It’s the weekend–that means A LIST! And, since it’s still January, it’s the perfect time to reflect on my favorite reads from 2014. It was a year of YA reads, a year of literary wonders, a year of funny chick-lit reads. There was a little non-fiction, a little sci-fi, a little fantasy. Mystery, comedy, dystopia, drama. A year of great reads, in other words.
So, with no further adieu, here they are:
My 8 Great Reads of 2014 (in no discernable order)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I said no order, but this one is definitely my favorite. The world has ended, and a troupe of Shakespearean actors and classical musicians travels from encampment to encampment, filling the new world with stories and music. This is NOT dystopian fiction, but rather a raw look at humanity: how precarious it is, how easily it slips through fingers, how imperative it is to hold onto in the face of adversity. It is also a story of human connections, and how even the smallest gestures can change a life. Check out my full review.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This one was so much more than I expected. A book of friendship, and wealth, and having it all. A book about control and loss, and first love. But it’s also a deep, dark mystery, and getting to the bottom of that mystery is the surprise. Here’s all my deep thoughts on it.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Moriarty’s book hit on all cylinders. It made me laugh, cry, and wonder. It’s human, and funny, and mysterious all at once. Even your favorite characters you hate at times, and the characters that you dislike at the beginning come to be understandable (mostly). A great book all around. My review.
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam. This is a New Adult rather than Young Adult novel, all about a woman forced to come home and face her demons. When her high school best friend kills herself, Aubrey Glass goes home to Long Island for the funeral. She comes face-to-face with everything that took her from a sweet, smart girl to a young woman ready to shatter. This one was heartbreaking, but wonderful. Fam is a writer I will be watching and reading. Check out my ruminations.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell has written YA and adult. This one is definitely adult, and speaks to women who have been married for awhile. Georgie, a married comedy writer, has a chance to reconnect with a version of her husband before they were married, and she begins to wonder if she’s the right woman for him (even though she knows, in her heart, that he is the right man for her). Introspection required for this one! Review here. (I also read Eleanor & Park this year, and loved it but didn’t review it for some reason, but it does deserve a mention.)
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. I loved this one. A little YA, a little NA, and all over thought provoking. It made me think about how our actions, no matter how involuntary and necessary to us, affect our children. Heartbreaking and real. Read it, and stay stable! Review here.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. This book not only told a wonderful story, but it did it in such a transformative style that it changed me. Diaz used a sort of Spanglish in this book, taking me from the America I know to the newly immigrated/second generation Dominicans easily and beautifully with words. I can only compare the experience with reading James Joyce or Lewis Carroll, two authors that also played with language in order to take their readers where they needed to go. Read my full thoughts here.
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. Speculative fiction at it’s finest. This book stretched my mind, and that’s what good literature should do. Byrne’s first foray, and an interesting one. I can’t wait to read more my her! Review here.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. The end of The All Souls Trilogy, and a wonderful ending. Harkness’s series was marvelous, using her incredible intelligence to meld science and history with magic and supernatural creatures. And romance–don’t forget romance, and love. Wonderful! Here are my raves about it.
So there you have it. My favorites of ’14. My Eight Great.
Let me know what I missed–or what you think.
And get reading!