Back in November I did a list of my favourite books for the first three quarters of the year. The year now being well and truly over, I can give a final tally of the books I enjoyed the most over the past twelve months.
I read a total of 145 books in 2014, which was one more than I managed in 2013, so I shall expect a Blue Peter badge to arrive any day now.
In the order I preferred them when I compiled the list just ten minutes ago (given a different time and mood, the rankings might alter), here are the thirteen books that gave me the most pleasure in 2014, with new entries shown in bold:-
The Anthologist – Nicholson Baker (Pocket Books)
The Road – Cormac McCarthy (Picador)
Nightmare Carnival – Edited by Ellen Datlow (Dark Horse)
The Three – Sarah Lotz (Hodder & Stoughton)
Dark Father – James Cooper (DarkFuse)
The Broken Ones – Stephen M. Irwin (Anchor Books)
The Cutting Room – Edited by Ellen Datlow (Tachyon)
Where Furnaces Burn – Joel Lane (PS Publishing)
Everything You Need – Michael Marshall Smith (Earthling Publications)
The Race – Nina Allan (NewCon Press)
The Unquiet House – Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
Nyctophobia – Christopher Fowler (Solaris Press)
Murder – Sarah Pinborough (Jo Fletcher Books)
It breaks down as nine novels, two collections, and two anthologies. Jo Fletcher Books are the only publisher to appear twice on the list and Ellen Datlow is the only individual.
Although they’re included in my total of one hundred and forty five books read in 2014, I didn’t take into consideration books that I’ve read previously, and I’ve also excluded anything published by TTA Press, so no Cold Turkey by Carole Johnstone.
By my count at least five of these books weren’t first published in 2014, including those in the top two spots, so it is a ‘best of Pete’s reading in 2014’ rather than ‘Pete’s best of the year’ (a not too subtle distinction) and, of course, I only read a fraction of what was published.