UPDATE: Linking up this post here:
Several blogs I follow have posted lists of their favorite reads of 2014. I thought I'd join in that mix. I looked at my goodreads account, and apparently I've read 66 books this year. These were my favorite ten of those 66 (go top 15%!).
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - I took a class at A&M about Children's Literature. I remember re-reading the book then and enjoying it. Unfortunately, I was too hungover most lecture days that I don't remember much else about the class. I'm glad I re-read it again. It's even more delightful of a story the third time. I'm a sucker for a transformation story, and the combined transformations of characters and the garden is a winner.
- One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper - About 40 pages before the end of the book, I was torn - I wanted to know what happens to the characters, but I didn't want the book to end. I love this book. The characters are well-developed, and I enjoy the writing style of the author. Cast well, it would make a great movie. The combination of mortality, relationships, and introspection packaged in a has-been musician worked well for me. It won't work for everyone. The lead character is flawed, and not everyone is going to warm to him. The ending won't work for everyone either. But, it all worked for me.
- If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch - I found this book in the YA staff recommendations at my local library. If you like YA, I recommend it. The lead teen girl is one I felt for emotionally and wanted to wrap my arms around her and give her a big hug. A book that attacks topics such as neglect, abandonment, and abuse coupled with acceptance, sibling bonds, and self-discovery.
- I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb - This book is an emotional journey. There are truly some gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, cringe-causing moments. After such a journey, the ending felt a little rushed for me, but that's my only critique. Overall, a great read.
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I adored this book. Eleanor and Park were such endearing characters. There's not many books that I'd read for a second time, but this is one that I will keep on my shelf to read again in the future. If you like teen fiction, love stories, awkward but adorable characters, and an emotion-filled read, then this book is for you.
- The Son by Jo Nesbo - A GoodReads Choice 2014 award in Mystery/Thriller - I like thrillers, and I liked this book so much that I'll go back and read every book that this successful Norwegian author has written.
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - I'm certainly glad I didn't discard this one just because it is based on a true story set in Iceland in the 1800s, and I was slightly intimidated by it. What a beauty of a book; heavy with dark imagery, but beautiful nonetheless. As I was reading, I wanted to know more and more of Agnes's story. I became emotionally invested in her and other characters.
- Field of Prey by John Sandford - I've been reading Sandford's 'Prey' series since the very beginning (the early '90's). There are many, many thriller/mystery series that feature a lead cop. Lucas Davenport is my favorite of the bunch. The bad guy is disturbing (as our most of Sandford's bad guys), and this book kept me guessing throughout.
- In Case We Die by Danny Bland - Well-written flawed characters and difficult lives intrigue me; I am pulled into their stories. Although I've never been a drug addict, I could relate to the hurt, fear, and damage felt by these characters. I enjoyed reading their path to overcome their demons.
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - What a gem of a book! After several readers in my last book challenge raved about this one, I knew I needed to read it. I found myself laughing out loud at times and squirming with discomfort others. A sequel has just been released. Hooray!
What were some of your favorite books that you read this year?