What I was reading in 2014


And so on to Part 2 of my regular New Years Eve routine; first the music, and now the books. Scorekeeping, as ever, is by Goodreads.


  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Michael Chabon)
  • Hyperion (Dan Simmons)
  • The Infernal City (Greg Keyes)
  • Lord of Souls (Greg Keyes)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
  • Sex Criminals, Volume One (Matt Fraction)
  • The Magician King (Lev Grossman)
  • Templar One (Tony Gonzales)
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
  • Shogun (James Clavell)
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers (Isaac Asimov)
  • Casebook of the Black Widowers (Isaac Asimov)
  • Ulysses (James Joyce)
  • Buddy Buys a Dump (Peter Bagge)
  • River of Stars (Guy Gavriel Kay)

This list feels incredibly short this year, although anyone struggling all the way to the end of Ulysses deserves some sort of extra bonus points. (Actually I was rather surprised at just how much I enjoyed it—not as much of a chore as I imagined it might be.) The two crappy Elder Scrolls tie-in novels are only in there because we moved house and everything else was in boxes...


  • The Dirt (Motley Crue)
  • Wonderbook (Jeff Vendermeer)
  • The Kid Stays in the Picture (Robert Evans)
  • Where Good Ideas Come From (Steven Johnson)

Wonderbook looks lovely but was a little light on substance (or perhaps I'm just too cynically British to fully give myself to the brand of hand-wavey inspiration that Vandermeer is pushing); The Dirt, on the other hand, was a surprisingly readable insight into what being in a famous band can do to your relationships with those closest to you.

Recommended reading

I think it was the first thing I read this year, but of the books I read this twelvemonth Chabon's Kavalier & Clay has stayed with me the most. I'm currently halfway through Wonder Boys, another Christmas present, and he's fast becoming a favourite author.

Matthew Pennell

Designer, developer, writer, runner, gamer, devil's advocate, INTP. Senior designer for Booking.com. Founder, Refresh Cambridge.