Books Read in 2014

It’s a new year, 2015, which means it’s time to look at what I read in 2014. So here’s the complete roundup. Books read in 2013 and previous years can be found here.

1 Dangerous Women George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois Anthology
2 Innocent Blood James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell Mystery
3 Whispers Under Ground Ben Aaronovich Fantasy Audiobook
4 Fables Vol. 19 Snow White Bill Willingham Graphic Novel
5 Aphrodite: Goddess of Love George O’Connor Graphic Novel
6 Hyperbole and a Half Allie Brosh Humor
7 The Pagan Lord Bernard Cornwell Historical Fiction
8 East of West #1 Jonathan Hickman Graphic Novel
9 Fatale Vol. 1 Ed Brubaker Graphic Novel
10 Nowhere Men Vol. 1 Eric Stephenson Graphic Novel
11 The Manhattan Projects Vol. 1 Jonathan Hickman Graphic Novel
12 The Manhattan Projects Vol. 2 Jonathan Hickman Graphic Novel
13 Snowblind Christopher Golden Horror
14 Influx Daniel Suarez Science Fiction
15 Broken Homes Ben Aaronovich Fantasy Audiobook
16 Words of Radiance Brandon Sanderson Fantasy
17 Saga Vol. 1 Brian K. Vaughan Graphic Novel
18 Saga Vol. 2 Brian K. Vaughan Graphic Novel
19 The Pretenders: Cemetery Girl Christopher Golden Graphic Novel
20 The Scientist in the Crib Alison Gopnik Parenting
21 The Martian Andy Weir Science Fiction
22 Locke & Key Volume 1 Joe Hill Graphic Novel
23 Locke & Key Volume 2 Joe Hill Graphic Novel
24 Where Nobody Knows Your Name John Feinstein Sports
25 V-S Day Allen Steele Science Fiction
26 Sailor Twain Mark Siegel Graphic Novel
27 Indexing Seanan McGuire Fantasy
28 Saga Vol. 3 Brian K. Vaughan Graphic Novel
29 The Undertaking of Lily Chen Danica Novgorodoff Graphic Novel
30 The Troop Nick Cutter Horror
31 Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Science Fiction Audiobook
32 Kronos Rising Max Hawthorne Fiction Ebook
33 FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1 Simon Oliver Graphic Novel
34 The Walking Dead Volume 20 Robert Kirkman Graphic Novel
35 Hinterkind Volume 1 Ian Edginton Graphic Novel
36 Harlem Hellfighters Max Brooks Graphic Novel
37 The River Alessandro Sanna Picture Book
38 S. J. J. Abrams Fiction
39 The Sixth Extinction Elizabeth Kolbert Science
40 Skin Game Jim Butcher Fantasy
41 Manifest Destiny Volume 1 Chris Dingess Graphic Novel
42 Green Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Science Fiction Audiobook
43 Blue Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Science Fiction Audiobook
44 Mr. Mercedes Stephen King Horror
45 Sabriel Garth Nix Young Adult Audiobook
46 Pretty Deadly Volume 1 Kelly Sue DeConnick Graphic Novel
47 Shackleton: Antarctic Journey Nick Bertozzi Graphic Novel
48 Lirael Garth Nix Young Adult Audiobook
49 Climate Changed Phillippe Squarzoni Graphic Novel
50 Abhorsen Garth Nix Young Adult Audiobook
51 The Gunslinger Stephen King Horror Audiobook
52 The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains Neil Gaiman Fiction
53 In Real Life Cory Doctorow Graphic Novel
54 The Drawing of the Three Stephen King Horror Audiobook
55 Stay Up with Me Tom Barbash Fiction Anthology
56 The Waste Lands Stephen King Horror Audiobook
57 Wizard and Glass Stephen King Horror Audiobook
58 The Sixth Extinction James Rollins Thriller
59 Wolves of the Calla Stephen King Horror Audiobook
60 Lock in John Scalzi Science Fiction
61 Song of Susannah Stephen King Horror Audiobook
62 Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami Fiction
63 Pines Blake Crouch Horror
64 The Dark Tower Stephen King Horror Audiobook
65 The Silkworm Robert Galbraith Mystery Audiobook
66 Wayward Blake Crouch Horror
67 Frozen Sky 2: Betrayed Jeff Carlson Science Fiction Ebook
68 The Last Town Blake Crouch Horror
69 Spectrum Alan Jacobson Thriller
70 Salem’s Lot Stephen King Horror Audiobook
71 The Dark Half Stephen King Horror Audiobook
72 Random Targets James Raven Thriller Ebook
73 Needful Things Stephen King Horror Audiobook
74 The Tommyknockers Stephen King Horror Audiobook
75 Firestarter Stephen King Horror Audiobook
76 Desert God Wilbur Smith Historical Fiction
77 Tortured Souls Clive Barker Horror
78 Legion: Skin Deep Brandon Sanderson Thriller
79 Fables Volume 20: Camelot Bill Willingham Graphic Novel
80 Beowulf Trans. J. R. R. Tolkien Poetry
81 Pet Sematary Stephen King Horror Audiobook
82 Dark Screams: Volume One Brian James Freeman Horror Ebook
83 Cujo Stephen King Horror Audiobook
84 The Slow Regard of Silent Things Patrick Rothfuss Fantasy
85 The Halloween Tree Ray Bradbury Children’s
86 Revival Stephen King Horror
87 The Wake Scott Snyder Graphic Novel
88 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens Fiction
89 Hansel and Gretel Neil Gaiman Children’s

Book News: Top Books of 2014, Anticipated 2015 Titles, Greatest Libraries & More!


Abnormal Bookstore Activities
Looking for some real fun to get up to in a bookstore?

Orbital The Martian Script 

In what has to be a first, the script for the movie adaptation of the book The Martian has been launched into space.

Bookish PJs 

You know you do all your good reading at night, and now you can look fashionable while you do it.

“Lock in” by John Scalzi (Tor, 2014)

Lock In

John Scalzi’s latest book, Lock in, is one of those works of science fiction that just seems like a cool story at first, but then as the reader thinks more on it, realizes there’s a lot more going on that says something about our world today and where it’s possibly headed.

It is the near future and a highly contagious virus has swept across the globe. For most of the world population, it is nothing worse than a heavy case of the flu, but for the unlucky one percent, it causes a condition known as “lock in” or “Haden’s syndrome” where victims are fully awake and aware but their bodies are completely paralyzed. But there are “threeps,” mechanical human-looking bodies that these victim’s consciousnesses can be downloaded into and used. Then there are “integrators,” special people who after suffering from the virus who have the ability to have someone’s consciousness downloaded into their minds and have their bodies taken over for a limited time.

The story focuses on rookie FBI agent Chris Shane on his first case with tough partner Leslie Vann, investigating a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel. The victim is also an Integrator which complicates things greatly. In a world where everyone has an opinion about Haden victims and they are about to lose some significant government funding, Shane finds himself involved in a seminal case that will have a great influence on how Haden victims will be seen and viewed by everyone.

Lock in is just good science fiction, with a diverse cast of men and women who feel real, living in a very real world. It forces the reader to question their thoughts and feelings on anyone with a disability. Scalzi poses perhaps the most important thought in the book when there are those looking to “cure” Haden’s syndrome, while Haden victims just want to be accepted into society as fellow people. Science fiction is supposed to make you think and question the status quo and Lock in does this very well.

Originally written on September 19, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Lock in from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Forces of Geek Best of 2014


Best TV Shows: Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Key & Peele, Brooklyn Nine Nine
Best Books (fiction): The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss, Pines by Blake Crouch, S. by J. J. Abrams, The Martian by Andy Weir
Best Books (non-fiction): The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Best Albums: ‘The Endless River’ by Pink Floyd
Best Comic Books / Graphic Novels: Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, The Wake by Scott Snyder, In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

Alex C. Telander writes the column, Book Report, for Forces of Geek.

For more best of lists, follow this link . . .

Bookbanter 2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

“Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary” by J. R. R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)


In addition to creating the first fantasy epic, inventing a complete and insanely, thoroughly detailed world, and even making up its own language and alphabet, as well as teaching for decades, the great J. R. R. Tolkien also wrote a translation to the famous epic Old English poem “Beowulf.” Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, reveals this translation in its entirety for the first time, and so much more.

Tolkien completed his first translation of “Beowulf” in 1926, but he was by no means done with the poem. Over the ensuing years and decades he continued to make changes and updates and lectured greatly on the epic alliterative poem. Christopher Tolkien presents this ideal translation from Tolkien, and then includes his father’s vast commentary painstakingly collected and organized. The book features notes on how Tolkien translated specific words and stanzas with plenty of additional notes. Included are also lectures and lecture notes Tolkien gave on the epic poem. Finally, the great author even penned his own poem (in both modern and Old English) that acts as a precursor to “Beowulf” as a sort of fairytale written in the same style, but not within the history.

Compared to Seamus Heaney’s very well known and popular translation of the same poem, Tolkien goes for a much more literal adaptation, where some of the moving alliteration is perhaps lost, but the true sense of the poem and the meaning the author or authors were intending is possibly better comprehended. With the description and vocabulary, Tolkien does a great job of making the reader feel as if they are there at Heorot with Beowulf and Hrothgar and the comitatus. He uses an older language of “doths” and “thines” because of the time he is writing in, but also to give a sense of age to the poem, which can be a helping or a hindrance for the reader. Nevertheless, Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf is a very welcome one that will be enjoyed by many and likely taught and studied in future medieval and Old English classes to come.

Originally written on November 18, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .


Book News: Finding Extra Reading Time, Five 2014 Novels You Shouldn’t Miss, American Reading Habits and More!



Still looking for that last ornament to grace your Christmas Tree, check out this book-related works of ornamental art.
Looking for that last minute stocking stuffer? Check out these bookish socks.
An interesting article on how to maximize your reading time during the holidays.