Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Year in Numbers and Recommendations

Happy New Year, nocturnal readers! I hope you all had the most wonderful time.

2014 has been a very exciting year for me... less so for my blog, unfortunately. I've been busy with so many things last year, and while my career has been taking several exciting turns, The Nocturnal Library oftentimes had to remain neglected.  I have been reading, of course, because anything else would be impossible, but reviewing and commenting took a back seat for a while.

That all changes right now. Things are finally calming down, and I've made several New Year's resolutions, most of them in some way connected to this blog.

Before turning this new leaf, however, let's review 2014.

I am proud to say that I successfully completed my GoodReads challenge by reading 250 books, which amounts to 68431 pages! I think there have been more, but I occasionally neglected to rate them. Ah well, worse things have happened.

Only 10 of those 250 books got a full 5-star rating:
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
the Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
Silver Mirrors by Ann Aguirre
The Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman
Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M. Yardley

My biggest surprise this year was certainly Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan! I cannot begin to describe how this book made me feel, you guys, and I'm a linguist, words are kind of my thing! Read this book if you get a chance! It's not expensive at all, and it's the best thing you can give yourself.

The second book I didn't see coming at all was Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy by Mercedes Yardley. I knew Mercedes was brilliant, I did, but the sheer gorgeousness of this book took me completely by surprise! It's another one I wholeheartedly recommend. 

One of the most exciting upcoming releases (in my humble opinion) is certainly Shutter by Courtney Alameda. If you like YA horror, excellent worldbuilding and lovely romance, you need to pre-order this book, preferably now. I truly enjoyed it.

Another upcoming releases you should definitely consider pre-ordering is Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It is quite possibly the most adorable book in the history of books ever. In the sub(sub)genre we usually refer to as coming-of-age contemporary fiction, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda shines like the brightest star.


A series I keep going back to because I can't seem to help myself is the Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper. This series has it all: true-to-life, entirely lovable characters, some very serious detective work, excellent romance and a heart-warming family I can't get enough of! I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Tony and Mac are my old friends and I adore them.

After three amazing books in her Others series, it's become quite clear that Anne Bishop doesn't know how to disappoint. If you want something completely different and reliably brilliant, give this series a chance. I just recently finished the third book and I must say I am still in awe.

Finally, here are a few quick favorites to complete the post:

Favorite heroine EVER: Kate Daniels (Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews)
Favorite hero: Simon Spier (Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)
Favorite writing style: Maggie Stiefvater and Mercedes M. Yardley
Favorite romance: Meg and Simon (The Others by Anne Bishop)
Favorite worldbuilding: The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Favorite new Urban Fantasy: House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

What were your favorites in 2014? Leave me some recommendations in the comments!


  1. Happy New Year, Maja! All the best to you and your family in 2015!

  2. I LOVE Meg and Simon. LOVE!

    I finally read Love Lessons (because of your FP review - it reminded me that I've had it on my Kindle for ages) and it was so much fun! Unfortunately I didn't like Fever Pitch as much (sorry) but I do really like the series overall and will continue.

    I just finished Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins and it was a 5 star read for me.

    Happy New Year Maja!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  3. So interesting, I have less 5 stars than previous years... is there an easy way to see how many 5 stars per year, or did you just count

  4. These all look good! Thanks for the recommendations. I think. ;)

  5. Oh, and 250 books? How?! That's just mind blowing!

  6. I am so ashamed that I haven't heard of HALF of the books you mentioned! Although I am excited for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because I've heard simply amazing things about it, and I have a copy!! Hopefully in 2015 you'll be around more often, I have certainly missed your posts!

  7. I couldn't agree more with your five star reviews, some of them I still need to try but I just know I will love them as well. I am so excited that we will be seeing more of you again, I have missed you Maja! I hope you have a fabulous New Year with lots of fabulous reads. :)


    I do have some of your favourite books in my list of books to read and one even in my Kindle Library, so I need to get to reading it soon!

    I'm glad to hear you'll be back more regularly on the blog this year, I missed reading your reviews on the times that real life had you super busy!

  9. I still need to start the Kate Daniels series! I've seen the latest book on a lot of best of lists!

    And I am sooo excited for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda! I hope my library orders it ASAP!

  10. I really need to read Anne Bishop's books- her first has been on my wish list for such a long time. And I keep hearing about Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I definitely think I need to read this one!

  11. I am all caught up on Andrews audios. I have Visions in Silver and will be devouring it this weekend..eep! I still plan to buy the audio since that is my preferred format for the series. I bought my first Mead book on audio ..Succubus Blues? I think that is the name. I am behind on Aguirre but shall remedy that. Happy New Year Maja!

  12. I need to start the Kate Daniels series! :) And I also need to get to the Anne Bishop series since everyone just loves it.
    I hope your 2015 is as amazing in books too!
    Happy New Year!

  13. You have me wanting to read so many of these! And wow, you really read a lot considering you had a busy year!

  14. Such a great list. Oh I'm catching up on the Ilona Andrews books. I so see the appeal now. Can't wait to get totally caught up. Or maybe not... then I'll have to wait with the rest of you for the next one to be out. What to do... :) Too bad all of life's problems aren't the same.

  15. Happy New Year, Maja! :) I love your continued love for the Kate Daniels Series (I have to be honest, after Magic Rises I haven't quite loved the series as much as I did before) and, like you, the Anne Bishop Others books are among my favorites. Wonderful year in review, dear, and there are titles on here I definitely need to pick up. :)

  16. Hmmm I love the Others books of course...a favorite this year was the fantasy Dreamers Pool by Juliet Marillier and Traitors Blade by Sebastien de Castelle.

  17. Well now I'll have to add Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda to my wishlist! I haven't heard much about it but I'm going to check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

    My favourite book that I read this year was A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. I need Turner to write faster!

  18. I actually read this post the day it came out but forgot to comment. I have read many of the books on your list. Pretty Dead Girls is coming up soon and I am holding onto Visions in Silver. I want to savor it. I agree with so many of your choices up there. Here is to many more terrific reads in 2015.

  19. Happy New Year!!! I've read a lot of great books in 2014 myself! Some of my favorite books were Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. They were fantastic!

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