My 2014 resolution reading list

For those who don't want to read, these represent some of my favorite/must-read books/series of the last year.
For those who don’t want to read, these represent some of my favorite/must-read books/series of the last year.

Starting on 19 December 2013, according to my journal, I’ve been keeping track of all the books I read for fun (i.e. no assigned reading). This was immediately following a couple of long lists entitled, “Books to Read” and “Comic Books & Graphic Novels to Read;” the general idea I had was that I didn’t do nearly as much reading for fun as I used to, and being well-read is something I sort of aspire to, so I should make more of an effort. It was a nearly-New-Years resolution that was also largely inspired by the excellent Crash Course: Literature series on Youtube.

As it’s been nearly a year, and I just finished writing in this particular journal, I thought I’d put up the list of books I’ve read. My self-imposed rules:

  • A book only gets written down (with the author’s last name in parentheses and the date finished afterwards) after I’ve finished reading it…so there are a few books I started, like The Luminaries, that I decided were best left for another time and are therefore not on this list.
    • Side note on finish dates: I found it interesting to keep an eye on the dates when I was typing out this list. You can definitely tell when I was on break from the bursts of books finished; the time around spring break has a particularly high concentration of books listed because I was visiting grad schools and therefore spending a lot of time on airplanes. In contrast, I didn’t read much while I was writing my thesis.
  • Books I’ve re-read count. I don’t re-read things nearly as much as I used to, but I still do on occasion. Generally, I’ve either forgotten I read the book already (several of the Laurie R. King books on the list) or it’s something I didn’t think I appreciated fully the first time around (Neal Stephenson books, Kim). I always get something new out of a book by re-reading it, which is why I decided it counts.
  • Graphic novels/comic books count, because they are a written narrative medium, and I said so.

Okay, here’s the list! Books that I particularly recommend are in bold. (I’ve limited myself to 10 series; that is, a standalone book counts as one, but so do all the books in a particular series…also, I counted the Aeneid and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Lavinia as a unit for recommendation purposes, because you really shouldn’t read the latter without reading the former.)

  • Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl): 12/20/13
  • Maus, Vol. I (Spiegelman): 12/21/13
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Moore): 12/21/13
  • The Hobbit (Tolkien): 12/25/13
  • Maus, Vol. II (Spiegelman): 12/27/13
  • The Origin of Virtue (Ridley): 12/27/13
  • Watchmen (Moore): 12/29/13
  • Persepolis (Satrapi): 12/29/13
  • Wolf Hall (Mantel): 1/1/14
  • Lies of Locke Lamora (Lynch): 1/5/14
  • The Fault in Our Stars (Green): 1/18/14
  • Justice Hall (King): 3/10/14
  • Frankenstein (Shelley): 3/13/14
  • Will Grayson, will grayson (Green and Levithan): 3/13/14
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Smith): 3/16/14
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women (King): 3/17/14
  • The Game (King): 3/18/14
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Atwood): 3/18/14
  • O Jerusalem (King): 3/19/14
  • Jane Eyre (Bronte): 3/20/14
  • Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut): 3/20/14
  • Kim (Kipling): 3/20/14
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Jones): 3/23/14
  • Fevre Dream (Martin): 3/23/14
  • A Feast for Crows (Martin): 4/18/14
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Boo): 6/5/14
  • David and Goliath (Gladwell): 6/9/14
  • Wild Cards I (various authors): 6/9/14
  • The Color Purple (Walker): 6/10/14
  • Touchstone (King): 6/13/14
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies (Lynch): 6/15/14
  • Wide Sargasso Sea (Rhys): 6/16/14
  • The Aeneid (Vergil, trans. S. Ruden): 6/21/14
  • V for Vendetta (Moore, Lloyd): 6/21/14
  • Beloved (Morrison): 6/23/14
  • The Underwater Welder (Lemire): 6/26/14
  • Lavinia (LeGuin): 6/28/14
  • The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald): 6/30/14
  • Bring Up the Bodies (Mantel): 7/4/14
  • Republic of Thieves (Lynch): 7/18/14
  • The Magicians (Grossman): 7/20/14
  • Last Bus to Woodstock (Dexter): 7/22/14
  • Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill (Rubin): 7/27/14
  • The Professor and the Madman (Winchester): 8/3/14
  • The Language of Bees (King): 8/3/14
  • God of the Hive (King): 8/5/14
  • Rubyfruit Jungle (Brown): 8/18/14
  • Anathem (Stephenson): 8/27/14
  • The Information (Gleick): 8/30/14
  • Mindset (Dweck): 8/30/14
  • Lovely Green Eyes (Lustig): 9/7/14
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury): 9/14/14
  • Boojums All the Way Through (Mermin): 9/14/14
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Gaiman): 9/15/14
  • The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories (Clark): 9/15/14
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Murakami): 9/17/14
  • Quicksilver (Stephenson): 10/22/14
  • A Grave Talent (King): 11/6/14
  • To Play the Fool (King): 11/10/14
  • The Name of the Wind (Rothfuss): 11/29/14

This neatly coincides with me getting on a very long plane flight to the States tomorrow, during which I’m sure I will read several books…but I guess they’ll have to go on the next list.

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