Best Books of 2014 I End of Year Book Survey

reading time: ca. 6 min

Having read a crazy amount of books over the last months, i've decided to join Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner in her End of Year Book survey from last year. I thought this was a wonderful year to document and review what i have read over the past 12 months. This year i have read a total of 47 books. Not bad, eh? So let's get this party started! 

Note: The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2014!

1. Best Book You Read In 2014? 
(If you have to cheat — like me you can break it down by genre if you want) 

Contemporary YA – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (click here for my review)

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo (click here for my review)

Mystery/CrimeThis Body of Death by Elizabeth George

Historical Fiction – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Paranormal Coraline by Neil Gaiman (click here for my review)

Science Fiction The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Fantasy Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 
It was still a great read, but i expected more - or maybe it was just a little too "impersonal" and therefore somehow dull to my taste. I absolutely appreciate the work of the author, both writing-wise and sociologically, and i thought the plot to be alarmingly "realistic" (even though i disagree with the very abrupt ending), but i didn't enjoy it as much as i thought i would. The short novel is rather educational and less entertaining.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2014?

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I even wrote a review on the book.

4. Book you read in 2014 that you recommended to people most in 2014?

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. 

5. Best series you discovered in 2014? 

Actually the only book series that i read in 2014 was the Brother Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters. I read five of the books, i think, and most of them were pretty enjoyable and funny! An easy read and perfect for commuters who want to kill time on the train :)

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). 
I'm definitely gonna check out some of her other books, Dark Places and Sharp Objects, because she seems to be a very talented writer.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Honestly, the genre Biography/autobiography is definitely something i hadn't read before because it didn't seem all too appealing to me. 
However, Stephen Fry's autobiographical novel Moab Is My Washpot was actually really interesting and funny too read. Then again, that might be because Stephen Fry is a comedian, and a writer.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2014? 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Very unputdownable.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I am NOT someone who re-reads books! But i would definitely want to re-read The Book Thief, which has earned a place of honour in my "darling" shelf. 
And I could read The Lord of the Rings any time. I feel just so at home in this story.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014? 

No doubt - Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis. 
I'm currently reading it and haven't managed to finish it yet, but i'll still count it as this year's read because the cover is so gorgeous :) 

11. Most memorable character in 2014?

Rudy, the boy with hair the colour of lemons. (The Book Thief)

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Again, The Book Thief. Followed by one of my favourite writers (in terms of writing style) Kate Morton and her Forgotten Garden.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2014?

I feel bad for mentioning it again, but: The Book Thief.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

Did i mention? The Book Thief.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014? 

source: foundandcherished
Sometimes people are beautiful. 
Not in looks. 
Not in what they say. 
Just in what they are.
(The Book Thief, Markus Zusak)

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Shortest The Papalagi by Erich Scheurmann (44 pages)

Longest – does the graphic novel series Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo (2046 pages) count?
If not: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (1008 pages)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Book Thief. All encounters with Death.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2014 (be it romantic, friendship, etc). 

Romance – Nick and Amy in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, not because of the romance per se, but because of the way their relationship is depicted and developed.

Friendship – Mary and Colin and Dickon in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Familial – Hans Hubermann and Liesel Meminger in - you guessed it - The Book Thief.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Kate Morton: The Forgotten Garden.

20. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else: 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2014? 

Surprisingly, it wasn't Fantasy this time, but rather Mystery/Crime fiction!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Somehow: Colin from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

23. Best 2014 debut you read? 

Vor dem Fest (Before the Feast) by Saša Stanišić.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2014? 

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2014? 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? 

Again, The Book Thief.

27. Book You Read in 2014 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

28. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 

Kind of. Within my Day Zero Project I challenged myself to read 1 book every week (a.k.a. 52 books in a year), and i managed to read 47 books this year - i would have made it to 52 if i hadn't completely paused reading in January and December, due to university stress -.-

Looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015? 

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, book 2 of his Song of Ice and Fire saga.   

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 

Jenny-Mai Nuyen's Nacht ohne Namen (Nameless Night).

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Can't think of any...

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2015?

Keeping up my reading schedule of 1 book per week (which has totally slacked off ever since i started my master's program at university this fall... but i'll try my best to catch up on it during my semester break)


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