Picking a favorite of the 35 books I read in 2014 is easy: Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance wins hands down. And that’s not because I didn’t read other good books that year.
Similarly, it’s a no-brainer to pick Michael J. Sullivan’s Heir of Novron as my favorite of 2013.
Picking favorite books of previous years is super easy simply because I’ve had more time to think about it. Some stories don’t want to be forgotten. I can’t forget them.
In 2014 I read and also loved The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, but I don’t think about it nearly as much as Words of Radiance.
In 2013 I also read and loved Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. I think about the book quite a lot (and even named of one my computers after it), but I think about Heir of Novron more. A lot more.
2015 is a harder pick for me.
Of the 20 I read here are my finalists for 2015.
Firefight, by Brandon Sanderson
The second book in Sanderson’s Reckoners series wherein normal, not super hero people fight evil people with super powers. While I loved it and am super excited for the 3rd installment in the series, I didn’t find myself thinking about this particular book that much this year.
The Martian, by Andy Weir
A fun, humorous, and scientifically accurate book that, unsurprisingly, takes place on Mars. It was hugely popular in 2015 and was even turned into a pretty decent movie with Matt Damon playing our beloved Martian. I liked the movie, but the book is way better.
I Am Not A Serial Killer, by Dan Wells
So creeeeepy. The protagonist is obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. He lives by rigid, self-imposed rules in an effort to not embrace his dark side. It’s an ongoing series and I’ve been kind of hestitant to read more because of how fantastically creepy it is.
Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender
Steve Job’s official biography by Walter Isaacson turned out, according to those who knew him well, to be pretty inaccurate. People love to portray Jobs as nothing but a super jerk face, but it’s just not true. Yes, he often was indeed a massive jerk, but I find the idea of someone having such an extremely one-sided personality as improbable as every planet in the Star Wars universe being exactly one type of climate (winter, desert, swamp, etc.). It’s just not believable1.
This book actually tells the story of a real person; a brilliant, deeply flawed person who learned from his mistakes and continually worked to improve himself.
On one hand, the latent hipster inside me doesn’t want The Martian to be my favorite simply because everyone else loved it so much. But who cares, lame latent inner hipster self! It’s a hugely popular book with tons of real science in it and I love that. The story was riveting (even when predictable) and I keep finding myself thinking about it. I hope I get to live to see the day when we have astronauts on Mars.
That doesn’t stop me loving Star Wars because that’s not the point of the films, whereas the one-sided personality with which people love to depict Steve Jobs is their whole point. It’s boring and unrealistic. Anyway, I love Star Wars, but where are the multi-climate planets?!↩