I received review copies of several of these books.
And without further ado, I present Great Thoughts’ Top Books of 2014.
The Top Books of 2014
I could not choose just one top book of 2014- I liked two books way too much to choose one over the other. Thus, Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion are sharing our top spots. The other 8 are not ranked but are listed alphabetically by title.
A little about each:
The Top Two
Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers– I can safely say that most of my nearest and dearest readers have now read this book as a result of my gushing. Every single person who reads it is completely captivated, finishes it quickly and cannot stop talking about it. Meyers does a brilliant portrayal of showing the effects of terrible circumstances on a terrible marriage. Yet, the book is not depressing. It ends hopeful. It is simply brilliant. I would love to see it as a movie but I don’t know that Hollywood can do a story this deep justice.
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion– I am lucky in that I read this book already though it does not come out until December 30th. I thoroughly adored The Rosie Project when I read it earlier this year, review here. Typically a sequel cannot be as good as the first. I am delighted to say that Graeme Simsion has written an amazing sequel. Again, I laughed out loud throughout the entire book. I would love nothing more than to have dinner with Don and Rosie, the characters in this book. Kudos to Simsion for again bringing us an amazing Rosie book.
Great Thoughts’ Top Books 3-10 (listed alphabetically, not ranked)
All I Love and Know by Judith Frank– What a beautiful beautiful book! This is the story of Matthew Green and Daniel Rosen, a gay couple in the United States whose lives are completely transformed when Daniel’s twin brother and his wife are killed in Israel. Daniel is called upon to raise his brother’s children. You will feel every emotion there is when you read this book. It deals with so many social issues but at the heart of it are the well-being of Gal and Noah, the two children. This is a book you will think about long after you read it.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty- It is almost boring to include Liane Moriarty on yet another Top Books lists but she earns a spot yearly for her unbelievably well-written fiction. Anyone who has had to deal with ex-husbands, second wives, single parenthood and complicated child arrangements as a result will relate to this book. Moriarty manages to be witty while addressing serious topics and weaves a story better than most any other writer today.
The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh- Think Hello Mrs. Robinson meets 50 Shades of Grey and you have The Lemon Grove. It is, quite simply, a HOT book. A long married couple vacation at a villa in Majorca with his teenaged daughter and her boyfriend Nathan. Ah, the enigmatic Nathan. Suffice it to say that this is a great read for the over-40 happily married woman crowd. You’re welcome.
The Look of Love by Sarah Jio- And yes again, Sarah Jio joins our Top Books of the year. Sarah Jio is one of my favorite authors. She publishes 2 books a year and they continue to just get better and better. I completely expect/demand that The Look of Love be a movie as soon as possible. The main character, Jane Williams, learns she has the ability to see true love. The book is the story of Jane learning to deal with her gift and what her gift shows her. A happy-feel good- must-read!
The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris-Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Chani is probably my favorite Jewish fiction read of 2014. Set in 2008 London, the book is the story of Chani, a nineteen-year-old woman, betrothed to Baruch Levy, a young man whom she has seen only four times before their wedding day. It is also the story of navigating love and children using old laws in a new world. The book is so well-written that you literally feel like you are in every scene with the characters. I actually re-read the book again and found so many beautiful phrases that I had missed the first time. Please read!
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams- First I should say that this book is extra special because I typically do not like books that alternate between different time periods. Usually I stop reading them. I could not put this book down- it is that good! Williams tells the stories of Vivian Schuyler and Violet Schuyler Grant. Vivian is given clues about a previously unknown great-aunt, Violet. Rumor has it that Violet murdered her husband and mentor, Dr. Walter Grant, before mysteriously disappearing with her lover on the eve of World War I. As Vivian works through what happened with Violet, she also resolves parts of her own life. Love this book!
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella- I simply adore Sophie Kinsella. Is there anything better than a new Shopaholic novel? I don’t think so. I wish she would publish one monthly to feed my desire for them. In this installment, our friend Becky Bloomwood Brandon lands in LA and plans to become a stylist to the stars with visions of red carpets. In true Becky fashion, there is faux pas after faux pas. You will laugh through the entire book.
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain- Reading The Silent Sister reminds you of what an amazing author Diane Chamberlain is. You are “into” this story within a page and then you cannot put it down. Riley always believes that her oldest sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. What an amazingly intricately complex story Chamberlain writes. I finished this book in a day because I had to finish to know what happened. Once you read this one, go back and read The Midwife’s Confession by Chamberlain- what an amazing author!
The Stories We Tell by Patti Callahan Henry- This book is also the story of a marriage. Eve and Cooper Morrison are Savannah’s power couple. She runs a letter press studio and he runs a digital magazine. Think old Southern money. Meantime, they are raising a teenaged daughter and Eve’s sister is staying with them. Another fabulous example of a book that explains the truth about a tough marriage. This was the first of Callahan Henry’s books that I have read. I will be reading her prior books as The Stories We Tell was captivating.
The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff- Pam Jenoff joins our Top Books again this year. The Winter Guest is, like most of Pam’s books, a holocaust centered novel. It is the story of the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. An American paratrooper is discovered near their home. I don’t think anyone can make you feel as if you are in the woods of Poland during wartime like Jenoff. Again Jenoff delivers a breathtaking book with brilliant character development. When you finish The Winter Guest, make sure you read The Ambassador’s Daughter by Jenoff as well.
Great Thoughts’ Amazon Store
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