I am a list maker and a voracious reader, so when I come across a book list, I immediately look it over and check off the books I have read while marking the books I would like to read (which are all the ones I haven’t read yet). Needless to say, when I got the HPB 2014 Calendar at the beginning of the year and saw each month had ten reading recommendations, it became my goal for the year to read as many of the books I hadn’t read on those lists that I could. This decision opened my yearly reading to several authors I had never read Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Khaled Hosseini, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jonathan Safran Foer and Yann Martel, as well as introducing me to classics I had never read, such as Love in the Time of Cholera, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Slaughterhouse Five and The Count of Monte Cristo. I can’t honestly say I enjoyed every book I read this year, but I can say I found some hidden gems where I had never thought to look. Finding these new reads made me eager for more lists. So, I asked our 3,000 HPB Bibliomaniacs what was the best book they had read this year, and here’s what they had to say.
(1.) The Heart and the Bottle, by Oliver Jeffers (2.) Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers (3.) Looking for Alaska, by John Green (4.) American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (5.) The Ward, by Jordana Frankel (6.) How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran (7.) The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (8.) A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway (9.) The Passion, by Jeanette Winterson (10.) The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (11.) The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert MacFarlane (12.) Imperial Bedrooms, by Bret Easton Ellis (13.)Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (14.) The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach (15.) Where’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple (16.) The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling (17.) California, by Edan Lepucki (18.) Rats, Lice and History, by Hans Zinsser (19.)Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer (20.) Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon (21.) The Son, by Jo Nesbo (22.) Colorless, by Haruki Murakami (23.) A Bounty of Blandings, by P.G. Wodehouse (24.) Goodbye to a River, by John Graves (25.) House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski (26.) Standup Guy, by Stuart Woods
(27.) Skin Game, by Jim Butcher (28.) The Persistence of Vision, by John Varley (29.) The Ballad of Frankie Silver, by Sharyn McCrumb (30.) To Selena with Love, by Chris Perez (31.) Suspect, by Robert Crais (32.) The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (33.) The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness (34.) How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain de Botton (35.) One Second After, by William R. Forstchern (36.) Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind & its Challenge to Western Thought, by George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (37.) The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson (38.) Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter (39.) Blasphemy, by Sherman Alexie (40.) Italian Neighbors, by Tim Park (41.) The Martian, by Andy Weir (42.) Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (43.) A Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (44.) Italian Days, by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (45.) Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan (46.) John Dies at the End, by David Wong
(47.) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (48.) Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg (49.) An Art Lovers Guide to Florence, by J. Testa (50.) Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (51.) Calling Me Home, by Julie Kibler (52.) The Three Musketeers, by Alexander Dumas (53.) 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff (54.) Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (55.) Love, Rosie, by Cecelia Ahern (56.) Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (57.) Cold Days, by Jim Butcher (58.) The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell (59.) Paper Towns, by John Green (60.) The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer (61.) Possessed, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (62.) The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens (63.) War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy (64.) My Antonia, by Willa Cather (65.) Stoner, by John Williams (66.) Feeding the Hungry Ghost, by Ellen Kanner (67.) This Book is Full of Spiders, by David Wong (68.) Cassavetes Directs, by Michael Ventura (69.) Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra (70.) Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
What about you? What was the best book you read in 2014?
The 2015 HPB Calendar is available at all HPB locations. This year’s theme is “Books Authors Read.” More book lists! Time to start planning my reading list for 2015!