Top Ten Tuesday – Best of 2014

We’re inching close to the end of the year, and you know what that means – best of lists. Although, let’s be honest, aren’t all the top ten lists a best of of some sort? Anyway, this week’s list is the best reads of 2014. It’s mostly a rehash of other posts I’ve published this year. I’ve talked about my bests a lot. If they weren’t worth talking about, they probably aren’t a best. But this is a nice way to do a round up. So, without unnecessary fanfare, here’s my list.

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I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman

I started out my year with this book. I’m generally a fan of Klosterman’s more recent work. And I’m always a fan of a good villain. So, when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. It contains some of my favourite essays by Klosterman. He looks at our culture of blame and villainization and mirrors it back in this book. It’s well worth the read.

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This book has appeared in several posts on this blog. It’s excellent. When I looked at my year’s Goodreads list, I was surprised how long ago I actually read this. It was early in the year and some scenes are still engrained in my head. I’ve lost the specific details, but the scenes are still there, and that is the sign of an excellent book.

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The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by Joshua Braff

Poignant. Funny. Unbelievably sad. One of my favourite discoveries of the year. This book is just exceptionally good.

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The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Basically the only zombie book I’ve ever liked.

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In the Woods by Tana French

I read this book while camping. I devoured it in its exceptionally long entirety in just a few days. This is not the kind of mystery that will appeal to everyone. People either love or hate the way it ends. I love it. French has become one of my go to authors. I like everything I’ve read that she’s written.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

2014 was not the first year I read this book. I re-read it this year. I wanted to see if it would stand up to my first impression. It was even better the second time. The first half of the book reads completely differently now that I know how it ends. The Amy portion of the book takes on an entirely new perspective. Also, I got to see the movie this year. Excellent.

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Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Probably the best YA fiction I’ve read this year. Creepy and delightful. It has a beautiful cover. So good, I went out and bought all of Yovanoff’s available books immediately after finishing it. Fiendish wasn’t available, but if I don’t get it for Christmas, I’m buying it in January.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Another re-read. I haven’t read the Potter books in many years – since before the sixth movie came out. I’ve made it through the first four so far. I used to think book three was the best of the first books, but I think that was influenced by the movie. On this re-read, GoF is the best one. This read is allowing more time to actually absorb the material, rather than speed reading to avoid spoilers or to refresh before the movie. There’s so much set up going on in this book. The background characters and events take on more meaning. I’m looking forward to starting the fifth one on the drive to Christmas festivities.

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Tomboy by Liz Prince

I read this one last week. It was a fast read. Like a couple hours fast. And that’s if you’re a slow reader like I am. I think it’s a good read, and not just for girls. It’s great for parents. It’s great for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider. Who’s ever thought that they were too different or too weird. And also great for people who don’t understand the people that live outside the mainstream. Prince is talking about being a tomboy, but those aren’t the only people this book will speak to.

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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Galbraith is Rowling’s pseudonym. I openly admit that this is why I decided to read the first book in this series. But I enjoyed it enough to pick up the second one – which I liked even more. I love a good mystery. I love one that involves a story within a story even more. Ridiculous and over the top, but that’s part of the charm. And it pokes some fun at literary circles, the publishing industry, and what makes authors popular. It feels like Rowling is pulling from her experience. This was worth the read.

 

So, these are my best of choices so far this year. But the year’s not over. And I have five more books to read in order meet my reading goal. I might get to read something that throws one of these books off the list.

What are your best reads of the year?

 

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