Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Best of 2014: Fiction

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays - eating lots of gingerbread and spending lots of time with family. Today, I will be wrapping up my "Best of" posts for 2014. So far, I have posted my Best Nonfiction / Memoir / Autobiography  books and my Best Historical Fiction books of the year. 

In 2014, I read a total of 26 books, or 7,876 pages. I gained several new favorites this year, including Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Catcher in the Rye

I re-read several books this year before seeing their movie adaptations on the big screen. The Fault in Our Stars and Mockingjay Part 1 were just two of many Hollywood blockbusters of 2014 that were based on novels. This past year I was also selected to attend a five-day creative writing program at Alfred University, and became the Editor-in-Chief of my high school's literary arts magazine. 

2014 was a great year for books and for without further ado, here are my top 10 Fiction novels of 2014. May the close of 2014 and the arrival of 2015 bring you good luck and good books :)

Top 10 Fiction Novels of 2014

10. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

9. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

8. The Beginning of Everything, Robyn Schneider

7. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D Salinger

6. The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen

5. Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

4. Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell

3. The Promise of Amazing, Robin Constantine

2. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, Stephanie Perkins and Others

1. What I Thought Was True, Huntley Fitzpatrick 
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home until now. Cassidy Somers, a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, takes a job on the island as the local yard boy, and Gwen hails from a family of fishermen and house cleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true with what really is. (Overview from

Read my "Best of Fiction" Lists for 2011, 2012, 2013 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Best of 2014: Historical Fiction

2014 was the year I think I fell in love with history. I have had a really great US History teacher for the past two years, who not only gives us bonus points when he scores over par while playing golf, but whose enthusiasm for the subject has made the AP class comedic and interesting. I also discovered Downton Abbey and Midnight in Paris this year, a TV show and a movie that have helped me realize that the period from 1915-1945 is my favorite to read about. Historical fiction is certainly the type of novel I could see myself writing in the future.  

Of the historical fiction novels I read this year, here are the top six. It was a tight race for the #1 spot!

Top Historical Fiction of 2014: 

6. The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty

5. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

4. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien

3. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

2. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler

1. The Paris Wife, Paula McLain   (Scored 28/30)
The Paris Wife fictionalizes the time Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, spent in Paris during the 1920s.  McLain writes Hadley in a genuine voice that is honest and kind. Hadley captivated me with the simple lens through which she looked at life, and the true feelings she had those around her. McLain's style is historically accurate and detailed, allowing the reader to walk the streets of Paris alongside the main characters. (Read my full review here)

Also read, my "Best of'" Historical fiction in 20112012, 2013 

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Best of 2014: Autobiography / Memoir / Nonfiction

It's that time of year! Yes, it is the time for some good Christmas cheer, but also for naming the best books of the year. My "Best of"lists for 2014 will be posted over the course of three days, so be sure to check back tomorrow for my top historical fiction novels of the year.

Top Autobiographies, Memoirs, and Nonfiction of 2014: 

4. Standing at Armageddon: A Grassroots History of the United States, Nell Irvin Painter

3. Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass

2. Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell

1. Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala (Scored: 25/30)
Wave is the story of Sonali Deraniyagala, who was vacationing with her family in Sri Lanka during Christmas, week of 2004. On December 26th, a tsunami and earthquake occurred, consuming her hotel in waves. Deraniyagala lost her parents, husband, and sons to the tsunami...she writes in an unsentimental prose that is intimate and angry...Wave  is dark and haunting, and yet vividly sprinkled with light - making her story of recovery universal and hopeful. (Read my full review here)

More "Best of" Lists from Around the Web: