Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Best Books of 2014!

For me a Happy New Year means looking back at the best books of the year and thinking about all the great new books to come. Here are the books I consider the best of 2014 by category. If I've written a complete review or more than is on my annual list about any of the books listed, I’ve put a link in the title or in the section heading. Short descriptions of all the titles listed below are also here

2014 – The Best Novel

Runners-up:
The Bird Skinner by Alice Greenway, Let Him Go by Larry Watson, Lila by Marilynne Robinson, The Painter by Peter Heller, Redeployment by Phil Klay, The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach, Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

After the Wind by Lou Kasischke, Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl (published in 2013), Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans (Originally titled: Evolving in Monkeytown in 2012, reissued  in 2014), Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe, and The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less by Jana Riess (published in 2013)

2014 – The Most Important Book I Read This Year
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer

Runners-Up:
Euphoria by Lily King, Let Him Go by Larry Watson (published in 2013), Lila by Marilynne Robinson, Lucky Us by Amy Bloom, The Powers by Valerie Sayers (published in 2013), The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (published in 2011)

Runners Up:
Byrd by Kim Church, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre, Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson, and A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

2014 – Best Memoir
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson (Yes, it’s for ages 10 – 14 and it’s written in free verse but it’s just plain amazing and you’ll want to read it.)

2014 – Best Book for Bibliophiles

2014 – Best Post-Pandemic/Post-Apocalyptic Novel
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

2014 – Best Children’s or Young Adult Book for Everyone Ten or Older
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

2014 - Best Books to Help You Think about War
Redeployment by Phil Klay, Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe and We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

2014 – Best Books to Discuss in a Book Club in 2015
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer, Being Mortal by Atun Gawande, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson, Byrd by Kim Church, Euphoria by Lily King, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, The Farm by Tom RobSmith, Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre, Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson, Let Him Go by Larry Watson, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, Redeployment by Phil Klay, The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach, The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (published in 2011), Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

2014 – The Best “Tapas” Books of the Year (short stories, novellas, poetry)
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson, Incarnadine by Mary Szybist, and Redeployment by Phil Klay

2014 – Best Love Story

Runner-Up
The Rosie Project by Dan Simsion (published in 2013)

2014 – Best Suspense Novel

2014 – Best Espionage Thriller
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

2014 – Best Mystery
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

Runners- Up
Cop Town by Karen Slaughter, The Long Way Home by Louise Penny, One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming (published in 2011), The Secret Place by Tana French, and The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Diker

2014 – Best “Escape” or “Cure for a Bad Day” Books
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, and The Rosie Project by Dan Simsion (published in 2013)

2014 – Best Quirky Novel (Sushi with Green Tea Sorbet Category)
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

2014 – Best “Soul Food” Books (spirituality, growth, and faith)
Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge (published in 2013), Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (published in 2012), Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans (reissued in 2014), The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper, Gabi Swiatkowska, illustrator (published in 2007), Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor, and My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. (published in 2000)

2014 – Best Children’s and Young Adult Book (for everyone over the age of 10)
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

2014 – Best Picture Book for Kids 9 and up
Aviary Wonders, Inc. by Kate Samworth

2014 – Best Book to Read Aloud
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

2014 – Best Picture Book That I Missed for Seven Years
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper, Gabi Swiatkowska, illustrator (published in 2007)

2014 – Best Chapter Book

2014 – Best Debut Young Adult Novel

2014 – Best Young Adult Suspense Novel (Adults Love it too.)
The Liar’s Club by E. Lockhart

2014 – Best Young Adult Graphic Novel
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

2014 – Best Young Adult Hybrid Graphic Novel

2014 – Best Humorous Young Adult Novel
Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge (published in 2013)






1 comment:

  1. I always feel a little awed by people who have served in the military – whether they’ve gone to war or not – because I have to acknowledge that they’ve made sacrifices and acquired discipline that is totally absent from my own personal experience, and I think a lot of us feel that way. One person who doesn’t, and can’t, is a principal here, Halifax Corderoy, whose best friend Mickey Montauk is about to ship out for Iraq as the story begins.
    http://postmoderndeconstructionmadhouse.blogspot.com/2015/03/christopher-robinson-and-gavin-kovite.html#.VPrv6HzF_

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