C. G. McGinn


Ramblings about Books and Writing

Happy New Year 2015


It's been a busy year for reading. Here was my 2014 reading list. I've already said my piece in great detail on most of these titles, so go ahead and read the older entries, I'll wait. I'll highlight some of the more significant titles in the list. It's 2 hours till 2015 so I'm going to try and make this brief, but hopefully entertaining. 


1. "Ready Player One" by Earnest Cline

2. "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson

3. "John Dies at the End" by David Wong

4. "The Rook" by Daniel O'Malley

5. "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova

6. "Pandemic" by Scott Sigler

7. "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman

8. "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs

9. "This Book is Full of Spiders" by David Wong

10. "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

11. "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

12. "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King

13. "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman

14. "Steelheart" by Brandon Sanderson

15. "The Martian" by Andy Weir

16. "American Psycho" by Bret Ellis

17. "The Target" by David Baldacci

18. "Wool" by Hugh Howey

19. "Vellum" by Hal Duncan

20. "The Equalizer" by Michael Sloan

21. "The Magician King" by Lev Grossman

22. "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

23. "The Magician's Land" by Lev Grossman

24. "The Stand" by Stephen King


Best in Show: The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Thoughts: This book is awesome. I gushed over it in my original post and I read the book twice this year. 2 TIMES! That's a big deal for me because I have the attention span of a goldfish and if I already know the story, I lose interest hearing it again. But The Rook kept my attention both times and chances are I'll be reading it again in 2015, with rapt anticipation for Stiletto, O'Malley's second book in the Checquy Files. Though this is his debut novel, O'Malley is already a master in striking the balance between suspense and humor. The story kept me constantly wanting more, but never ceased to entertain. Dan, you're awesome and I wish you only the best!


Best Series: The Magicians, The Magician King, The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

Thoughts: The evolution of the main character from college douchebag to likable mage is as gradual and seamless as Walter White's transition from American dad to Meth kingpin. Grossman's Quentin Coldwater went from a boy to a man in three awesome books. By the end of the series I was amazed how far the character had come. The story was compelling as it took the magic-kid, magic-land trope and put an edgy spin on it. It was like if Christopher Nolan made a Harry Potter movie. 


Best Over-the-Top Book(s): John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong

Thoughts: You've read, or should read my posts on these two books. You should read both of them and follow Mr. Wong on cracked.com.


Surprise of 2014: Wool by Hugh Howey

Thoughts: Wool is really 5 short books. Howey left me in awe by the end of Book 1. I'm not going to give anything away, but you should give this book a solid up through the first book. If you're not hooked after that, then you have no soul. 2015 will certainly see more Howey on my reading list. 

Those are the highlights of 2014. 2015 promises to be just as good, but I think I got spoiled on literary gold this year. 2015 is really going to have to work for it. 

Happy New Year everyone, and to use an old joke, see ya next year!