Best Books of 2014

Ok, it’s been about a month since I’ve blogged (do I sense a New Year’s Resolution about that?), but I’m not here to talk about math.  Let’s talk books instead.  Namely the best of the 61 books I read in 2014:   booksread2014 2booksread2014 1booksread2014 3

And now my personal favorites:

Best Laugh:

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

I stayed up way too late finishing this one yesterday (note: it was also released yesterday if that tells you how much fun it is). Make sure you read The Rosie Project first!

Best Tearjerker (tie):

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.  If you like YA, you’ll LOVE this one.
City of Thieves by David Benioff Set in Russia, so you know it’ll be full of rainbows and unicorns.

Best Celebrity Memoir (tie):

Neil Patrick Harris Choose Your Own Autobiography
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Surprisingly, both involve large castles/homes owned by Englishmen.  I might have given the slight edge to Princess Bride, but NPH’s also had 3 magic tricks, so it ended up being too close to call.

Best Book about Being Trapped (tie):

Thirteen: The Apollo Flight that Failed by Henry S.F. Cooper Jr
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Trapped in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle that set them free by Hector Tobar

Yes, you know the endings to both of these stories, but these are well-written, captivating, behind-the-scenes accounts that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Best Smartypants Book (tie):

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg
What If? by Randall Munroe

My husband got to “enjoy” most of these books as well, since I could not stop reading parts aloud to him.  Maybe a slight edge to Munroe due to awesome use of footnotes.  And footnotes to footnotes.

Best Testing Tip:

The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier

In a timed test, set your (analog) watch to 12:00 when the timing starts. That way you can easily see how much time you have left instead of dealing with “25 minutes from 9:42.”  (Although I think I would set it so that it would hit 12:00 when time was up, but I still like the tip.)

Best Not-Pictured-Above Picture Book (Children’s Category)

I’ll just quote my tweet: Girl Engineer?  Check.  Dog Assistant? Check.  Adorable drawings? Check.  Growth Mindset? Check. LOVE IT.

Seriously, the small children in your life need this book.  And probably some adults, too.

Best Not-Pictured-Above Picture Book (Adult Category)

This is on sale for $20 at B&N  (or Amazon) right now. Go pick it up. Turn the pages. Be amazed.

Best Fiction

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

As good as it was, I think Eleven was slightly overhyped (not as much as The Goldfinch, though, which I gave up on with 100 pages to go because SERIOUSLY PAY FOR AN EDITOR).  As good as it was, I think Fikry was underhyped as I haven’t heard anything about it and it’s an adorable story for anyone that likes books.

And finally…..

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The Best Book of 2014

You need this book in your life just for the Nutella-stuffed muffins.  Or the peanut butter cookies.  Or gingersnaps!  I’m not sure what is the best compliment I can give: (a) this has turned me into a baker or (b) none of my pants fit me anymore. You could always check out Sally’s blog if you want to just dip your toe in the waters.

Do you have a favorite book of the year?  Did we read any of the same books?  Are you craving some cookies right now?  Let me know in the comments!

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