Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Ten Reads of 2014

I've been immersed in reading everyone's best of lists and all of a sudden realized that I hadn't written my own.  It is so easy to get distracted and I've been adding books to my TBR list like crazy!  I adore this time of the year.  Fresh starts, new possibilities.....but I still love looking over my reading for the year and figuring out which books were the best.  I had a really good reading year in 2014 even though I didn't quite make my Goodread's goal.  I am ending the year having read 73 books which I'm pretty proud of!  Life gets busier and busier as the kids grow but I still am finding plenty of time to read (while enjoying tons of time with the family too!).  Without further ado though, here are the best of the best (or my favorite reads of 2014):

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon cemented my love for this author's books!  Last year one of her books made my top reads list and this year one did as well.  This book was the perfect read on a cold winter's evening and left me chilled to the bone at certain points.  I will be reading anything this author writes and plan on getting my hands on all of her books.  It is that simple. 

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters begins one of my favorite mystery series.  It wouldn't be fair to list all three of the books on my list for this year but really I could have included any/all of them.  I adore the characters in these books, find myself laughing out loud in various spots, and just can not get enough of this series.  I feel like more readers should be reading and loving these books just like I am.  Ha!

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton was one of those books that I instantly knew would make my top reads list as soon as I finished the last page.  Haunting and filled with suspense, I couldn't put this book down and loved every thrilling moment.  Bolton's another of my favorite authors, and as I work my way through all of her books I've yet to be disappointed.  My favorite thriller of the year hands down!

Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris was such a pleasure to read and is a part of the best steampunk series out there!  I love this series and the characters, and each book is a joy to read as we watch our dynamic duo on their crazy adventures.  The taste of romance that we got in this book just makes this series even better in my opinion!  I love this series and am impatiently waiting for the next book to release!

Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews was the best romance I read this year by far (although to be honest it felt more like urban fantasy to me but...)!  2014 has been the year of me reading Andrew's books but when all was said and done this was my favorite!  This book felt fresh and original with characters that I instantly found myself attached to.  I will be doing the waiting thing yet again as I pine for the next book in this series in 2015. 

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith was one of those books that I just immediately found myself immersed in.  I was super nervous to read this one as how could it ever live up to the love for the Harry Potter books that I have?!? This book took my expectations and shattered them giving me a mystery and characters that I couldn't get enough of.  I will be reading the next book in this series in 2015!

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells begins a new urban fantasy series by one of my favorite authors.  Are you noticing a trend yet?  This gritty, dark world that Wells has created was highly addictive.  I never know what to expect with this author's books other than I am in for a wild ride!  And this WAS one wild ride!  This book was just as good as I hoped it would be if not better.  I'm so excited that I have the second book to look forward to in 2015 with no wait!

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart was such a delight to read!  Filled with gothic undertones, I spent my time reading this book wondering what was going to happen next.  I loved the entire reading experience!  I have a special spot in my heart for books just like this: talk about an old house filled with secrets, characters that always seem to be hiding something, and a bit of romance and I'm there.  Yet another author whose backlist of books I plan on reading in its entirety!

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie was another mystery series that I found this year and just could not get enough of.  With two characters that I instantly adored and whodunnits that were throwbacks to Agatha Christie, I instantly fell in love with this series and this book!  I keep saying this but I've found yet another author to read all of her books.

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman was by far the creepiest book that I read in 2014.  Both dark and disturbing at times, this was one of those books that I just could not set down.  It left me thinking about it long after we finished.  I finished this one early in 2014 but it still gives me the shivers when I think about it.

Honorable mentions this year include the following:
  • Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy (again)
  • Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke
And so many more when I start to think about it!  I had a wonderful year of reading in 2014 and am looking forward to all of the new possibilities in 2015! I hope that all of you have had a great end of the year and are as excited as I am about this new year!  Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment on my little blog! 

Happy Reading!


  1. Happy new year Sam!! I hope you have a great day surrounded by loved ones and books. ;) I keep hearing so much about The Winter People, but I'm scared! Maybe one day. Hugs!

  2. I tried my first SJ Bolton and want to read another this year. Great list, I have seen a few. Happy New Year Samantha

  3. Burn for Me was also on my Top List - sooo good. I'll have to now check out all those other titles you have posted her. They all sound so good. Thanks for this. Happy New Year.

  4. Happy New Year, Sam! I think you had an amazing year of reading.

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful reading year. So glad to see Deborah Crombie and S.J. Bolton on your list :)

    I definitely want to read Winter People and more by by Crombie, Peters.. Oh so many books! Here's to a wonderful 2015!

  6. I love steampunk but find it can be a little hit or miss so am excited by the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences - it looks fun and its good to have a recommendation. Happy New Year!

  7. You've a great reading year and that's a great list! I'll check out those books you mentioned.

    Hope 2015 will be a better reading year for us all. :)

  8. I loved The Winter People. It made my list as well. I listened to it on audio and it was fantastic. Happy New Year Sam!

  9. Sometimes when I look at my spreadsheet of what I read over the previous year, I can't believe it was that same year I read some of those earlier books. It feels like so long ago . . . And yet the years go by so fast.

    I haven't read any of your favorites, Sam, but they're all on my wish list--a couple even in my Kindl already. :-) I hope you have a great New Year!

  10. I just read Nine Coaches Waiting this past week, and it's such a dear of a book! I wanted to hug it when I got done with it. I'm looking forward to trying more of Mary Stewart's gothicymodern novels.

  11. Trish- The Winter People is SO GOOD! I would recommend it more to you but I know you really aren't a thriller reader as much as I am. But this author can write! I cannot wait to get my hands on more by her.

    Marce- Bolton is absolutely one of my favorite authors! I haven't read a bad book by her yet! And the second book in the Lacey Flint series is AMAZING!!! You have to read that one soon! Definitely worth it!

    Parajunkee- I loved Burn For Me as well!! I just cannot wait for the second book to release because I will be first in line for it.

    Happy New Year to you as well Suko!!!

    Iliana- I'm planning on reading more by Crombie and Peters this year for sure! 2014 was such a great year for me in terms of finding new mystery authors. And with large backlists of books for me to work my way thru :) Even better!

    Stephanie- Oh my goodness- I adore the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series! They are excellent and I haven't read a bad book yet!! I'm planning on rereading the first three in the new year before the 4th one releases. I can't wait ;)

    Melody- I hope you have a wonderful year of reading in 2015 as well!!! Especially since you add to my TBR list so often :)

    Darlene- I wouldn't mind rereading The Winter People and listening to it instead. That sounds like a really great way to re-experience that book!

    Wendy- I felt the same way with some of the books that I read at the beginning of 2014. It just felt so long ago but yet it really wasn't.

    Jenny- I LOVED Nine Coaches Waiting! I need more books just like this in my reading life! I really, really need to write up my thoughts on this one because I want more readers to read it :) LOL! I will be reading more of her books as well!

  12. I think Blood Harvest will make my reading list this year. I read her for the first time last year and enjoyed it.

  13. Marce- I really haven't read a bad book by her yet! I look forward to her books and am saving her latest one just because I like knowing that I still have it to look forward to :) Ha! I'm crazy like that with my favorite authors!


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