Finally! I've had some time and have now caught my breath from my holiday hiatus so I can gaze back on 2014 with regard rather then frantic reaction.
What a year! It was a year of many surprises, fond memories, and new book friends. This was my first full year with Booklikes and it was great! For the first bit of January I tried to fit both GR and BL, but that didn't happen and I've never really missed GR. I've had so much fun here, learned about so many good books, and met people I mention to LL on a regular basis. Yes, he knows several of your monikers and I think is starting to remember who's who.
(Click on the covers to take you to my reviews)
For the first time in quite awhile, I tried audiobooks. I even signed up for The Book Nympho's Audiobook Challenge and was astonished by how many I finally listened to: 48! I bypassed my chosen level and went past the furthest level of 30+. Many of those were great books, such as re-listens to series I like such as The Mary Russell series, the Goldy Bear mystery series, and the Artemis Fowl series. I was also introduced to new books: Breadcrumbs and First Grave on the Right. Having read another of the series in ebook form, there is definitely something gained from listening to Lorelei King's take on Charley Davidson.
New Series and books you all introduced me to
This could go on forever. So many of the books I picked up this year were not the ones I meant to but the ones that one or more of you tempted and teased me with. Many of them I probably wouldn't have given a second glance to but I'm so glad you all gave me the nudge. The last two audiobooks listed above were thanks to Jessica (HDB) and Murder by Death.
Others include The Meg Langslow series (Murder by Death - as well the Death on Demand series, the Magical Cats series, and many others), Among the Janeites (I think Elizabeth and/or Reflections), Dawn of the Belle Epoque (SusannaG), The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place (Jessica HDB), and The Hotel on Place Vendome (BrokenTune).
I also finally broke down and read more Jane Austen this year, discovering one of her works rivals my all time favorite Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion.
To every year, a few low star ratings must fall
Surprisingly, only one of these have 1/2 to 1 stars. These are not the books that just failed; these are the books that I expected better of...and they failed. My feelings about How They Croaked are complicated but basically it comes down when you simplify facts too much, they can become false. Jane's Fame, as I start my review with, was a great biography for an analytical book and a great analytical book for a biography. It basically couldn't decide what it wanted to be. Among the Janeites is much better. Boys and Girls Forever lived down to my expectations of literary criticism. On the plus side, do check out the poem I found in there, it's hilarious. The Night Bookmobile was...just bad. It was the one that I expected the most from...and disappointed me with only three odd pages left to go. Do check out Ceridwen's thoughts on this book; they helped me a great deal to comes to terms with my own feelings.
My word, I could go on forever, particularly when it comes to all the new books I learned about and read this year. My TBR list is longer, I've fallen in love with more wonderful books and series, and been challenged to read books I'd never have thought to otherwise. My goal originally was 200; last year I read 232, this year I read 265 (at the time of this posting - I'll probably end up with the final postings being closer to 270).
So I guess, in the end, I want to thank you all. You, my Booklikes friends, have made this a great reading year but also just a good year. I've enjoyed my time here reading your posts and discovering new books. I can't wait to see what you all will have waiting for me in 2015.