At the end of 2013, I realized that somehow I wasn’t reading as much as I used too, as I wanted, and as I needed. Later in May 2014, I started MapleBooks and the blog gave me a framework and an incentive to read more, and especially more Canadian works. I ended up reading a bit more than seventy books and I really enjoy how reading took back its due place in my life.

Some books I read this year had a big impact on me: they triggered reflection, awareness, or sometimes they made me feel I was reading something so utterly unique. Here is a list of my favourite reads in 2014 and I’d like to express my deepest thanks to the authors of these books.

Best Canadian Sci-Fi & Fantasy

PostApoc by Liz WorthIrregular Verbs and Other Stories by Matthew Johnson

I wanted to single out one favourite book but I failed to do so. Irregular Verbs and Other Stories, by Matthew Johnson (published in 2014) and PostApoc by Liz Worth (2013) equally impressed me. The former is an amazing thought-provoking short story collection; the latter is a mind-bending mix of violence, despair and poetry turned into an apocalyptic novel.

Both books can’t get out of my mind ever since I read them.

Best Canadian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Series

Transtaïga d'Ariane Gélinas - Les visages assoupis #1L'île aux naufrages d'Ariane Gélinas (Villages Assoupis #2)Escalana d'Ariane Gélinas

Transtaïga (Les Villages Assoupis #1) by Ariane Gélinas is probably the most amazing book from Quebec I’ve ever read. Actually, the whole series Les Villages Assoupis is a stunning horror experience. It’s beautifully written and it’s totally disturbing. I don’t remember reading anything quite like it before. You should absolutely read this series if you can read French (note: each book can be read as a stand-alone book)!

Best international Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Review: Mockingbird by Walter TevisInverted World by Christopher PriestA Monster Calls by Patrick NessThe Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto

I won’t even try to choose a favourite between these four books. They were all completely mind-blowing. Above everything else, I loved them because they made me think a lot and provided me with insights on their respective topics.

Mockingbird (USA, 1980) and Inverted World (UK, 1974) are both post-apocalyptic dystopian novels reflecting on human nature and society.

A Monster Calls (UK, 1994) is the most beautiful tale about a child’s struggle against a parent’s terminal illness.

The Stories of Ibis (Japan, 2006; English version in 2010) is the most modern, computer-geek sci-fi short story collection I’ve ever read.

What about you? What was your favourite read(s) this year?