2014 – The best books I read this year!

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

Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne

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.

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50 responses

  1. […] already given you a wrap-up of the best books I read in 2014. As well as being a reader and an author, I’m also a blogger who promotes other authors and […]

  2. […] I’m being a bit of a copycat. Inspired by posts such as THIS ONE by Susan Toy, I’ve decided to list a few of the books I especially enjoyed this year. These are […]

  3. Reblogged this on KATE JACK'S BLOG and commented:
    Recommended reading list, well worth checking out.

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Kate!

  4. Reblogged this on Reading Recommendations and commented:

    I posted this list to my main blog yesterday, but am reblogging on Reading Recommendations, because so many of the books I enjoyed reading this year were written by Authors I promoted on this site!

  5. Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:
    WELL, i CAN HOLD OUT HOPE ISLAND EDITIONS WILL READ AND ENJOY (I HOPE) DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations, Volume One and Volume Two in 2015!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to ALL.

  6. Benjamin Black, yeah! I read Black-eyed blonde and loved it.

    1. Good to know I have more terrific books by this author to look forward to enjoying! Thanks for reading and commenting, Paula!

  7. So thrilled to have Tricia Drammeh’s Spellbound up there, she’s one of my all time favourite writers and I’m reading Spellbound and loving it! 😀

    1. Tricia is an excellent writer! I met her through blogging and subsequently read Spellbound. Thoroughly enjoyed it, as you can see 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, Sophie!

      1. My pleasure sweetie, this is a great blog! I met Tricia a few years ago on Authonomy and through her wonderful blog. Not only is she a terrific writer but she’s SUCH a lovely person too! We had both been through horrific experiences with our first publishers and she was such a tremendous support through all of it. A thoroughly lovely lady! 😀 xx

    2. Ah, Sophie. You’ve been such a supportive friend. I’m so grateful to have met you. Both you and Susan are fantastic authors, wonderful friends, and incredible people from every angle. May the New Year bring you both a million different opportunities and blessings. ❤

      1. Oh sweetie, you’ll make me cry in a minute!!!! I just wish we didn’t have the stupid Atlantic in the way, I think if we lived in the same country, we’d be chatting and giggling in each other’s kitchens all the time! 😀 Thank you honey, but I did mean every word. I feel very blessed to know you, not just as a fantastically talented writer, which you are, but as a truly lovely lovely person. You’re a very special lady honey. Have a fantastic Christmas and may 2015 make all your dreams come true and be your best year EVER! Sending lots of hugs to you and your gorgeous family! ❤ 😀 xxxx

  8. Wow, Susan, what a list! I will add to my mountain of books for next year. Thank you for sharing and for your support over the year to this indie author! It was appreciated and helpful to get me out there!

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! xo

    1. Thanks for participating in Reading Recommendations, too, Janice, and for promoting the site throughout the year!

  9. Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    If you’re at a loss for what to read next, here’s a very eclectic list from Susan Toy.

    1. Thank you for reblogging, Jane!

    1. Thank you for reblogging!

      1. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!!
        Felices Fiestas! Season’s Greetings!
        Joyeux Noel! Buon Natale!!!
        Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad!!

      2. Thank you! Same return, as they say on Bequia!

  10. Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    It’s a tremendous honor to be included on “The best books I read this year” list. Please hop over to Susan Toy’s blog to find loads of books to add to your reading list.

  11. What a fantastic list! This should keep me busy reading for a long while. Thank you so much for including my book on your reading list. And thank you for all you do to support authors, Susan. You are truly a wonderful person.

    1. Thanks for writing, Tricia, and for all the support you give to authors, as well – and especially to me!

  12. Author Rebecca Heishman

    Reblogged this on Dancing With The MS MonSter and commented:
    A post from a writer/author who understands that we writers need the support of one another in this business if we are ever going to survive.

  13. Author Rebecca Heishman

    As I’ve said so many times, you’re the best thing to ever happen to a struggling writer. We authors can’t thank you enough.

    1. Thanks so much for all your support, Becky, and for reblogging!

  14. Reblogged this on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m and commented:
    I can’t fault Susan’s taste.

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Rob!

  15. Thanks for the mention, Susan! And for the phenomenal list of books to add to my towering stack… 😜

    1. One benefit to reading eBooks! You are never in danger of being crushed by a TBR stack so high that it topples over on you! Thanks for writing, Kevin! Can’t wait to see what you’re working on for 2015 …

  16. Reblogged this on S.K. Nicholls and commented:
    Looking for some great authors and good books. Susan Toy has quite a list, and your’s truly is on there.

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Susan!

  17. Reblogged this on Suffolk Scribblings and commented:
    I know I said my post a couple of days ago would be my last and now I’ve posted two in one day, but how could I not celebrate Second Chance appearing in a Best of 2014 list?
    Thank you Susan, both for your ongoing public support and promotion, as well as the behind the scenes encouragement you give that nobody sees. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Thank you for coming back to your blog and reblogging this, Dylan! I hope that you and your family have a Happy Christmas!

  18. Thanks for the shout out and all the great authors and books you’ve recommended. I’m always looking for new talent. Some of these I have also read, like Tim Baker and Keven Brennan, and others I look forward to getting to know.

    1. I look forward to reading Red Clay and Roses, Susan, and to seeing that great novel I beta-read published in 2015!

      1. Thanks Susan. I am a little over half way done with the final edit. Already have book two started, so there is progress.

      2. That’s excellent news! Can’t wait to promote your new series!!

  19. So glad Seumas has led me to you and your blog. Thank you for this wonderful list of books. I’ve read everything Ian McEwan also, and yet many of the authors you recommend are new to me. Can’t wait to discover them! As far as an author I recommend: Louise Penny and her Canadian mystery series. Her writing is astounding and outstanding. Begin with the first one – Still Life.

    1. You are very welcome here, roughwing! Thanks for reading and commenting! And you are in for a treat, if you enjoy McEwan. Great writing is what attracts me, and I can guarantee that all on this list are great writers. Thanks for mentioning Louise Penny. I did read a book by her long ago and should get back to reading again. She knows how to weave a good mystery and her setting of Quebec makes the stories even better!

  20. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    …amazing post… what a prolific supporter, m’Lady Susan Toy is! …of course, I just GOTTA re-blog this post….

    1. I did nothing more than what all you great writers deserve, Seumas! I am more than happy to promote great books by great Authors! Thanks for reblogging!

  21. …amazing post… what a prolific supporter, m’Lady Susan Toy is! …of course, I just GOTTA re-blog this post….

  22. Reblogged this on blindoggbooks and commented:
    Susan M. Toy discusses the best of her 2014 reading list…the fact that I am mentioned among so many great authors is about the best Christmas gift I could ask for!

    1. Thanks for reblogging the list, Tim! Dennis and I are anxiously awaiting that box of all your books. Can’t wait to see the print copies of books we’ve already enjoyed reading so much as eBooks!

      1. Thank you and Dennis for your wonderful support!

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