Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books I Read In 2014.

I have listed my favorite reads of the year below, in no particular order.  I kept this limited to books I rated 4.5 or 5 stars and there are only 8 of those for this year.

 

              

 

1. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier– I LOVED this book.  Sorcha is one of my favorite characters of all time.  This book made me feel like I did when I read as a kid– completely, totally lost in another world.  I would never have discovered it if not for blogging, so THANK YOU bloggers for your Juliet Marillier fangirling.

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty– This book was smart and entertaining and struck a perfect balance between funny and serious.  I bought a copy for my mom, I loved it so much.

3. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith– Cormoran Strike is such an interesting character and so is his sidekick, Robin.  I loved getting caught up in a mystery with many suspects and an ending I couldn’t guess.

4. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith– I liked this even more than the first book in the series.  The crime was a little more grisly, which was interesting, but mostly I liked seeing the character development in Strike and Robin.  Watching their professional relationship grow was my favorite part of the whole book.  Can’t wait for the rest of the series!

 

              


5. Unsticky by Sarra Manning– Well, this might be cheating because I originally read this book in 2013 and reread it again in 2014.  But it was one of the best books I read (again) this year.  It’s a smart romance between two really messed up people who are better together than they are apart.  The reread sent me on a major book hangover.

6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz– I loved the setting in this book and the parents and it was just a super hopeful and beautiful coming of age story.  I give it props for diversity.  (A book set in the desert!  With Mexican-American characters!  And there is some LGBT stuff in there, too!)

7. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid– This book caught me by surprise.  I didn’t expect to like the story of a married couple taking a one-year hiatus from one another as much as I did.  The family relationships in this one were so well-depicted.  And I loved the exploration of the different meanings of love and marriage.

8. The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson– This series got better as it went on and the finale was great.  I loved seeing Queen Elisa grow up and prove herself in this book.  A great ending to a great series!

What were your favorite books this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014.

It’s been forever since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday, but I have been thinking a lot about new favorite authors lately, so this seemed like a good theme to jump in on.  It has been a good year for me discovering new favorite authors and I have so many backlists to get caught up on!

 

1. Juliet Marillier- I’ve read the first two Sevenwaters Trilogy books and LOVED them.  Marillier’s writing just sweeps me away into a different time and place in a way I haven’t felt since I was a kid.  I’m in the middle of her newest book Dreamer’s Pool and same thing.  She can write fantasy and female characters so well.

2. Liza Palmer- I read Seeing Me Naked and Nowhere But Home this year, I have another one of her books sitting on my shelf at home, and I have already heard great things about her upcoming 2015 release.  She writes smart chick lit.  Her characters are dealing with tough issues, but really come into their own in her books and find happy endings.

3. Liane Moriarty- I have breezed through 3 of Moriarty’s books this fall.  SO GOOD.  I want to say they’re like a chick lit+mystery mash-up, but it’s not even that.  Domestic issues with a dark side, maybe?  Again, it’s smart stuff, with a lot to say about love, marriage, motherhood, choices, etc.

4. Jennifer Close- Girls in White Dresses was a lot more than I had expected.  I bought another book of hers since I felt like her style was such a breath of fresh air in the chick lit world.  I was able to relate well to her characters as they struggled with family, friends, relationships, and work.  It just… felt like a better representation of the real lives of women in their 20s.  It’s not all romance or careers you love and instantly succeed in.

5. Taylor Jenkins Reid- Again, After I Do felt like a fresh story for the chick lit genre.  I appreciated Reid’s message that love means different things for different people and that romantic relationships take all sort of paths and that’s perfectly ok.  I look forward to some more books from her.

6. Cora Carmack- The lady knows what she’s doing with New Adult romances, what can I say?  I liked both of the books I’ve read by her (All Lined Up and Faking It) and definitely have her on the list of romance authors to choose from when I feel like reading another romance.

7. Noelle August- While we’re on the topic of New Adult romance, I am eager to see what else this duo (August is a pseudonym Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger) comes up with. More cute romance is always welcome.

8. Molly O’Keefe- Another great romance novelist I discovered this year.  She seems to push the limits of the genre and the book I read by her was sexy, but also serious and gritty.  I like love stories between two messed up people who are better by being together.  I have another of her books checked out from the library and hope to read it next.

9. Kent Haruf- Well, he recently died, but Benediction was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time.  I really admire his sparse language… you can’t mess around when you write like that.  It has to be impeccable.

10. Kurt Vonnegut- Oh, I definitely need to read more Vonnegut.  Such a clever and funny writer.  And my husband owns a bunch of his books, so I have no excuse not to read more of his books.

 

Who were your favorite new-to-you authors this year?  Have you read any of the authors on my list?  What books of theirs were your favorites?