Not as much as I’d hoped! But I’m a writer, and I did publish a book this year. When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, and here’s a recap of what great books I tackled this year:
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen. One of my favorite authors, and she doesn’t disappoint. My colleague passed this book on to me after reading it, and I savored every paragraph. She’s an inspiration to me as a writer.
Ginger Krinkles by Dee DeTarsio. A delightful short holiday read with smart, edgy writing. I’ll be reading more by this author in 2015!
The Secret Keeper series, Books 3-6. Brea Brown, one of the best independent authors I know, wrote this series, which ended with her publication of Book 6 this year. I’d read the first two in the series last year, and gobbled up the rest of them because the story is just so good. Real, painful, joyous – she delivers.
Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney. Oh, Ms. Rigney, I do hope you’re writing as fast as you can, because I cannot wait to read the next novel you produce. I was out of my genre with this one and so glad I read it. A flawed heroine you’ll root for throughout the book, this one was clearly one of my favorites of 2014.
Fish Perfume by Sammie Grace. A local author with a local setting and a sweet romance. It mostly worked, and I’d definitely give this author a second chance at keeping my interest.
The Expats by Chris Pavone. An international thriller, page-turner, and a book I hope is made into a movie. Loved the setting (Luxembourg) and Pavone is a brilliant writer.
The Street or Me by Judith Glynn. A real-life story about an ordinary woman in Manhattan who befriends and saves a homeless woman. Riveting in its grittiness, Glynn tells her tale with no apologies or frills.
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen. A story of two sisters, told from the viewpoint of the younger, lesser-known sister, about the famous older sister, whose charmed life ends after an inadvertent on-air epithet. Oops!
Confessions of a City Girl: Los Angeles by Juliette Sobanet. This is a very fast read, partly owing to the author’s style of writing (plus it’s a novella). Sobanet, author of the “Paris” romances, offers up a sweet, easy read.
When Alice Met Danny by T.A. Williams. A novel with a Danny here, a Danny there. And a chick lit novel written by a guy! It works, though. Liked this one a lot.
A Kind of Mad Courage: Short Stories about Mothers, (S)mothers, and Others by various authors. A wonderfully diverse selection of short stories, and all proceeds from this book’s sales benefit the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen. Was 2014 the year of Anna Quindlen? I guess I just needed to catch up. This collection of essays, written by the 60-year-old Quindlen, are full of gratitude – for her career, her marriage, her children, and her friends.
A Week in Summer by Maeve Binchy. A short story from the late author. Binchy’s talent shines in her ability to say so much in such a short story. The magic of Ireland, the quirks of the townspeople, the challenges of a marriage.
Unbreakable Bonds by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. This is Book 2 in the author’s Angela Panther series. Paranormal chick lit? Yep. She pulls it off, believe me – snappy dialogue, snarky ghosts, and a serious mother-daughter bond.
Mission Impastable (Dinner is Served Book 1) by Sharon Arthur Moore. A good storyline, memorable characters from an author with lots more to write!
Wrecks: Three Stories of Imperfect Love by K.C. Wilder. Wilder is one of the best short story authors around, in my opinion. She nails it in these three.
The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson. Debut author Anderson hits all the marks with this chick lit novel.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. Beautiful writing in this lyrical, thought-provoking novel.
Tear Stained Beaches by Courtney Giardina. Debut novel from a promising author but with too much weeping from the main character. Optimistic that her second novel will be much improved.
Blame it on the Fame by Tracie Banister. Tight prose and snappy dialogue made for a really fun read. Love the Oscars? Then pick this one up!
Once More from the Top by Nan Reinhardt. Well-developed and realistic characters, romance, and a happy ending – this author knows how to write romance!
Depression Cookies by Tia Silverthorne Bach and Angela Beach Silverthorne. Distinctly different viewpoints into one family’s life, written by a mother and daughter. Wonderful!
Seattle Postmark by K.C. Wilder. Unpredictable and touching novella about love and letting go.
Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSala. One of the more original voices in contemporary women’s fiction, this funny romantic tale will satisfy
Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. These two books are the first and second in the Valentine trilogy. I’m about to begin the third book and cannot wait to reunite with these characters!
Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard. A pooch-friendly novel of hope and good humor. An excellent writer.
Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman. Good storyline from a debut author. Easy read, some editing problems, but looking forward to more from this writer.
Zoey and the Moment of Zen by Cat Lavoie. Good, fun chick lit book that is simply a sweet escape.
There were about a dozen books I started but did not finish. I won’t mention them here, but I do try to give a book every chance. Sometimes I force myself to finish a mediocre book, but after three or four chapters, if the writing is so bad it’s a distraction, I’m done. Editing is crucial, and life’s too short to read a bad book.
How about you? Can you name the best book you read this year?