2014 – A year in review…

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Well, it started off well, but tailed off towards the end of the year. I had a major life event and unfortunately my reading went out of the window…

So I managed 34 books, lots more graphic novels this year, and lots of fantasy and science fiction. I’ve read more on my iPad this year, especially comic books which I find a lot easier to get hold of and to read on it too.

I didn’t manage to fulfil my A-Z challenge or my goal of 50 books, but onwards and upwards, and this year is a new challenge.

I hope to read 50 books this year – hopefully I’ll get there, I feel back on track with my reading now, and I’m really enjoying curling up with a book in this horrible British winter weather…

Thanks for reading my blog last year, I’m all up to date with last year’s reviews now, and can start on 2015’s…!

TTFN,
Laura

Book Number 34: Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

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Last of the year…

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

139 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 24th December – Friday 26th December (3 days)
2 afternoon, 1 evening.

Hot on the heels of the last volume, I picked up this one… we see the group move away from the farm after the disastrous events of the last volume, and stumble upon a prison. The group start to make their way through, clearing each block and securing, in the hope that this is the perfect place for them to settle, and Lori to have her baby.

However, as you would expect, things don’t go according to plan, and the group find some surviving prisoners who are not all as innocent as you would expect… things start going horribly wrong, and the group also discover that whether you die at the hands of a zombie or not, you still turn…

Again, another great instalment of the series, perfectly timed and tense, with a great look into human nature and how we act when faced with disaster. Artwork was amazing again as well!

Book Number 33: The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

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Next in the series…

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

138 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Horror)
Wednesday 19th November (1 day)
1 evening.

I’m really enjoying this series, although I’m finding it hard to keep track of both stories when watching it with the TV series as well. In this volume, the group move on from Shane’s death, and find Hershel’s farm, where they briefly find some shelter.

As usual, the story is brilliant, lots of tense moments, people finding solace in each other and then falling apart, terrible things happening, and characters desperately trying to survive in a hostile world. Life has become very different for the characters, and they struggle to get through the events that unfold.

The artwork in these books is amazing, I love the style, and spent a long time poring over the pictures and imagery as well as the story. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Book Number 32: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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A recommendation from a friend…

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

327 pages
Genre Fiction (Contemporary)
Tuesday 28th October – Friday 14th November (18 days)
3 morning, 1 afternoon, 3 evening.

A recommendation from a friend, and I’m glad she did… this book was great!

Don Tillman is a professor with Aspergers syndrome who only has two friends. His life is regimented, he has set plans and routines, that he doesn’t like to stray from. However, he wants to find a wife…

He makes a questionnaire in which to vet women to find his perfect date, from whether they smoke, to their interests, this survey is strict and only women who answer the majority of the questions correctly will make their way through his strict criteria.

However, he meets Rosie, who is very different, doesn’t fulfil his criteria and messes with his life… but she needs help finding her father, and Don finds himself very drawn to her and her problem.

Over the course of the book, they work together on The Father Project, and inevitably get closer…

This book was warm and funny, a real page turner and a really good look at people with Aspergers. I found the theme of the Aspergers was well written, and from what I know, it seemed pretty accurate, although I do not know much about the subject… It looks at relationships in a very realistic way, I never felt that the book was cliched at any point, the characters seemed very real. Well worth a read, very entertaining and interesting.

Next book: The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Book Number 31: PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

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A re-read…

PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

450 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Wednesday 27th August – Tuesday 28th October (63 days)
11 morning, 1 afternoon, 9 evening, 1 night.

I’ve read this before – I really like Scarlett Thomas’s work, and as an added bonus she often writes stories based where I live…

The book follows Alice, an employee of PopCo – a big toy company. She is off on a retreat with the company to a remote mansion in Devon to create the next new craze for kids. Alice has an unusual past as her grandparents, who raised her, were cryptanalysts. She creates crossword puzzles, and a spy kit for kids.

Alice struggles with the commercialism and ethics of PopCo, and over the course of her time at the retreat she gets involved with people with similar thinking to her, and there is a subplot about her parents and grandparents involving codes and hidden treasure.

I love this book, it’s full of intrigue and interesting ideas about the media and big corporations, as well as the sub plot about coding, puzzles, Bletchley Park and the hidden treasure… despite Alice’s belief in homeopathy, I really like her and her development of character, I find her and the friends she makes at the retreat interesting, and the arguments, discussions and themes brought up in the book are pretty enthralling too. I had left it long enough to not quite remember bits of the story, and found it just as good as the first time I read it.

Next book: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Book Number 30: A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

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You know nothing, Jon Snow…

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin

554 pages
Genre Fiction (Fantasy)
Sunday 27th July – Monday 25th August (30 days)
6 morning, 8 afternoon, 7 evening, 2 night.

This is fast becoming one of my favourite book series, and Martin one of my favourite authors…

This is the second part of the third book, and we follow Robb (King of the North), Stannis and Joffrey continue to fight over the throne, Daenerys increase her army of followers across the sea, and Jon Snow and his struggles with the Wildlings at the Wall.

As usual for Martin, there are some gruesome shocking deaths. From hereon in are spoilers – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Joffrey dies at his own wedding, which in itself was fantastic – the little idiot deserved it. But this in turn then means Tyrion is accused of his murder, and Sansa escapes with Littlefinger to the Eyrie… Tyrion goes from strength to strength, having so much rubbish thrown at him and trying so hard to get himself out of trouble, and finally snapping at the end of the book… delicious. His character is by far my favourite. He is witty, intelligent, and I really feel for him and the way he is treated throughout the series so far.

Daenerys works hard on becoming a strong leader and Queen and building her army of ex-slaves, and uncovers traitors in her midst. (I called it…) Arya travels around with the Hound and their relationship, although strange, was interesting to read. As was Jaime and Brienne’s relationship – another interesting twist. Finally, there were interesting developments at the wall, with the Wildlings beaten, Stannis coming to the Nightwatch’s aid, and Jon Snow given some interesting choices for his future.

As always, this was a great read – I love the way the story is told from different perspectives from different characters, and the story move along with loads of twists and turns. Never a dull moment in Westeros…

Next book: PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

Book Number 29: The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

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The next Manhattan Project …

The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

The Manhattan Projects 2: THEY RULE by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton

152 pages
Genre Fiction (Graphic Novel – Sci-fi)
Thursday 24th July – Sunday 27th July (4 days)
1 morning, 2 evening.

I’m still not sure about this series. I find them very dark and sinister, this one following on from the first and looking into an alternate Cold War and artificial intelligence (amongst other themes). These are very interestingly written, with great stories, and a lot that should interest me, but I find the characters so dark and cold, and the violence is just a little too stark and too much, and I just can’t quite get into this series as much as I wanted too.

I’m going to take a break from this and come back to it later in the year – and see if I can get back into the series.

Next book: A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin