Books Read in 2014

Introduction

The following is the list of books that I completed in 2014. I have had several goals in mind while reading through these books. I have been, since around 2010, working through a list of books from BBC. They stated that only 6 books on their list had been read by most. I’m trying to cover everything on the list. So, many books I read will be from this list. I also participated in a summer reading challenge from our local library, so I read 20 books in the month of August alone, which is much more than usual. Lastly, I’ve read many books because they are part of a series I had previously begun. Also, some books on listed below as recommendations from friends and just because I thought I would enjoy them.

I encourage anyone interested in reading to check out goodreads, a wonderful website that keeps track of the books you have read as well as those books you want to read. It is also a social site so you can discuss the book you are reading with others.

I’ve done posts like this for the last 5 years.  Here are a few of the others:

Highlights

  • My most read author was William Shakespeare, but my highest average rating went to A.G. Riddle a relatively new authormost_popular_binding

My favorite way to read was via Kindle

  • I preferred Fiction in 2014 to non-fiction.  It consisted of 70% of the books I read
  • Within Fiction I read mostly classics (40%) then, Science Fiction (23%)fiction_non_fiction

Within Non-Fiction, my reads were more diverse

  • The longest audio book I listed to was Les Miserables at 58 hours
  • Total audio book listening time was 224 hours or 9 Days
  • Total pages read (kindle, paperback and hardback combined) was 12,210
  • The longest book I read was a photography book called Earth from Above: 365 Days (792 pages), which is a photography book, if we exclude “picture books”, then the longest book was The Atlantis Gene at 488 pages
  • The shortest book I read was To Build a Fire at 32 pages
  • Most of the books I read were published in 2014
  • The oldest book I read was Prometheus Bound written in 480 BC
  • It took me over a year, 455 days, to complete Les Miserable’s
  • Some books sit around longer than others: I put Heir to the empire on my to-read shelf on January 17, 2008 and didn’t read it until November of 2014, 2,488 days (6.8 years) after I put it on my self
  • I rate science fiction the highest within fiction. Within Non-Fiction I rate business books the highest
  • Total books read in 2014 was 67

Top 6 Books of 2014

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Blood of Tyrants

Blood of Tyrants

Redshirts

Redshirts

The Atlantis Gene

The Atlantis Gene

The Atlantis World

The Atlantis World

The Martian

The Martian

All Books Read in 2014

4-starThe Collected Stories of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. I listened to this book via the Overdrive iOS app on my phone. A great way to experience the truly fantastic work of A.A. Milne. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. However, after some thought I think it more than deserves a 5. This book is on the BBC list mentioned above.

2-starThe Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origin of America’s Most Popular National Park by Jen A. Huntley. This I began reading last year June when in Yosemite on a family vacation. Once we got home from the trip I got too busy and it sat in my office until I was able to return to it this year. This was a very dry history of Mr. Hutchings involvement in Yosemite’s creation. I gave it two stars.

4-starMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. The collected works of Shakespeare is included on the BBC list. I gave this work 4 out of 5 stars though as I write this I can’t remember why.

3-starEarth from Above: 365 Days by Yann Arthus Bertrand. This is a very beautiful coffee table book which was mentioned in an article from a magazine in an airplane pouch. It is a very beautiful book with great descriptions of the images. 3 out of 5 stars.

4-starTo Build a Fire by Jack London. At only a few pages long this short story conveys much. I read this on my kindle. I believe it was a free download. I gave this short story 4 out of 5 stars. I’m not sure who recommended this to me anymore, but I’m glad they did.

3-starDead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris. This is the eleventh novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series. The series of books was made famous by the HBO series True Blood. I gave this book 3 stars. Even though I have grown to like the characters through the last ten books, the plots have become pretty stagnant.

4-starPercy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked how it made the complicated and sometimes boring stories of Greek mythology very interesting and accessible. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to know more about Greek mythology.

4-starPercy Jackson and the Sword of Hades by Rick Riordan. This was a very short story. It is a small adventure that Percy has. It seems a little forced. The beginning doesn’t make much sense, but after the adventure starts up it gets better. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

3-starA Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle. Another book the in the complete story of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This one was pretty short, but still enjoyable. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I had listened to the same story before via audio book. So, the mystery part was lost to me as I already knew the outcome.

4-starNational Geographic Science of Everything: How Things Work in Our World by National Geographic Society. I really liked this huge book with beautiful pictures. It has a very brief introduction to the science of thousands of different things from refrigerators to elevators and everything in between.

5-starThe Atlantis World by A.G. Riddle. I read the first Atlantis book the Christmas that I received my kindle. I already had Prime and the first book in this series was available as a free download. I got engrossed in the book and have now followed the series to an end by reading this third and final book of the trilogy. This was as good if not better than the first book. I highly recommend it. The only let down in the series was book #2.

3-starPersuasion by Jane Austen. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. After enjoying Sense and Sensibility so much I expected to really enjoy this as well, but I was let down. I didn’t like it as much.

4-starBacchae by Euripides. This was not on the BBC 100 list, but it was on another list that I found online. Books you should read before you die. I know, there are lots of those. This was a pretty horrific tale from ancient Greece. Interesting and also retold in Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

4-starPrince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. This is the second book as they were published in the Chronicles of Narnia. I liked this one and gave it four out of 5 stars. IT was a good adventure and didn’t get as confused as Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

3-starThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. This one was kinda all over the place. They had a mission and go all over the place creating new adventures everywhere they stopped. I didn’t like this one as much as the first two and only gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

3-starA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future…: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned by Michael J. Fox. Not sure what I was expecting, so not let down. This is a very short book, but well organized and funny at times. Gives some insight into Mr. Fox and how he got his start. I watched him on TV and in the movies, but never really knew how he got his start and this little book covers that quickly. It may entice me to read his other works. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

5-starAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This was on the BBC list of 100 books. It was also suggested by a friend of mine at work. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and I hope I get a chance to read the other books in the series soon. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

5-starBlood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne. This was a review copy of the book that a online book group I belong to was given to read. We got the chance to discuss the book with the author as we read through the book. My second daughter was born while I was reading the book and I didn’t have time to pick it up for a long time. I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in history. I gave the book 5 out of 5 stars.  I wrote extensive reviews on my history blog if you want to read more about this book.

4-starAnimal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Forms by Ross Piper. This is an awesome book but has small print and is very heavy making it a hard book to relax with and study with. I would like to get back to it and read more. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

3-starThe Tempest by William Shakespeare. This was a strange book. It’s kind of a comedy and has lots of strange characters in it. Very odd. I gave it three out of five stars.

2-starHeart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I just didn’t care for this book. Not sure what it was, but I couldn’t get into it. I listened to this book and it was suggested as one of the BBC’s top 100 books list. I gave it two stars out of five.

4-starA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I listened to this book as well. I’m not sure how many people read this holiday favorite in August, but I did. It was also on my list of BBC’s top 100. While I didn’t write a review at the time of reading the book I did give it 4 stars.

3-starThink Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt. I saw someone reading this book on a plane. I didn’t know before then it was out, but I do remember enjoying Freakonomics, but I never got to SuperFreakonomics.

3-starThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare. This is one of the many fiction classics I read this year. I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars. I watched a video of the play as well, just so I could further understand this play. It helped a little, but this is not my favorite of Shakespeare’s works.

4-starSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I listened to this famous classic novel. I gave it four stars and I think it is my favorite of Austen’s works, of course I haven’t read all her work yet though.

4-starThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This is supposedly a classic although I have never heard of it. I got it off a list of classics. I gave the book four stars. It is supposed to be a movie next year: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1754656/

4-starPrometheus Bound by Aeschylus. Another book off my classics list. I liked this one better than most books this old. Written sometime between 300 and 500 BC. I gave it four out of 5 stars.

4-starAtonement by Ian McEwan. I remember this book being very engaging and mostly sad. I think it was a great work of literature and if I’m not mistake it was on the 100 classics book list. I gave this book 4 stars.  Just found out this was a 2007 movie too, cool!

4-starSalt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. I’m really getting upset at myself for not writing more reviews on goodreads as I finished books. I have no review of this book, but I gave it 4 stars. I remember liking it, but now that we are getting into books that I finished months ago, its getting hard to remember why.

4-starThe Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. I gave this classic 4/5 stars. I enjoyed this one.

4-starWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. This was a fantastic book, but had some strange language and adult situations. It got a little weird. It received a Goodreads choice award in 2012 and was released as a movie in December 2014. It was also a Oprah book choice. I gave it 4 stars. My goodreads review was short: “Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods with cursing, sex and other weirdness.”

3-starIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. 3 stars. I thought this would be funnier.

4-starThe Jungle by Upton Sinclair. I gave this audio book 4 out of 5 stars. It was the first book that I’ve ever listened to as a playaway audio book I ever listened to. It came from my local library and it had no battery in it.

4-starA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.  Another Shakespeare play with no review from me.  I’m getting sloppy.  I did give this one 4 stars.  Later int he year I bought two copies of the complete Shakespeare, one Kindle copy and one Hardcover.  I’ll have to read them all again.  Its great stuff though, the kind of thing you can read over and over.  This means a lot coming from me because I don’t like to re-read anything usually.

4-starThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. Quick read. Great content. Seems difficult to implement.  Recommended by the executive team at my office.

4-starThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Good, but felt like I had already read this. Maybe I did and forgot about it or maybe its the movie I was remembering?  I gave it four out of five stars.  I can’t believe I just started this series this year.  I’m already on book 5 of 7.

3-starLes Misérables by Victor Hugo.  Much longer than it needs to be. A great story, but oh my gosh it took me so long to listen to. I wanted to listen to it as I knew I would not get thorough the print book. It gets three stars because I love the overall story, would have gotten 5 if there wasn’t so much unnecessary fluff. So glad I finally finished it!  As stated above this took me 455 days to complete!  Now, thats commitment!  It was by far the longest audio book I listened to this year, maybe the longest I have ever listened to, at 3,471 minutes or 58 hours.

4-starThe Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle.  This is the second Sherlock Holmes novel.  I’m slowly working my way through them.  So far I enjoy them.  I left no review of this book at the time of reading.  Just lazy I guess, but I did give it 4/5 stars.

3-starTraffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.  This is a good book for anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about all that time they spend in traffic. It looks at why drivers behave the way that they do. It also takes a look at the history of things, like that third brake light for example. Lots of interesting tidbits, like how long the white strips are in the freeway/highway. I recommend for anyone who would like to learn more about why their commute is as long as it is.

3-starA Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Arthur Conan Doyle. No review for this first novel.  Too bad too, I hate it when I do that.  It achieved only three stars.

4-starThe Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry.  An interesting and quick read. Good story. I like how the settings and characters were developed during the novel. It stops a little quick for my taste, but I guess thats to get you to read the second book in the series. Which I most likely will.

5-starRedshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi.  This was excellent! Not sure what else to say without giving away too much of the book. If you like Star Trek and have a sense of humor you will love this book.

4-starNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman.  Great book. Very enlightening! Would recommend for parents especially if you like Freakenomics or Malcolm Gladwell.

4-starInferno (Robert Langdon #4) by Dan Brown. Good. Probably as good as those Robert Langdon books before it. Felt unfinished at the end to me.

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It4-star by Gary Taubes.  Basically don’t eat carbs. Lots of evidence provided in the book to support the authors point of view and even more to disprove every other diet. Pretty good stuff. Going to limit my carbs more now, really hard since they are my favorite.

4-starDivergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth.  Fast read. Too similar to hunger games for my taste. But still a very good book. I will read the next one and hopefully see the movie soon.

3-starThe Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel. Read the full review at historyonair.com.

3-starDead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris.  Very slow throughout 90% of the book, but oddly that was okay as they are usually so full of blood and violence. This book was wrapped up in the last few pages. Still as the Sookie novels go it was a good one.

3-starThe Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery #2) by A.G. Riddle.  This one was much slower than the first novel. I really wanted to find out how this whole thing ended so I kept with it and still finished this quickly. However, I wish it would have moved a little faster. I will be reading the third and final novel when it comes out.

4-starDaedalus’s Children (Star Trek: Enterprise #8) by Dave Stern. This is an excellent follow-up to the first book in this series of two, which reside in the larger Enterprise book series. I really enjoyed this book and found myself never tiring of it.

4-starThe Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2) by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Good read. Fast paced action. Kinda reads like a rambo movie. Unrealistic survival against insurmountable odds, but hey its fiction. Huge cliffhanger at the end of the book!

5-starThe Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery #1) by A.G. Riddle.  Great book! Thrilling. Never ending excitement. Grabs you and pulls you in about 20% in. Then your in for the long haul. Its fantastic.

3-starPersuasion by Jane Austen.  I left no review of this book.  It being a huge classic novel you would think I would say more, but all I gave it was three stars and I can’t remember a thing about it, so not a good sign.

5-starThe Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery #3) by A.G. Riddle.  I wasn’t too sure after the second book. I didn’t like it as much as the first. But WOW, the third and last book in the trilogy was amazing. None stop action and edge of your reading chair excitement. If you have ready the first two books and can’t decide let this review make up you mind. I loved the third book. A wonderful read. Great job A.G. Riddle!

4-starNational Geographic Science of Everything: How Things Work in Our World by National Geographic Society.  Picked this up from the library to see if its worth buying. It is! Short explanations about everything. Very cool way to introduce science to kids and stay interested as an adult! Buying this one!

4-starThe Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman.  Better than the first, but not so sure its okay for small children.

4-starGenesis by Bernard Beckett.  Wow! What an ending!

2-starThe Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. Again, not as good as the first two books. Feels like the series is losing steam. 3 books left to go.

3-starCasino Royale (James Bond (Original Series) #1) by Ian Fleming.  I had different expectations for this book. I thought it would be a fast paced action novel. While there was some action I wouldn’t say I flew through this book like I usually do with action novels. I thought it was quite slow and I didn’t like that such attention was given to things that did not move the story along. All in all it was cool to read the first book that defined a franchise. I will read at least one more of these.

3-starPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  No review but again for Austen, three stars is not that great for a classic.  I usually like classics, but I guess these just are not my thing.

5-starThe Martian by Andy Weir.  Wholly Crap Tim you were right this book is great. I dropped everything else to read this and I’m very glad I did. I was amazing. Fantastic book!

3-starBillionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust by Darrell West.  Interesting, but dry.

3-starThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Somewhat interesting fiction, but didn’t grab me by any means.

3-starThe Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg.  This was a freebie from Amazon for being a Prime member.  Each month they let you pick from four books and you get it free.  This is what I chose for one of the months.  It was good fiction, but again like Haddon’s book, nothing grabbed me.

4-starHeir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy #1) by Timothy Zahn.  Excellent book. I’m looking forward to the next one in the series. It’s been too long since I read a Stars War book!

2-starThe Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert.  Overall, I enjoyed this book however, I thought it was slow and overly technical at times. If you are into the why and how extinction occurs you will enjoy this book. For me the last chapter was the best chapter. The chapter on Wolly Mammoths was also very entertaining.

4-starBold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis.  Full Review.

5-starDeadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris.  This may be my favorite Sookie novel yet. Great story, just what I needed!

3-starHow Google Works by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg.  Full Review.

4-starBrain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina.  No review and I just finished this book!  Ugh!  Okay so I saw the author speak at a conference and then he was signing books after his speaking engagement.  Funny enough I already had his book on the kindle.  So, I have kept the print copy in perfect condition and I read the kindle version.  The book was great and totally earned its 4 star rating.  Just shy of 5!

Share

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *