2014 has been an epic year for books. This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have ever written because I have enjoyed almost every single book I’ve read this year, but there have been some books which have especially stood out for me. So here they are in all their glory (and in no particular order – I’m only human and I couldn’t possibly choose between them…)
The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman
I’ve seen this book pop up on many bloggers favourites for 2014 and rightly so, in my opinion. It’s utterly fantastic and the kind of book which reminded me why I love reading so much, because of powerful, hard-hitting stories like this. Another thing I really loved about The Memory Book was the ending. Yes, this is one heck of a tear-jerker of a story but I adored the way that Rowan bought this novel to an end. It’s not gloomy as you may perhaps expect; but refreshing, honest and un-put-down-able.
Ridley Road by Jo Bloom
I was drawn to this novel set during the early sixties in London during the rise of fascism right from the off. With such a hugely fascinating subject matter I felt as though I learnt so much from reading Ridley Road. It really opened my eyes to what went on back then and taught me things about a period of history that I knew little about. Aside from that the story line was excellent, as were the mix of characters and the budding romance that develops. A stunning debut.
Public Battles, Private Wars by Laura Wilkinson
An amazing blend of fact written alongside fiction, Public Battles, Private Wars is set during the miner’s strikes of the 80s and this is another novel that I found to be completely enlightening. Laura Wilkinson does a fantastic job at portraying how grim life was for the miners and their families and she must have put an extensive amount of research into this novel. Brilliantly written and a story that keeps you guessing right up until the end.
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
It was an absolute joy to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry followed by Rachel Joyces’ latest novel The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. I loved both books (the former being released in 2012 and labeled a ‘companion’ to The Unlikely Pilgrimage…) The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy was such a delight of a novel. It’s clever, powerful, funny, shocking, sad. Pretty much everything you could want from a good story, plus a whole lot more…
Coco Pinchard: The Consequences of Love and Sex by Robert Bryndza
This is the first book that I read in the Coco Pinchard series and I couldn’t be more delighted that I have discovered both Coco’s fabulous stories and a new author to add to my list of favourites in Robert Bryndza. When people say a book was ‘laugh-out-loud’ funny I often think to myself was it really, properly, absolutely, completely laugh OUT LOUD funny?? Well this one was. Fact. Written with warmth, humour and with some spectacular characters who you will immediately love there’s no way that this book was not making this list…
This Family Life by Jon Rance
Whilst we’re on the topic of laugh-your-socks-off funny it’s time to add This Family Life to the list. Having just read the prequel, This ThirtySomething Life, which I completely loved, I was massively looking forward to This Family Life and it surpassed all of my expectations. The lead character Harry (aka the male Bridget Jones) is a legend and I can’t wait to read more about his struggles of being a ‘proper’ adult. Packed full of laughs and with character’s you’ll genuinely care about this book is perfect for EVERYONE…male, female, single, married, parent, child-free…just read it. You’ll love it.
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
The Aftermath is nothing like my usual kind of read, but it proved to me that it’s definitely a good thing to read outside your comfort zone from time to time because I couldn’t get enough of this novel full of plot twists and suspense. The Aftermath gives a shocking insight into the aftermath of the war and the families caught up in what was going on.
I am really hoping that this novel gets made into a film eventually because it would be simply incredible. Emotional, engrossing and highly intriguing this is one of my highest recommended reads of 2014.
The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman
This is one SMASHING novel. I’m still sat here in disbelief that this was Hannah Beckerman’s debut novel. It was accomplished, moving and completely unlike any book I’ve ever read before (which is crazy…I have read quite a few books after all…) The Dead Wife’s Handbook just had that special something for me. It’s a novel that will break your heart, make you cry and also make you question your own beliefs and morals. An all round beautiful story and another novel that I’ve seen regularly appearing on other bloggers books of 2014 lists, which is exactly where it should be.
Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen
Where Love Lies is one of those novels that will keep you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page. I found it to be harrowing, powerful and hugely emotional.
I love the questions that this novel asks – should we trust our heads over our hearts? Just how powerful is love? Simply amazing stuff. With a massively compelling storyline and characters that will break your heart, Where Love Lies catapulted Julie Cohen onto my list of favourite authors.
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
I haven’t written my ‘official’ review for Shopaholic to the Stars (because I consumed it greedily the minute I got hold of the book a few months back, I want to re-read it to write a proper review to do it justice.
Perfect excuse for a re-read….shhhh!)
Anyway, needless to say I LOVED Shopaholic to the Stars. I had missed Becky so, so much so this was probably one of my most anticipated novels of 2014 and it lived up to all of my expectations. Sophie Kinsella and Becky Bloomwood can literally do no wrong in my eyes and I can’t recommend this book enough, whether you’re yet to meet Becky (Seriously? Where have you been!?) or you love her as much as I do. It’s funny, it’s light, it’s bright, it’s just perfect in every way…
And there you have one of the trickiest blog posts I’ve ever written. Phew. It wasn’t until I started looking back on all of the novels that I’ve read this year that I realised just how many good ones there have been. 2014 really has been a stand out year for fiction, so I’d like to say a massive thank you to every author whose book I have had the pleasure of reading this year. Thank you for all of the enjoyment, laughter, imagination, adventure and sheer joy that you have provided me with. I would have every author and every book I have enjoyed on this page if I possibly could (but it might end up being the longest blog post in the whole history of the world…ever!)
Now it’s time to get started on the candidates for 2015’s list… ♥