Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2014!

The time has come!  Favorites must be declared!

Today, Month of Favorites participants are jumping in with the Top Ten Tuesday topic over at Broke and the Bookish: Top 10 Favorite Books of the Year.  In keeping with that, I figured there was no better day for me to announce...

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2014!

If you are a careful reader of my blog (and who isn't, RIGHT?), you may be surprised by some of my choices...and some of my non-choices.  There are books on here that, in my initial review, I enjoyed but maybe wasn't completely gushing over.  And there are books not on the list that I mentioned as potential favorites when I wrote my reviews.  But at the end of the year, when I make this list, I go by what's really stuck with me--after months have passed, what are the books that are still leaving an impression?  Still giving me something to think about?

As in past years, this list is in no particular order, and with links to my original reviews:

1. The Three by Sarah Lotz
I know I said this list is in no particular order, but there might be a reason why this was the first one I threw on here.  I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK.

2. Man V. Nature by Diane Cook
I haven't read a collection of short stories this good in a very, very long time.  I find myself thinking about them a LOT.

3. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Is anyone surprised by me putting a Jodi Picoult novel on this list?  Noooooooooooope.

4. What I Had Before I Had You by Sarah Cornwell
An intricately-woven family drama that explores the many complicated facets of relationships.  Cornwell's ability to smoothly blend several different story angles together still impresses me.

5. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
If there was ever a bitch that got shit done without caring what anyone else thought, it was Scarlett O'Hara.

6. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I know, jump on the bandwagon about a year late, right?  But it's just so, so good.  A major time commitment, but an epic in every sense of the word.

7. Above by Isla Morley
This book is excellent, but it earned a special bump onto this list because it has the distinction of being the book that I have successfully recommended to the most people after reading it.  "Successfully" meaning they raved about it afterwards, too.

8. The One & Only by Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin is pretty much always a winner for me.  I adore her ability to make readers sympathetic to what would normally be the undesirable side of a situation.  Such is the case with The One & Only.

9. The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson
To quote my own review: "complex characters, surprising twists, and intriguing relationships."  Plus beautiful writing to top it all off.

10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
I read several good YA fiction novels this year, but Wintergirls has the distinction of being the best.  Anderson's writing is beautiful and poignant, and her handling of the topic of eating disorders is equal parts careful and impactful.

That does it for 2014!  In going over everything I read this year, I realized how many excellent books I enjoyed in the last 12 months.  A truly fantastic year for reading!

What made YOUR best-read list for 2014?

24 comments:

  1. This is another reminder that I need to get my paws on Man v. Nature! I love that you have so many different types of books on your list - it sounds like you had a great year!

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    1. Yes, around midyear I was feeling really worn out from too many ARCs, but when I looked back at my year as a whole, I was pleasantly surprised by how much good stuff I got my hands on. A great year indeed!

  2. I'm glad you finally read The Goldfinch! Man v. Nature sounds sooo good. I haven't seen many reviews for it, but the ones I did read were overwhelmingly positive.

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    1. Yes, The Goldfinch was great! Thinking about trying some of her other novels, have you read any?

  3. I'm not sure when/if I will get to The Goldfinch-- so intimidating. I will jump on that bandwagon years too late I'm sure. And I remember being curious about The Three after reading your review... just reread it and am still curious.

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  4. I read Wintergirls this year too. Sadly, I didn't like it very much because it was SO depressing. But, I did think it was a great book and insight into those with eating disorders.

    My TTT List

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    1. It is definitely super depressing. For me though, many of the YA novels that deal with depressing issues seem to be the most powerful. But it takes a particular mindset to get into a book like that.

  5. Wintergirls and The Three are now on my reading list thanks to you - as if I need to put more books on there :-)

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. Hooray! I love overloading TBRs (even those other than my own!). :)

  6. I keep hearing such good things about THE THREE. Also. Totally accurate in: "If there was ever a bitch that got shit done without caring what anyone else thought, it was Scarlett O'Hara." ... makes me want to reread GWTW right now. :)

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    1. Haha, that was the very first thing I thought when I tried to come up with a description for her. I still haven't seen the movie, but I'm afraid of being disappointed by it.

  7. So many great books on this list! THE THREE looks really, really good. I also loved LEAVING TIME, but then, I love most Jodi Picoult books. This one was unique, though. GWTW is also fabulous. I re-read it after visiting the Margaret Mitchell house in Atlanta and it was even better :)

    Happy TTT!

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    1. Ooooh how fun to visit the Mitchell house! Literary landmarks are so interesting.

  8. Oooh I need to read Man V Nature. (If only for the cover alone...LOVE)

    I enjoyed most of Above but I didn't like the 2nd half as much as the 1st. Still, thought it was a really good read!

    I'm so glad to hear that you had a good year :D Here's to a fantastic 2015!

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    1. Above is definitely a love it or hate it, from what I've heard. Everyone I recommended it to so far has adored it, but I've read plenty of reviews that blasted it too. That switch between the first and second half is pretty jarring.

  9. I'm excited about this post! I haven't read any of these and many aren't books that I haven't heard about anywhere else, so your recommendations are really helpful :)

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    1. Woohoo! I love making TBR piles topple! :)

  10. Yes, yes, yes to The Goldfinch! I haven't read most of the others on your list, but I want to!

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    1. So glad I made time for The Goldfinch last year. I didn't do a lot of chunksters in 2014, but this one was worth it!

  11. So many great ones. What I had before I had you is on my Wishlist for 2015.

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    1. I hope you get it! It's a wonderful novel.

  12. I loved The Goldfinch and also enjoyed What I Had Before I Had You, as well. It's too bad it didn't get more attention!

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    1. I absolutely agree! A great book with a beautiful cover to boot. Wish I had seen it publicized more widely.

 
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