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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2014 in books, looking back and favorite picks






I'm somewhat of a constant reader. I'm never far from a story in any form. 2014 was not bad reading wise, one of those travel from my bed years when I'd pick a random book and let it take me places that I haven't even fathomed in visiting. A literary dive through the night down a hill, some surprisingly poignant reads stand out through. Dredging through a sea of books isn't hard but feeling those tendrils closing around my legs, the drag of something that will not be forgotten, it's delicious, I want that, I want that attachment to such a deep memory. I'm always on a search for that book. These days I seem to read more than review, getting rusty haha. It's scary to dive back in until you realize that giving everything up for the discovery of what comes out isn't so bad.


2014



So back to 2014, one great read that comes to mind is Elementals by Michael McDowell, a true piece of written art. The visuals this book births in the reader's head are sublime. The flavor of everything in this novel is the most utter perfection. From the hottest rays of sun, the blindingly bright bleached beach to the most bizarre or mundane events, all was written with pristine clarity yet still wrapped in an enigma that was out of this world. I felt the heat, the isolation, the slowness of vacation like time in that bubble that most people aren't privy to. Time away from life's tasks, schedules and demands as something nefarious brews under those hot dunes. One of them starts to swallow one of the three houses in Beldame and that's when the night claims the sunny island edge. Out of this world, I won’t say another world, but this is something that I can’t wait to read again. Insanely good and you bet it's horror. My best friend send me this book as a gift years ago. All  I can shay is BOOooom!! :P





Speaking of dunes... Dune by Frank Herbert was also magnificent, a book that sucks you in with it's 
psychology as much as it's fantastic set up. Noble houses ( like in Game of Thrones) battle it out over some incredible things. Monster worms, Fremen suits, intrigue, betrayal and how far your mind can take you. This will get in your head, I'm still ruled by it. It's part of a series but book one seems to be the most popular, can't wait to keep digging though.

 

The Pines series by Blake Crouch is another monster, I read all 3 books but you have to start with book 1. Best read with zero spoilers it has a spooky setting that makes you feel like something isn't right and that's just the tip of the iceberg, epic stuff. Truly a gem of science and horror fiction. Let's just say that when I read the ending of book 3 I felt like someone ripped the floor form under my feet, it felt like stepping into the event horizon, not sure what can top what I read...



 2014: 56 books. Link to Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2087548-kasia-s?page=1&read_at=2014&view=covers



I have set a goal for 2015 reading wise to 80 books.. sounds simple but let's see, in secret I'm all smug that I will excel and surpass my goal and in reality I'm wondering what I can find to read that's good and worthy of the only thing that really matters, the enjoyment I get out of all of this! The kind of enjoyment that makes me sit back and relish certain reads can be rare. I get picky, I get bored, I spend too much time reading gossip or watching cooking shows on tv to unload then I will read 3 books in a weekend and stumble to work on Monday morning like Thor falling on Earthy, all groggy and in la la land. I'm reading some good things right now, Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Cruelty by Edward Lorn and a book by David McRaney that gives reality a swift kick and a peak at it's bias.




In retrospect, 2014 had a ton of highlights; I discovered 8tracks ( for music) and finally got into Tumblr and Instagram ( #Kaiju8) for all three. I discovered Alan Watts ( through a music mix on 8tracks!) and the man has changed my life. Not in a preachy way but expanding my brain and enjoyment of existing in the moment even more. They say that ribs are a cage because the heart is such a wild animal trapped in it, well his words will expand past space and time itself. I'm in constant awe... Also listening to London Grammar while I read him isn't bad either, their songs only make me cry for the first two weeks of listening :P





 Here's to good reads in 2015.

xo

k