Top Reads of 2014
Full Length Novels
1. We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider - Kreider writes with an x-ray vision like perceptiveness that I felt a little bit unraveled.
2. We Live in Water by Jess Walter - There is such tender pathos and smart wit seeping through the lines that despite the bleak and dismal tone, it is strangely satisfying.
3. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin - It still has that unpredictability and danger and mystery.
4. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman - Gaiman turns stock stories into new ones, more bewitching, more chilling and more surreal that it’s derivative.
5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - He speaks of souls never leaving this earth, only crossing and recrossing each other, and evolving from from good to bad to something in between, and back again. It's a beautiful, ambitious piece of storytelling.
6. Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos - I will remember this book not only for it's comedy. But also for it's very insightful and honest look at the lives of teens with depression.
7. Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders - And the humor, let's not forget to mention the wicked humor, and the biting satire, and the luminescent redemption (or epiphany) that cuts through the grim events like daggers of light piercing a dark room.
8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - It speaks of love and family and freedom and morality and justice and redemption and sacrifice. And the ending is just as arresting as the opener. And Sydney Carton is especially worth meeting.
9. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf - Capturing domestic life and depicting the passage of time in a way that feels concrete and yet somehow, ethereal.
10. The City & The City by China Mieville - Reading it felt like having a newfangled gadget. But one that is far from gimmicky. Mievielle has a way of making it all very credible and real.
Graphic Novels / Comics
1. Saga Vol. 1 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughn- A world with a whole slew of inventive and creative planets and inhabitants, humans or otherwise, one that is quite rich and alive. Mostly thanks to Fiona Staples illustration.
2. Superman for all Seasons by Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale and Bjarne Hansen - Loved the artwork, it's clean and light. The story too is pretty compelling, one gets to follow Clark's journey to being Superman, depicted in 4 seasons.
3. Plume by K. Lynn Smith (web comics) - Great characters, snarky dialogue...a great adventure story in the Wild West.
4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (web comics) - A fun, silly and past-faced story that pokes fun at fantasy tropes, but manages to have an emotional pull. And I had a blast reading the readers comments on each comic page, there are some really smart and hilarious ones.
I am happy to see such a varied mix of genres on this list. 2014 was a great reading year, in terms of diversifying my reading repertoire.
Happy New Year Everyone!