14 Favourites of 2014

Out of the 233 books I read in 2014, I tried to narrow down my selection of favourites to a top 5, or even a top 10, but couldn’t do it. So I guess fourteen favourites is an improvement over the 31 I came up with last year—not as far as quality of course, only in terms of paring down the numbers.

In reading order:

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (review)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (review)
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (review)
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (review)
The Quick by Lauren Owen (ARC) (review)
Dissolution by C. J. Samson (review)
The Unstrung Harp: Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey
Restoration by Rose Tremain (review)
The Waiting Game by Bernice Reubens (review)
Breakfast With Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist by Geordie Greig (review)
The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth (review)
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
Le joueur d’échecs / Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

I may yet review the few I managed to overlook so far.


We’re Open Labour Day


Happy Labour Day everyone! We celebrate it here in Canada too; mostly it means the end of summer (sniff!) and the turning of a new leaf.

August Reading Stats

Total books: 28 (same as July)

Graphic Novels: 9
Mystery / thriller: 7
Literature: 4
YA: 4
Historical fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 1
Quarterlies: 1
Series works: 17
Male : Female authors: 11 : 6

Audiobooks: 13
Library: 10
Off the shelf: 5
Unfinished: 1

5 stars: 0
4 & up: 20
3 & up: 6
2 stars: 1

Longest work: The Persimmon Tree by Bryce Courtenay (27h56 audio / 711 pages)
Shortest work: The Pilot and the Little Prince* by Peter Sís (48 pages)

Oldest work: Le Chien Jaune / The Yellow Dog by Georges Simenon (1931)
Newest work: The Good Girl* by Mary Kubica (July 29, 2014)

A Quick Summary 
A long month of bad migraines left me pretty brain-dead and unable to tackle anything too complex, so graphic novels were very welcome (the complete Aya* series was prominently featured, and also an omnibus of Edward Gorey’s work, Amphigorey Again), as were quick entertaining reads like the Montalbano and Maigret mystery series and a few YA adventure novels of the Harry Potter and the more recent Cinder* varieties. I did manage to fit in a bit of literary fiction, and Amsterdam* was a major hit, as was my first Bernice Rubens, with The Waiting Game*, probably because both of them featured lots of black humour, whereas more poetic novels like The English Patient, though really gorgeous, left me scratching my head and wishing I had a few more working grey cells to rub together so I could fully appreciate it. Plenty more series planned for the September Series & Sequels theme on LibraryThing (my scary list of options is here), though I will try to fit in a bit of literature in there too, like the long overdue The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell, book 2 in the Empire Trilogy. Am off to a great start with The Stockholm Octavo, briefly mentioned on this blog once, which I started on a couple of days ago and which manages to blend historical fiction and literary mastery both.

* click links for my recent reviews.

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

The cover design of this Mary Rodgers book is by Edward Gorey. Copies of the original hardcover published in 1972 can be found via online used book merchants. The blurb says: ‘Freaky Friday’ is an imaginative story about family life, and waking up one morning to find out that you’ve turned into your mother!

I’m tempted to get it myself!

Image found on my vintage book collection (in blog form)) via l’entonnoire du lièvre (tumblr)