Lists, Reviews

Favorite Fiction 2014: A Top Ten List

It’s that time of year again*: Lists. Lists of lists. Best of. Worst of. Best Cover. By genre, etc., etc. My list will be straightforward: favorite fiction of 2014. It’s funny, I’ve been in the biggest reading slump the last several weeks and I was thinking that it had not been a great reading year for me. However, looking back, it’s been a pretty good year.

Favorite Fiction

So, in no particular order:

10. Steal the North // Heather Brittain Bergstrom. “Vocally graceful and fearlessly intimate, STEAL THE NORTH, Heather Brittain Bergstrom’s remarkable debut novel, is a strikingly beautiful portrait of modern identity, faith, family, and love in all its forms.”

09. Fourth of July Creek // Smith Henderson. “In this shattering and iconic American novel, PEN prize-winning writer, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation’s disquieting and violent contradictions.”

08. The Heart Does Not Grow Back // Fred Venturini. “The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini. ”

07. Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma // Kerry Hudson. ” Told in an arrestingly original — and cry-out-loud funny — voice, it launches itself headlong into the middle of one of life’s great fights, between the pull of the past and the freedom of the future.”

06. All the Birds, Singing // Evie Wyld. “From one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists, a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful new novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past: a story of loneliness and survival, guilt and loss, and the power of forgiveness.”

05. Bellweather Rhapsody // Kate Racculia. “A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of The Shining, Agatha Christie, and Glee.”

04. The Ploughmen // Kim Zupan. “A young sheriff and a hardened killer form an uneasy and complicated bond in this mesmerizing first novel set on the plains of Montana.”

03. Cry Father // Benjamin Whitmer. “In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown comes a haunting story about men, their fathers, their sons, and the legacy of violence.”

02. Road to Reckoning // Robert Lautner. “With taut prose and a swift plot, this literary crime novel set in 1800s Pennsylvania captures the unlikely friendship between a spirited young boy and a gruff ex-ranger on a shared quest for vengeance.”

01. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain // Adrienne Harun. “In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure. “

Honorable mentions: Ruby // Cynthia Bond and The Supernatural Enhancement // Edgar Cantero.

What was your favorite book of 2014?

*This list is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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  • http://gilmoreguidetobooks.com Catherine

    I’m going to go with Everything I Never Told You- but there was so much amazing debut fiction this year that it’s a tough call.

    And you are so eclectic that I haven’t read any of the books on your list- which means my TBR just increased by 10.

  • http://www.bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com Christine @ BookishlyB

    5 has been on my wishlist for forever (I think I originally saw it here). And number one’s cover totally wins me over.

  • http://www.caffeinatedlife.net Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net

    Great list! I spy some books that are on my wishlist (well, namely A Man Came out of a Door in the Mountain), but yay for Bellweather Rhapsody :)

    My TTT

  • http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/ Lisa @ Captivated Reader

    Interesting list of books!! I haven’t read any of the books you’ve mentioned in your post. I’ll have to check them out! Here is a link to my TTT list for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-i-read-in.html

  • http://www.rivercityreading.com Shannon @ River City Reading

    I so loved All the Birds, Singing and wish it could be on all the lists. There are a few I’ve been meaning to read here you’ve reminded me of (The Ploughmen, A Man Came Out of a Door)!

  • http://booksspeakvolumes.com Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    Wow, I haven’t read any of these, but a lot of them sound fantastic! All the Birds Singing is on my shelf and I really want to read Bellweather Rhapsody.

  • http://thewellreadredhead.com Kelly

    Oh look! 10 more books to add to my TBR! Haha. Everyone’s lists are full of things I haven’t read yet, and they all sound so GOOD.

  • http://consumedbyink.wordpress.com Naomi

    I’ve only read All the Birds Singing, but most of the others are still on my list, and have probably been there since the first time you mentioned them. :)

  • http://www.livingawritinglife.blogspot.com Jennine G.

    You and I had very different reading this year…I haven’t read any of those! But this is what I like about the new year…feels like so many possibilities :)

  • http://nomoregrumpybookseller.blogspot.com/ Becky LeJeune

    Oh, wow! This is a great list! I have a few of these in my TBR and need to get to them sooner rather than later.

  • http://kakijokoja.blogspot.com Karsyn @ KaKiJoKoJa

    Haven’t heard of or read any of those. Glad looking back your reading year was better than you thought! Thanks for sharing! Here’s my Best Books of 2014.

  • http://www.thesteadfastreader.com April @ The Steadfast Reader

    Rory, I always feel like our tastes are so the same but also really different if that makes any sense. I think you approach books that I might not take up otherwise. I lurved Bellweather Rhapsody and I anticipate really enjoying ‘The Ploughmen’ when I’m in the proper mood.

  • http://www.lindzlibrary.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-top-10-books-i-read-in-2014.html Lindsay

    The only book I’ve read from your list is Fourth of July Creek, which was such a fascinating, dark, and beautifully written story! I’m intrigued by several other books on you mentioned and I’ll be adding them to my to-read list!

  • http://www.thedailydosage.com Marisa @ The Daily Dosage

    You know how I feel about Fourth of July Creek! It will be on my faves this year also. I have The Ploughmen and intend to get to it before years end!

  • http://www.entomologyofabookworm.com Kerry M

    I love the inundation of year-end lists (I’m a list addict, myself), but my favorite are lists like yours: I’ve read none of the books here, and heard of maybe half of them. This is why I love book bloggers so much. It’s so much more than an echo chamber of the big books the publishers throw dollars behind.

  • http://fortheloveofwords.net Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    Cry Father and The Ploughmen were both fantastic. Few of these I never made it around to. Eventually. :)

  • http://www.semicolonblog.com Sherry

    I added your list to my collection of end of the year book lists at my blog Semicolon. Thanks for the recommendations.

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