2014 Booklist

Anna discovered that the libraries have now streamlined their e-book lending! So I've been reading a lot more since the Kindle app lets me switch easily between the iPad and iPhone.
  1. The Talmud: A Biography - Harry Freedman. Pretty well done, but not of interest to most people.
  2. The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean - John Julius Norwich. I've been working my way through this for months, and am almost done. For a while I was thinking "Wow, this sounds like it was written by a quintessential old English guy," and then I was surprised to discover how right I was.
  3. The Green Rider series - Kristen Britain. A really remarkable series, hands-down the most gender-neutral books I've ever read. By quietly ignoring all but echoes of traditional gender roles, they're constantly startling me and making me see my own expectations of gender. (For example, the names are mostly gender-neutral, so I see the character named "Dale" and it's not until a page later that it's revealed to be a woman.)
  4. The Throne of Glass books - Sarah J. Maas. Four novellas and three novels about a deeply traumatized, superlatively skilled teenage girl assassin. Nice world-building and thoughtfully drawn, complex characters.
  5. Salt: A World History - Mark Kurlansky. A worthy re-read.
  6. Isolation - Dan Wells. A novella in the Partials Sequence.
  7. A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore. Worth re-reading, because Christopher Moore is awesome and this is one of his best.
  8. The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean - John Julius Norwich. I was reading this and thinking "man, this sounds like an old English guy from Oxbridge"; quick research uncovered that the author is an old English guy from Oxbridge.
  9. The Rhesus Chart - Charles Stross. I am a complete sucker for Stross's Laundry Files universe, and this delivers.
  10. The Kingkiller Chronicle - Patrick Rothfuss. Two books so far, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, this is really excellent and innovative epic fantasy. We're all sitting around twitching and waiting for Book 3, which better deliver some seriously world-ending events to justify all the foreshadowing so far.
  11. American Gods - Neil Gaiman. Like everyone else, I love Gaiman's Sandman comics, so I was really disappointed by this novel which all of my friends have enjoyed. The only word I have for it is viscous: slow-moving, sticky, mired in inner-life characterization that doesn't pay off.
  12. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones. The Hayao Miyazaki movie is not better or worse, only different: it covers maybe the first quarter or third of the book.
  13. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck. Brilliant, and wasted on high school students.
  14. The Woken Gods - Gwenda Bond. Another well-done pastiche of mythologies.
  15. The Hidden Queen and Changer of Days - Alma Alexander. Holy crap! Really cool books.
  16. Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant - Veronica Ross. Pretty good reads, if not terribly sophisticated. Teen sci-fi, and there's a romance but tons of other stuff going on.
  17. The Tiffany Aching series - Terry Pratchett. The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight. Possibly the funniest books of the past 20 years.
  18. The Best of All Possible Worlds - Karen Lord. A beautifully painted and engaging still life, more or less devoid of conflict and event.
  19. Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood - Charles Stross's post-human-extinction android novels.
  20. The City of Ember and The People of Sparks - Jeanne DuPrau. I started the third one in the series and it was boring.
  21. Partials, Fragments, and Ruins - Dan Wells. Really interesting post-apocalyptic series, full of delicious moral problems, and a wonderful minimum of romantic relationship drama.
  22. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series - Michael Scott. Fun story stitched together out of mythologies from around the world.
Counting all the books of every series, that's 42 for the year.

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