Best Books of 2014

I love reading it is a passion of mine.  Books are one of my favorite things.  It took me a long time to get used to an e-reader and to grieve the loss of holding a book in my hands.  More importantly it was so sad to not be able to pass a great book on to someone else.  I wish sharing books on Kindle was easier and more readily available.  Some of the best books are not lendable and that to me is so sad.  I have my mom, Emily, and my mother-in-law set up on my kindle account so that they get all of the books that I read too.  The one benefit of the kindle is that the electronic books are cheaper than buying a book in hard back so I no longer feel guilty for not waiting until a paperback comes out.  Also Bret notices significantly less how many books I buy a year when they are not stacked up on my night stand.

As I think about my past year I can't help but think about some of the books I read.  Some were amazing some not so great but even a bad book is better than no book.  With out further ado here are my favorite books that I read (note they may not have been written this past year it was just when I read them) in 2014.

#10 Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. This was a typical love story about a good girl and bad boy who fall in love with each other and figure out that somehow they work and make each other better.  I liked the characters in the book and felt they had chemistry.  There are a couple books that come after this one that I have not read yet because they are the same story told from the other main characters point of view.

#9 Fly Away by Kristen Hannah is a sequel written several years later to the book Firefly Lane.  I loved the first book and hoped that the second book would be as good.  It was a good book and little sad but it wasn't quite as good as the first book.  Maybe the story of adults and their real lives isn't as much fun as a couple of young teenage girlfriends who still think they could conquer the world.  Reminded me a little of the famous movie Beaches and I kept thinking of those main character actresses as the characters for this book too.
#8 End of Days by Susan Ee is the third book in this series.  I couldn't find a picture so I found the picture for the second book which I read this past year also.  This book and a few others took me into the world of romantic fantasy for the first time (besides Twilight).  This is a world is coming to an end and the angels are coming for a war.  There is very little romance in these books so far but I like the chemistry and hope that maybe there will be romance yet to come.
#7 The Reckoning by Laura Falter is the final book in the Guardian Trilogy.  Did I mention I read a lot of romance fantasy this summer?  I also read a lot of trilogies and this was one of my favorites.  I liked these books because they were about two angels that loved each other across centuries but were separated because of their obligation to protect innocents and fight demons.  Their love was a great story and the sacrifices had you cheering for more.

#6 The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is one of the few NY Time bestsellers that I read this past year.  I read a lot of inexpensive and free books which kept me away from the top of the charts.  This was one of the exceptions and I really liked this book.  The story is about a guy who has Asperger's and he decides that his life would be better with a wife.  So he makes a plan to find one and the whole time he is looking for the perfect candidate Rosie (who is completely wrong) is standing right beside him.  While predictable the characters are funny and heartwarming.

 #5 War Brides by Helen Bryan is a different look at WWII told from the eyes of the women left to do what they could for the war effort from home.  I loved the stories they told about what they did to help and how everything was to support the men and the war.  Sometimes I think we forget that every little bit helped and that everyone made sacrifices.  I couldn't imagine staying home while my husband went off and not knowing if I would ever see him again.  I found that I could see a little bit of myself in each of the girls and I laughed with them and cried with them during it all.

#4 Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson is an easy read about a girl whose best friend disappeared for the summer and she gets left with a check list of things to do.  The mystery is fun and watching a girl come out of her shell and discover herself outside of the friendship was a light hearted read this past summer.  I was never a girl who had a best girlfriend but I desperately wanted one so often.  I loved that she realized so much about herself once forced to go it alone. 

#3 Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a book that I really enjoyed reading.  Sometimes it is hard to realize that adoption has not always worked the way it does now.  Kids were abandoned and were left with no family to care for and the way that people found them homes was fascinating to me.  I loved the connection between the older woman and the young girl and the common ground they found despite the age difference.

#2 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon felt almost like a tie with first place and only because it's sequel was even better and was read in 2015 does it lose the tie.  This book has been showing up on my recommended reading for over a year now and it took a TV series on Starz and a top review of said show to get me to finally sit down and read it.  I loved it and am so relieved that there are many more.  The story is about a woman who accidentally travels back in time to Highlands of Scotland.  The main story line never caught my attention and it felt like a very slow start (like 150 pages into the book) before I started to even like the book.  The romance that follows is what keeps the pages turning.  The love is so passionate and the fighting between them so intense that you can't wait to figure out what happens next.  Besides the love story my favorite part of these books is that you have no idea what is going to happen.  Just when you think you know what is going to happen something else entirely happens instead.

 #1 The One by Kiera Cass is the book that my mom read in one night and asked me if there was going to be one more.  It was sad to see the conclusion to The Selection series.  I am heartened to learn that she is writing another series that has some of the same characters involved.  I told one friend that these books is like the Hunger Games meets the Bachelor.  LOVED it!

Most of the books I read this past year were just OK with a few exceptions.  I am looking forward to some new ones coming along in 2015.  What were some of your favorite books of 2014?

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