As "off" as I felt in 2014 at times, looking back over the year, there were some books that impacted me in big ways. Whether it was a heartrending story or a tome so full of fun I wanted to shout from the rooftops. Without further ado...the best of 2014.
Today we're linking up with Top Ten Tuesday!
- Ruby, by Cynthia Bond
- Beloved, by Toni Morrison
- Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison
- The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld
- The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Diviners, by Libba Bray
- The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Spoiled Brats: Stories, by Simon Rich
- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty
- The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
- Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley (graphic novel)
- Cinnamon and Gunpowder, by Eli Brown
I know. I'm a cheater. This is 12 books. Now, let's move on. ;)
Looking over the list, it is noteworthy that nearly half of my favorites this year were written by authors of color. I did make it a goal to read more diversely in 2014, and while I felt adrift at times, unable to do anything but read in a "free range" manner, I still managed to increase the number of POC authors on my list. It was a fantastic experience. It was an enriching experience. It's one I hope to duplicate, and even increase, in 2015.
It seems this was also the year of opposites. On the one hand, books like Ruby and Beloved were damn near physically painful to read. They broke my heart and made me bawl like a baby. On the other side, there were books like Cinnamon and Gunpowder and Seconds that were so much fun I ate them up like candy and couldn't wait to share them with anyone who would listen.
As much as I've complained about not feeling like my readerly self this year, it was a damn good year of reading. I hope you're finding the same as you look back over your own list.