I read or listened to 86 books in 2014, an all time high for me, and I’m very happy I read those books. What I’m going to share here are my favorites of the year. This in no way it to say these are the best books published in 2014, I mean gee I didn’t read them all, I didn’t even read many of the books that are everyone else list. I share because amidst all the minutia of blogs and lists and best of etc, these are what I liked best. If you have similar reading tastes and missed one of these, I hope you’ll consider picking it up soon.
I had an awful time formatting this post, I hope it’s not too much of a hot mess…UGH.
So now, in no particular order…………
My Favorite Books of 2014
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
This book was historical, the mental institution depicted did exist and suitcases of those former patients were found. The intimate details are brilliant fiction from Ms. Wiseman.
The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson.
A novel by a new to me author that blew me away. This book is about the south, racism, and the aftermath when a black soldier returning home from WWII winds up dead. A young woman working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is sent to Mississippi to learn more. She isn’t prepared to be thrown into the Jim Crow south. This book was amazing! The paperback is releasing in January, and I’ll be meeting the author in my favorite Indie book store.
The Wife, The Maid,and The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
Historical fiction done by a debut author, and this story kept me on the edge of my seat. There is still much mystery surrounding the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater. The story Ms. Lawhon tells is beautifully woven and makes for great reading.
Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
How I adore the way Erika Robuck writes Historical Fiction. Each book she writes has me researching and learning more about a now dead author or person. I knew next to nothing of Edna St. Vincent Millay, nothing of her poetry or her life. I finished this book again eager to read more, and buying books by and about Millay. Never miss a book by Ms. Robuck.
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
A debut novel I was drawn to by the summary and location, this book didn’t disappoint. The setting of the Ozarks of Missouri, one I’m familiar with, added to the ambience and mystery in the story. The main character is a young girl, and she searches for answers to questions surrounding the death of a mentally challenged girl, and the disappearance of her own mother. Read this one!
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
This was my first book from Greg Iles. While I looked at it with major trepidation because it was over 800 pages. Once I got into this story, I couldn’t put it down, I was up all night reading the last 400+ pages, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the Penn Cage series. Mr. Iles knows his southern fiction, trust me, pick it up.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
This is the second book I’ve enjoyed by Beatriz Williams. She writes historical fiction like she was there, as if she can take the reader along with her and the story becomes a part of your life as you enjoy her book. This dual story line really captivated me.
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
This book was humorous and just plan fun. I love how Jojo Moyes can write so many unique books so well. This book reminded me that families and love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian
This book took on several topics, nuclear energy, homelessness, young parentless children and teens, and all are explored delicately and with respect by Mr. Bohjalian. I’ve made it clear that he is one of my very favorite authors, I’m in awe of his ability to weave a tale, and he is the kindest, most humble of artists. This book is intended for adults but I think older teens would enjoy it too.
Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal
A debut novel that I was anxious to explore, this book didn’t let me down. Another historical fiction, this on set in the 1960’s New Orleans, I love southern fiction. This author wrote what she knew. It’s a coming of age story, and shows the struggle of the black people in this time. I had the pleasure of meeting Laura, expect more wonderful books from her.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
When a book has you guessing all the way through, and only in the last few pages do you know the truth…it’s a good book. There was much excitement and talk about this debut book from MIRA. I immediately followed the author on twitter and then I read this book, and I was amazed!! No one was giving it away, everyone was right there were more secrets than I had imagined and it’s too good not to share and tell you pick it up!
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer
This book shared the story of two separate families, facing two very different challenges. The book shares the challenges of being a foster parent, and more difficult, do you get to decide when it’s time to go if you have an incurable debilitating disease? I didn’t know much about Huntington’s Disease prior to reading this book, but now I’ll never forget it. This book was very emotional. Another debut novelist I look forward to hearing more from.