Tuesday 30 December 2014

Bristol Book Blog end of year Book Breakdown

I read 94 books in 2014 which is almost exactly half the amount of books read in 2013. I did write a novel, and a short story collection, and edit 8 issues of Far Horizons though, so time spent reading was obviously a lot less than in 2013 -about half I reckon!

I also went to a lot of cons and ran a few events so busy book year. Very satisfying and enjoyable though.

I read 21 ARCs in 2014 compared with 11 in 2013 - I think 1 per month is more doable than 2 per month so am going to make that promise to myself, no more than 1 ARC/Review copy per month.

18 books by women (and 7 by Various - including women contributors) which is actually a lower proportion than in 2013. Must do better next year!

18 e-books and 2 audio books shows that these are still not my favoured formats.

The following books rated "Brilliant" in 2014 -  books that everyone should read, really outstanding and memorable. Highly recommended.

The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson

The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson

Excellent collection of ghost stories
Overall – Are you sure there is no-one behind you right now?

All Over Coffee by Paul Madonna

All over coffee by Paul Madonna

Overall – Poetic and artful

The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day…

The Great War by Joe Sacco

Overall – Just beautiful, I wish I had a wall big enough to display it

Goliath by Tom Gauld

Goliath by Tom Gauld

Overall – Art & story in perfect harmony

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel by…

Encyclopedia of early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

Overall – very few books get quirky right, this one does

Write by Phil Daoust

Write by The Guardian

Overall – Lots of writers talking about writing, what’s not to like?

Incidents in the Night, Book One: 1 by David…

Incidents in the night by David B (translated by Brian Evenson)

Overall – Great art, great plot, great story

The Gigantic Beard That was Evil by Stephen…

The gigantic beard that was evil by Stephen Collins

Overall – This is a book with a big idea, presented simply and beautifully rendered in A4 printed on high quality paper with a reassuring heft. 

London Falling by Paul Cornell

London Falling by Paul Cornell

Overall – Police procedural with supernatural elements, the start of what promises to be a great series. 

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan…Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L.…Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute (Johannes…The Brothers Cabal (Johannes Cabal Novels)…

The Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan L Howard

I really don't understand why Howard isn't a bigger star, one of the best comic writers working in books at the moment.

Annihilation: A Novel (Southern Reach…Authority: A Novel (The Southern Reach…Acceptance: A Novel (The Southern Reach…

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

From the decision to release the entire trilogy in one year, to the weirdification of the Florida coast, to mouse detergent, definitely the best thing I've read for a long while. So good I read them twice, once as they came out and a second time one after another. Two different reading experiences. And I got to meet Jeff & Ann too which was great.

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey

The girl with all the gifts by Mike Carey

Overall – Emotional and unputdownable. I stayed up late to finish this one, that doesn't happen often any more.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Overall – This very much deserves all the praise and hype, go and get a copy, now!

Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation…

Invisible: Personal essays on representation in SF/F edited by Jim Hines

Overall – Slim but packs a mighty wallop.

Derek Handley (who is one of the essayists in the book) had this to say about representation- Representation is important. When you’re a kid, it’s about having a positive role model with your defining characteristics. When you’re an adult, it’s about being reminded that you fit in somewhere and escaping into that character. And when you’re going through a major life change, it’s about finding solace in stories that show you that someone understands and that maybe you can overcome the challenges you face.

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

Overall - Harkaway just seems to be getting better, if you like his other books go and get a copy

The Moon King by Neil Williamson

The Moon King by Neil Williamson

Overall - This is a very accomplished debut that deserves a wide readership. This is very much my sort of thing. 

Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

Do no harm by Henry Marsh

Overall - Honest insight into a career as one of Britains top neurosurgeons, heavy on the medical drama.

So that's it - 2014 is almost over and 2015 is round the corner, what will it hold for me? Well I'm hoping for good news on my short story collection, my novel will receive its final polish and start doing the rounds of agents and publishers and my writing group's anthology will be published thanks to all our lovely backers on Fundsurfer. I'll be at several cons (9 worlds, Archipelacon and BristolCon for sure so far) and busy on the local lit scene with Bristol Festival of Literature, North Bristol Writing and no doubt many other local lit scene events - as usual I'll blog about them as they happen!

Happy 2014! - See you in 2015

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