Hooboy, where did the year go? I just don’t know where it flew by and now I have to answer tough questions such as which were the best books of the year, the best posts, and all that jazz.
In this post, I am going to talk about the top ten books that stayed lodged in my brains – either for the wonderful writing, or the world-building, or the plotting.
Surprisingly, most of my favorites fall in the literary fiction category.
Surprising, because when I reviewed and rated them, I didn’t rate them very high. I think in general I tend to be picky when I know a book is an award-winner, or something like that. But these books stayed in my mind for a long time, and I find that I appreciate them a lot more after some little time has passed.
Here are the links to the reviews:
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo – a Man Booker shortlisted novel in 2013. It’s a mind-blowing read.
- The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling – An unnecessarily downbeat ending made me rate this book rather low, but I really appreciate the heart behind the book and the way that Rowling tackled some important social issues.
- Bluebeard’s Egg – Wonderful short story collection by the sublime Margaret Atwood
- Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood hits a double whammy on my top ten list with this book. Again, I had some issues with the book, but I liked it overall, and I can’t wait to tackle the remaining two books in the series.
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I went into this book with not much expectations. Me and Pulitzer prize-winning novels don’t get along all that well. The book flowed rather unevenly. I was annoyed and exhilarated in equal parts. But the ending was fabulous and I am looking forward to reading more books by Tartt.
The remaining books on my top ten list are those which were out-and-out entertaining.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – A romp through 18th century Scotland. I’m not the hugest fan of historical romances, but the incredible attention to historical detail and Jaime’s hotness made this book a stay up all night read.
- Solo by William Boyd – At the time I read the book, I rated it a tad harshly for the clichéd ending, without giving enough credit for the excellent writing, and taut plotting of the first three-quarters of the book. I re-read this book recently after reading The Blood Telegram, which briefly talks about the genocide in Biafra. I remembered that Solo was also loosely based on that genocide, and when I read the book again, I appreciated how Boyd has used the book to highlight that episode.
- Salem’s Lot by Stephen King was my reading pick for Halloween and I thoroughly enjoyed it rating it even higher than Under the Dome that I read in March. Frankly, Stephen King is always good, but I think his earlier books are better than what comes out nowadays.
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is my nod to Fantasy. It’s well written, moody, and very atmospheric. It’s also a little slow, but I found I didn’t mind that too much.
- Washington Square by Henry James is an odd book to round off the pure entertainment list. It’s a classic, and so it should be hard to read, right? Wrong. Not only was it super-easy, I loved the story and the characters. Technically, it should fit into the literary fiction category, but since I was unwilling to remove any book from that list, I just slotted this one here.
From the above list, only Solo and We Need New Names were review copies. The rest were books I picked for my personal reading. Either I should choose review copies with more discretion, or I like books more when I read according to my mood.
Which books were the most mind-blowing books of 2014 for you? Do you find that a little time makes you appreciate some books a lot more?
And ending this post, with a heartfelt thank you for a great 2014, and wishing you all a great 2015 filled with Love, laughter, and happiness. May you achieve everything you desire.