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Favorite Books of 2014

December 31 and it is time to reveal my Favorite Books of the year. I'm doing it a little differently this year. I will list my Top 10 absolute favorites first, but below the cut I'm going to do a breakdown by age category listing the Top 10 in each.
Disclaimer: My favorites should in no way be used to discern which books are going to be shortlisted for the Cybils committee I'm on. For that you will just have to wait until tomorrow when they're announced on the site.
Top Ten Reads of the Year:
Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier  Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
Greenglass House by Kate Milford


The Homeward Boundersby Diana Wynne Jones
Nomad by R.J. Anderson


Private Politics by Emma Barry
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Quarterly Review and Round-Up

It is time for the Quarterly Review Round-Up where I talk about the best of the best, the one's I couldn't finish, and the adult novels I'm reading that I don't review here. Plus there's a GIVEAWAY.

The DNFs (links to my reasons why-if I shared them-on Goodreads):
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Adult Books (links to reviews on Goodreads):
Carolina Bluesby Virginia Kantra
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
The Duchess Warby Courtney Milan
The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan
Shadowed Heart by Laura Florand
Summer Chaparralby Genevieve Turner *This would totally be part of the Giveaway if it was available on Book Depository. READ IT, people who like romance.

The Best of the Best (where the Giveaway comes in):
The Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra by Jason Fry Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols (review posting January 8)

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Links to my reviews unless otherwise noted.

GIVEAWAY Rules

*Indicates later books in a trilogy…

Favorite Books of Last Five Years

A couple weeks ago I was involved in a discussion on Goodreads about the current Best of Books lists that were beginning to appear and how underwhelmed we were by most of the books being included on these (particularly the YA). In the course of that discussion an idea about doing a Best of (or Favorites) of the last five years list. We tend to get so excited about the new and then a couple of years later, we don't even remember many of those books. But what are the books that truly stick with you from one year to the next? I liked this idea so much I decided to make a Favorite list of the previous five years of reading. I may do this every year.

Because I will still do my favorites of 2014, this is going to cover 2009-2013. Here are the books that have stuck with me most from those five years. These are the books I've reread and maintained my love and excitement for. Four of my all time favorite books are included on this list.

In the order I read them.

From 2009:



 I think eve…

TTT: Books for Christmas

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books from Santa-which I'm changing to books I'm GIVING people for Christmas

For Bit (age 10):

For LM (age 6):

For my niece (age almost 3-she has a thing for penguins):

And for my sister (just because):
What bookish gifts are you planning on giving or wanting to get?


Alistair Grim's Odditorium

Alistair Grim's Odditoriumby Gregory Funaro is a mixture of magic and mystery with a whole  lot of adventure and familiar aspects fantasy lovers will recognize.

Grub was raised by the wife of chimney sweep. He has no idea who is true parents are. When the lovely woman who has been the only mother he's known dies, his life becomes a drudgery of work as the sweep's apprentice. One day after a making a mess while being bullied Grub knows he has to run and he hides in the trunk of a mysterious stranger. Upon arriving at the stranger's house, Grub is discovered and finds himself in the position of keeping strange secrets, living in an odd house, and being beholden to the mysterious stranger named Alistair Grim. Grim has a collection of objects he calls odditoria that possess magical properties. These items fuel the energy the home runs on, but the magic is dangerous and could attract exactly the wrong sort of notice. When Grub accidentally allows some  of the magic out into …

Favorite Characters of 2014

Every year I like to do a list of the characters I've fallen in love with during that year's reading. This list always ends up including some books that don't make my end of year Top 10 and it feels good to spread the love. This is only for new-to-me in 2014 characters. I may have read a book that includes characters I love but met in previous years. They won't be on this list.

Here are my previous lists for the blog:
2011
2012
2013

All the residents of Dimilioc (especially Ezekiel) fromBlack Dog by Rachel Neumeier
I fell for all the characters in Black Dog fast. And then they were all in immediate peril. This book was stressful to read let me tell you. I love the family dynamics in this book. All of the relationships are so well done, expressing closeness, but also the hardness that comes with living with people and fitting your lives together. The character Neumeier created for this and the voices, personalities, and struggles she gave each just make them jump off the pa…