The Best I Read in 2014

The Two Standouts

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson

Nikola Tesla has become a hero lately; a bastion of innovative genius standing (and falling) against the capitalist system. Or something like that. Carlson’s Inventor of the Electrical Age investigates how Tesla’s background might have influenced his thinking and gives his innovations a place within history. There’s little about the sensational things (the Edison/Tesla feud, the love of pigeons, etc.) and more about how timing, economics, and personal politics helped and hindered Tesla.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Comics, escapology, and American history before, during, and after WWII. All written beautifully with love and care. Like Carter Beats the DevilKavalier & Clay tells a nearly complete history of its main characters. You live in the world with the characters for a while and, despite the good and the bad, you want to visit them again one day. I don’t know if I can ask for more from fiction.

Honorable Mentions

Short Fiction

Under Stars The Barnum Museum

Two Collections of Note

  • Under Stars by K.J. Kabza – Really great speculative fiction.
  • The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser – Some of my favorite short works of 2014 although we didn’t always get along. I’ve purchased Millhauser’s novel Martin Dressler. We’ll see how that goes.

Top Five from Deal Me In

(in no particular order)

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3 thoughts on “The Best I Read in 2014

  1. I haven’t seen that particular cover for Cavalier and Clay, but I like it.

    I’ve read parts of Barnum Museum, and like what I’ve read. His collection Dangerous Laughter is really good, with some stand out stories. But my favorite Millhauser is the novella, Enchanted Night. I love that one something fierce. I’ve read it three or four times over the past few years. It is an easy one to read in one sitting, and a fun one to revisit.

    1. I haven’t seen that Kavalier & Clay cover in the wild, but I do like it more than the cover on the paperback I own.

      I’m definitely noting your Millhauser recommendations. Enchanted Night sounds lovely.

      1. It is so good that I’ve reviewed it at least twice on my site and talked about it other places too. Well worth reading on a warm Summer night (which is the setting of the enchanted night)

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