Books Read in 2014

23 Nov

2014 was an unbelievably busy year for me. I know, it’s not over, but it might as well be. Months are whizzing by now so quickly I can barely keep track of what season I’m in.

I spent the first half of the year pushing to finish my novel The Sun Eaters…which I did in mid-June. Since then, I’ve been working very hard trying to find a home for it both with publishers and with literary agencies. The process is beyond slow and excruciating. From mid-June to August I also wrote two short stories (both on the longer side, pushing 7K words), and I’ve been shopping those at high-end markets (Iowa Review, Tin House, McSweeney’s, Paris Review, New England Review, Zoetrope, etc.).

2014 was the year I chose to mainly read “big books” — I felt I wanted to immerse myself in very large works, so I actively looked for novels reaching toward 1000 pages or more. I am finishing up Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow right now and plan on taking off December from reading altogether in order to concentrate heavily on selling my novel.

So here are the books I read in 2014, starting with the first in January and ending w/Pynchon’s masterpiece this weekend:

1. The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano
2. Blood a Cold Blue – James Claffey
3. By Night in Chile – Roberto Bolano
4. 2666 – Roberto Bolano
5. The Year of the Hare – Arto Paasilinna
6. The Third Reich – Roberto Bolano
7. Don Quixote (re-read) – Miguel de Cervantes
8. Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
9. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
10. The Master of Petersburg – J.M. Coetzee
11. IQ84 – Haruki Murakami
12. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
13. Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
14. As I Lay Dying (re-read) – William Faulkner
15. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
16. Revolution – Russell Brand
17. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon

I have rated all books over at Goodreads, if you’re interested in how they measure up in my book (pun intended).

In the new year I have some vague plans for reading but nothing too set in stone. I am looking forward to a 2666 re-read, to some more McCarthy novels, and also some more Pynchon, who mesmerizes me with his ever-expanding imagination. I am also going to actively seek more literature from outside our borders here in the U.S. I realize looking at my list above that I didn’t reach out internationally as far as I wanted. But…given my limited free time, I think I fared pretty well. A handful of those titles are very big books.

I hope 2015 is a great year for both of you people reading this blog consistently. I promise to write more on this site, as well…maybe even some new flash fiction.

Alex

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