2014 was a pretty terrible year in reading traditional published or self-published fiction for me. I finished only 32 books or novellas, and that includes the eight separate parts of Meljean Brook’s Kraken King serial. Former auto-buys were generally written off and some promising series reached distractingly bad levels of copy editing (direct address commas! punctuation in general! continuity!).
Best book of the year: As You Wish, Cary Elwes’ memoir of the filming of The Princess Bride.
Honorable mention: Breakway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Rebirth. This was interesting from the perspective of a new hockey fan but also in terms of the underlying politics and financial maneuvering involved in sports franchising. My sister (long time hockey fan) and I read it at more or less the same time, and pondered some things. First, Sidney Crosby was The Next One regardless of Pittsburgh, but would he be who he is today if Lemieux had bowed out (which he was poised to do if the team relocated) in terms of professional development and personal since he apparently lived with the family for several years? Would different management and ownership have been as sympathetic to nearly two full seasons lost to concussion or brain trauma? Second, Shero’s concern about the Hossa-Dupuis acquisition; hindsight makes Dupuis a bargain while Hossa was a single season rental. And so on.
Still in progress: Ken Dryden’s The Game (I stopped because his editorial about Price and Subban during the playoffs made me cringe) and Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars (the material is unrelentingly ugly and painful).
I’m hoping 2015 will be a better reading year.