My goal this year is to read 100 books. A daunting task, but do-able. I'm keeping track on Goodreads (follow me if you like!) & I'm up to 71 books. 39 to go before New Years.... As you can imagine, among those 71 books, I have my favorites. People are always asking me for book suggestions, so I'm sharing my top 10 books of 2014 (so far).
The Silver Star - Jeanette Walls does dysfunctional so well in her first novel. Two sisters who have essentially been abandoned by their mother go to live with their uncle at the family estate, located in a small Virginia town. When they find jobs with the local mill manager, they are excited for the extra money but soon they find him taking advantage of them.
Astonish Me - I didn't know anything about this novel aside from the fact that I enjoyed Maggie Shipstead's first novel Seating Arrangements. I was soon enraptured by this tale set in the world of ballet that reminded me somewhat of The Turning Point (amazing 1970s movie about 2 ballerinas and their choices).
The Husband's Secret - This novel weaves the lives of several suburban families together, all of whom are linked through "the husband's secret". I figured out the secret pretty early on, but that did not discourage me in the least from wanting to read more about the characters.
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street - This is another one that I knew nothing about prior to attending an author reading with my friend. I knew as soon as I heard the author read the "voice" of the main character that I had to read this book. You may not like the protagonist, Lillian Dunkle, but you find yourself rooting for her & dying to know what comes next. It is a great story of the immigrant experience in American in the early part of the 20th century.
The Glass Room - I read this book months ago & it keeps coming back to me. A young couple in 1920s Europe has a home built for them -- a modern masterpiece that is meant to embody the future. Through the tumultuous 1930s & 1940s, the owners lives are split apart and the house comes into the possession of a variety of people. The great passions and troubles of the time move through the house, but the house is unchanged, finally drawing the owners back.
May We Be Forgiven - Oh my God. This book is absurd black comedy at it's best. As I was reading it, I kept stopping to say to Glenn "You won't believe what happened now".
Brain on Fire - I read this in one sitting, completely unable to put it down. It is the true story of a young, seemingly healthy journalist who appears to suddenly descend into madness. Seizures, uncontrolled movements, and paranoid behavior lead to a near diagnosis of schizophrenia before her medical mystery is finally unravelled.
Paris in Love - Author Eloisa James wrote this account of her family's year in Paris in short essays which not only make you want to take a trip to the City of Light but also remind you to savor the pleasures of life. Her accounts of her family's adjustments to life in a foreign country are highly amusing.
The Spectacular Now - Of course, there has to be a YA book in this list and The Spectacular Now ranks among my favorites. This could be the light story of the party guy who meets the shy girl and brings her out of her shell. Instead, it is an amazingly well written book about who the party guy really is -his loneliness, the constant pursuit of the ongoing buzz and how he pulls the girl along with him.
The Interestings - A group of kids meet at a 1970s camp & declare themselves "The Interestings". The novel follows them as they come of age and their choices bring them varying degrees of success. The question arises -- which is more important -- financial or personal success?