2014, a year of many books

In 2014 I read 65 books – my experiment of tracking everything that I read has paid off. Most importantly, I read the entire Outlander series – if you haven’t tried this time-travel, historical romance series please do. If you love a great hero you need to meet Jamie Fraser. In my opinion, he’s one of the most memorable characters in fictional history – right up there with Emma Bovary, Julien Sorel, Bigger Thomas, and Humbert Humbert – tragic, warm, flawed, and certainly sexier. While many of the books were just for fun, they all have added something in my research quest. Below are some highlights from the past year.

 

January

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

I read the Game of Thrones series in 2011-2013. By January 2014 I was dying for more but made do with a novel from Martin’s backlist. Fevre Dream is a charming little novel that should satisfy any latent vampire cravings. Great story, great dialogue and descriptions make this one of the best stories of the year for me – move over Lestat!

February

The Immigrant and the University by Karin Sveen. I reviewed this title some months ago but continue to think about the author’s voice and well she handled a dearth of material about her subject. An excellent piece of “education” for the student biographer.

March

Arrogance by Joanna Scott

A piece of art about an artist? That’s how one reviewer on Amazon described this biographical novel about the artist Egon Schiele. I picked this book up after reading about it in Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists by Michael Lackey. While I can’t say I liked the novel as a whole – it was rather disjointed for my taste – many passages were absolutely beautiful and its structure was worth examining.

April

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov

Is this tome a biographical novel? Autobiographical work? Or an entirely fictional piece? Don’t worry about classifying this stunning accomplishment – its language is so lyrical, funny, bizarre that I’m sure I copied half of it into my diary.

May

Island of the Lost, Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett

2014 turned out to be the year of the nautical and shipwrecked story for me. Island of the Lost is one of the best. Read this by a warm fire and prepare to be blown away by this true story.

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