Best Books: 2014

Posted 30 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in books and publishing

best books 2014

It’s that time of year y’all! If you were here ’round this time last year, you know that I don’t do my best of list until the end of June, mostly because everyone is so sick of best of lists in December that they want to throw up. So, here’s my best twelve books of 2014 list while you’re fresh and ready!

  • The Word Exchange by: Alena Graedon – Mostly this list is in no particular order, but The Word Exchange blew my socks off so early in the year that very little else came close to me. I love dystopia, I especially love a near future dystopia where words are at stake. I loved this book.
  • Pro by: Katha Pollitt – This might have been the most important book published in 2014. It’s a call to stop shaming women who choose abortion and how access to abortion for all is not only something that women should never feel guilty about — it’s actually a morally righteous decision. Anyone who is on the fence about abortion or who thinks that exceptions for abortion are okay in rape and incest situations need to read this book.
  • The Magician’s Trilogy by: Lev Grossman – Okay, so only The Magician’s Land was actually published in 2014, but I gobbled up the whole 1,200 page trilogy in a matter of two weeks. I hate that I had the opportunity to see Lev Grossman speak (and did!) at The Decatur Book Festival last year but did not secure myself a signed copy of The Magician’s Land. Hailed as a ‘grown up Harry Potter’, I absolutely must agree. Except maybe it’s all the best parts of Harry Potter and all the best parts of the Narnia series. Go forth, read them all. Immediately.
  • Revival by: Stephen King – I loved the slow burn of this novel and the feeling of creepiness slowly coming up on you, along with the balls to the walls scareded-ness that come at the end. Yes. Absolutely a must read for Stephen King fans young and old.
  • Bellweather Rhapsody by: Kate Racculia – If you’re a band nerd, former or current, or if you love some crazy, quirky, mysteries this is a fabulous book for you. There was so much about this book that rang true to me — from being a former band nerd to the fact that it had almost a Stephen King-eqsue feel with the hotel (The Shining is what I’m thinking of) this book is unique and wonderful.
  • Dear Committee Members by: Julie Schumacher – Are you sick of the rash of epistolatory novels? DON’T BE! Dear Committee Members is delightful and laugh out loud funny at times. Anyone who has worked in an office setting or especially  in higher education in an underfunded department will find plenty of delight and fabulousness in this novel.
  • Station Eleven by: Emily St. John Mandel – Won the Rooster in this year’s Tournament of Books. It was a fantastic and beautiful literary dystopian novel that was absolutely enchanting.
  • How to Build a Girl by: Caitlin Moran – The most important coming-of-age novel since Judy Blume. I adored this novel. I laughed, I teared up, I was always team Johanna.
  • The Bone Clocks by: David Mitchell – Yes. Just do it.
  • An Untamed State by: Roxane Gay – I was completely entrenched into this novel, the most important part of it wasn’t, for me, the rape of a woman of color, but it was dealing with the aftermath of that rape and finding hope and understanding in the most unlikely places. A fabulous debut novel by Gay.
  • Yes Please by: Amy Poehler – YES PLEASE! A fabulous feminist manifesto full of positivity and laughter. Poehler’s memoir was everything I wanted to to be, and more.
  • All the Birds, Singing by: Evie Wyld – Another book that I read thanks to the Tournament of Books. I found this book to be so beautifully complex and such a great puzzle. So much for discussion in a book club, so much symbolism and such great writing.

So, Reader, what were your favorite books of 2014? 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


  • Awesome list! I read Bellweather Rhapsody last year and absolutely enjoyed it. Station Eleven made it on my list this week (sort of…as an honourable mention xD) and my copy of Dear Committee Members should be arriving later today so I’m looking forward to that =D

    My TTT

  • I like your idea of doing the Best of List in June! Station Eleven and Untamed State made my 2014 list as well. And – I really, really need to read All the Birds, Singing…hopefully this year!

    • Right? I get sick of seeing the same books on a thousand different lists in December, no one needs to hear it again from me – so I like to remind people in June. 🙂 (Plus it gives me six more months to read books published the previous year 😀 )

  • I did backlist as well today because I could only come up with 7 from 2015 that stood out. More to read then , I guess? I also love An Untamed State and Station Eleven. The others on your list are still on my TBR.

    • It was a happy accident that my best of list lined up with Top Ten Tuesday today. 🙂 I’m coming over to check yours out. 🙂

  • danicapage

    Great list! Thanks for sharing! I haven’t read any of these, but they look good.

    Here’s my Top 10

    And here’s my $30 giveaway

  • Beth Marie @ B Marie Books

    I recently read one of Roxanne Gay’s essays in an essay collection about New York I own and I loved her writing style, so I’m hoping to pick up Untamed State soon!

    Here’s my TTT:

  • Ellie

    I have The Magician’s Land on my TBR, really must get round to finishing the trilogy. Station Eleven made my best of last year list too.

  • So many favorites! I missed Dear Committee Members, but something tells me that its one I would love.

  • Lisa @ Captivated Reader

    Nice list of books!! Thanks for sharing your favorite reads of the year so far with us!! I have some new to me titles to check out and potentially add to my ever growing reading wishlist!!

    Here’s a link to my TTT post for the week:

  • I really need to get on The Magician’s Trilogy!

  • Great list! I definitely want to check out Yes Please because I loved Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation.

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  • Books on the Table

    I love that you’re posting your list now — I’ve read quite a few 2014 books in 2015, so my list would be much different today from the one I posted in December. For example, I adored Station Eleven — but didn’t end up reading it until 2015. That would definitely have been on my list. And I’ve just finished The Painter, by Peter Heller, which was published last June — and totally knocked my socks off.

  • Quite a few of those are still on my TBR list! Thank you for posting! My TTT contribution is here!

  • Thanks for reminding me that I still haven’t read Bellweather Rhapsody. I was (and still am) a band nerd. Good list!

  • Nishita

    Revival was on my list as well, and I’ve been meaning to read The Bone Clocks for ages, but intimidated somewhat by the size. Must get to it.