Maybe Matilda: My Favorite Books of 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Favorite Books of 2014

. . . in the sense that I read these books in 2014, not necessarily that they were published in 2014. I can’t stay on top of new releases—it would be like trying to sip from a fire hydrant. Slow and steady over here.

Best Books of 2014 //

And  since 95% of my reading is on my kindle, I don’t even have a cute book photo to use here, so I’m borrowing this one from The Faithpal.

Of the 57 books I read this  year (as of today—maybe, if the stars align, I can squeeze in one or two more before the new year!), here are my favorites:

Station Eleven I just finished this last week—it hasn’t even made its way into my monthly book review post yet—but it is easily one of my top picks for the year. Art and apocalypse and humanity (in every sense of the word) and seamless leaps through time, before and after a civilization-destroying disaster . . . it was incredibly powerful, not to mention unputdownable.

Bread and Wine I gave this book its own post HERE. This ‘love letter to life around the table’ is full of gorgeous essays about food, faith, and family. A must for anyone who loves any of those things (does that cover everyone?).

The Secret Keeper My Kate Morton love burns strong—romance, history, secrets, she’s got it all. My heartbreak over finishing this one—her only remaining book I hadn’t read—was tempered by its pure awesomeness.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking This is every bit as excellent as you’ve heard it is, and then some. I gave it a full review HERE. It’s for all my fellow introverts who have ever felt out of place because they don’t seem to ‘fit’ in a loud, extroverted world.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society This was a re-read, and every bit as charming and hilarious and lovable as I remembered. I listed to the audiobook this time around, and can wholeheartedly recommend it (the narrators are fantastic!). Wonderful characters, laugh-out-loud writing, and a sweet story about love and friendship and the power of art during dark times.

Garden Spells I’ve read a few of Sarah Addison Allen’s books, and while most of them haven’t done much for me, this one was excellent.

All Joy and No Fun What does modern parenthood do to parents? How does parenting a child affect you, and your life? This upside-down parenting book was an incredible look at how parenting affects mom and dad—their lives, personalities, goals, and relationships. So interesting—the sort of book you can’t help but read aloud to whoever happens to be nearby.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters The entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is extremely good. I’ll admit, the romance has crossed the line into pure cheesiness for me, but this YA fantasy throws every other YA fantasy I’ve ever read right out the window. It’s dark and enchanting and gripping. Go on and give it a try, even if you think YA fantasy isn’t really your thing (I did).

Out of My Mind I don’t read much intermediate fiction, but this sweet, wonderful, heartbreaking little novel made me wonder if I should.

The Handmaid’s Tale This is certainly not for the faint of heart—it will terrify and haunt you, but it’s incredibly powerful and I can promise you’ll never, ever forget it.

The Rosie Project After The Handmaid’s Tale, you’re going to need something light and fluffy and bubbly and pure, undiluted fun. This should fit the bill nicely—I loved it so much, I read it all in one sitting. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Attachments I have a bit of a love-hate thing with ol’ Rainbow—I was very ‘meh’ about Landline, and couldn’t even make it through Eleanor & Park or Fangirl—but I sure did enjoy Attachments. A funny, lovable, and totally different romance.

If you’re interested, you can check out all of my short and sweet book reviews this year by month:
(I’ll post my December reviews later this week)

What were your favorite reads this year?


  1. I tend to lean towards historical fiction and like to throw in non-fiction/biographies to maybe learn something new that is actual truth. I would highly recommend these books from what I read this year: Lone Survivor, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, The Orphan Master's Son, A Thousand Splendid Suns, & The Light Between Oceans.

  2. I got Nothing to Envy from the library and then didn't get to read it before it was due back--I'm going to have to get it again. I loved The Light Between Oceans! I think my husband read--and really liked--Lone Survivor, also.

  3. I'm so glad you're liking it! I want to reread it already.

  4. Thanks Melisa! Hope you enjoy some of these :-)

  5. How do you feel about sci fi? I'm currently reading, "The Martian" by Andy Weir. It's really interesting.

  6. I read that earlier this year. I didn't *love* it, but it was definitely fun and unique.

  7. I love reading. My library card back in IL recently expired, so no more eBooks until I get a card here. I have to get a Missouri drivers license first...

  8. Argh, I hate when libraries realize you don't live in their boundaries anymore. I was able to use my old Salt Lake City library card for almost a year before they figured out I'd moved and shut me down . . . but it was a nice year. The SLC library system is FAR superior to my current one. Sad face.

  9. my old library required you to renew your library card every three years, so it was going to expire regardless of where I lived. I've been surviving in free trashy literature from Amazon in the meantime.

  10. Lots of great additions to my TBR pile! Both Quiet and Handmaiden are game changers but it completely different ways! I may have to check out Guernsey next.

  11. Station Eleven keeps on intriguing me. I want to read Attachments, too! Thanks for the list and laugh (sip from a fire hydrant, ha!)

  12. Wow - we like a lot of the same books! Guernsey and Secret Keeper made my top list this year too. Can't wait to start Station Eleven - it's popping up everywhere! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I really enjoy your site, and especially the posts about what you're reading. I'm a big book nerd, and your reading tastes are often similar to mine. This is sort of random, but I actually linked to your Maurader's Map post from my blog, If you have a moment, I'd love for you to check it out. Anyway, thanks again for all of the fantastic book recommendations.

  14. Thanks so much Tana! It's always nice to meet a fellow book nerd :-) I like your taste!


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