Friday, 13 June 2014

The Best of the Last Six Months

It's June and we're officially halfway through 2014. I've been inspired by this week's Top Ten Tuesday (which I missed) over at the Broke and Bookish to select my 'best of the year so far'. It has been an exciting year in the book world so far (for me, anyway) as many authors have started to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. Unsurprisingly then, quite a number of books that have made it into my 'best of' are WW1 related new releases. I usually find it quite tricky to narrow it down and, considering I'm pushing 40 books read so far this year, I thought it would be the same this time around. Suffice to say, I was wrong, choosing my favourites/stand out books has never been easier. 

1. The Lie by Helen Dunmore

My first WW1 read of the year and one I had high expectations for. It didn't let me down.

2. Wake by Anna Hope

A stunning debut that focuses on the world after the war.

3. How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

It's about books and feminism. Need I say more?

4. No Name by Wilkie Collins

I somehow doubt that there will ever be a time when Wilkie does not feature in a favourites list. You know the drill.

5. The Undertaking by Audrey Magee

Of the books I read on the Bailey's Prize shortlist, this was the stand out for me. It chilled me to the bone but was oh so powerful.

6. Wounded by Emily Mayhew

Three cheers for non-fiction! This is an amazing look at the wounded soldiers of the First World War and the many people involved in keeping them alive. 

7. Stoner by John Williams

This was massive in 2013 and I could really see why. A must read for everyone.

8. Secret Warriors by Taylor Downing

A book that well and truly allowed me to get my nerd on. Full of mind-blowing facts and some fascinating information.

9. Sally Heathcote: Suffragette

This reminded me how wonderful graphic novels can be. A brilliant look at the Suffrage Movement. 

10. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Feminist and funny - I was surprised by how hard I fell for this novella that previously intimidated me.

What books have stood out for you so far this year?



  1. Ah, I love Wilkie. I haven't read No Name yet, although I do own it.

  2. I will definitely have to check out Herland. I loved The Yellow Wallpaper!

  3. I can't believe we're halfway through 2014! This looks like a great list. I'm particularly interested in How To Be A Heroine. I just popped over to your review of it. There's nothing better than literary analysis from a feminist perspective. I re-read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights relatively recently, and my vote is also for Jane.

  4. I think that my favourites so far are: A Brief History of the English Reformation by Derek Wilson, No Dominion by Charlie Huston, The Gun – The Story of the AK-47 by C J Chivers, The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, The Birth of Classical Europe – A History from Troy to Augustine by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann, In Search of Civilisation – Remaking a Tarnished Idea by John Armstrong, Blood of Honour by James Holland, 1913 – The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies, A War Like No Other – How the Athenians and the Spartans fought the Peloponnesian War by Victor Davis Hanson, Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham, The Peshawar Lancers by S M Stirling, History of the First World War by Basil H Liddell Hart, On The Spartacus Road – A Spectacular Journey Through Ancient Italy by Peter Stothard and, finally, What Matters in Jane Austen? – Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan.

    So, a pretty good year so far!

  5. I missed this top ten Tuesday too, and I was sad, so I might have to write my own list for my Sunday post :). I need to read No Name, BUT I read The Moonstone and The Woman in White with the same group of people as a readalong and I feel weird when I read Wilkie without them (as I did with Armadale)! ALSO I still need to read Stoner. Yes.

  6. Great list! I'm particularly interested in reading the last one. Of course I had to go and check out your (great) review of it, and now I'm more intrigued by it than ever. Sounds fascinating!

  7. I love what you said about The Undertaking and it makes me want to read it even more now!


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