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Inactive Discussions > Favourite books you read in 2014

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message 1: by Serf (new)

Serf Just thought I'd start a thread of favourite books you have read this year. Since joining this group I have been introduced to the world of 5 star reads.....
So what have you enjoyed most?

message 2: by Serf (new)

Serf My favourite books I've read(but not necessarily published) this year were:
The Secret History
The Book Thief
the things we carried
The Orphan Master's Son
The Son

message 3: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn Good question. I loved The Martian, thanks to Jamie Lynn I found The Scotland Street series, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey was really moving. There the ones that immediately spring to mind. Oh The Rosie Project was a really fun read.

message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I was just thinking we must start a thread on people's favourite books from this year. My top reads for the year (so far) in no particular order:
The Son
The Martian
North and South
The Handmaid's Tale
The Invention of Wings

message 5: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Hit post before I meant to. Would also add

Strumpet City
Burial Rites

message 6: by Sara (last edited Nov 08, 2014 04:40PM) (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Great minds think alike!

These are my 5 star reads for the year.

The Life and Times of Harvey Milk: The Mayor of Castro Street (Thanks Allan!)
Alpha Yes, Terra No! / The Ballad of Beta-2
Saga, Volume 1
Saga, Volume 2
The Devil I Know (for the in person Irish book group Barbara and I belong to)
Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter
Rainey Royal (by someone I know IRL!)

message 7: by Brian (new)

Brian O'Sullivan | 280 comments So many choices!

I'm going to approach this like the Oscars!
Best graphic novels: Lazarus (Greg Rucka) and The Massive (Brian Wood)
Best historical non-fiction : Diarmait (Nicholas Furlong)
Best sci-fi/fantasy: The Cold Commands
Best literary mystery: The Siege (Arturo Perez Reverte)

Honestly! I could be here for days!

message 8: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Favorite books of 2014 so far

Both Adrian McKinty books I've read
Time Present, and Time Past
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Man's Search for Meaning
The Son
Most of the books I've read this year have been really good--not many "meh" books in the bunch :)

message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments My favorite
1. Ordinary Grace
2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
3. The Son
4. The Ruth Galloway mystery series
5. The Invention of Wings
6. Lamentation

When I looked over my list I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have read as many good books as I have.

message 10: by Marcia (new)

Marcia | 437 comments Favourite Books for 2014

Gone Girl
The Big Sleep
The Third Policeman
The Goldfinch

These are in no particular order but they are books that I still think about. That is what makes a book a good book for me is if I still think about it.

message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 09, 2014 02:30AM) (new)

Taking Brian's approach:

Drama: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
Memoir: The Memoirs Of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun
Biography: Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories by Jenny Uglow
Collected biography: A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War by David Boyd Haycock
Short stories: The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories ed. Malcolm Bradbury
Poetry: The 20th Century in Poetry ed. Michael Hulse
Sci-fi/Social sci-fi: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Crime: The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
No single novel stands out for me as outstanding and it would be difficult to select just one from my 5* reads.

message 12: by Paul (last edited Nov 09, 2014 01:54AM) (new)

Paul So many good books its hard to narrow it down but a few that stand out
Prince of Foolsby Mark Lawrence
The Martianby Andrew Weir
Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
The Emperor's Bladesby Brian Staveley
Traitor's Bladeby Sebastian De Castell
Old Man's Warby John Scalzi
Steelheartand The Emperor's Soulby Brandon Sanderson
and The Beauty of Murderby AK Benedict

message 13: by Serf (new)

Serf There's a great variety of books listed there, it's great to see some of the favourites are the monthly reads from this group

message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Nearly everyone's list has at least one book which featured as a monthly read. And I know at least two of mine are ones I probably wouldn't have picked up if they hadn't been a monthly read.

message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Three of mine were monthly reads from book groups so its worth it

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

There are several novels among my 5*s that aren't listed above, which I'd only read because of Goodreads Ireland :)

message 17: by Sara (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
Although I only gave them 4 stars, here are a few books that also stand out to me. Without GRI choosing them as monthly reads, I never would have read them

The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments / The Snapper / The Van

The Son

The Free

message 18: by Serf (new)

Serf I would also have to include
Half Broke Horses
Cannery Row
The Cowboy and the Cossack
Two of which I read following recommendations from people in this group :)

message 19: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn I have actually read a few good updates or modernisations. The Late Scholar, Murder at Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Longbourn. There are a lot of authors doing there take on the classics and some are better than others but I seem to have enjoyed a fair few this year. I really enjoyed Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks and I am about to start Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz.

message 20: by Serf (new)

Serf I haven't read any of Faulks and feel like I should, especially when I see other authors repeatedly giving him praise

message 21: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Seraphina wrote: "I would also have to include
Half Broke Horses
Cannery Row
The Cowboy and the Cossack
Two of which I read following recommendations from people in this ..."

So many of the good books and good finds for books are because of this group! I wouldn't have even heard of several of the books.

message 22: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn @ Seraphina I have only read Charlotte Gray and Birdsong prior to Jeeves but he is a great storyteller. I really like his writing style.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Seraphina, I agree with Trelawn and went through a phase of reading all Faulks' works in quick succession.

message 24: by Serf (new)

Serf And which was your favourite Theresa?

message 25: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn @ Theresa I love when people agree with me :-) Is there any books by Faulks that you would recommend in particular?

message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments Cphe wrote: "There was a SPA novel that I'm very glad I stumbled across as well and was a recommendation.

The Absurd Demise of Poulnabrone - about the death of a small town in Ireland."

That sounds so interesting, Cphe.

message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 10, 2014 01:56AM) (new)

My list above doesn't reflect the number of books that I discovered through joining Goodreads Ireland. There's a long list, too long to cite completely and while they weren't all 5* reads I nevertheless enjoyed them. So, thank you for introducing me to (among others): The Martian, Stoner, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, A Sixpenny Song, Let the Great World Spin, Strumpet City and Cat's Cradle.

message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I couldn't believe when I looked at my list and saw so many that I had rated 5 stars. The asterick * indicates a book I read because of GRI.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
*East of Eden - John Steinbeck
*The Orphan Master's Son (I can't add the book - GR says it doesn't exist and I checked and rechecked the title)
*To Kill a Mockingbird
*The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy
*The Son by Phillip Meyer
At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón
*Northline by Willy Vlautin
The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

message 29: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Theresa wrote: "Seraphina, I agree with Trelawn and went through a phase of reading all Faulks' works in quick succession."

this discussion got me to request 3 Faulks books from Paperback Swap - Birdsong, Engleby and Charlotte Gray. Fortunately, they are costing me zero except for space on my bookshelves.

message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Susan wrote: "Cphe wrote: "There was a SPA novel that I'm very glad I stumbled across as well and was a recommendation.

The Absurd Demise of Poulnabrone - about the death of a small town in Irel..."

I decided to get this book on kindle for $5.95 after reading these posts:) No space on shelves but a few bucks out of my wallet.
BTW - it's snowing in Minnesota and North Dakota! Glad I am home from Arizona as I had to fly through Denver.

message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I can't believe I left Stoner off my list!!

message 32: by Serf (new)

Serf Sounds like this thread has added a number to your shelves, I've added some myself ;)

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

This thread was a terrific idea, Seraphina :)

message 34: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Its a great idea for a thread but I agree it's going to be worse for my tbr pile then the what are you reading thread and the recently bought thread combined

message 35: by Allan (new)

Allan I'm a little late to the party, but my favourite 'first read' books of this year so far, in order of reading are:


Red or Dead

The Free

The Rest Just Follows

Alternative Ulsters: Conversations on Identity

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

The Snapper

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Feast Of Lupercal

The Telling Year: Belfast 1972

Nora Webster

Heavily Ireland / NI centric I know, but hey...

message 36: by Allan (new)

Allan Re Faulks, I have Birdsong on my tbr shelf to read at some stage. Barbara, I'll definitely be buying Constellation of Vital Phenomena with my next credit, when I see it top of your list!

It's great that we have so many people enjoying so many great books! :)

message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "I'm a little late to the party, but my favourite 'first read' books of this year so far, in order of reading are:


Red or Dead

The Free


Allan - you should take credit for turning GRI onto Willy Vlautin. And GRI got me to read American writers like Vlautin, Steinbeck, and Harper Lee.

message 38: by Allan (new)

Allan Quite a lot of modern classics there, Ian. I've been meaning to get to Giovanni's Room for a while, so it's good to see that you found it so memorable.

message 39: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) @Ian Yeah the Handmaids Tale is one of those books it takes a few days to get over. Always the sign of a good book.

message 40: by Paul (new)

Paul I really do need to get to it at some point

message 41: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments IanieB wrote: "Wow, so much diversity;/it's great!

For me, Robert Fagles' translation of The Iliad was mind-blowing. Also:

Orwell: Animal Farm
Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
Smith: How to be Both
Shields: Unl..."

Ian - Allan already said it but I was struck by the classics on your list. It's a good reminder (and this group has pushed me in this direction) that classics deserve to be read.

message 42: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn I do love the Iliad although I prefer the Odyssey. Too many ships lists and army lists interrupting the story in the Iliad. Necessary, I know, but the Odyssey flows better. I like the Rieu edition.

message 43: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) You should Paul. It's definitely a book which would be right up your street

message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul Its on my to read at some point list

message 45: by Sara (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
The Song of Achilles and a couple of works by James Baldwin are on my TBR list. I've also been curious about Mary Renault's work for awhile. How many of her books have you read Ian?

message 46: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) The Song of Achilles is actually near the top of my TBR pile. I got it a few yrs back from a friend and I'm determined to read it before the end of the yr. I think Paul read it recently enough too.

message 47: by Sara (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
I think I actually nominated it for the monthly read at one point...or someone did.

message 48: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I think that was in the last few months.

message 49: by Paul (new)

Paul I read the Song of Achilles a few months back. Well worth the read. A few very interesting techniques and ideas throughout .

message 50: by Sara (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
I might give it another shot when we do December nominations. It sounds like I could get some support for it.

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