2014 Reading Year End Review: Top 10 Reads

6 Jan

I read some amazing books in 2014. Yes, there were some duds mixed in, but I want to concentrate here on the awesomely amazing ones that I think  you all should read. So I’ve decided to do a Top 10 list for the books I read and say a few words about their amazingness. I’ve given age/gender recommendations for all of them, but in reality, I enjoyed them and I think anyone can.

10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This was a solid book club selection. The character progression was great. Strayed seemed whiny and self-centered at first, but by the end of her trip, she was very self-sufficient and ready to get on with her life. Kudos to her. I recommend this for women 20+.

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. For the way this one screwed with my mind alone it’s on this list. Flynn wrote in such an engaging way that I ignored house chores for two days to finish it. This is really a great thriller, which is a genre I don’t read very often, though this made me want to. I recommend this for anyone over 16.

8. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. I was that weird kid in school who loved Waiting for Godot and to me, that’s the closest thing I can compare this book to. It was so true to life that the characters were just kind of floating along. I’m not sure if I’ll see the movie of this that’s promised next year, but it was a great book. I recommend this for men 30+.

7. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Wow, this book. It was so full of action and moving characters that really amazed me. It’s a great example of historical fiction and a book I know has been recommended me to a number of times. The only daunting thing is its length, which is why it’s not closer to the top of this list. I recommend this for any historical fiction lover, ages 18+.

6. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. I love books written in diary or letter formats so this was perfect for me. It was a quick read and it was so much fun to read because of the story and how it talked about words and letters. I mean, is there anything better for a book lover? My book club adored it. I recommend it to anyone (though I think women would prefer it) 14+.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If I hadn’t been in the car with someone while I listened to this, I might have cried. John Green is great at making me want to cry and I think he would be proud of that. A really great story about how to deal with changes in life and how to move on from tragedy. Great for teenagers (13-17) but anyone who likes well written YA would enjoy it.

4. These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. Once I got past the beginning where the narrator couldn’t use proper grammar, I really enjoyed the fast paced events of this novel. Turner brought the old west to life in a way I haven’t seen before. I would hesitate to call this a Western, but it had parts of that to it. Great historical fiction would be a better way to classify it. I’d recommend this to women 20+.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Having some distance from this novel has made me like it more. I could relate to the characters Rowell created so much that it scared me. She did a great job of exploring a college student’s insecurities and giving nerd-girls a character to root for. I recommend this for any woman who writes or has written fan fiction and women 18-30.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I did not expect to like this book so much but wow. It really stole my breath away. A great story that I’d compare to Ender’s Game in awesomeness. I recommend this for boys 13-18.

AND my #1 book of 2014

1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. This book… wow. Because of this book, I always finish book club books. I never know how much one can surprise me because this one was so good. This is the book I recommend to people who are ‘looking for something good’ to read. I recommend it to everyone reading this. It’s not a sports book and you don’t have to know anything about baseball to enjoy it. This is a great story about life. While I think everyone should read it, I’d say especially those in college, 18-25 males.

What were your favorite books of 2014? Are you surprised by anything on my list? I hope to find an equally good crop in 2015 to fill out another great list. Have a great year and happy reading!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

9 Responses to “2014 Reading Year End Review: Top 10 Reads”

  1. liliterati January 6, 2015 at 1:06 PM #

    Oh I loved Fangirl so much! I love how Simon Snow is basically Harry Potter. I just love how relatable the characters are. If you love Fangirl and haven’t read Eleanor and Park, I highly suggest it!


    • Sam January 6, 2015 at 1:22 PM #

      I haven’t read it yet but I plan to. I finished ‘Attachments’ last year as well, but found Cath much more relatable.


      • liliterati January 6, 2015 at 9:10 PM #

        Eleanor and Park is more like a cute story to read, and of course, the characters are so easy to get attached to… Something Rainbow Rowell does so well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa January 6, 2015 at 1:47 PM #

    I’ve listed a few lists of my favorites of the year, and am doing it again with my Bracket Eliminations. My favorite of the year is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I loved Ready Player One as well. It is still one of my all time favorites.


    • Sam January 6, 2015 at 3:16 PM #

      I’m reading the original Spanish version of Zafon’s book now. It’s slow for ne to read in another language but I’m really enjoying it.


  3. readingcook January 6, 2015 at 5:17 PM #

    I have read six of the books on your list, and they are great choices. Top of my list would have to be Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience complied by Shaun Usher, The Rosie Project by Graeme Samson, and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor. Here is to another year of great reading!


    • Sam January 6, 2015 at 6:20 PM #

      I’ve geard great things about The Rosie Project and Daughter of Smoke and Bone is on my TBR. Happy reading!


  4. Cynthia January 7, 2015 at 11:22 AM #

    So many good books on this list! Wild, Gone Girl, Fangirl . . . have you read Gillian Flynn’s other books? I love them and love her. She is amazing. Very disturbing, but amazing. Ha. I have John Green’s Looking for Alaska on my TBR.


    • Sam January 7, 2015 at 11:26 AM #

      I haven’t read Flynn’s other books yet but I hope to this year. I hope you enjoy Looking for Alaska. It’s got a great twist!


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