My Favorite Reads of 2014

According to my reading spreadsheet, which I update much more religiously than my LibraryThing page, I read 61 books this year, including a handful of novellas. It’s a crime-novel-heavy batch of books I read this year, and I didn’t blog about the handful of young adult or contemporary fiction books I read. Most of them made me quite weepy (The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park).  I’ve come up with six favorites for the year, and my list will start with the one title I failed to review on the blog:

  1. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason was a fabulous read that was also emotionally devastating (the historical storyline and the story of Erlendur and his brother). I’m not sure what kept me from reviewing it, but suffice it to say that it earned the awards it received.
  2. Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland is a very action-filled second outing in the Emily Tempest series set in the Northern Territory of Australia.
  3. Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White is my only non-crime novel pick of the year. It’s a teen-going-off-to-college drama, a much-delayed entry in the President’s Daughter series that takes place after Meg was kidnapped.
  4. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes is not a book I expected to love. It’s a  trippy, gruesome serial killer story set in contemporary Detroit. Beukes writes well from many different perspectives.
  5. The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham was my first Allingham. It’s a very impressive story about post-World War II London.
  6. Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti is a smart political thriller that starts with a horrible industrial accident in a television factory.

I read books set in four new countries this year: Colombia, Peru, Switzerland, and Austria, and I hope to read more widely geographically-speaking in the coming year as well. Much like my Excel reading log, my blog pages logging all my reads geographically could use updating, and that’s another goal for the year.

But enough about the organizational side of the blog. I want to take a moment at the end of the year to thank you all for reading. Your comments and your own blogs have taken me down some interesting reading paths this year, for which I am grateful. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015.


23 thoughts on “My Favorite Reads of 2014

  1. All the best for 2015 to you, too, Rebecca! You’ve chosen some fantastic reads for this year, and you’ve reminded me of a few I want to check out myself. Can’t ask for more than that!

  2. So nice to see a list with non-current titles as well as new releases – it’s easy to get the sense that if a book hasn’t been read within 3 months of its release then no one will bother.

    And I am particularly pleased to see Gunshot Road on your list – and that you highlighted Adrian’s writing – I agree it’s fabulous – I really wish he would write more.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year and good reading for 2015

    • Happy belated new year to you too, Bernadette. I made a concerted effort to read older books this year both because I haven’t read many older crime novels and because I’ve collected so many books since I started blogging and following blogs such as yours. The shelves are still quite full, but I’m making progress– and finding good books as well. Let me know if you hear anything about Hyland’s work in progress!

  3. Happy New Year! I loved the earlier Detective Erlendur books but I’ve found that the series has not sustained for me. Silence of the Grave was an excellent one, though!

    • Thanks: I’m really impressed with the few early ones I’ve read 🙂 Who are your current favorites? I have a lot of Hakan Nesser to work through too.

      • If I’m honest, I’m not reading much crime at the moment. Favourite new author of last year was definitely Georges Perec! 🙂

  4. Very good list. I concur on the Indridason and Hyland books, both of which I liked very much. Have you tried Outrage by Indridason, featuring a colleague of Erlendur’s, a woman detective named Elinborg. It’s also about a crime against women. And I liked Hypothermia, too, very much, contemplative, but with a good story.
    It’s very nice to stop in on this blog every few days and read the reviews and comments.
    So, happy new year and on to more good books.

    • Happy new year to you as well, Kathy, and thanks. I feel like I’m doling out the Erlendur novels so I haven’t made it to Outrage yet– I shouldn’t worry about running out because there are so many series I’ve only dabbled in that I like (Sjowall and Wahloo, Fossum, and Nesser). Happy reading and crime watching as well.

  5. With the exception of the Margery Allingham book, I have not even read any books by the authors you chose. Most of them I do want to read. Good luck with reading more from new countries in 2015. And a good new year to you.

    • Happy new year to you, Tracy! Are you doing the Global Reading Challenge this year? I think I’m just going to track what new countries I cover instead of an official challenge because I found myself trying out lots of books from Africa and Asia instead of actually finishing many. I’d like to read more Garcia-Roza, which you just reviewed.

      • I am on the fence right now with whether to do the Global Challenge. I am trying to cut down on challenges, because even though I don’t need to, I do feel pressured to make an effort to finish them. At this point in my life, I don’t need additional stress.

  6. I am SO LATE to reading this post. Here I was looking for this list and you posted this several days ago. My bad. I only read one book on your list and the rest I think I have in my tbr pile. Allingham is front and center this year thanks to you mentioning her 😉

  7. Another interesting list with many I’m not familiar with, making me think 2015 is going to be such a great reading year, reading up on all these recommendations across blog city 🙂

    Happy Reading for 2015!

  8. The Tiger in the Smoke sounds great and I love reading about London in the 1950s – for some reason this period fascinates me. Margery Allingham’s name keeps popping up so I must give her a try at some stage. I’m interested in the Manotti, too. I read Manotti’s Escape in the summer (for a Women in Translation blog event) and loved the political edge to her writing.

    Wishing you all the best for the year ahead, Rebecca!

    • Thank you, Jacqui! Manotti was one of my favorite discoveries for the year, and catching up with her books is a little less daunting than deciding what Allingham to tackle next. Best wishes.

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