prince of Thorns! I really look forward to reading it. And Brandon Sanderson! I need to read more of his work. Looks like you had a great reading year, I hope 2015 will be just as good or even better 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I had a really good year this year – I think part of that is now having so many other bloggers that I now talk to about books there’s a never ending supply of first class recommendations.
      Hoping for a great 2015 too.
      Happy New Year to you.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Some great books in there! Hope your 2015 is just as good 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Thanks Lisa
      Looking forward to 2015 – hoping it’s going to be another great year for books.
      Happy New Year to you and best wishes for 2015.
      Lynn 😀

  11. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Okay, Christopher Moore is going on the list. His book is the only one on your top ten list I haven’t read! And what a great list this is, our tastes are very similar! 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, you’ve definitely contributed to my tbr – Generation V for example – plus, I’ve just ordered Dreamers Pool – which I’m so looking forward to. That’s another of yours. The Christopher Moore book is one of the few actual books sent to me by a publisher – and I loved it. Nathan also likes his books. I think you’d like it. It’s very clever and incredibly funny. I love it when I find somebody who I can rely on for good book recommendations so thanks!
      Lynn 😀

  12. nrlymrtl

    Wow! I’ve only read 1 of the books on your top 10 list. Some of the others I’ve had my eye on for months! Well, there is no problem in enjoying them in 2015.

    • lynnsbooks

      Exactly. There’s plenty of time. Have you picked your faves yet?
      Lynn 😀

      • nrlymrtl

        Yep. It was hard. I did it while drinking mead, which made it a little easier, though I know I left some worthy books out. Sigh….

      • lynnsbooks

        Well, I know what you mean – you can’t fit all the good books in sometimes. That’s why I added my long list – it’s a sneaky way of showing some of my other good reads.
        Lynn 😀

  13. ejstevensauthor

    I’ve been meaning to read Generation V. Perhaps it’s time to push it up the TBR pile.

    Happy New Year! 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a really addicted series! You should definitely give it a shot. I’m loving it tbh.
      Lynn 😀

  14. Nathan

    I read a whole lot of those. Didn’t read the Moore book but it is the only one of his I haven’t so that leads to a good possibility that I will.

    • lynnsbooks

      I have to go back and read a couple of Moore’s earlier books – there’s plenty of time though. I did love the Serpent – so intelligent and so funny!
      I’ve been loving your blog awards btw – such a cool idea!
      Lynn 😀

  15. Carl V. Anderson

    I’m sure Words of Radiance would have been on my list had I been able to get to it. Sigh, maybe this year.

    The Martian was great, wasn’t it?

    • lynnsbooks

      I loved it – such a great sense of humour, but also so much more than that. Everything was really well thought out and I really appreciate the way the author made it so gripping – particularly when you only really have one character to latch onto for the majority of the story. It’s risky really because you could just hate that character! I also really enjoyed the way he brought the earth element into it so you were watching the story unfold from both angles. Such a good story.
      Lynn 😀
      I hope you get round to Words of Radiance, I remember you loved Way of Kings in fact I first heard about WoK on your site – it is a mammoth undertaking though isn’t it! When I read Wise Man’s Fear I actually, quite literally, took a couple of days off work so I could just read and concentrate uninterrupted and guilt free!

      • Carl V. Anderson

        I did appreciate that The Martian did eventually introduce things from Earth’s perspective. I was enjoying the book but wasn’t sure it would hold up for a whole novel if it was all solely from his perspective. Then again, that could have been an interesting read. Will be interesting to see how they do the film.

        I’m sure I’ll love Words too.

      • lynnsbooks

        I’m looking forward to the film to see how the two compare. I’m hoping for good things.
        Lynn 😀

  16. Danya @ Fine Print

    I haven’t read any on your top ten! 😦 Clearly I need to work on that ASAP. I have read a few on your long list though…ahem Burn For Me. I was shocked by how much I loved that book. Looks like you’ve read some really great stuff this year, Lynn. Hopefully 2015 is an even better year in books!

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – I loved that book too! No.2 can’t be released quickly enough! Here’s hoping for an awesome book year in 2015 for all of us!
      Lynn 😀

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