In 2014 I read 131 books, of which 89 were comics or manga, 37 were novels and 5 were non-fiction. Of those, 9 were books I had read before and loved so much I wanted to read them again. I also listened to an additional 28 audiobooks- if you lump those in with the ones I read on paper the final total would be 159 books. A pretty good year. On to the awards!
I'm giving my favorite new fantasy discovery award to an amazing trilogy by Ursula K LeGuin, the Annals of the Western Shore
series. The three books are Gifts, Voices
They are all stories about young people with talents that they do not necessarily want or understand, but equally as much about the cultures that shape them as they come of age. Masterfully written.
Ursula K LeGuin sweeps up another award with my favorite sci-fi book of the year, The Dispossessed.
Runners up for this award were Lord of Light
by Roger Zelazny and A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter Miller. All of them excellent and totally different.
I liked all of the non-fiction books I read, but the real stand out was A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk
edited by Valerie Steele. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in fashion or queer history. It's got some great essays and some great photos.
I'm debuting a new award this year for my favorite self-published book and interestingly this one was a tie. The God Eaters
by Jesse Hajicek is a fantasy/western/gay romance fusion novel which I entered with low expectations and left amazed. I must thank oddlittlecat
for that one :) Collected Work
by Eric Johnson is a series of stories about working as a union carpenter in California and Oregon in the 1960s and 70s. Both of these books deserve traditional publishing.
My general fiction award goes to Black Swan Green,
one of David Mitchell's lesser known books. I actually liked this one better than Cloud Atlas,
though that was also good. Thank you to takeintoaccount
for those recommendations.
I read a lot of enjoyable manga this year, but my favorite new series is Bakuman
by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the same writer and artist team who created Death Note.
Now for western comics. My favorites from the Big Two publishers were Marvel's Moon Knight: From the Dead
and DC's Batwoman: Elegy. Prince of Cats,
a very liberal retelling of Romeo & Juliet by Ron Wimberly published by Vertigo, was also excellent.
From Image comics I absolutely devoured and adored Multiple Warheads book one: Alphabet to Infinity
by Brandon Graham. I also continued to love the ongoing series Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples. From First Second I enjoyed Relish
by Lucy Knisley (I have a weakness for themed autobiographies) and I thank Harry N Abrams for The Nao of Brown
by Glyn Dillon. Here's to another good year of reading!