Favorite Books Read in 2014

In no particular order, here are the books I liked best in 2014.

constellation 2Constellation vol 1 cvrConstellation vol. 1 by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller – science fiction, and Constellation vol. 2 by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, science fiction. These are the first and second (a third is due next year) short story collections set in the Liaden Universe. These were two of the best short story collections I read all year

Art of John Harris

The Art of John Harris by John Harris – art/illustration, a very well produced art book full of great images, mostly recent, by a favorite SF artist.

prey on patmosassassins of athensThe Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger, the second in the very good mystery series set in Greece and Prey on Patmos by Jeffrey Sigel, mystery, the third in the series and another very good mystery. With six books now in the series, these may still be my favorites.


The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs edited by Mike Resnick, adventure-fantasy, original stories set in Burroughs various worlds.

here, thereThe Long Way HomeThe Long Road Home by Louise Penny, mystery. The latest of Penny’s Three Pines / Inspector Gamache novels, a series I really love.

Here, There, Elsewhere by William Heat-Moon, nonfiction. These are short travel essays. Insightful, thought-provoking and well written.

Lock InHuman DivisionThe Human Division by John Scalzi, and Lock In by John Scalzi, both science fiction novels. These two Scalzi novels were highly enjoyable and kept me turning the pages.

DeathworldDeathworld by Harry Harrison, science fiction, I originally read this when it was serialized in Astounding Science Fiction and re-read it in 2014 (e-book from the library). Still enjoyable after all those years.

Saint in EuropeThe Saint in Europe by Leslie Charteris, mystery short story collection, another collection I really enjoyed. Since reading this, I’ve gotten several more Saint books, both novels and story collections.

two thirds - set aside for now

Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, edited by Otto Penzler, mystery. A giant 1,100 page anthology of Black Mask pulp stories. It was very good, but took me most of the year, reading off and on, to finish.

novels 9, 10 and 11

Sector General by James White, and Ambulance Ship by James White, two novels in White’s hospital in space series. Both novels are in the book shown. This is a series I keep coming back to, enjoying every time.

The_House_of_SilkHouse of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, mystery novel. Holmes and Watson hunt for the killer of a young boy, and as it turns out, much more. Very good. I won’t quite finish Horowitz’ next book, Moriarty, before the end of the year.

That’s it. There were many other books I enjoyed reading in 2014, but when I go back and look at my ratings (1-5, 5 being best) these are ones I graded highest.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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22 Responses to Favorite Books Read in 2014

  1. I love all three of the Deathworld books. I’ll definitely be re-reading them in the future. Also really enjoyed the Louise Penny book…almost put it on my favorites list, but given how little I read I felt like I was about to list everything I read.

    So happy you enjoyed the Liaden short story collections. I’ll hopefully get to volume 2 before 3 comes out next year.

  2. realthog says:

    Good to see the John Harris book there! It’s sort of happy/sad to see that Titan are doing these books more handsomely than I was ever allowed to do at Paper Tiger! A friend sent me the Jim Burns volume in the series for Xmas, and it too is yummy.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    Must read Scalzi.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve read the Sigers, the Scalzis, the Whites and the Black Mask book. I’m tempted to try the Lee & Miller since you rave that much…and they are short stories. I read William Least Heat Moon’s BLUE HIGHWAYS 30 years ago. Maybe I will try this one since my library has it.

  5. Love your love for books. Some great stuff here.

  6. I’ve read half the titles on your list. Love the John Harris book. Deathworld is a classic. I have the Penny book but I’m far behind in that series.

  7. fence says:

    I haven’t read any of those, but I do want to read the John Scalzi ones & the Anthony Horowtiz one.
    Happy New Year

  8. Richard, I haven’t read very many novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and I intend to read a few in 2015. I like his writing style a lot.

  9. Richard says:

    Carl, you were the person who made me aware of the Liaden Universe story collections, and I’m very grateful. Go ahead and read Lock In, it goes fast and is good, as much mystery as SF. The Deathworld e-book has all three novelettes in it, as one story.

  10. Richard says:

    John, Titan is doing very nice books these days (though I have a good many Paper Tiger books and they are nice enough too) including the outstanding new book on Robert McGinnis. Happy New Year!

  11. Richard says:

    Patti, try Lock In, it would be a good one as it is a mix of mystery and SF.

  12. Richard says:

    Jeff, got it and did the edit. The only thing with the Constellation books is they throw you into the deep end of the Liaden Universe if you haven’t already read any (I hadn’t). I suggest doing a brief look-up on the overall Liaden book series before starting so orient yourself. Still, I got into it enough to like the collections a lot and would up buying several books as a result. Here, There… wasn’t as good as Blue Highways but I still liked it enough to call it my favorite nonfiction book of the year, not that I read many.

  13. Richard says:

    Charles, happy new year. My life would be very empty without books.

  14. Richard says:

    George, hope your 2015 reading is as entertaining as 2014.

  15. Richard says:

    Fence, and a happy new year to you. Some worthwhile and very entertaining books here for you to try.

  16. Richard says:

    Prashant, happy new year tomorrow. ERB is entertaining, though his style is becoming dated. There are several things here I think you would enjoy, such as House of Silk.

  17. John says:

    I’m hoping 2015 will be the year I get a chance to read Siger. I heard him speak on a panel for the “international” mystery at the Cleveland Bouchercon a couple of years ago. Smart guy! Of the five panel members he made me want to read his books the most. Your reviews here only underscore what I’ve been missing. And what better way to pass the time in wintry Chicago than as an armchair traveller to Greece — despite the murder and mayhem.

    Happy New Year to you and Barbara and the lovely state of Oregon that I miss so much!

  18. Richard says:

    John, thank you, we’re happy every day to be here. Siger is well worth your time, I think, but must be read in order as the character development and relationships develop chronologically. If you want something older, that’s a pretty good Saint collection.

  19. Jeff Meyerson says:

    After two years at 129 I got my total up to 163 books read this year, the most since 2008’s 179. 200 remains my goal. One thing against that is the sheer volume of short stories read. After 103 in October I read 84 in both November and December for a final total of (drum roll, please)…760. 52 of the 163 books (more than a third of the fiction total of 148) were short story collections of one sort or another, including the massive locked room collection.

  20. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I know. I doubt I’ll repeat those totals this year but I guess time will tell. New collections do seem to keep turning up and I still have a pile of EQMMs and AHMMs to go through.

  21. Redhead says:

    great list! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed Scalzi’s Lock In. I’ve been on the fence about reading it, but it’s been showing up on lots of people’s best of lists, so I guess I better give it a try. The Sharon Lee & Steve Miller anthologies look great too, I hadn’t know they did short stories in Liaden, what a fun way to fly through that universe!

    i don’t have any experience with Sherlock Holmes stories, but the cover art for The House of Silk is so gorgeous, I’d pick that book up no matter what was inside. And sounds like I’d really like what’s inside!

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