Best 2014 Books I’ve Read So Far

The year is more than half over, so I thought I’d do a best-of list at the halfway mark. February was the best month for me so far, when I read three books in a row I thought were outstanding. This seldom happens. There are times when I’d like three books in a row, but wouldn’t say they’re all excellent. Over at Goodreads, most of my ratings are three stars (you need a Goodreads account to see my shelf and reviews).

The following books were more memorable than the rest, keeping me enthralled and entertained all the way through. Click on the links for my reviews.

In chronological order of release:

  1. Love story, with murdersLove Story, with Murders by Harry Bingham
  2. North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo
  3. Watching You by Michael Robotham (scroll down to bottom of post)
  4. The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn
  5. The Three by Sarah Lotz
  6. Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell
  7. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
  8. Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta

What are your favorite reads so far this year?

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 25, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Those are some great selections. The titles I haven’t read are all on my TBR-soon list, many thanks to you!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      June 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

      One of the pleasures of doing this blog is sharing the love of good books. Hope you like the ones in your TBR list!

      • Reply
        Lauren
        June 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

        I’m sure I will. Watching You is next on the tree book list. Q-Bert coming up on audio. And looking forward to them is part of the fun no matter how they turn out.

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    June 25, 2014 at 7:50 am

    The only book in your top 10 that I’ve read is Koryta’s book. I’m not as much a fan of it as you, but at least I was able to finish it, unlike his paranormal books.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      June 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

      I prefer this book to his supernatural tales, too.

      What have you liked this year?

      • Reply
        Naomi Johnson
        June 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

        I just finished William Faulkner’s SANCTUARY. Repellent, yet powerful. Can’t say I loved it, but it’s hard to stop thinking about it. My favorites so far this year are probably John Straley’s COLD STORAGE, ALASKA, and Adrian McKinty’s THE COLD, COLD GROUND. I enjoyed the other two books in McKinty’s Sean Duffy series, but I think the first is the best.

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    June 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I’m working on my mid-point post right now. Two of your titles are on my list: Intern’s Handbook and Those Who Wish Me Dead. The remainder I haven’t read. I’ve heard from others who really liked Quebert, too.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      June 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      I was already enjoying HANDBOOK and then…ninja! How could I not like it, right? I’m glad you liked it, too!

      Looking forward to seeing your list.

  • Reply
    Paulette
    June 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I have only read Intern’s Handbook and Those Who Wish Me Dead. Loved Handbook and yes, I wished the wishers dead in the Kortya book. I did not find the plot twist particularly satisfying….

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      June 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      I meant to address the twist with Naomi, too. I agree it wasn’t convincing and perhaps one twist too many. But it answered a crucial question for me. As I read, I kept asking, “HOW did the killers get on Jace’s scent? I thought he was being protected.” So the twist that I think you’re talking about—while stretching credulity—at least cleared that up.

      • Reply
        Naomi Johnson
        June 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        There were so many things I found problematic. Off the top of my head:
        That Jace’s parents would send him off alone into the middle of nowhere based on the thin acquaintance Jamie struck up his Jace’s mom.
        That a terrific pair of killers who are not only good but lucky, somehow are outwitted or outraced by Jace at beginning of the book. Koryta paints Jace into an inescapable corner there at the beginning, then frees him, but never do we get a clue on how Jace managed this remarkable escape. It didn’t seem so unbelievable when I first read it, but as the book went on, and I saw how good the killers were, the lack of an explanation bothered me.

        SPOILER ALERT

        If Jamie and her brothers were in touch regarding Jace’s whereabouts, why was it necessary for them to kill the sheriff – wouldn’t they have known to go straight to Allison for information?
        What was the big rush that the killers were in – I never understood why they had to go into the mountains after Jace? Why couldn’t they wait for Ethan to bring the boys back to the ranch, then pick Jace off at long distance with a rifle?

        • Reply
          Paulette
          June 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm

          All valid points, Naomi! Despite its flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense. Perhaps I am easy!

          • Reply
            Naomi Johnson
            July 1, 2014 at 5:02 am

            Despite its flaws, I kept reading, so it can’t have been awful.

        • Reply
          Naomi Johnson
          July 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

          Thanks for adding the spoiler alert. I apologize. My bad.

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