Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books We Read In 2014

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Kimberly's Picks

1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch- Wow! This is one heck of a debut novel. I loved the world she created, it was rich and vibrant. The characters are fantastic, none of them are cookie cutter stock characters, they're all detailed and layered and endlessly interesting.

2. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund- A retelling of one of my all time favorite stories, the Scarlet Pimpernel? Yes please! The first book in the series, or it's companion, was excellent. This one was even better! Awesome characters, fantastic world building,

Tahleen's Picks

3. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, narrated by Moira Quirk. I loved this steampunk ladies' spy school story. Gail Carriger is a wonderful author with a creative and absorbing world she's used now in two series, and Sophronia is a character to be reckoned with. The sequel, Curtsies & Conspiracies, was just as delightful, and I can't wait to listen (because the audiobooks are spectacular) to the third in the series, Waistcoats & Weaponry.

4. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Andrew Eiden, Kate Reinders, and Peter McGowan. When I first heard the premise of this book, I was skeptical. A girl in Cambridge, England somehow starts communicating with a boy in an alternate world called Cello? But, to my happy surprise, it works beautifully. I loved the two stories in tandem, and seeing how the two characters and their worlds converge. I was even happier with Cracks in the Kingdom, the sequel. I am waiting for book 3!

5. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's the kind of fantasy with no magic, set in another world that resembles ancient Greece. Forbidden romance, politics, war, intrigue. This is such a complex story and world, and I enjoyed reading this one very much.

Julia's Picks

6. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. I was nervous about picking up this book for book club, knowing that it was J.K. Rowling and that I would have high expectations. Everyone had such mixed reviews on her last non-HP book... would I like her writing mystery? The answer is a resounding yes! This book was great! I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. 

7. The Bridge by Rebecca Rogers Maher. I bought this book early in the year on a whim when I found it linked on Dear Author in a comment to a post about ... something. The premise is that these two people independently want to commit suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, unfortunately (fortunately?) for them, they run into each other and each can't go through with it knowing the other would die... so they spend the next 24 hours together each trying to convince the other to live. It's a shorter book but I devoured it. What a unique story that I thought was executed really well. 

Daisy's Picks

8. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: it's not secret I LOVE this series and this final book just slayed me. I'm still not ok and OMG I just need more ok? Like I said in my review, Ruin and Rising was everything I never even knew I wanted it to be. And basically you should all read this series. Cause it's awesome. (Jana is seconding this choice!)

9. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas: cue all my fangirly flailing. THIS BOOK you guys!! I just cannot. It's been a little over 3 months and I still cannot handle my feels over this book. After I finished it I just wanted to wallow in my feelings and just had the biggest book hangover. In case it wasn't clear yet from the raving that's been going on around the blogosphere about Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series, I'm saying it again: GO FORTH AND READ THIS SERIES.

10. The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley: I really feel like The Emperor's Blades hasn't gotten enough buzz, which is a shame, as it's one of the best adult fantasy novels I've read this year. It's got intrigue and amazing warriors and just weird stuff going on and it truly made my heart happy.

Bridget's Picks

11. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I think I've mentioned it before, but The Magicians is like Harry Potter, THE COLLEGE YEARS plus Narnia plus lots of awesome other stuff. So good. It's the first in a trilogy, and I'm hoping for the other two for Christmas, as you'll see on my Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me post on 12/23 :)

12. Above by Isla Morley. Got this one through NetGalley and it was amazing. Definitely a little disturbing—think The Lovely Bones—but very well-written and quite a ride.

13. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. This book was incredible. It was funny, sad, magical, and just lovely all around. It's very short, but really perfect in its length. Everything about this book was unutterably gorgeous. I read it right at the beginning of 2014 and have spent the last year singing its praises to everyone I know. READ THIS BOOK.

Jana's Picks

14. Boomerang by Noelle August. My favorite new adult EVER. It's such a sweet and funny story, with a pretty swoony romance that begins in the funniest, most awkward way possible. 

15. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae. This book took me right back to Italy, and I never wanted it to end!! It's pretty much perfect. 

16. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Holy CRAP. This book is amazing and has an epic twist you'll never see coming.

Jamie's Picks

17. Station Eleven by Emily St. Mandel: OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. This book really surprised me. It made me think so much, too! And the writing <3

18. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: THIS BOOK IS AN ALL TIME FAVORITE. Gorgeous and heartwrenching and JUST THE BEST.

Tell us your favorite books you read this year!!!


  1. HEIR OF FIRE and KISS OF DECEPTION both made my lists. I'm reading STATION ELEVEN now. So excited it's so good for you!!!

  2. The sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm made my list of best reads this year. I thought it was even better than the first one. I can't wait for the next one!

  3. 1. I LOVED the audiobooks for Etiquette & Espionage! They were seriously fantastic, and as a first experience in audiobooks, I couldn't have picked a better narrator/story combo. Moira Quick was amazing!
    2. Heir of Fire. Sarah J. Maas is my queen. All bow down to her royal book wizardry! (...I think I mixed my metaphors there a bit)
    3. The Kiss of Deception was so well played! I have never read a book where you have two MC's that you don't know who they are...and yet they have distinct personalities. I really, REALLY loved that. It's not often you get a really cool idea AND it's executed well!

  4. I'll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson was (is) my favorite YA book of the year and I also had The Ocean at the End of the Lane on my Top Ten. It was fun to read your books and descriptions.

  5. Okay, practically every post I've read has raved about the Throne of Glass series, so I'll have to read it soon. I really want to read The Kiss of Deception, Etiquette and Espionage (it's on my bookshelf) and I really want to read The Winner's Curse, too! :)

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic
    My TTT Post!

  6. Across a Star-Swept Sea, The Winner's Curse, and Ruin and Rising all made my list as well! And so glad to see Across a Star-Swept Sea get so more love; I feel it's very underrated!

  7. I just finished The Cuckoo's Calling and really liked it! I hope The Silkworm is even better.

  8. So many wonderful books on your list. We really love your blog and have enjoyed participating with the TTT feature. I loved Oceans at the End of the Lane, as well as The Cuckoo's Calling. Snow like Ashes, The Magicians and Station 11 are all books I am looking forward to reading in the new year. Cheers!

  9. So many of these books are on my TBR (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Snow Like Ashes, Etiquette & Espionage, Across a Star-Swept Sea) I need more time to read them all!

  10. I enjoyed the 3 books in Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage series (thanks to NetGalley)! Also liked both of Rowland's Galbraith book! Kiss of Deception was also a favorite.

  11. I have to agree with the Throne of Glass series and Jandy Nelson. The last book in the magicians trilogy was also AMAZING. Trial by Fire and Bitter Greens also top my list, and One plus One

  12. My list of 10 is up on my blog at Reading in Texas. This year I did some marathon reading of a couple of series and I chose two of those as the "Best of..." as a series rather than individual books.

    Though they didn't make the list, I think Carriger's Finishing School books (Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, and Waistcoats & Weaponry) are a great series -- not as good as her Parasol Protectorate series, though. And I only read one of them in 2014.

    I see a number of books mentioned here which are on my "Want to Read" list -- some of which I even already have copies of -- and I should be prioritizing some of those in 2015.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  13. Great choices. I'm especially happy to see The Winner's Curse and Across a Star-Swept Sea getting more love *confetti*

  14. Well clearly now I need to make time for the Staveley title in particular! It's in my TBR but I haven't had the chance to get to it yet. Going to have to bump it up significantly.

  15. Like many others, I had Heir of Fire (well, the whole Throne of Glass series, really) on my list as well. I actually did wallow in my feelings when I finished reading it, ha! Couldn't focus on any new book for weeks.

  16. I loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane, too. I should add that to the list of audiobooks that my fiancee and I listen to together. Haven't managed to get to get to Ruin & Rising yet, something about the second one seemed too meandering for me. Great list.

  17. Station Eleven has been on my Kindle for a while. I need to read that one!

  18. I really want to read Snow Like Ashes and Station Eleven, they both sound good. Great lists!

  19. I've only read one of these, STATION ELEVEN. It's different. Good different. I liked it a lot.

    Happy TTT!

  20. I really liked Limber, by Angela Pelster. It's a book of creative nonfiction that looks at the environment in connection with people but it's written like stories. I also enjoyed Lamb by Christopher Moore, which is a book that made me laugh and actually feel something regarding religion, as Moore portrays the religious as logical individuals. The Amado Women by Desiree Zamorano was a great generational/women's novel that wasn't hokey or predictable. Actually, I have too many to list :)

  21. I added a link to your list at my collection of end of the year book lists at my blog Semicolon. Thanks for the recommendations.


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