Book Gifts

Looking for recommended reads? This is the time of year I am supposed to pare down my reading list and chose the favourites out of what I read. Which sounds like it would be easy.
Some years I start with a blank slate and write the first ten books that came to mind.
Other times I try to single out one book per category. Most of the time I can get to the top 20 fairly painlessly, but there are still books I SO want to recommend. I also go through the lists that have been compiled by the New Yorker or the New York Times or the prizes, see what I have missed. Often I think I am not well read at all. 10 of their hundred? And yet, there are well over 300 books I enjoyed last year. There has to be time for travel, gardening, sleeping, etc, doesn’t there?

There’s still time to get a few of these for someone’s Christmas present! I dare say there are even a few in the Friends Bookstore!
What are my best books of 2014?
My 25 personal favourites in fiction and non fiction.

Books 2014
Literature
*Bruce Holsinger A Burnable Book
*Hilary Mantel The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
Patrick Modiano Missing Person
*Gabrielle Zevin Storied Life of AJ Fikry
Mystery
*Alan Bradley As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
**John Connolly A Wolf in Winter
*Diana Gabaldon Written in my own Hearts Blood
*Martha Grimes The Way of all Fish (Sequel to Foul Matter)
Laurie King and Leslie Klinger In the Company of Sherlock Holmes
**Ian Rankin Saints of the Shadow Bible
*Charles Todd Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford)
Nicola Upson Death of Lucy Kyte
Jacqueline Winspear Care And Management of lies
Romance
Susanna Kearsley Splendor Falls, A Season of Storms
Deanna Raybourn Whisper of Jasmine
Children’s /YA
Gregory McGuire Egg and Spoon
William Ritter Jackaby (para Sherlock)
**Maria Semple Where’d You Go Bernadette
Science fiction
***Deborah Harkness – The Book of Life (Discovery of Witches3rd)
*Douglas Nicholas Something Red, The Wicked
Patrick Rothfuss The Slow Regard of Silent Things
2014 nonfiction
**Elizabeth Kolbert The Sixth Extinction, an unnatural history
*Terry Pratchett A Slip of the Keyboard
*Hampton Sides In The Kingdom of Ice

Obviously the more Stars the more I loved it.

Summer books!

Have you made your book selections/reading list for summer yet? There is so much to chose from! And many much awaited soon to be published sequels!
These are some (20) of my (Helen McIver) favourite books so far, as well as a few I have on preorder!
Literature
**Bruce Holsinger A Burnable Book (Anyone who liked Pulitzer Prize winner Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies will love this.)
**Deborah Harkness The Book of Life (Much anticipated final chapter (gasp) Discovery of Witches trilogy)
*Nancy Horan Under the Wide and Starry Sky (interesting historical novel about Franny Stevenson wife of Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson)
*Anthony Holden Poems that make Grown Cry (You might even memorize a few!)
*Gabrielle Zevin Storied life of AJ Fikry. (Highly entertaining, thought provoking)
Mystery
Diana Gabaldon Written in my own Heart’s Blood (Long awaited next installment in the Claire and Jaime time travel saga. Don’t forget the television series in August!)
Charlaine Harris Midnight Crossing. (A new series, with a few old friends from previous series, you might end up reading something other than Sookie, and enjoying them more.)
Craig Johnson Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, legendary Wyoming sheriff)
*Charles Todd Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, WWI English Army nurse, 6th installment)
*Nicola Upson Death of Lucy Kyte (This series breathes life into Scottish mystery writer Josephine Tey. Be warned you will read all of her original novels too.)
*Jacqueline Winspear Care And Management of Lies
Romance
Amanda Quick Otherwise Engaged (Historical English romp)
Children’s /YA
Kathy Reichs Exposure (continuing the Virals series)
**Ransom Riggs Hollow City (Miss Peregrine) (The series continues.)
**Maria Semple Where’d You Go Bernadette? A MUST read book; you will thank me.
Memoir
*Janice MacLeod Paris letters (Making young love work in the city of light.)
*Carol Wall Mr Owita’s Guide to Gardening (Gardening is good for the soul, although you will need hankies.)
Science fiction
Terry Pratchett Raising Steam (Yes it feels a bit like saying goodbye to your favourite characters but don’t miss this installment.)
*Douglas Nicholas Something Red, The Wicked (Medieval mystery that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Especially if you are still missing Game of Thrones.)
Nonfiction
Elizabeth Kolbert The Sixth Extinction (Everyone needs to read this sobering environmental book. The next cataclysm is us. Look in the mirror, we are responsible, and need to be.)
* denotes great read
** denotes a MUST read!