Friday, 2 January 2015

My 2014 book picks


Hi everyone. I hope you have all enjoyed the festivities. At this time of year curling up with a good book is just even more of a treat. Well I say that but I do love to read at any time, especially if it involves a sun lounger. Back in January I wrote a post about my favourite books of 2013 so I thought I would do one for my 2014 faves too. They aren't all necessarily books that were released in 2014 but are ones that I have read throughout the year. There's a mixture of  genres too. And I won't give too much away as that's a pet hate.

Chick lit


An easy to read chick lit book but that wasn't too predictable and had laugh out loud moments. Great for something light to read but that isn't run of the mill.


.....and the whole shopaholic series. Being a fan of Confessions of a shopaholic the film I can't believe I've only read the series of books this year. And for all that I love the film and still do even after reading the book (because that doesn't happen often) I have to say I love the books even more. Why? Because they're way more Becky and Becky is just hilarious. Reading these in the Greek sunshine was divine.


Another, not your average chick lit read that makes you want to travel to India and have an adventure all of your own.

Fiction



In an instance our lives can change forever. This book has you constantly questioning which version of the story is true and how a significant event can fracture our lives, braking it up into what was and what could have been. 


It took me a while to muster the strength to read this book. I think it's because it tackles something we will all at some time wonder. That of where do we go when we die? Do we really look over our loved ones. But actually I'm really glad I read this in the end. Although tragic it's also hertfelt and beautiful.


Jojo Moyes makes my list again. How could she not? She sure knows how to tell a story. I like how she writes from the perspective of all her characters to add even more depth. What is great about this book too is that the characters are very real with real problems making them all the more relatable.


And another Jojo Moyes book to add into the mix. This book really captured my heart. It's historically interesting, set at the end of the Second World War. And you really feel as though you are taking a journey with all these young brides. And although it's a romance novel I think the history and again the multi perspectives of both male and female characters makes it a great read for anyone. I passed it on to my Dad who used to be in the Merchant Navy and he seemed to enjoy it too. 


This book had me laughing out loud. Don is just so hilarious and all without meaning to be. He reminded me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Join this unlikely romantic hero as he faces the challenges of the world with Aspergers. Not that he knows it.

Classics

I've not read any classics that have had that much of an impact on me this year. I've pushed myself through reading Dracula and Anna Karenina but both felt like a chore. More of a now I can say I have read them. Which was probably a waste.


However I did read this contemporary version of Pride and Prejudice, which I did enjoy. It's told from the perspective of the servants at the Bennet house, Longbourn. Offering a different perspective to a much loved and familiar story.

Suspence

The books that had be gripped and I would recommend to any fiction fans.


Dan Brown sure knows how to get you believing his stories are real. They are so well researched and packed with facts that the story and reality are interweaved. You literally question why you didn't see it on the news today. This book also makes you question your own morals and the way we think about the world. And there is no clear cut definition between what is right and what is wrong.  It really is an epic read.

The books that became films


This book was one of those just one more chapter reads. It's so gripping from the very outset. It will be interesting to see how the film compares. I think sometimes when they cast big stars in these films it can sometimes lose the impact as you know them from so many other films.


I read this a few months ago and was charmed. Again it's a story set during the Second World War but told from a completely different perspective. Over the Christmas holidays I recently watched the film and have to say I liked it just as much as the book. 


I feel I need to mention this. It has had such an impact on so many readers this year. And let's face it a story about two teenagers dying of cancer and falling in love is a storyline that you'd have to be cold hearted not to be affected by. On a personal level this book affected me because although I don't have cancer I still live with a chronic illness and face similar issues. I think this book will open peoples eyes to what it's like to try and live without being defined by your illness. No we're not all heroes. Or brave. What we want more than anything is to be normal. I've not watched the film yet but I have a feeling it will probably make me blub.

Non Fiction


When you see that Ruby Wax has written a book it's likely you'll think it will be comedic. Yet here is a book that's hard hitting, non fictional and full of knowledge. Did you know she actually went to Harvard to study psychology? Telling them although she was not their usual applicant that she would work harder than anyone because she wanted to understand and educate herself about the mind and the mental health issues that had plagued her. And this book is about that journey. As well as helping others to understand how the mind works in a way that's easy to understand and comical at times in a way that's pure Ruby Wax. I really enjoyed reading this. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in psychology or have mental health issues of their own. It's fascinating.

You can take a look at what else I've been reading this year on Goodreads. In all I've read 70 books this year, which is very good going. I'll be creating a bookshelf on Goodreads for my 2015 reads too.

What were your favourite reads this year? Did you like any of my recommendations?

Sian x

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