February 6, 2015

Top Ten for 2014

Ordinary Grace
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
East of Eden
Tell the Wolves I'm Home
A Dog's Purpose
The End of Your Life Book Club
This Dark Road to Mercy
All the Light We Cannot See
That Part Was True
The Circle
The Dog Stars
Olive Kitteridge
Orphan Train

Now that I'm caught up on all of my reviews for last year, I can share my favorite books of 2014. Of course, I can never settle on just 10, especially since I rely on my rating system to determine which books are chosen, so this year you get 14 favorites with an additional 9 in the Honorable Mention category. 

But first, how about some stats?

Total Books Read: 37 (quite possibly my lowest count since I started keeping track in 1999)

Print Books: 21

Audio Books: 15

Ebooks: 1

Fiction: 21

Nonfiction: 16

Female Authors: 24

Male Authors: 13

New-To-Me Authors: 21

Classics: 1

Science Fiction/Fantasy: 1

Mystery/Thriller: 8

Teen/Young Adult: 1

Memoir: 5

Borrowed: 24

From My Stacks: 13


5 stars: 1
4.75 stars: 3
4.5 stars: 10
4 stars: 9
3.5/5 stars: 6
3 stars: 3
2.5/5 stars: 4
2 stars: 1

And now for the links to my favorite reads for 2014 (listed in the order in which they were read):

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (4.5/5)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (4.75/5)

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (4.5/5)

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (4.5/5)

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (4.5/5)

A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron (4.5/5)

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (4.5/5)

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (4.75/5)

The Circle by Dave Eggers (4.5/5)

That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay (4.5/5)

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (4.75/5)

**All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (5/5)**

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (4.5/5)

Orphan Train by Kristina Baker Kline (4.5/5)

Honorable Mentions (all 4/5 ratings):

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Birdman by Mo Hayder

The Treatment by Mo Hayder

The Long Goodbye by Meghan O'Rourke

Paris Letters by Janice Macleod

11/22/63 by Stephen King


  1. I've read 6 of those books but am guessing I need to get to All the Light We Cannot See soon.

    1. Kathy, I thought All the Light We Cannot See was excellent, but I know there are a few readers out there who didn't love it as much as me. Would love to hear what you think of it, if you get a chance to give it a read.

  2. I've only read 1 on your "best of" list, but plan to read ORPHAN TRAIN soon for a book club. I've read 3 of your honorables and will be reading another for later in the spring, THE CUCKOO'S CALLING. All mine are mysteries, of course. Did you know that Kimberly McCreight has a new book coming out later this spring. Looking forward to it.

    1. Kay, I know you'll love Orphan Train! What a wonderful book to discuss with fellow readers. I also think you'll enjoy Cuckoo's Calling. Rod and I were both so impressed with JK Rowling's ability to write such a good mystery! Thanks for the heads-up about McCreight's upcoming release. Sounds like one I'll have to read. :)

  3. You had an amazing reading year! For 37 books your average of great reads is really fantastic. Sadly my 2014 wasn't so spectacular. So...All The Light We Cannot See is one I must read, huh? Kicking myself for not getting it when it was onsale. And Wiley Cash is definitely on my Must Read Soon list! Hope your 2015 is just as good.

    1. I suppose my average of great reads has something to do with my ability to quit on books that I really don't care for AND for being such a wishy-washy rater. I find that if I let too much time pass before writing my review, my rating starts to drop, but I stick with my initial reaction, which almost always leads to a higher rating. I keep meaning to do away with the half points/stars...

      Yes, All the Light We Cannot See is my #1 recommendation, but Andi might disagree. ;) And, oh, yes. Wiley Cash is a wonderful southern writer. I'm excited I still have one of his books to read this year.

  4. What a great list, Les. You are a much more adventuresome reader than I; however, on the few we both read, glad to see we agreed!

    1. Thanks, Marcia! Funny, I don't think of myself as an adventuresome reader. Just eclectic, I suppose. :)

  5. I love lists and your list are some of the best. I'm out of the loop most of the time so most of these I haven't heard of yet. I did read All the Light We Cannot See (loved it), Olive Kitteridge, and 11/22/63. Agree with your ratings on these three. Are you still working at the bookstore?

    1. Aww, thank you, Booklogged. Your kind words mean a lot to me. Yes, I'm still at B&N. Coming up on 8 years!

  6. Considering you had a quiet year, you at least read a lot of good quality books!

    1. Kailana, I know! I think a lot of my choices were based on high recommendations from fellow bloggers. Helps to know which books to stay away from and which to get to as soon as possible.

  7. So many great books! The Ocean at the End of the Lane really sticks out for me.

    1. Andi, I'm saving the audio download of The Ocean at the End of the Lane for a future re-read. I might have to get a copy to read along, too.

      Sorry you're having a difficult time getting into All the Light We Cannot See... :(


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