The 10 Best Books of 2014

So, compared to everyone else, who started pushing these lists out in mid-November, I’m pretty late to the game with my list of favorite books of 2014. But, I’m just not good at them. How can I pick just 10? Better yet, how does anyone ELSE pick just 10. (Looking at you, people who read 100 books or more in a year!) I read 56, which was above the Goodreads goal of 40 that I set myself, but still, it’s hard to do. SO, I tried to compile nonfiction, fiction, and YA into one list of ten books, and I think I accomplished that. Either way, there are only 12 days left of 2014, and I’m still bewildered by it, so let’s get started.

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1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I read this pretty early in the year, but it’s remained my favorite book to date this year, and maybe ever. I know. Bold statement. But I missed this in 2013, and now I know why it got all the awards.

2. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill: This book packs a punch in the short amount of pages. Not much actually happens overall, but the way Offill tells the story and conveys so many things and emotions in so short a book was amazing. If you missed it this year, I definitely recommend you scope it out in 2015!

3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: I listened to the audio of this one just a week or so ago, and haven’t reviewed it yet, but I was immediately drawn into the story of the Lees, and their mystery and sorrow and everything about this book, even the narrator, just made it live up to everything I’d heard about it.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: So much has been said about this book. You don’t need me to tell you again. But I will anyway. If somehow you missed all the spoilers and hype surrounding this one, go grab it. Give yourself a few hours and you’ll be blown away.

5. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay: Roxane Gay’s collection of essays and reflections on popular culture and gender was phenomenal. Parts of it read like a memoir, parts of it had me reaching for a highlighter, and throughout, it opened my eyes to new things. Definitely one to pick up for your nonfiction fix.

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6. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: This book was seriously a GEM, okay. I never wanted it to end, and I stand firmly by the belief that Ozeki should actually write the story of Old Jiko’s life, because obviously.

7. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: This was an amazing debut, and I’ve been looking forward to Jessie Burton’s second novel preeeeetty much since I closed this one, so.

8. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan: Such beautiful writing from someone my own age who was gone way too soon. The stories are beautiful and heartbreaking and the essays are so relatable, it’s hard to believe there won’t be more from this talented girl.

9. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami: So I knew Murakami would be on my list, but then I had to decide which one. I loved this one … and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki AND The Strange Library, so just know they are all here in spirit, because it’s not like I can ever decide things.

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: I really got into Neil Gaiman and his magical way of storytelling this year, but this one was by far my favorite. Another short little book that tells an enormous story.

BONUS: (Because did you really think I could leave it at 10??)

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak: These stories were so witty and so smartly written, I absolutely loved them all. The one that sticks in my head the most though, even now, is “The Impatient Billionaire and the Mirror for the Earth.”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: Just because I am still surprised by how much I loved a book I wasn’t expecting to even really LIKE.

I’m sure when I finish, Station Eleven will also be on this list, because I jumped on the bandwagon at the last second!

What were some of your favorite books this year? Give me things to add to my already building 2015 list!

10 comments

  1. I don’t know where this year went either. I haven’t done a Top anything list for the year so you’re at least ahead of me! I really need to read Bad Feminist! And I’m really looking forward to reading Everything I Never Told You. Looks like you had a really good reading year!

  2. This is a fantastic list! I’ve read and LOVED half of them. And I don’t think you’re late to the game — I still haven’t posted my Best Of list yet!

  3. Here’s how you get to 10 “Best of” books (or at least how I did)…you include an honorable mention section! So, I ended up with 13. I also loved The Goldfinch (made my 2013 list) and I’ve heard good things about Dept of Speculation. I also had Station Eleven on my list this year…along with half the world! But, it deserved it!

  4. I have a hard time choosing just 10 books, too! There are just too many good ones, and they are all so different. This is a good list, but, yes, I think you will be adding Station Eleven. 🙂

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