When I sat down to look at all the books I read over 2014, one thing struck me about five star books. There are two kinds. At the time you finish a book, and you rate it five stars, sometimes it feels like the best book you have ever read, but I wonder if it really deserves five stars if all that impact is gone when you think about it months later?
All the books that made my shortlist this year were books which made me want to read more, write better, and left me with a lingering emotion, whether that be joy or anger (at the truth I'd been shown, not at the shoddy writing) or sadness or hope. Looking at the list, the majority of them are Australian Writers, and more than half are women. There are some I hope to emulate in my own craft and others who have impressed me by creating a style so far from my own that it had never even crossed my mind to write in that way!
1. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
2. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
3. Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey
4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
5. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (first published 2012)
6. The Strays by Emily Bitto
7. South of Darkness by John Marsden
8. After Darkness by Christine Piper
9. Longbourn by Jo Baker
10. Lost and Found by Brooke Davis
Honourable mentions have to go to a few other books which almost made the top ten and these are:
The Ark by Annabel Smith
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
Nest by Inga Simpson
Cairo by Chris Womersley
Lost Luggage by Jordi Punti
So that's it, another top ten for another year! If you've read any of these, let me know what you thought of them.
For those of you who might be interested in ways to fit more reading into your life, I am planning a post on that, so please let me know your thoughts in the comments.