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2014 Books I’m Not Reading This Year

February 18, 2014
Even though there might be around 2014 books in this stash, I don't see any 2014 books in it.

Even though there might be around 2014 books in this stash, I don’t see any 2014 books in it.

Last year, I didn’t read any books that were published in 2013.  I probably shouldn’t admit that.  Since I write a blog about books, people might expect me to keep up with all the current trends in the publishing world.  That’s okay.  I keep up with trends.  I just don’t read the books.

It’s tough to read books the year they’re published.  Hardcovers are expensive.  New books get checked out from the library quickly.  Having an e-reader helps because digital books are cheaper, but still, $12.00 for a new ebook is kind of pricey.  This year, instead of ignoring the 2014 books, I’m taking advantage of free samples.

Because of free samples, I’ve begun reading several books published in 2014, but I haven’t finished any of them yet.  That’s not a criticism.  It’s tough to get me to pay my own money to purchase books anymore.  If I spend more than $10.00 on a book, that means I’m confident I’ll like it a lot.

A book usually has to be original and interesting for me to purchase it.  There have been a lot of murder mysteries published so far this year.  Yeah, a lot of them are historical or in exotic locations or have weird twists, but a murder mystery is still a murder mystery and I’m kind of tired of murder mysteries.  In January I said The Kept by James Scott was the “Best Book of 2014” (for a lot of bad reasons), but it’s kind of a murder mystery, so I probably won’t finish reading it.

Sometimes a writing quirk will keep me from reading a book.  The Ascendant by Drew Chapman is an interesting book, and I may finish it if I find it for cheap, but the author had an awkward writing quirk.  For example, early in the novel a character was described as “… brushing the few strands off his high, fifty-five–year-old forehead, a hint of annoyance seeping into his raspy, Brooklyn inflected voice.”  To me, that’s an awkward method of telling the reader how old a character is and where he’s from.  The author would have been better off just saying he character was 55 and from Brooklyn.  Maybe that’s a silly reason for me not to continue reading a book, but the author used that technique several times in the first couple chapters.

Also, I know I’m not reading any James Patterson books in 2014, no matter how many he writes (or has written for him).  I’ve mentioned James Patterson a lot recently.  Maybe it seems as if I’m obsessed by him.  I’m not.  I don’t stalk him on social media.  I don’t attack him in my blog titles.  I don’t read any of his books and then complain about the number of books he writes (or has written for him).  It’s just that when a guy writes 13 books in one year, he deserves to get made fun of a little bit.  But I won’t read any of his (or his co-authors’) books.

Stephen King has two novels scheduled for release in 2014, and I probably won’t read those either.  Every once in a while, I try reading a new Stephen King book, but I’m always disappointed.  I’m not trying to bash Stephen King either.  Stephen King is great for people who’ve never read Stephen King before, but after four or five books, it gets old.

Stephen King has a lot of loyal readers, though. The last time I almost got into a fight was about ten years ago when I told a guy reading a Stephen King book (I forget which one it was) that Stephen King was a hack. After a hostile exchange of words, the guy took a swing at me and missed and fell down.  I was going to take a cheap shot at him while he was trying to get up, but I tripped over a stack of bundled newspapers.  If you’re going to get into a physical altercation, pick on a book reader because we don’t know how to fight.  Luckily, cell phones didn’t have cameras back then.

A bunch of celebrities will publish books this year, and I won’t read any of them, even if I can get them for free.  I might listen to all the salacious details reported on the television shows when the books come out, but I won’t read the books.  That takes time.  Celebrities really don’t have much to offer a guy like me anymore.  I don’t listen to new music anymore.  I don’t watch many new movies or new television shows.  I don’t care about celebrities anymore.  And if a celebrity ever showed up at my house, the first thing I’d say is “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!”… even if he wasn’t on my lawn. That’s just the kind of person I’ve become.


The one book from 2014 so far that I might pay full price to read is Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe.  It has an interesting (and unique) plot, and it’s well-written, and it’s kind of funny, I think.  I would write a synopsis, but I don’t write those anymore (other reviewers do a way better job of that than I do).  I’m pretty sure it’s a book I’ve never read before.  Most books that I read nowadays are books that I’ve read before, even if I’ve never read them before (I hope that makes sense).  I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a book like Foreign Gods, Inc. before.  And if I’m going to read a 2014 book in 2014, I want it to be a book I’ve never read before.

But enough about me!  What books from 2014 have you read?  What books from 2014 do you want to read but haven’t?  Or are you going to wait until 2015 to read book published in 2014?

  1. “Fifty-five year old forehead?”
    Did different parts of his body have different ages? Were his kidneys older? What about his liver?

    And you took off the girl with the BOOBS! Which is the main reason I came to this blog. If you 86 the brunette, I’m quitting you, Jimmy Norman.

    • The author didn’t clarify whether or not other body parts had different ages. I’m guessing all his body parts were the same age, but I can’t finish a book if the author isn’t clear about details like that.

      And I can’t help the BOOBs picture. Readers have to read the BOOBS post for it to appear (and it’s not that good a post). I’d hate it if you quitted me over that.

      • I’ll read it the BOOBs post – just to get that picture back up.

        I’ll never quit you, Jimmy Norman. You’re stuck with me forever. Like herpes.

  2. I’m a writer, therefore I can’t afford 2014 books either. 😉

    • Yeah, but at least we have free samples nowadays.

      • Tempting, but if it’s an intriguing book that would drive me crazy! I would HAVE to get it! (I suppose I should mention I have a guilty obsession with finishing any book I start, even if it sucks.)

  3. I like your blog. Here is a small sample of mine…….Zulu Delta

  4. It makes total sense to me. Im not picky about my reading but I flat out refuse to spend more money off the last famous person writing their book. Not interested. The only new books I get are as a promotional sale on amazon. It makes life simple. Ill be checking out more of your blog cause im excited now!

  5. I haven’t read a single book from 2014 yet. I probably won’t either. The only book of 2013 I read was Allegiant from the Divergent trillogy. I liked the plot and the ending (which many readers despised) but the characters were rather indistiguishable, even by the 3rd book. Right now I think I’m going to stick to A Study in Scarlet for ‘fun reading’ which most people would consider odd. In one way or another, new books have to earn their stripes before I jump onboard.


    • I started Divergent (maybe a year ago), but I think YA writers are among the worst in churning out sequels and series before they’re ready. But A Study in Scarlet? I read the Classics Illustrated comic book version decades ago. Hey, I finished it!

  6. I tend to only read ebooks now and I tend to read self published / indie authors. My kindle is full of on sale / free novels. I only buy a full price book if I absolutely need it. Last year I absolutely needed the new Kathy Reichs book in hardback but sadly it’s still sitting on my shelf unread. After about twelve books about the same character I just couldnt bring myself to read it… I almost bougt Dan Brown’s Inferno but didn’t! Maybe I’ll buy that this year on sale! There’s a few titles coming out in series I’m currently reading which I’ll be purchasing but they won’t break the bank… And I’ll definitely be reading my own book but hey I’m a little bias like that!

  7. I probably won’t be reading a lot of 2014 books either. There are still so many older books to finish.

  8. You make some great points. I don’t like buying new books either, so I’m often behind the times. I get a lot of library books on my Kindle, but the latest releases often become available at inconvenient times! Then I go back to older ones, or the used books that were popular a few years ago.

  9. I’ve just bought “AM UFER” (maybe on the shorein English ) by Rafael Chribes and it is about what Spain made of itself these last years. For German speakers I include the link to the NZZ and the respective review:

  10. G M Barlean permalink

    Oh, you are so correct about the expense. E-readers do help but some of the trad pubbed new releases are expensive even for digital. Can’t agree with you about King. I can usually find something I enjoy in his books.

    • Did you read Dr. Sleep? I’m still a fan of The Shining, and even though I’ll never read Dr. Sleep, I’m always curious about what other people think about it.

      • G M Barlean permalink

        I haven’t. Last King I read was Under the Dome. Loved it…but what a tome. Worth the read. The tv series sucked.

  11. I love ereaders. I’ve purchased three over the last few years. But I’ve only purchased one ebook. Too many freebies out there. If I’m going to pay 12 dollars for a book, it’s going to be one I can put on a shelf.

    • “If I’m going to pay 12 dollars for a book, it’s going to be one I can put on a shelf.” I kind of agree with that philosophy, but I don’t always live by it.

  12. itsserendipitea permalink

    I don’t usually read books published on the same year either, and unfortunately I don’t own an ereader either, so they are out of the question.

  13. Reading a newly released book is like going to see a new movie on opening night – you’re most likely going to be disappointed. Give it a year and if it still calls to you, read/watch it. That’s my rule, at least.

  14. I don’t remember the last time I’ve read a book published in that year. The average age of books I read is probably 50 years or so.

  15. I know exactly what you mean about Steven King! I stopped myself when reading IT, which is really hard for me to admit because unlike you, I attempt to finish every book that I pick up. I guess I hold on to the notion that SOMETHING will stand out to me in it and will have made it worth my time…though now I may try your method.

  16. I’m working on 2009 now. Forget 2014 or 13. I agree that $12 is too much. All the books I buy are from the used bookstore, so if they have a nice cover and a good plot synopsis on the back, I’m in for $3.

  17. Reblogged this on Jill-of-Fun-Trades and commented:
    I’m going to be doing a lot of reading this year, most of which is books that are either really old or that I know I will like. It’s rare that I’ve read a book published in the same year, but it’s worth a shot.

  18. Well. I read obsessively. I cannot wait for the next larry correia book, skin games, the third installment in the john rings black tide series. I do buy new and donate to my school library. I am probably a writer’s dream.
    I still find time to ‘re-read’ older books. Today I am reading Good Omens for the fifth time. I just finished a novella Nine Goblins by t. Kingfisher last night. Reading is my main escape from dealing with anything….

  19. I love e-readers. I spent the better part of my adult life reading big L literature from traditional publishing houses. Expensive, heavy, space occupying, and expensive (did I mention expensive?). Now I am gorging myself on genre fiction of every kind. A lot of this stuff is self or indie published and the average cost of one book is around three dollars. My problem is I have a backlog of books that is getting quite ridiculous.
    Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son is good. I read 21st Century Ghosts and Horns a while ago and enjoyed them both. But I think his books the more expensive kind because he has a traditional publishing deal and those dinosaurs eat a lot of green.

  20. I go through phases of trying to keep up with whatever books everyone’s talking about, then I get bored and go back to reading whatever I fancy when I fancy it, regardless of when it came out. Ever since I lost the will to live reading The DaVinci Code, I’ve realised that the books the whole world is reading may not be worth the effort 😉

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