Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

Happy Tuesday, friends! It's that time of year when we get to talk about out favorite books from the past 12 months! 2013 was kind of a disappointing reading year for me, and I'm glad to say 2014 was filled with lots of reading mojo and much better books. This was the first year I kept track of all my books on Goodreads, and so far I've read 59 -- not too shabby!

Reading took me on some really amazing adventures this year -- I went everywhere from the Congo to Nantucket to Jane Austen's Longbourn, from the future to WWII to the 1800s, hung out with Sherlock Holmes, Greek gods, astronauts, murderers and middle-schoolers. And I discovered the phenomenal Harry Potter audiobooks, which I'm pleased to say add a whole new dimension to the whimsical tales. I hope 2015 brings us all bountiful 5-star reads and many nights where we just have to read "one more page."

The 10 Best Books I Read This Year

I read a handful of really wonderful 5-star books, and despite several days to mull it over, I just can't pick a clear winner. They're all so different and amazing in their own ways, so I'm declaring it a 6-way tie!
1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Charming, bookish and wry. This novel is for everyone. If you didn't read it this year, pick it up in 2015!

1. I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan
I love WWII fiction and novels written in letters, and this book is both. It's a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of two war wives set up as penpals and is the perfect combination of history, friendship and letters.

1. The Martian by Andy Weir
I can't rave about this book enough! It's an edge-of-your-seat tale of ingenuity and survival. Astronaut Mark Watney gets stranded on Mars and is completely alone with limited resource and no communication with Earth -- but he is determined to keep on living and find a way home. He's the most likeable character I encountered this year and I'm looking forward to seeing Matt Damon portray him in the movie.

1. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
No review, but here's what I had to say about "A Discovery of Witches."
"A Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Night," the first two installments in this trilogy, were amazing and "The Book of Life" was a fitting and fantastic conclusion. This series has it all -- supernatural characters, history, science, romance, time travel!

1. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
I loved this novel, which is just what the cover proclaims -- a tale of romance and time travel. There's mystery, intrigue, and a secret time-traveling guild. I devoured this captivating story and I've got my fingers crossed for a sequel!
1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I did a buddy read thing on Goodreads this summer in which my partner and I had to select a book we both shared on our to-read lists and read it together. If there was ever a good book to read and dissect with a friend, this is it! It's a dark, complex and fascinating tale of a religious zealot who drags his family to the Congo for missionary work. Disaster ensues. But in a beautifully written way!
7. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
I absolutely loved "Me Before You," and I loved "One Plus One" too but in a totally different way. This is a much more lighthearted story with laugh-out-loud scenes and lovable characters.

8. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere! Reichl paints an amazing picture that got my mouth watering almost instantly. This is a delightful story of food, friends and finding yourself.

9. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Zombies! But wait -- these aren't your run-of-the-mill undead. Melanie, our wonderful protagonist, is a zombie in possession of a genius mind and a big heart. In fact, she has no idea she's a zombie and could pass for any other child -- except for the fact that her meals consist of live maggots and she lives in a cell in a government research facility. I enjoyed this interesting take on the zombie theme.

10. Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Well, I'm not sure the general reading population loved this book as much as me, but I found the third Bridget Jones story to be absolutely wonderful!

What were your favorite books of 2014? Have you read any of my picks? Do tell! And be sure to check out all the other best-of-the-year lists at The Broke and the Bookish!


  1. The Martian made my list, too. I've got plans to pick up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and A Discovery of Witches in 2015. As usual, the list of books that I want to read keeps running well ahead of the time available!

    1. I know what you mean. I feel like I've got more books on my to-read list than I could get to in a decade! I hope you like the two books you mentioned. A Discovery of Witches made my 5-best-books list in 2012 and I loved the rest of the trilogy! It starts off a little slow, but give it a chance and you'll most likely be hooked!

  2. I definitely want to read The Book of Life and The River of No Return sounds lovely.

    1. If you like the Deborah Harkness books, The River of No Return will be right up your alley!

  3. Several of your top 10 would make mine too. I want to read 'I'll be seeing you', sounds like my kind of book.

  4. Huzzah for The Book of Life, which made my list, too! I read The River of No Return in 2013, and it made that year's top ten for the year. As for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, it's on my must-read-in-2015 list. Great choices, all of them - I'll be checking out a few of the ones I haven't read.

  5. The River Of No Return looks right up my alley, how have I missed that one?? Thanks for mentioning it. I need to read Jojo Moyes, I hear good things about her. I love Bridget Jones. The movie inspired me to join Livejournal back in the day :)

    1. The River of No Return is kind of a hidden gem this year! I happened to see it when processing new books at the library and decided to give it a try. The cover pulled me in and I wasn't disappointed! I hope you enjoy it! :) And you should definitely check out Jojo Moyes. Me Before You was fantastic, and One Plus One was really good too -- just a bit more fluffy.


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