Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Now we can all reflect on the fabulous books we read in 2014. For my list, prompt provided by The Broke and the Bookish, I will not be focusing on books that have been released this year because I don't read too many new releases (which is not too fun when it comes time to vote on the Goodreads awards and I realize I've only read one book out of all of the nominees).
Nonetheless, oldies are goodies, people, and I read some great books in 2014. Here are my top 10:

1. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
White Teeth is an incredible book. I think it may be the only book that I read this year that has officially been added to my "favorites" shelf. The story of many characters in modern-day England, this novel gives voice to the experience of colonization. With one family a mix of white British and Jamaican, and another family Indian, these best friends all get a chance to talk about their place, or misplacement, in England.

2. Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Arcadia is an incredibly original novel. Essentially the story of a hippie commune that goes to crap, this book is not exactly a happy one, but it's really worth the read. It gives a vivid portrayal of a community that struggles to adhere to the ideals it was founded upon, and paints a striking portrait of human failure. I highly recommend this book.

3. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
A retelling of the biblical story of Dinah, this is a book that will really stick with you. It touches on everything from family dynamics to gender roles, and if you haven't picked up this highly popular book yet, I recommend you do in 2015.

4. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
I just finished this one and I loved reading it. It has that quick, addicting quality that you don't always find in Literary Fiction, and it again touches on a underrepresented topic. The novel consists of a main character, Ben, a man who has lost his family and has recently taken a class to become an in-home caretaker, and Trevor, a teenager with muscular dystrophy. Eventually they embark on a road trip. Heartbreaking but also really funny, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This book is really fun without giving you a bad aftertaste of bad writing or some other unsatisfying literary component. It tells the story of a Sheldon Cooper-like character falling in love, and it's highly enjoyable. This book made me laugh out loud, which basically never happens, and it's just a really sweet read. This one would make a good holiday gift.

6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
SO SAD. So sad. If you want to be heartbroken read this book. But I love when a book breaks my heart because that means it really affected me. This is a quick, compelling read, that clearly packs an emotional punch.

7. Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers
This book is not for the faint at heart. I had to read this for a class where I understood about 25% of what was going on. It's so well-written, however, and it really made me think. It revolves around a group of people who are trying to build a computer that can successfully pass the exam for a Master's degree in Literature, it involves a lot of flashbacks and a lot of people who are not what you would call nice. This book isn't for everyone, but I have to say that I was really impressed with this novel.

8. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I was not expecting to like this book, but I have to say I really did. I knew nothing about the Dracula story except the fact that he is a vampire, but the book is so much more than that. It's told in a series of letters and diary entries, and it has a great cast of characters. If you're looking for a classic to try, I think this is a good one.

9. Listening is an Act of Love by Dave Isay
This is a book compiled by the Storycorps group, and organization whose mission is to preserve the history of America through the stories of real people. They have vans set up where a person and a loved one go in and get interview each other. They get a CD with the interview, and so does Storycorps. The book is a compilation of some particularly poignant stories, and I really loved reading it. If you, like most readers, are interested in people and how their lives have been shaped, give this book a read.

10. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
This title is pretty misleading but also entirely accurate. Set in a technology-laden future, this is the story of a pretty sad and pathetic main character and his love for a mean girl. It's also the story of the destruction of our society. It's bleak, but it's good.

So there you have it, the top 10 books I read this year. I hope 2015 yields even more great reads!

Find Me:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8900562-rachel
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelDoose

No comments:

Post a Comment