Woo Hoo! I love talking books so I am very grateful to have a chance to share my favorite books of 2014 with other readers. I do have to apologize for not having all of these titles in our Reading Room but I will work on it as one of my top resolutions for 2015. If you have been following our lists this past week, you can easily see that all of us have different reading interests! We are a very diverse staff! My favorite kinds of books are the ones with quirky, likeable characters and sentimental, mushy stories that tend to have happy endings. It was hard to whittle my list down to just 10 books but here it is:
Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick
Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) never disappoints me. Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler and guidebook writer, is one sassy heroine and no one can stop her, not even a serial killer!
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
One word describes the author’s books — Magical. Kate and her daughter attempt to find their lives again at Lost Lake, the run-down summer resort owned by her great-aunt Eby.
The Book of Life by Deborah E. Harkness
In this conclusion to All Souls trilogy, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont must find Ashmole 782 before the birth of their children. This is a perfect book with fantasy, romance, magic, history and science all blended together.
Mimi Malloy at Last: A Novel by Julia MacDonnell
It is never too late for a second chance at love even for sixty-something Mimi Malloy with a fading memory. Tissues are needed for the end of this one.
The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel by Barbara O’Neal
I needed tissues for this book too but along with the tears, I laughed and laughed with food blogger Lavender Wills and her online food blogger friends who visit her on her organic farm.
Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
This posthumously published collection of short stories revolve around the imaginary Chestnut Street in Dublin where neighbors may come and go but their lives are all intermingled together.
The Monogram Murders: the New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah
He’s back! With permission from the Agatha Christie estate, the author, Sophie Hannah, has created a new Hercule Poirot mystery filled with red herrings, twists and turns that will puzzle new and old Agatha Christie fans. Ooh-la-la!!
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite’s childhood books. When June Anderson finds some lost letters between her great-aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, she is determined to prove that their friendship was the inspiration behind the classic book. I absolutely adored this book!
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
Gosh darn! I don’t know how this author can blend two such fascinating stories in one but she does! In 1964, Vivian Schuyler receives an overseas package that had been lost in the mail. This draws her back into her family’ past and into the life of an aunt that she never knew from the 1940s.
One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
This was another book that I laughed and cried because of the quirky characters and their off-kilter romance during their horrible, disaster-prone road trip with a moody stepson, a 10 year-old math whiz and one stinky dog that was just too-too much!
The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer
This is the third book in the Land of Stories series and each one gets better and better. Alex is now training to be the next Fairy Godmother in the Land of Stories. When Connor discovers a clue left by the Grimm Brothers that warns of danger to the Land of Stories, he must get back there to warn his sister.
Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
This is a collection of lost stories written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss that were first published in the 1950s in various magazines. Since I love Horton the Elephant, I loved the new story with Horton and how he deals with the Kwuggerbug.
I love elephant stories and this one is my new favorite. What an original! The story is simple as Nancy tries to remember something important but the illustrations are so imaginative and delightful that makes this picture book stand out!
Alexander, Who’s Trying his Best to be the Best Boy Ever by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Isidre Mones in the style of Ray Cruz
This is a wonderful installment to the Alexander books first published in 1972.
Finally, my Tribute to P.D. James
P.D. James, an English crime writer famous for her detective novels featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh, died at the age of 94 on November 27, 2014.
Her last book, Death Comes to Pemberley was published in 2011 so I really couldn’t include it in my top ten list of 2014 but it too is one of my favorite books. I love Jane Austen and I definitely loved how P.D. James adapted Pride and Prejudice to create this mystery whodunit. This book has also been made into a PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Take a look at her interview on YouTube, P. D. James on Jane Austen and Death Comes to Pemberley.