I read 46 books in 2014, which rather astounds me. That's almost four a month! Wow. I've decided to do a quick post about what my top ten favorites were this year, and I'm breaking it up into two sections, new-to-me books and re-reads.
My favorite new-to-me books were:
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster -- so adorable! Funny and sweet and quirky, an instant favorite.
Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson -- another for my list of absolute favorites! Which I need to revise one of these days. I loved how this wasn't focused on romance so much as friendships.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger -- I never knew what to expect next from this book. And I could only read it a chapter or so at a time because I had to digest every new twist and turn before I could move on.
The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley -- I love the Zorro story, and I was delighted to find that the original story was crammed with the happy-go-lucky bravery I was hoping for.
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool -- I found this book so useful for understanding 19th-century life that I asked for (and got) a copy for Christmas.
Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright -- sweet and heart-warming, with some of the most believable sibling characters I've read in a long time.
My favorite re-reads were:
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien -- yeah, yeah, I read The Fellowship of the Ring last year, but I read the other two this year, so I'm counting it as a whole for this year. This was my sixth read-through, and it continued to astonish me with new nuances and depths I hadn't found before.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle -- my favorite canonical Sherlock Holmes story. It's unparalleled in its use of atmosphere and location to build suspense.
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King -- my favorite non-canonical Sherlock Holmes story. It has several mysteries and great character development, and the series that follows is very dear to my heart.
A Family Affair by Rex Stout -- my favorite Nero Wolfe mystery, with a shocking solution that makes me think of Joss Whedon.
And I've decided that 2015 will be My Year with Robin Hood. You may recall that I spent 2013 (and into 2014 because I didn't start until March of 2013) in the company of Sherlock Holmes, and I focused on Jane Austen in 2012. I really missed having an overall theme to my reading this year, so that's my challenge to myself for 2015: read at least 6 books that involve Robin Hood. You can see in my sidebar that I've already begun -- I started Angus Donald's Outlaw yesterday and immediately knew I'd found my theme for 2015. I've loved Robin Hood stories since I was a little kid, but it's been a while since I read anything about him. Time to remedy that! I kind of collect Robin Hood books and movies, so I have several retellings I've never read, and I bet my enthusiasm will once again bleed over into my movie watching, like it did for Austen and Holmes. So don't be surprised if I start reviewing Robin Hood movies on my other blog!
Happy New Year!