I have a confession for you, my dears.
The number of books I review for you is an extremely small percentage of the books I read. How small? Let’s attempt a math.
In 2014, I read 135 books and wrote 17 book reviews. One of them was for a 6 book series, so let’s say I reviewed 22 books. That’s a 16% review rate. And sometimes it’s the books I love the most that I have the hardest time reviewing.
I don’t want you to miss out on my favorites, so I thought I’d put together a list of the best books I read in 2014, whether I’ve reviewed them or not.
1. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.
This book is unlike anything else I’ve read. It rocked my world. It probably counts as SciFi, but I think of it more as a masterpiece of literary fiction that happens to contain aliens.
2. The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss.
This is the 2nd book in Rothfuss’ Kingkiller trilogy. These books are amazing, but it was this 2nd one that took me from “Oh, I get why everyone likes this,” to being a rabid fan myself.
3. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.
There are elements of this book that I don’t love, but its gripping story and incredibly badass heroine earned it an indisputable spot on this list. I’ve read it three times since July.
4. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo.
A glorious finale to a trilogy I loved. I’ve already gifted these books once and I’m sure I’ll do so again. Some of the best new YA fantasy I’ve read in years. See my review of the first two books in the series here.
5. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey.
This book falls into a genre that isn’t my favorite and contains major plot elements that I usually dislike, but it’s so well done that I LOVED it. See my review here.
6. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.
I identify with the main character in this book so strongly – I’m not half-dragon, personally, but the way she feels about herself as she struggles with her identity really spoke to me. I’ve read this three or four times already.
7. Want Not by Jonathan Miles.
This book – along with several others on this list – isn’t anything I would have been naturally drawn to, but I decided to give it a try after hearing several other Book Riot contributors rave about it. I read it in January of 2014 and I still find myself randomly thinking about the characters. Powerful and tightly written.
8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.
I liked this book so much that when my mom gave me a hard copy for my birthday (just days after I’d finished it on my Kindle) I declined her offer to exchange it for a book I hadn’t already read. It’s vivid and rich and written at the most glorious pace; I’m glad I now own it in lend-able form.
9. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
If you like books, someone has already told you about this one. It’s beautiful and sad. My 2nd favorite Rainbow Rowell book, which is a huge compliment considering how passionately I love Fangirl.
10. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.
This book has some of the most original worldbuilding I’ve seen in a while. I actually read it twice in one week, because the first thing I thought after finishing it was that I wanted to experience it again.
11. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.
Brandon Sanderson is amazing. Nothing I’ve read of his has failed to blow me away. Warning: this series is incomplete and you’ll be desperate to know what happens next.
12. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean.
2014 was the year of my personal romance novel renaissance, and Sarah MacLean was one of my favorite discoveries. I’d heard of her through my Book Riot buddies, but what really sold me was when I learned she’d given a talk called “Real Heroines Rip Their Own Bodices: Romance as a Feminist Genre.” This whole series is amazing, but this book was my favorite.
13. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: The Third Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean
Another favorite book out of an excellent Sarah MacLean series. This one involves a pet piglet and a very bold heroine.
14. When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales) by Eloisa James.
Clever, strong heroines are my favorite ever, and I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale retelling. Fun fact: Eloisa James herself recommended this book for me she read my Book Riot post about my journey to discover my love for romance as a genre.
15. A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James.
The main character in this Cinderella retelling is even sassier than the one in Beauty above. I love a side of sarcasm with my steamy novels.
16. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.
Mary Balogh was my gateway drug into the romance genre. The Bedwyn Saga was my favorite series of hers and I love love loved this book in particular. The tree scene is the best.
There you have it, darlings: the best books I read in 2014. (I wanted to do 15 books for the start of 2015, but I loved 16 books!! Numbers are the worst.)
Have any of you read my picks? What are the best books you read in 2014?
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I loved The Golem and the Jinni. All the rest are new to me, but look fun and compelling. Thank you.
I picked up Way of Kings based on your recommendation earlier this year and have since gone on to read almost nothing but Sanderson since! So, so good! Book of Strange and New Things just popped up on my radar and I also really enjoyed Seraphina- isn’t there going to be another in that series? I’ll be adding several of these to my reading list for this year, thanks!
This was perfect timing as I’m on the search for some good beach books to read next week! Thanks!!!
Excellent. Oh right: Mexico!!! So exciting.
Also, I really think your mom would love The Book of Strange New Things. I’m less positive what you would think of it, but I really liked it.