2014 Superlatives (Book Edition)

Favorite book/best book: ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr
runner up: ‘White Oleander’ by Janet Finch

I read both of these books for book club. Coincidence?

Best Ending: ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan
Worst Ending: ‘The Storyteller’ by Jodi Piccoult

Talk about a letdown. I adored ‘The Storyteller’ until the last ten pages. UGH.

Best YA: The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress) by Marissa Meyer

I feel like I’m the only one of my friends that has read this series and that needs to change right now. I myself wasn’t interested in the books based on the covers, but oh holy cow I’m so glad Cinder was the deal of the day at the iBooks store because that’s the only reason I downloaded it. I then proceeded to stay up all night to read it. I just love Cinder, I love her chemistry with Kai, and I love the world Marissa Meyer built. It’s the most enjoyable read an the equivalent to eating a big chocolate cake. Plus, they are fairytale retellings, and I love the twists she puts in there. The final book, Winter, cannot get here soon enough.

Most Challenging, and therefore Most Rewarding: ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace
Most Challenging, and not at all rewarding: ‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo

Sorry, Victor, but I don’t need to know THAT many details about France’s plumbing system in the 19th century.

Book that Made Me a Better Person: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It was just a beautiful book and everyone should go read it and then watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s two awesome TED Talks; We Should All Be Feminists and The Power of A Single Story.

Best Narrative NonFiction: ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand

Best Nonfiction: ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg

Both super fascinating and hard to put down!

Best Graphic Novel: ‘Blankets’ by Craig Thompson

Best Atwood: ‘Year of the Flood’ by Margaret Atwood
Best Atwood Impersonation: ‘The Girl in the Road’ by Monica Byrne

Favorite Shakespeare: MacBeth

Best Classic: ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath
runners up: ‘All the King’s Men’ by Robert Penn Warren
‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley 

Best Historical Fiction: ‘The Aviator’s Wife’ by Melanie Benjamin

Charles Lindenberg was kind of an asshole and also kind of a Nazi. You learn something new every day.

Most Enjoyable: ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline

80s references everywhere! It was so much fun to read. Could it be a movie now, please?

Most Heartbreaking: ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ by John Boyne

All I did was sob.

Biggest Surprise: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

Biggest Disappointment: ‘Shatter Me’ by Tahereh Mafi 
runner up: ‘Spook’ by Mary Roach 

‘Shatter Me’ was just too much for me to handle. Everyone on the internet loves the author, and she seems cool, but I wasn’t impressed by her work. And I know Mary Roach is better than ‘Spook’ which had so much potential and was really just boring after the first two chapters.

Best Memoir: ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed 
runner up: ‘A House in the Sky’ by Amanda Linkhout

Both memoirs were thought-provoking and, at times, heartbreaking. Both of the leads are two complex examples of strength, which I loved.

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