Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Books of 2014


Here I go again with the books I read, tossed, trashed and adored in 2014. 88 of them! Imagine! I never quite reach my target of 100, though I do try.

The best - my five star ratings for 2014 though not in any particular order. If you want to read my more detailed critiques, click on Goodreads and find Wisewebwoman. I must say I was pleased there were so very many good books in my list. They far outweighed the disappointments.

The Very Best
Benediction - Kent Haruf
Heft - Liz Moore (2nd time!)
Flight behaviour - Barbara Kingsolver
The Breakwater House - Pascale Quiviger
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
The Various Haunts of Men - Susan Hill
The Pure Heart - Susan Hill
The Quiet American - Graham Greene (re-read)
Friend of my Youth - Alice Munro (again)
A Long, Long Way - Sebastian Barry
Wild - Cheryl Strayed
House of Hate - Percy Janes
Private Life - Jane Smiley
The Novel - James A. Michener
The Stolen Village - Des Ekin
All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews
Annie Dunne - Sebastian Barry
The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham (re-read)
The Gingerbread Woman - Jennifer Johnston
The Temporary Gentleman - Sebastian Barry
Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman
The Rich Part of Life - Jim Kokoris
The Road Past Altamont - Gabrielle Roy
The Help - Kathryn Stockett

Here is the complete list:

(1)Benediction - Kent Haruf*****Fabulous, lyrical read
(2)Heft - Liz Moore (again)*****
(3)Abide with Me - Elizabeth Strout***
(4)The Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout****{BC}
(5)Astray - Emma Donoghue****
(6)The Sentimentalists - Johanna Skibsrud****
(7)The Spinning Heart - Donal Ryan (Thanks #1 Bro!)****
(8)The Breakwater House - Pascale Quiviger*****
(9)The Dinner - Herman Koch***
(10)Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver*****
(11)The Last Child - John Hart (loan)*couldn't finish
(12)The Book Thief - Markus Zusak*****
(13)The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (loan) - Rachel Joyce*****
(14)The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim
(15)You Before Me - JoJo Moyes****
(16)The Various Haunts of Men - Susan Hill*****unputdownable
(17)Darcy's Utopia - Fay Weldon***
(18)The Pure Heart - Susan Hill*****
(19)The Night Lawyer - Michelle Spring - 0- tossed-bilge
(20)Half-Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan {BC}*
(21)The Ministry of Special Cases - Nathan Englander
(22)Dancing with the Virgins - Stephen Booth *avoid
(23)A Closed Eye - Anita Brookner****
(24)Justice for Sara - Erica Spindler***
(25)A Bit of Singing and Dancing - Susan Hill****
(26)Habits of the House - Fay Weldon****
(27)Until Proven Guilty - J.A. Jance 0(dreadful)
(28)Injustice for All - J.A. Jance tossed
(29)Trial by Fury - J.A. Jance tossed
(30)The Quiet American - Graham Greene *****(again)
(31)Friend of my Youth - Alice Munro (again)*****
(32)The Risk of Darkness - Susan Hill***
(33)A Long, Long Way - Sebastian Barry*****
(34)Private Life - Jane Smiley*****
(35)Death on the Ice - Cassie Brown{BC}****
(36)Burial Rites - Hannah Kent****
(37)Still Life with Breadcrumbs - Anna Quindlen****
(38)Wild - Cheryl Strayed*****
(39)The Evolution of Jane - Cathleen Schine{BC}0
(40)A Candle in her Heart - Emilie Loring***(for its archaic time)
(41)Trading Places - Fern Michaels 0 awful(from Emma)
(42)House of Hate - Percy Janes*****
(43)The Orenda - Joseph Boyden**
(44)Incidents in the Rue Laugier - Anita Brookner****
(45)Silent Wife - A.S.A. Harrison****
(46)The Novel - James A. Michener*****
(47)Stalking Irish Madness - Patrick Tracey (loan)***1/2
(48)The Stolen Village - Des Ekin***** (thanks D!)
(49)The Betrayal of Trust - Susan Hill**(I'm offya now Susan)
(50)Rails Across the Rock - Ken Pieroway
(51)The Deception of Livvy Higgs - Donna Morrissey -dropped, bored stiff
(52)Spadework - Timothy Findley**
(53)Beacons - Joseph Dobbin (not rating, a friend)
(54)The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham (re-read)*****
(55)All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews*****
(56)The Ocean at the end of the Lane - Neil Gaiman 0 awful
(57)Big Brother - Lionel Shriver***
(58)Annie Dunne - Sebastian Barry*****
(59)Certainty - Madeleine Thien* 1/2 way through I just didn't care anymore
(60)The Shadows in the Street - Susan Hill**
(61)The Boy who Walked - Michael Friis Johansen 0 too dry
(62)The Gingerbread Woman - Jennifer Johnston*****
(63)The Temporary Gentleman - Sebastian Barry*****
(64)In the Heat of the Night - John Ball****
(65)The Survivors Club - Lisa Gardner***
(66)Ghost Light - Joseph O'Connor****
(67)A Goat's Song - Dermot Healy***
(68)Piano Teacher - Janice Y.K. Lee{BC}**
(69)More Then 50% - Hilda Chauk Murray**thin material stretched far
(70)The Endless Knot - Gail Bowen**
(71)Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman*****
(72)The Rich Part of Life - Jim Kokoris*****
(73)No Turning Back - Ida Linehan Young***
(74)Grass - Sherri S. Tepper
(75)The Road Past Altamont - Gabrielle Roy*****
(76)Wild December - Edna O'Brien 0 awful
(77)The Girls - Lori Lansen**
(78)The Help - Kathryn Stockett*****
(79)Cuffer Anthology 2013 - various
(80)Frog Music - Emma Donaghue**disappointed
(81)The Secret Place - Tana French***
(82)Split - Tara Moss *
(83)The White Bone - Barbara Gowdy* second attempt, couldn't finish.
(84)I've been Working on the Railway - W.Chafe***
(85)Cop Town - Karin Slaughter****
(86)The Ghosts - Mary Swan (struggling - it was a gift.
(87)Burying Ariel - Gale Bowen**
(88)Hold Tight - Harlan Coben***

15 comments:

  1. I've only read Big Brother on that tremendous list! You might like The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I'm going to try Flight Behaviour as I loved The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

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  2. Enna how did you rate The Goldfinch? I heard from two readers it bogged down badly and was far too long.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. I read one or two in your favourite list! I enjoyed them too!
    I also read such a lot!
    Maggie x

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  4. It did indeed drag on towards the end but I thought it well worth the effort. Absorbing story and very likeable characters. I wonder have you read anything by Hilary Mantel? Wolf Hall or Bring up the Bodies? They are about Henry VIII's advisor Thomas Cromwell and the only way I can describe reading them is to say its more like devouring something. All jobs were abandoned till I'd finished them!

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  5. In your "very best" list, I've read The Book Thief, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Wild, and The Help. I enjoyed 3 of them. The Harold Fry book, not so much.

    Happy 2015 reading! Shooting for 100?

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  6. Maggie - maybe you should do a list as well??

    XO
    WWW

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  7. I have Enna and I must say (I know, I know - not popular opinion at all) I found them a slog. Maybe we overstudied that historical period in school, but I just can't get into the characters at all. :(
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Hi Anita:
    Interesting on the Harold Frye, I see there's a kind of prequel out now about Queenie I haven't read it yet.
    I love the different opinions about books soooo much.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. No need to explain - my daughter was the same - and a good friend. Both chucked it. I tried to read Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook because everyone was raving about it and fell at the first fence. Its like fruit cake and cheddar; I love them together but does everyone else? x

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  10. ...Harold Frye was my book club's selection so I wanted to complete it in order to participate in the discussion. I was reading it at a time when I was very busy or stressed. Sometimes that effects my ability to appreciate a book. Could have been the case with this book... or maybe not. I have it on my Nook. Once day, I might scan back through it to see if I have a different opinion; especially if there's a prequel. Surely others besides you will eventually mention it to me.

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  11. Enna - in my case they were gifts from a bro who adored them so I did read them. Did you see there is a TV series now?
    PS I do love fruitcake and cheddar and also peanut butter and salsa :)
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Anita:
    Yes, it might be worth a revisit if characters stepping outside of "normal" might interest you along with the fresh takes on the world.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Wow! You are a big reader! I probably should make a list like this myself.

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  14. Good idea, Hattie, I know you read a lot also but more for study, I use it as poor escapism (mostly)
    XO
    WWW

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