My favourite reads in 2014

This post is a brief run through of the books I’ve enjoyed the most in 2014.

Following several years of being overwhelmed with papers and feeling guilty for reading anything else, I completely fell in love with reading again. For much of this year I was also an extreme commuter, which meant immersing myself in books for hours every day and doing some much needed catching up.

In no particular order these are my top 5 fiction and non-fiction reads this year. Most books are fairly current but I have been dipping back into modern classics that I feel like I should have read at school but haven’t (at least I’m not alone).


This bag sums me up perfectly!


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

One of the best sci-fi novels I’ve come across. It reads like a dystopian Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I sped through it with childish enjoyment.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I never read this in school and boy, did I miss out. I finished this book on the day this story came out – a man on death row for 25 years and convicted on circumstantial evidence was released. This book is still relevant, and that’s what makes it great.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I read this book at just the right time. I immersed myself in the story and read large chunks at a time to relax and escape from some stressful moments this year.

Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham

Purchased as a photocopy book on my last day in Hanoi, an excellent read as I reflected on my Vietnam travels back in the UK.

Stoner by John Williams

A book of a life, there’s something about this novel that just drew me in.


Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

A  fascinating window into a career as a neurosurgeon. The contrast with my day job working with post mortem human brains and Dr Marsh’s experience handling the live version made this account all the more addictive.

Cat Sense by John Bradshaw

I received this last Christmas and enjoyed understanding a little bit more about my obsession! I also read this before the 2014 BBC Cats series, which seemed to repeat much of the books content.

Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson

Totally inspiring and a much needed boost when applying for PhD’s and my moral was at a low.

The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh

I’ll take you straight to my previous blog where I explain my love for this book.

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

I’ve always found the subject matter pretty fascinating, and Oliver Sacks once again does a great job of calling on a lifetime of experience to describe and explain what’s going on in the brain.

Bonus graphic novel:

Neurocomic by Matteo Farinella and Hana Ros

An awesome project funded by the Wellcome Trust and beautifully presented. Neuroscience in all it’s glory and for all ages.

Even though I’m now doing my PhD I hope I’m never to busy to set aside a few minutes for a good book.

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