Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Read (But Didn’t)

Last year I found myself adding books to my wishlist like a crazy person. I think there must be a mathematical formula somewhere that shows how the desire to read a lot and the inability to do so results in a sort of virtual book hoarding behavior. The result is that I added plenty of 2014 releases to my wishlist (and I bought and read several of them, including Long Man, The Enchanted, The Secret Place, The Paying Guests, and Fourth of July Creek) but didn’t get around to reading most of them. So for today’s Top Ten (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish), I give you the top ten books from 2014 that I never got around to reading:

Bark, Lorrie Moore. Of all of last year’s releases, this is the one I am the most ashamed I haven’t read yet, not only because Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite authors, but because I actually own a hard copy of the book. In fact, I pre-ordered it in 2013 because I was so excited about it. Whoops.

Bark: Stories

After I’m Gone, Laura Lippman. I actually bought this on sale last week, but I can’t read it until April. Laura Lippman’s books always entertain me.

After I'm Gone

Friendswood, Rene Steinke. Because it’s set in Texas, and sounds like one of those terrific narratives about family and community and what it means to belong to both.

Friendswood: A Novel

Some Luck, Jane Smiley. The truth is, I’ve only read two of Jane Smiley’s novels, A Thousand Acres and Moo, but I enjoyed them both so much that I am constantly meaning to return to her work.

Some Luck

Wolf in White Van, John Darnielle. I’ve read a few excerpts from this novel, and I’m drawn by the writing in addition to the fact that as a former World of Warcraft player, I am compelled by the exploration of creating other worlds inside of games, and how the desire to escape or control affects the “real” world.

Wolf in White Van

We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas. A story about a family trying to achieve the American Dream. Sign me up for that one.

We Are Not Ourselves

The Ploughmen, Kim Zupan. Lately it feels like the most compelling words to me are”lonesome,” “thriller,” and “the Plains.” This novel checks all three of those boxes.

The Ploughmen

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng. I actually received a free audiobook version of this novel. Question: when do you listen to audio books? I don’t have a commute, so the car is out. I tried listening while exercising, but my mind drifts. After listening to the first part, I know the writing is great, but I may have to get a “real” book to get through the whole thing.

Everything I Never Told You

Shotgun Lovesongs, Nickolas Butler. There are novels aplenty about four friends growing up and growing apart as the world intervenes, but it sounds like Butler has worked some magic on this timeless tale. And also, music.

Shotgun Lovesongs

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr. I’ve heard nothing but raves abut this book. Sometimes that makes me feel less compelled to read a novel, but in this case I get the feeling that it’s as good as everyone says.

All the Light We Cannot See

*Images and text from Goodreads

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10 comments

  1. I have Celeste Ng and Matthew Thomas on my list, and Doerr would have been on it too, if I’d had more room! I want to read Smiley’s book too. So many good books came out in 2014.

  2. Bark was the first book I read by Moore last year and I loved it! Looking forward to her backlist now. Doerr and Ng’s books were also wonderful but like you I have no commute so audio books can be tricky. I also wanted to read The Ploughmen but never got to it.

  3. Marisa, Moore is so terrific. I recommend reading Birds of America, and then Like Life. As far as her novels, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? is so lovely! I wanted to love The Gate at the Stairs, but just didn’t. It’s still worth reading, though.

  4. I have quite a few of these books on my list as well. I listen to audio books when I commute, but also when I’m going through my morning routine (making coffee, putting on make-up, etc.) or sometimes I’ll listen if the kids are busy and I’m just folding laundry. Little sections of listening here and there can add up.

  5. Andi, it must be a mood thing. One of my favorite books of all time is Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and the first time I picked it up I really didn’t even like it. One day I decided to give it another shot and I loved it so much that when I was finished I turned back to the beginning and read it again! (That was before blogging, when I re-read books all the time.)

  6. Wolf in White Van is SO GOOD. I’d definitely give it a go if you’re still interesting. Everything I Never Told You is also excellent. I’m interested in The Ploughmen, too. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it.

  7. Julianne, when my TBR exile is over and I can buy and read new books, I really do want to get to Wolf in White Van. I have Everything I Never Told You on audio book, but I don’t have a commute and have found it difficult to listen to, so I’ll probably end up getting it from the library or buying it because I love what I’ve heard so far.

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