Top Ten Books of 2014


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.

Best literary fiction I read in 2014

Best literary fiction I read in 2014

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.

Pure entertainment

Pure entertainment

  • 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.

  • Happy new year! GREAT book choices! There are several here that I consider favorites, and there are many I have on my own TBR for the new year. 🙂

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    I’ve only read one of those books. My wish list is groaning from all the goodies on these end of year lists. Happy New Year!

  • A great selection of books on your Top 10 and I have Washington Square on my TBR for 2015 so good to see it featured here.

  • Karen

    I’m reading Washington Square right now. It’s certainly more engaging than Daisy Miller which I finished earlier in the week though I can’t see WS making my list of favourites.

    • Nishita

      @disqus_gmoXW9BOB2:disqus I liked Daisy Miller too 🙂

  • Jennine G.

    I plan on picking up the first few of the Outlander series with my gift cards! Glad to here you liked them more than you thought…will probably be the case for me.

    • Nishita

      @JennineG:disqus I only read the first book. I liked it very much, totally addictive, but I never felt like I wanted to continue the series. It was a great standalone book.

  • Stefanie Hollmichel

    So nice to see Margaret Atwood in your top books! I love her so! A good year for you! I’m currently reading Name of the Wind and enjoying it. Happy New Year!

  • I find it so interesting to look back at the books I’ve read over the year, because some really stick with me and others don’t. And, they are not always the ones I would have expected. It’s part of what makes my choices for best books hard, but fun. I am happy to see Atwood on your list- twice! Happy New Year!

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