On Tuesday, I posted books read between January and June 2014. Today I’ve included those from the balance of the year using the same rating scheme: GR = good read, several caveats; ER = excellent, few caveats; OR = outstanding; DNF = did not finish; NMT = not my type; LR = light, enjoyable read.
|Jul||The Miniaturist||Jessie Burton||OR||Atmospheric, set in 17th century Amsterdam; review for Washington Independent Review of Books|
|The Invention of Wings||Sue Monk Kidd||ER||Begins in 19th century Charleston when Sarah Grimke is given Hetty to be her handmaid|
|The Shadow of War||Stewart Binns||GR||HNS article on WWI novels; confused by too many story threads|
|Aug||A Cool & Lonely Courage||Susan Ottaway||GR||HNS review; non-fiction; too linear, too many extraneous details|
|The Queen’s Exiles||Barbara Kyle||LR||Drama set in Tudor times; part of Thornleigh stories|
|Certainty||Victor Bevine||ER||HNS review; great character study and court drama|
|Voyage of Strangers||Elizabeth Zevlin||GR||HNS review; set during Columbus’s time; too slow|
|Sep||Devil’s Cave||Martin Walker||LR||Detective Bruno mystery set in France|
|GI Brides||Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi||GR||HNS review; non-fiction|
|Oct||The Divine Sarah||Arthur Gold & Robert Fizdale||ER||Biography of Sarah Bernhardt|
|The Yellow Birds||Kevin Powers||GR||Book club; soldier returned from Iraq; fragmented non-linear structure|
|An Invisible Thread||Laura Schoff||NMT||Book club; Too sappy for me|
|The Summer Queen||Elizabeth Chadwick||OR||Superb; first in a series on Eleanor of Aquitaine|
|The Lewis Man||Peter May||ER||High suspense mystery|
|Gray Mountain||John Grisham||GR||Disappointing for a Grisham novel; a rant on the coal industry|
|Never Forget||Angela Petch||GR||WWII & present day; set in Italy|
|Nov||The Husband’s Secret||Liane Moriarty||ER||Book club; Slow start followed by great build up to surprising climax|
|The Course of Honour||Lindsey Davis||ER||Set in ancient Rome|
|Dec||Arctic Summer||Damon Galgut||GR||HNS review; fictional biography of E.M. Forster|
|Stormbird||Conn Iggulden||ER||First in series on the Wars of the Roses|
|Me Before You||Jojo Moyes||LR||Book club; A bit too sappy and predictable|
|Wild||Cheryl Strayed||ER||Non-fiction; occasional slow bits but a page-turner|
Good news, I received two books for Christmas: Penelope Fitzgerald – a biography of this writer by Hermione Lee and Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. And the mail just delivered Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway to be reviewed for the Historical Novel Society. Hopefully 2015 will also be a year full of books.
What were your favourites from 2014? Any idea of how many you read last year?
M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available in paperback from Amazon and in e-book formats from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.