READING: Reading Challenge 2014 Wrap-Up

This year, I initially gave myself a challenge of 20 books for the year. This initially felt fair, as I’d rarely come anywhere near that number in years, but I quickly learned that it was far lower than it could be. I gradually upped it through the year to 30, 35, 40… and eventually, set myself a final goal of 50 books.

I read 56.

I thought this undertaking was worth some exploration, so under the cut are some ruminations and statistics about my completed 2014 Reading Challenge.

The Books

The complete list of books, in order of completion:

  1. Jenny Lawson‘s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (Jan 5, 2014)
  2. John Green & David Levithan‘s Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Jan 31, 2014)
  3. Meg Wolitzer‘s The Interestings (Jan 31, 2014)
  4. Lauren Beukes‘s The Shining Girls (Feb 9, 2014)
  5. Sarah Waters‘ Fingersmith (Feb 27, 2014)
  6. Gillian Flynn‘s Dark Places (Mar 15, 2014)
  7. Charles Yu‘s  How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (Mar 16, 2014)
  8. Daniel Price‘s The Flight of the Silvers (Apr 7, 2014)
  9. Rainbow Rowell‘s Fangirl (Apr 15, 2014)
  10. Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One (Apr 16, 2014)
  11. Jennifer Egan‘s Look At Me (Apr 20, 2014)
  12. Nnedi Okorafor‘s Who Fears Death (May 13, 2014)
  13. John Green‘s The Fault in Our Stars (May 19, 2014)
  14. Marisha Pessl‘s Night Film (May 21, 2014)
  15. Ginn Hale‘s Lord of the White Hell, pt. 1 (May 26, 2014)
  16. Sarah Jane Unsworth‘s Animals (Jun 3, 2014)
  17. Alex London‘s Proxy (Jun 4, 2014)
  18. Ginn Hale‘s Lord of the White Hell, pt. 2 (Jun 5, 2014)
  19. Khaled Hosseini‘s And the Mountains Echoed (Jun 12, 2014)
  20. Ian Tregillis‘ Something More Than Night (Jun 14, 2014)
  21. Sarah Beth Durst‘s The Lost (Jun 25, 2014)
  22. Jeff VanderMeer‘s Annihilation (Jun 28 2014)
  23. Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham‘s Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Jul 4, 2014)
  24. Megan Abbott‘s The Fever (Jul 13, 2014)
  25. Shyam Selvadurai‘s The Hungry Ghosts (Jul 18, 2014)
  26. Tina Fey‘s Bossypants (Jul 18, 2014)
  27. Alex London‘s Guardian (Aug 10, 2014)
  28. Rainbow Rowell‘s Landline (Aug 16, 2014)
  29. Rainbow Rowell‘s Eleanor & Park (Aug 19, 2014)
  30. Sarah Tregay‘s Fan Art (Aug 21, 2014)
  31. Anna Godberson‘s The Blonde (Aug 22, 2014)
  32. Claire North‘s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Aug 23, 2014)
  33. Ginn Hale‘s The Rifter, Book 1: The Shattered Gates (Aug 24, 2014)
  34. Andy Weir‘s The Martian (Aug 28, 2014)
  35. Edan Lepucki‘s California (Aug 29, 2014)
  36. David Nickle‘s Monstrous Affections (Aug 30, 2014)
  37. Pierce Brown‘s Red Rising (Aug 31, 2014)
  38. Jeff VanderMeer‘s Authority (Sept 1, 2014)
  39. Ginn Hale‘s Wicked Gentlemen (Sept 6, 2014)
  40. Jesse Andrews‘s Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (Sept 9, 2014)
  41. Lauren Owen‘s The Quick (Sept 28, 2014)
  42. Holly Black‘s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Oct 6, 2014)
  43. Neil Gaiman‘s The Ocean At the End of the Lane (Oct 6, 2014)
  44. Benjamin Alire Saenz‘s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Oct 7, 2014)
  45. M.D. Waters‘ Archetype (Oct 8, 2014)
  46. Amy Poehler‘s Yes Please (Nov 7, 2014)
  47. Oscar Wilde‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray (Nov 10, 2014)
  48. Lynn Flewelling‘s Luck in the Shadows (Nov 16, 2014)
  49. Lynn Flewelling‘s Stalking Darkness (Nov 21, 2014)
  50. Amanda Palmer‘s The Art of Asking (Nov 27, 2014)
  51. James S.A. Corey‘s Leviathan Wakes (Nov 27, 2014)
  52. Lynn Flewelling‘s Traitor’s Moon (Dec 1, 2014)
  53. Anthony De Sa‘s Kicking the Sky (Dec 12, 2014)
  54. Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary Justice (Dec 24, 2014)
  55. Matthew Olshan‘s Marshlands (Dec 29, 2014)
  56. George Pendle‘s Death: A Life (Dec 31, 2014)

The Stats

The Authors:

  • 32 by sole female authors, 21 by sole male authors, 2 co-written by 2 male authors, 1 written by a male/female team.
  • Multiple Entries: Ginn Hale appears 4 times, Rainbow Rowell appears 3, Lynn Flewelling appears 3, John Green appears 2 (once as co-author), Jeff VanderMeer appears 2, Alex London appears 2.

By Publishing Year:

  • 1890: The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • 1996: Luck in the Shadows.
  • 1997: Stalking Darkness.
  • 1999: Traitor’s Moon.
  • 2001: Look At Me.
  • 2002: Fingersmith.
  • 2007: Wicked Gentlemen.
  • 2008: Death: A Life.
  • 2009: Monstrous Affections, Dark Places.
  • 2010: Lord of the White Hell, Who Fears Death, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Will Grayson Will Grayson.
  • 2011: Leviathan Wakes, Bossypants, Ready Player One.
  • 2012: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Rifter Book One, The Martian (orig.), Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars, The Shining Girls, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.
  • 2013: Ancillary Justice, Kicking the Sky, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Hungry Ghosts, Something More Than Night, And the Mountains Echoed, Proxy, Night Film, Fangirl, The Interestings.
  • 2014: Marshlands, The Art of Asking, Yes Please, Archetype, The Quick, Authority, Red Rising, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, The Blonde, Fan Art, Landline, Guardian, The Fever, Veronica Mars 1, Annihilation, The Lost, Animals, Flight of the Silvers, [The Martian].

By Rating:

  • 5 stars: 8/56 or 14.2%
  • 4 stars: 25/56, or 44.6%
  • 3 stars: 18/56, or 32.1%
  • 2 stars: 4/56, or 7.1%
  • 1 star: N/A
  • Uncategorised: 1/56, or 1.7%

Commentary: The relatively small number of 2 star books, and lack of 1 star books, come from a philosophy I picked up this year: If you’re suffering through a book you want to throw across the room, throw it. Life’s too short for terrible books. The only books below 3 stars are: a book that was inoffensively mediocre and just short of a 3; a sequel to a book I quite liked; a book that spent its first 100 pages as a potential 4-star that went downhill through the following 400 pages; and a book that bounced frequently between 3 and 1 stars throughout.

The height of throw the book for my 2014 was the execrable Tempus by Holly Lauren. I ordered it excitedly after reading about it (and the 4.45 rating the book holds on GoodReads was definitely deceptive), and… I know every book is the result of hard-work from an author, so I’ll merely say I couldn’t get through it and leave it there. With an addendum: avoid this book like the plague, it is very very bad.

By Genre:

  • Fantasy/Supernatural: 16/56, or 28.5%
  • Sci-fi: 14/56, or 25%
  • Drama/Fiction: 14/56, or 25%
  • Mystery/Suspense: 5/56, or 8.9%
  • Memoir: 4/56, or 7.1%
  • Historical: 2/56, or 3.5%
  • Classics: 1/56, or 1.7%

So, there’s the stats! Up next: a ranking of all 56 books from best to worst, in my humble opinion…

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3 responses to “READING: Reading Challenge 2014 Wrap-Up

  1. Kara Lalalala January 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I love that most of your books were by female others, you liked more books than not, and they spanned so many years and genres. Awesome.
    Next year– more classics! I have recommenationnnnsss..

    • R. Lackie January 27, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure whether I was just being a nerd doing this, but I noticed some cool things in these stats! (I am, of course, still a huge nerd.) Next year’s might even be a bit more spread out because I’ve got a bunch of fantasy novels from through the 90s and 00’s on tap.

      Yes, recommend all the books!! Even classics, though I find them usually kinda tedious. ^_^

  2. Pingback: READING: Reading Challenge 2014 Book Ratings | The Diversionist

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