The Best Books of 2014
As we get ready to close out 2014, here is a look back at our favorite reads of the year. Don’t forget to share your picks below!
Armand Gamache is happily retired, giving up the crime world where he was formerly Chief Inspector of Homicide…until his neighbor Clara asks his help in finding her missing husband. Though Clara and Peter have been separated for a year, they had agreed to meet on the first anniversary of their separation. What Armand discovers as he investigates is that Peter was once a great artist—and he would do anything to get back on top. This is another top-notch mystery from Penny—and a #1 New York Times bestseller!
A super twisty, hard to put down read about the lengths we go to keep up appearances. The “perfect” Sinclair family reunites every summer on a private island off of Cape Cod. But one summer something goes horribly wrong—and Cadence Sinclair spends the next two years suffering from chronic pain while struggling to remember what exactly happened. From there, the surprises keep coming until the shocking finale.
We’ve been a fan of the always hysterical Amy Poehler since her SNL days. In her first book, Poehler offers us essential life advice (it’s always good to know when it’s okay to be funny and when it’s time to be serious) while also sharing personal tales from her childhood and career. If that’s not enough, there are also tidbits about sex and relationships. Amy Poehler is one of those women, along with her frequent collaborator Tina Fey, who we would love to call our BFF.
We discovered the fabulous Julie James from Sarah Wendell’s Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (you can listen to Sarah on our Shelf Pleasure podcast here). This witty, smart contemporary romance stars Sidney Sinclair, an investment banker who is finished with men and dating after her engagement ends. When her sister gets engaged, Sidney is thrown together with Vaughn Roberts, the handsome best man—an arrogant playboy that Sidney wants to avoid at all costs. Of course, nothing interests a man more than a woman who seems immune to his charms. As Vaughn tries to win her over, he finds himself actually falling in love. But can he convince her that he is more than just a smooth talker?
This #1 New York Times bestseller is a murder mystery that also happens to be a funny and emotionally compelling look at what lurks behind the suburban perfection. It explores marriage, divorce, second marriages, parenting—and the lies that we continually tell ourselves in order to survive.
We can’t emphasize enough how much we love Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy following the lives of several families during some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century. After a long wait, the third and final book is here! Set in Europe, Russia, and the US in the 1960s through the 1980s, the book is a first row ride through history chronicling the Cold War, racial unrest, rock ‘n roll and everything in between.
A touching story about what happens to a middle-aged couple and their marriage when the children are gone and one partner thinks the marriage has run its course and the other will do anything to save it. This last chance family vacation, for a father to try to get close to his son and to reconnect with his wife, is sweet and surprising—and the streets of Europe make for a delightful backdrop.
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