I know there's still a few more days left before this year ends; and knowing my reading progress would be slow with all the holidays and other stuff going on, I doubt I'd squeeze in any more books before the end of the year, thus there goes this post.
This year has been a good reading year for me, at least as compared to the last. According to my list, I'd read a total of 44 books to-date. The amount may not be many, but based on the quality side it's been a good one to me. Here are my top ten reads of 2014 (not in any order):
1) Alphabet House by Jussi Alder-Olssen
I've read many good reviews of Jussi Alder-Olsen's Department Q series; and although I've yet to read any of them, this standalone is enough for me to rave about this author's writing. Filled with great characterisations and taut tension, this book is a true page-turner; it's a true action thriller that have you hold your breath and race through the pages until you get to the bottom of it. I'd love to go through that reading experience, again.
2) Wolf by Mo Hayder
Mo Hayder. Oh how I love this author's works! Her standalones are a good read, but it's her Jack Caffery series that makes you hope for more. Jack is a flawed character but that doesn't stop me from liking him. He has a past that haunts him, and though that makes him vulnerable, he never let that weakness takes him down when solving cases. He's one of my literary crush, there I've said it.
3) Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton
Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton is an intense read. Female detectives are as mesmerising as their male counterparts; in fact they are much braver in my opinion given that they do not cower what seems to be a male dominance world with their machismo. Lacey Flint is one fine example and I'm also hoping to see romance blooms between her and DI Mark Josebury in the near future. Obviously they care a lot about each other but didn't want to admit it.
4) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You is definitely one of the most emotional reads I read this year. Though it's a love story, I'd say it's more of an inspirational story filled with love and selflessness. I liked the concept about these two very different individuals who have their own struggles but nonetheless go out of their way to encourage and try to make each other's life happy and satisfying. This novel definitely makes me think about my life and be grateful of all the things I have, most especially my family and friends.
5) Still Life by Louise Penny
Louise Penny astounded me with her first book of the Inspector Armand Gamache series. Great plot, great characterisations and great suspense all in one. A true crime thriller fan wouldn't ask for more. Inspector Gamache is a hero; one I admire and respect not only for his intelligence but his humbleness as well. I can't wait to read the rest of this series!
6) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park. My heart warmed just thinking of their sweet little love story. I loved so many things about this story; the imperfection of Eleanor which makes her so much more of a real person than a fictional character. Then there is Park, whose actions definitely speak louder than words and his love for Eleanor is beyond words could describe. This story makes you believe that courage and hope could definitely ward off obstacles. And finally, not be afraid of differences. Yes! I love that spirit!
7) Help for the Haunted by John Searles
I love reading ghost stories; and I'm not talking about those traditional, cliché ones that goes bump in the night. Although Help for the Haunted does have some creepy stuff going on, the core of this story is about a family's tragedy and how the protagonist set her journey in pursuing the truth surrounding her parents' death. Heartbreaking as it is horrific, this is definitely one unique ghost story to me.
8) I'll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin
Kyung-Sook Shin is a South Korean author and I don't think I've read any South Korean literature before her. That said, I was pleased to discover her name and read I'll Be Right There; a poignant story about friendship and the journey of four young people set during the South Korean political times in the 1980s. Bittersweet yet beautiful, Ms. Shin has crafted an unforgettable story about their dreams and their struggles. Though it's a fiction, I felt the realism throughout the story.
9) The Secret Place by Tana French
Tana French. She's another must-buy author for me. Her writing is just beautiful and her suspense always keep you at the edge of your seat. Her books may not feature the same protagonists every time, but they are mesmerising and grew on you the more you get to know them. This is a good option if you like suspense and didn't want to stick to one main protagonist. After all, Ms. French has a team of great detectives in her good hands and I'm sure you could find a few of your favourite characters there.
10) The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Sarah Waters' prose is simply beautiful; she's also a great storyteller. Her characterisations may be complex at times, but I believe they all have their weaknesses when it comes to love. After all, love comes in all kinds and they can be, well, complicated. I also liked the multi-layered plots and most of the times the endings astounded me. I may only have read two books by Sarah Waters, but they are enough to wow me and make her one of my favourite authors to read.
There you have it. What are your top ten reads this year?