GregHorrorShow: The Books Of 2014

Books 2104 Main

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already almost the end of 2014 – having said that, looking at the long list of books I’ve made it through this year at least makes me feel like I’ve experienced a lot of great stories.

I’ll get straight to business – if you like sci-fi and you haven’t read the Wool trilogy (Wool/Shift/Dust) by Hugh Howey then you are in for a absolute treat! These books were the best I read this year with a gripping story and wonderfully written characters.

I caught up with an old title by another of my favourite writers, Aimee Bender, with ‘An Invisible Sign Of My Own‘. Telling the story of Mona Gray, a young woman who finds solace in mathematics before taking up teaching, it continues Bender’s surreal slant to stories and I really enjoyed it. I also read ‘Gone Girl‘ which, despite being pretty depressing and containing no likeable characters, I just couldn’t put down. It’s well written and strings the reader along throughout. Great fun.

Books 2104 Invisible

I loved David Glen Gold‘s ‘Carter Beats The Devil‘ so I was keen to check out ‘Sunnyside‘, his fictionalised account of the Charlie Chaplin based mass hysteria in the US during the early 1900’s. ‘Never Go Back‘ continued Lee Child‘s return to form, if you like Jack Reacher you’ll love this story. I can’t wait to check out the next installment in the Reacher series.

I’d been meaning to check out ‘The Quantum Thief‘ by Hannu Rajaniemi for a while and it didn’t disappoint, with a story that was at times both confusing and inspired. Ranjaniemi has created a fascinating look at an alternate universe with some ideas that may even find themselves into our world at some stage. I found myself a little disappointed with ‘Metro 2033‘ by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Actually let me re-phrase that as it was more of a post-apocalyptic burnout than genuine disappointment. It was a fairly enjoyable read but I couldn’t help feeling like I’d experienced most of it before, whether that was in other books or TV or films etc.

Running With The Firm‘ by James Bannon wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea but being so firmly rooted in the world of Millwall and set at the time I just started attended matches, it managed to pull me in. The first ‘Game Of Thrones‘ novel by George R Martin really sucked me in and I was amazed I could retain so many character, place and family names all at once! I’ll definitely read more of the books in the series.

Books 2104 Fatherland

I read a few older titles as well this year, many of which I enjoyed. ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s‘ by Truman Capote wasn’t really what I was expecting at all. It was better than I thought it would be, with some interesting themes. I found ‘Fatherland‘ by Robert Harris thoroughly gripping – I’ve seen the idea that the Nazis won the second world war done many times but this was a really well fleshed out and believable world, with great characters. A classic novel that I just couldn’t get into was ‘100 Years Of Solitude‘ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I didn’t enjoy it at all, which is a shame as it’s so highly regarded by so many people.

Hyperion‘ by Dan Simmons was also a bit of a strange one – I really enjoyed the story but had no idea there was more than one book in the series. So I was getting into the final third of the book wondering how they would tie it all together, only to discover they weren’t going to and that the next set of events would occur in a later novel! Naomi Klein‘s hard hitting look at corporate culture in ‘No Logo‘ is a must read for everyone in the 21st century. Despite being over 10 years old it’s still as relevant today as it was then. Another book I enjoyed was ‘The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie‘ by Muriel Spark which I wasn’t sure if I’d like but the characters are so well written it wasn’t hard to get sucked in by them.

You‘ by Austin Grossman was an interesting look at game development and the toll it takes on people’s health and relationships. Kate Atkinson‘s ‘Life After Life‘ has a great premise and I’m a sucker for anything time travel/alternate universe related so it was no surprise I enjoyed it. ‘The Girl With All The Gifts‘ by M.R Carey managed to turn me around as I was initially disappointed because I felt I’d heard this story before. But it soon shifted gear and delivered a great story that had me hooked until the very last page.

Books 2104 Girl Gifts

So there you go, here’s the full list of titles for 2014:

An Invisible Sign Of My Own – Aimee Bender
Sunnyside – David Glen Gold
Wool – Hugh Howey
Killshot – Elmore Leonard
No Logo – Naomi Klein
The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi
Fatherland – Robert Harris
Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
Never Go Back – Lee Child
Game Of Thrones (1) – George R Martin
100 Yrs Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Shift – Hugh Howey
Metro 2033 – Dmitry Glukhovsky
Running With The Firm – James Bannon
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Don’t Point That Thing At Me – Kyril Bonfiglioli
Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
Dust – Hugh Howey
You – Austin Grossman
The Girl With All The Gifts – M.R Carey
Life After Life – Kate Atkinson

What have you guys been reading this year? Any recommendations?

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