For some reason, I’ve been so excited to write this post. Actually looking forward to it since I wrote last year’s recap. There’s something about the tallying of scores, books, picking favorites, it’s just a fun, fun post to write. So here we go.
First off, what everyone wants to know, who won?
Well, as it turns out, it was a super close race! The actual winner is one of Kelly’s students from last year, initials RL, who guessed 200, being off by only 6 books. However, since I don’t actually know this child, I’m bypassing that for guesses from people I do know. In that case, Mark was the actual winner, with a guess of 203, being off by only 8 books. He pulled that off by the slimmest of margins over his daughter Victoria, who at 180 was only off by 14 books. Therefore, Mark and Victoria, you get to be the 2014 winners (1st and 2nd place). I decided (and I hope that others think this is fun, too) that the prize is a guest blog, anything about books. So, Mark and Victoria can each write a post of any length about books. They can write about their favorite books, or books they don’t like, how how much they read, or whatever they like as long as it is book related. Email them to me and I’ll post them!
Okay, moving on to the tallying.
Here are the 2014 statistics. (* denotes new categories for 2014)
Total number of books read in 2014: 194 (25% increase over 2013)
Average number of books read per month: 16.2
Average number of books read per week: 3.73
Month with the most books read: Tie! June and July (32 books each) (23% increase over 2013)
Month with the least books read: December (2 books) (60% DEcrease from 2013)
Best book I read in 2014: Endless Knight by Kresley Cole. This is actually a bit of a cheat, because this book came out in 2013 and I read it in 2013 AND chose it for the winner in 2013. But, I REread this book TWO times in 2014 (yes, it is only one year old and I’ve read it three times) and I honestly did not read a book that is better than this one in this year. So I am picking it again. My list, my rules. And this has quickly become one of my favorite books of all time, which is impressive when you consider all that I read. (Caveat: if you want to read this, and you should, you need to read the first one in the series first, Poison Princess.)
*Runners Up for Best Book of 2014:
Talon by Julie Kagawa. Talon was a book about dragons that I did not expect to like, but I loved. Kagawa wrote the Iron Fey, one of my all-time favorites, evidently she can do no wrong in my world. Writing about Puck and Faeries or about dragons, it doesn’t seem to matter, she sucks me into her stories and doesn’t let go.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Laini Taylor had the runner up for best book two years running, both from the same series. The middle book was a little lacking, but the first and this, the third, were brilliant and make this a favorite series of all time. Another contender for best series; it was probably 6th or so on the list, primarily due to the slower middle title, but overall, an incredible teen fantasy series.
Pivot Point by Kasie West. Pivot Point was the first in a duo that I adored. I have now read everything Kasie West has written and have discovered a new favorite author, though this book remains my favorite of hers. Actually this series, was next on my list, but I stopped my runners up at three, so it didn’t quite make the cut, but it is amazing.
Worst books I read in 2014: The Professional by Kresley Cole, while this was probably not the actual worst book of the year, because she is one of my favorite authors, the fact that she can make this list at all easily qualifies her for the title. Please note she also wrote the book I chose as best of the year two years running. Kudos, KC. And I just found out this horrible book is a series. Dear God, KC, what were you thinking? Please stop writing these immediately and focus all your energy on the Arcana Chronicles.
*Runners Up for Worst Book of 2014: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Knight by Kristen Ashley, Last Hit by Jessica Clare
Total number of NEW books read: 161 (83% of the books read in 2014, a 1.4% increase over 2013)
Total number of rereads: 31 (17% of the books read in 2014, a 1.4% decrease over 2013)
Total number of standalone books (does not occur in a series) read (including rereads): 28 (8% decrease over 2013)
Best new series: Bad Boys and Wallflowers by Maya Rodale, simply because of the innovative nature of the stories. Telling parallel stories across two genres, it was just brilliantly done. The books are not the best, but this idea was amazing and I couldn’t stop reading them.
*Runners Up for Best Series: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A Nielsen,The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Most surprising book: Broken by Megan Hart. There were no runners up here, this was easily my most surprising book of the year, so surprising, in fact that I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to this book.
Biggest disappointment: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is by the slimmest of margins over Dark Skye. I might have actually been more disappointed in Dark Skye, but Outlander was over 900 pages of disappointment, so I am giving it the crown.
*Runners up for Biggest Disappointment of 2014: Dark Skye by Kresley Cole (boy, she had a big year on my list, didn’t she?), Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
*Total number of print books read in 2014: 76 (39% of books read in 2014)
*Total number of electronic books read in 2014: 116 (61% of books read in 2014)
*Most surprising statistic: I have to go with the grand total 194 books, and knowing that I read 25% more books in 2014 than in 2013. That’s pretty amazing.
My final thoughts? I recently read a quote from the Pew Institute that the average American reads 5-7 books a year. I read almost 4 books a WEEK in 2014, so clearly I’m above average. Way above, but I think we already knew that. I was actually astonished by that. I know I read way more than anyone I know, but 5-7 a year seems so low to me. For some reason, I didn’t find the books quite as gripping this year as the previous year. That could be because an all-time favorite came out for me in 2013, but it could also be because I read more. Reading more tends to lend itself to quantity over quality. And with such a huge disparity between the years, for me, it means there is no rhyme or reason to it, I have no idea how much I will read in 2015, but we surely will find out.
Congrats again to Mark and Victoria, please send me your blog posts whenever you get them done and I’ll post them. Here’s to another great year of reading!
P.S. Don’t forget to hit the comments with your guesses for 2015!