I don’t normally do this – recap what I’ve read during the year and choose which have been the best books, but I was tired of scanning the Best of 2014 lists that media and book sites produce, seldom seeing anything at all I’ve read. So I decided to come up with my own list.
If an author has been featured on my blog, Reading Recommendations, I have linked to their promotion. And the benefit of writing this promotion blog is I have discovered and met so many great authors this past year! As well, I’ve heard from a friend, a reader, who has been following my recommendations – and reading many of them! Here’s what Violet has to say: I love to read. I read for pleasure but if I learn something, it’s a bonus. With thousands of books to choose from, it can be a challenge finding a good read. I used to refer to “top ten” reviews and other media but I now use Sue’s Reading Recommendations for my source of reading selection. She has introduced me to new writers. There are writers who made me cry, others who kept me awake at night trying to figure out what happens next. There have been times I read one book by an author and loved the writing so much I subsequently bought other titles. Sue’s recommendations have not disappointed me. I have in turn recommended books to friends and family.
With a testimonial like that, how can I not continue recommending great books and the authors who write them!
First, in no particular order, are individual books I’ve enjoyed reading:
It goes without saying … Richard Ford’s Let Me Be Frank With You is at the top of my list, because I have long considered this man to be my Favourite Living Author. He’s writing at the height of his game with this latest collection of long-form short stories.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan – As with Ford, I will buy and read anything Ian McEwan writes as soon as it is published. Another excellent writer.
Nickolas Butler – Shotgun Lovesongs I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and loved, loved, loved reading it! This is a debut novel for Butler. I certainly hope it won’t be his only book. Such a gifted writer!
Second Chance by Dylan Hearn
Brian Brennan‘s memoir, Leaving Dublin
Every Blade of Grass by Thomas Wharton
Counting Teeth, a travel memoir by Peter Midgley
Lori Hahnel‘s novel, After You’ve Gone
A new novel by Fred Stenson, Who By Fire
A first novel, Waiting for the Man, by Arjun Basu
Steve Boone‘s memoir, Hotter Than a Match Head
Spellbound by Tricia Drammeh
Karen Joy Fowler – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing
Tan Twan Eng – The Garden of Evening Mists
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
And here’s a list of Authors who wrote a number of books I read this year – in a couple of cases, I read everything they’ve written!
Tim Baker – I have now read everything written by Tim Baker (except the two zombie books he contributed to) and some of this was in manuscript form as a beta-reader and editor. Tim’s writing just keeps getting better, in my opinion!
Kevin Brennan – I’ve read all but one book that Kevin has published (and that copy is on its way to me, so I will soon have read all his books) and one was a beta-read. Kevin continues to surprise me with his versatility as a writer. He also has a great sense of humo(u)r that I appreciate. I look forward to reading many more books by this accomplished author.
Robert Chazz Chute – Robert is another author who is prolific and talented. I read several of his publications this year, two as a beta-reader.
Seumas Gallacher – I’ve read two of Seumas’s books and plan to buy and read the other two titles in his Jack Calder series. In fact, Shhh! Don’t say anything as those books will be Dennis’s Christmas present since he also enjoyed reading Savage Payback!
Rebecca Heishmaan – Rebecca is one of the most kind-hearted and supportive authors I’ve had the pleasure to meet, and with her two books she’s deservedly gathered a legion of fans who enjoy reading about her dog, Millie, and The Misty Neighbourhood. She also donates all her royalties to animal rescue agencies. A very generous author!
And another author who I met through my blog is S.K. Nicholls. I’ve only had the opportunity to beta-read one novel that has not yet been published, but I want to read everything she’s written or plans to write – she’s that good! Definitely an author to watch!
Jussi Adler-Olsen – A prolific Danish author whose Department Q series of crime novels is just now being translated into English. I have read the first four and am waiting for the fifth. Very, very good writer and, if you like the other Scandinavian mystery/crime writers, you will definitely enjoy Adler-Olsen.
Benjamin Black – This author was recommended to me by a friend who I consider to be a great Reader. Black is the pen name for the acclaimed literary author, John Banville. So far, I have read The Lemur and the first of the Quirke Series, Christine Falls.
Did you read an outstanding book this year or discover a new-to-you author? Please leave a comment below.