As 2014 draws to a close, I got to thinking- which books have I enjoyed the most this year? So the more I had a think about it, I thought why not put together a compilation of my favourite reads from this past year. So in no particular order, here they are (do bare in mind not all of the books were published in 2014- this list is the books I enjoyed the most this year).
A wonderfully good fantasy story, which was also the authors debut novel. It follows the misadventures of anti-hero Jorg of Ancrath, an unruly to say the least 14 year old prince who pillages, fights and cheats his way to getting what he wants. The story rollicks along at a great pace, I finished it within three days of picking it up. The story starts after the deaths of Jorg’s family sending him down a path of revenge, along the way he does manage to pillage the odd village and strike fear into the hearts of those he encounters. There is an extremely clever twist within the plot that you won’t see coming to be enjoyed as well. Plus the world in which the book is set also has some surprises up its sleeve. All in all a tremendous read. It is the first in a trilogy as well, I have just began the second book, King of Thorns. If I had to compare it to anything, at the risk of sounding cliched, Game of Thrones. I would say it is easily on par with Martin’s fantasy series.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt
An epic novel which spans decades of a boys life as it spirals out of control, with one constant, a stolen piece of art. When Theo Decker’s mother dies when he is just thirteen his life takes some strange turns. He ends up in Vegas, living with an estranged father who cares more about gambling and get rich quick schemes than raising a son. So Theo looks to make his own way in life, which leads him down the crazy road of drink, drugs and adolescence in revolt. The book also touches on the powerful bond of relationships and how we all deal with grief differently. The novel won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize one of the biggest honours in the literary world. I read it during a week long holiday, at 880 pages, it is a long read but a rewarding one none the less. Highly recommend it.
Love him or hate him, I feel this book is a must read for anybody looking to be engaged simply in contemporary politics. He doesn’t condescend with his narrative voice like I have found other authors writing in this genre have, for example like in my opinion Damien McBride does with his book Power Trip. Not only is the book very informative but it is also hilarious, only Brand could write about such dry topics and make them an absolute hoot.
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
The archetypal spy thriller by the master himself, the late great Robert Ludlum. The book introduces Jason Bourne, chronicling his adventures across Europe as he fights to regain his memory and put the pieces together in his mind to reveal to himself his true identity. It is a sleek fast paced package that will leave you saying to yourself “just one more chapter before I go to sleep” at two in the morning.
The book follows three protagonists as they wrestle with who they are during the frightful times of World War 2. Auschwitz is the backdrop to this thought provoking novel. It ponders the condition of the human soul, and also thrusts a love story into the midst of its story all whilst the horrors of the war surround this love. Not a very long novel, but one I feel on reflection should be read more than once, if not to merely try to grasp the messages the author tries to give. I wouldn’t say The Zone of Interest is a page turner, but does keep, if you will pardon the pun, the readers interest from start to finish.
Game of Thrones (The entire A Song of Ice and Fire collection) by George R R Martin
I like so many others got hooked to the TV show this year. I know I can’t believe it took me that long as well! But after hitting the end of series 3 on DVD and having to wait until February of next year to buy series four I couldn’t think of any other way to get my thrones fix. So I turned to the books, and my word how I was rewarded for the decision. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people who always spouts about how the book is always better than the film/TV show, they are the worst kind of irksome tinkers (I have a no swearing rule on this blog so put it nicely) but in this case the books are equally as good. The only downfall, you don’t want to turn a page incase your favourite character gets the chop!
Make sure you check back to bUZZ as well if you are a Thrones fan, there will be a plethora of GOT posts going up over the coming weeks and months. So there you have it, my favourite reads of 2014, some crackers in there. Make sure you check back to bUZZ for more literary posts and a whole host of other entertainment news!