Thursday, December 18, 2014

BEST OF 2014

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline:  Completely taken by surprise by the obsessiveness which I used to finish this futuristic, video-gamer, high-interest YA book, this was truly one of my surprising favs of the year (and yes, the movie is already in the making - cannot wait)
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman: This book has three 'can't miss' items for me - it took place in NYC at the turn of the century incorporating tons of history, it was about a circus/freak show, and it is written by one of my favorite authors, who could write a grocery list and I would find it beautiful.
Lexicon by Max Berry: This futuristic tale is incredibly well-written, and eerily spot-on when it comes to the possibility of manipulating people with words (think... FoxNews gone to the dark side)- great thriller/mystery.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Goodreads award for Best Historical Fiction - I concur.  The writing, the juxtaposed story of a young German techie-genius and a blind girl, in a walled city in France during WWII - it is spectacular.
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi: This was a debut novel by a gifted young Afghani woman, telling two stories across time: a woman who dresses as a man to guard the king's harem and a young girl who masquerades as a boy in modern-day Afghanistan.  It is not a story I will soon forget.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Stand by Stephen King: If you love dystopic novels as I do, you cannot miss either one of these.  The first is the newest take on a virus destroying our world, as we look at ways to rebuild our society; the second is the original, the one that all other authors look to as a model for dystopic novels.  Both are well worth reading.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson:  Best non-fiction of the year for me, this book exposes the two justice systems that exist in our country today: one for the wealthy, the well-connected, the well-to-do, and another system for the poor, the disenfranchised, the colored, and the handicapped.  You will not easily forget this book.
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher:  Short, wickedly funny, mean-spirited, nasty at times, and ultimately redemptive, this collection of letters by a grumpy college professor is worth the afternoon of reading - you will laugh out loud and enjoy every minute of his academic year.

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