This was originally supposed to be one blog post, but it went loooooong, so we’ll be splitting it into more! Watch this space!
We at Escape love books. All books. Our books, other people’s books, big books, small books, long books, short books. You name it, we love to read it.
So, in the spirit of the season – the season of ‘best of’ lists, of course – we asked our authors to give us their three favourite books of the year (note: three favourite books they’ve read this year, not necessarily published this year). It was hard work, and there was much whining, but they’ve provided a list of great reads.
They also just might help you with those sticky people on your gift-giving list.
And, of course, we want to know about your favourite books too. Let’s talk about 2014 and the year of books that it was.
From rural romance author Lea Darragh:
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn. Gripped me like steel fist and I loved every psychopathic word of it! The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak. Moving and insightful. A book that left me both saddened and uplifted.Promises to Keep – Jane Green. A beautiful story about teaching us that any moment could be our last.
From quirky magic realism author Juliet Madison:
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion. Fun, quirky, with an unconventional hero – loved it. Plus, romcoms make the world a better place!Paris Letters – Janice MacLeod. There’s nothing like a real life love story, and this memoir about taking a risk to change your life and finding unexpected love (in Paris – sigh) was a delicious treat.The Fault in our Stars – John Green
An equally happy and sad book, what I loved about it was how it emphasised that life is about the people that touch your heart, and the journey, not the destination.
From genre-busting paranormal author Jenny Brigalow:Foal’s Bread – Gillian Mears – because it is heartbreakingly beautiful. Wish I’d written it!The Bone Collector – Jeffrey Deaver – Scared the crap out of me. I love that. I was spooked for days.The Book Thief – Markus Zusack – a story that stuck to my psyche. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me think. Was also captivated by the quirky style.
A Song Of Fire And Ice – George RR Martin – because I AM a Lannister (here me roar).
From the globe-trotting pen of Nora JamesThe Inevitability of Stars: – Kathryn R. Lyster. It’s a beautiful, poignant and otherworldly love story that’s impossible to forget.
Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor – Lisa Kleypas. I love how real it feels, the perfect simplicity of the writing and the warmth that radiates from each page and stays with you long after you reach the end. FinaThe House on Burra Burra Lane – Jennie Jones. Down-to-earth characters, country charm by the bucket load and a fabulous sense of humour make this a fun read.
From debut historical author Cassandra Samuels:North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell – It’s been ten years since the BBC version of this book came out on TV and as I had shamefully never read the book I decided this was the year to do it. I found it charming and fell in love with Mr Thornton all over again(and better still I could picture Richard Armitage as I read – bonus!).
London’s Last True Scoundrel – Christina Brooke – I don’t know why, but I just loved Davenport. He was so naughty and was a true rake. Not one where we are told he is a rake but then acts nothing like a rake. DarkFever – Karen Marie Moning – I had previously read all her Highlander books but had not ventured into this series yet. I really enjoyed this book. Moning is so great at creating intriguing male characters like Jerricho Barrons.
Rounding out this session, we have the magical Robyn Neeley, who clearly discovered a new favourite author this year!
Any series in which two of the three books are Holiday Romances, is one that I knew I’d enjoy. Three handsome brothers, three feisty and fun heroines, and a fabulous ski resort backdrop made me fall in love with this series.