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1. The Goldfinch
A deeply moving story following the life of Theo Decker and his connection to the famous Carel Fabritius painting. Poignant, striking and utterly engrossing, Donna Tartt’s novel will keep you riveted. It’s 775 pages feel short and you’ll wonder where the time has gone to when it hauntingly ends.
Marilynne Robinson’s latest entry in her Gilead series is a prequel to the previous two novels It chronicles the grace-filled meeting and marriage between John Ames and Lila. With lyrical prose Robinson weaves a tale of beatific grace and it’s power to change a life, even the most broken. This is not to be missed.
What if there were not internet, social media, planes, trains or automobiles because 99% of the human race had been lost to a plague? Station Eleven is such a tale, using the connecting tissues of 5 peoples lives, it will leave you pondering, “What really matters in life and what is essential for not just survival but fullness in life?” It may just keep you up at night wondering.
My review this year still says it the best, “The Children Act is well written and McEwan’s prose sparkles as per usual. The though-provoking nature of this book, along with the lack of sufficient answers to it’s timeless questions make it worth the read.”
5. Undaunted Courage
Few men have dared the unknown like Lewis & Clark. Trapping across lands never before seen by Europeans their mission would change to course of America’s future. Ambrose makes you feel as if you were there, every step of the way and you’ll find yourself longing to see the wilderness along with them.
World War II comes to life though the eyes of a young German boy and a blind French girl in Doerr’s captivating and stunning novel. His prose sparkles as he intertwines these two unlikely characters. It’s no wonder it was a National Book Award finalist.
Picking up from his previous work The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Morris tells of his years as president. Teddy pops of the pages so that when you are done you feel as though you know him as you would a close friend. One of the most interesting and entertaining men to read about, well worth your time.
This was my first time to read through Hugo’s melancholy masterpiece. Full of detail and character moments that would not fit into a movie or musical that bring to life further Jean Valjean’s life. Still one of the most powerful representations of the Gospel in literature and therefore worth your time.
The perfect primer for critically thinking about the influences that bombard us daily. From photography, news, films, comedy, fashion, advertisements and more, Turner helps us understand the problem of mindless consumption. This is a must read for 2015.
Sometimes tie-in fiction transcends it’s unfortunate reputation and touches you personally. Beyer’s work here with the character of Tom Paris did that for me and made this not just a good continuation of the Voyager story line she’s so deftly, it created a genuine connection. And that, makes it a good book in general.
Although this book has been out for years the film finally motivated me to read it before I saw the movie. I really enjoyed it. The storytelling structure is unique and the themes of love and friendship in times of hatred and fear are timeless.
What did you read this year that you would recommend and what are you excited to read in 2015? Comment and let me know, I always need good recommendations; two of the books on this list are there because of a friend!