1. Chris Wooding, Retribution Falls — I was very pleasantly surprised by this sci-fi novel, which I’d picked up several years ago when Borders was going out of business. With its anti-hero airship captain and a ragtag crew of misfits, it reminded me strongly of “Firefly,” and that can only be a good thing!
2. Lois Lowry, The Giver — I somehow never read this book as a child, but even as an adult I really loved it! Lowry does such an amazing job of slowly peeling back the layers of the seemingly utopian Community to reveal the darkness underneath.
3. Hannah March, The Complaint of the Dove — One of my very favorite genres is the historical mystery, and this book is set in the Georgian era (pre-Regency), which is fairly unique in fiction. I enjoyed the period details and the writing style, and I’m excited that there are several more books in the series to enjoy! (Also, Hannah March is a pen name for Jude Morgan, whose books I previously read and really liked.)
4. B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories — I’m not normally a big fan of short stories, but these are SO short that they’re laser-focused on one joke or idea. They’re very funny and very dark, and I highly recommend them!
5. Morgan Matson, Since You’ve Been Gone — When I read this back in May, I thought to myself, “This is the perfect summer read!” It’s about a shy girl whose outgoing, confident best friend inspires her to come out of her shell. There’s adventure and drama and a very sweet romance, and I loved the portrayal of female friendship. If you like YA contemporary novels, this is a must-read!
6. Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon, No Bed for Bacon — Fans of Shakespeare or the Elizabethan era simply HAVE to read this hilarious book! It’s basically a parody of everything you learned in history class about this time period…you’ll never see so many (hysterical) jokes about non-standard spelling!
7. Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette — Usually I don’t like books about dysfunctional families, especially when they’re also bestsellers. But I’m really glad I tried this book, because I ended up devouring it! Bernadette can be an annoying character at times, but she’s self-aware enough to KNOW she’s annoying, so I was able to overlook it. Also, the satire of her privileged Seattle life is deliciously clever and biting.
8. Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens — I really seem to have a lot of comedy on my list this year! This is, dare I say, the funniest book about the Apocalypse you’ll ever read. Both of these authors are so brilliant, and I look forward to reading a lot more of them in the future!
9. Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue — This third book in the Raven Cycle might be my favorite one yet, as Blue and the boys get closer than ever to finding Owen Glendower. The stage is sent for some huge stuff to go down in the next (and last) book…and if Blue and Gansey don’t kiss already, I will not be held responsible for my actions!
10. Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project — Sometimes you just need a good romantic comedy to lift your spirits, and this one charmed me immediately. Narrator Don Tillman is immediately likable and funny, and I really rooted for him as he encountered a wealth of new experiences thanks to Rosie, the girl who seems totally wrong for him but may be absolutely right.
So, what were your favorite books of the year? I look forward to adding a lot more titles to my must-read list!