I’m a big Jamie Mason fan. I adored her debut, Three Graves Full, and suffice it to say Monday’s Lie (Feb. ’15) is worth adding to your preorder list. I’m thrilled to present her fave 2014 reads on the blog today!
The Secret Place, by Tana French
I’m always first in line for a new Tana French book, but this might nudge ahead by a nose as my favorite one yet. What she captures about adolescence and friendship bypasses nostalgia altogether (thanks be) and puts my head right back to that age. I was there. Everyone – the cops, the girls, the victim(s) are so real, it’s sometimes less like reading a book than being gifted an entire set of other lives.
All the Wild Children, by Josh Stallings
Not only the best memoir I’ve read in ages, but one of my favorite discoveries of recent memory. Josh Stallings is an incredible writer.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
I only got around to this gem in 2014, although it was released in 2013. There is delight on every single page of this book. I don’t even know how to describe what kind of story it is, but it doesn’t need to be quantified, just read. I loved it.
The Button Man, by Mark Pryor
As his books always do, Mark Pryor reminded me again of why I love a good old-fashioned (though, in this case, thoroughly modern) mystery. This book came at a great time in my reading year, because I’d managed to misjudge a run of books that just weren’t for me. This book was like coming home.
Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger
This is one of those books that wins all the awards. Turns out, that’s not a fluke or industry cronyism. It’s just a gorgeous book – emotional, riveting, really just worthy of all
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, by Karen Abbott
In 2014, I didn’t get to as much non-fiction as I usually do, but every time I read a Karen Abbott book, the zing of her writing and the sharply-crafted nail-biter she makes of history kind of spoils me for any drier accounts. This true story of four female Civil War spies might be her best yet.
The Accident, by Chris Pavone
I loved Chris Pavone’s first book, The Expats, and it was quite a lot of fun to discover how different his follow up novel, The Accident, was in tone and complexity. The guy is a great writer and this is one twisty, layered read. Definitely one of the best of the year.
Whiplash River, by Lou Berney
So this book has been out since 2012, but I finally got to read the copy that had been packed away during my move. Good lord, is this ever a great, fun, and surprising treat. It’s a very different sort of read and especially impressive in Lou Berney’s achievement of ticking more boxes than most writers can manage in a single book – it’s clever, suspenseful, brilliantly-written, funny, capery, but still somehow very believable and psychologically honest. Loved it.