Our Best Reads in 2014

‘Tis the season for best-of lists, right? Here at Gun In Act One we are sharing our second annual absolute-end-of-the-year list of our favorite books that we read in 2014. Click here for last year’s list!


The Golem and the Jinni – this was on Amanda’s 2013 list, and I wish she had made me read it sooner – ha! I loved everything about this beautiful fantasy novel set in turn-of-the-century NYC: the characters, the places, the weaving together of disparate threads, and Helene Wecker’s lovely writing.

Tiny Beautiful Things – I suppose all the current talk about Cheryl Strayed is focused on Wild and Reese Witherspoon, but please disregard the hype and go straight for the good stuff in Tiny Beautiful Things. Take notes on Strayed descriptive abilities, and start dropping some of her phrases in casual conversation. You’re welcome.

The Signature of All Things – I started suggesting this book to people looking for what to read next before I even finished it. Regardless of how you felt about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, just read this one.

The Poisonwood Bible – okay, I technically RE-read this book in 2014, but, well, I make my own rules up around here. This book is that good. If you have not read this Barbara Kingsolver classic, you need to rethink your life decisions. Can I call a book published in 1998 a classic? Because I just did.

Froi of the Exiles – if you have read any of our posts for more than five minutes, you have heard about the Lumatere Chronicles. Please go read them, starting with Finnikin of the Rock. And then prepare for your heart to be torn asunder, in the best way possible.

Honorable Mentions:

March – this historical fiction/ Little Women backstory by Geraldine Brooks has stuck with me long after I finished it.

Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity was on my best-of-2013 list. I loved this companion novel almost as much.


The Storied Life of AJ Fikry.  If you love books you should read this. It made me laugh and cry.  I just loved this curmudgeon’s story.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld.  This book was so beautifully written and I’m shocked it wasn’t on more lists of best books of the year.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.  I can’t even find the words. Just read it.

I know its teenage vampire drama and I just don’t care. Richelle Mead’s Silver Shadows was perfectly what I wanted it to be.  I cannot wait for the finale with The Ruby Circle.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.  Another book that made me laugh and cry and just really made me think about the feminist I am and how I want to teach my daughter.

Honorable Mention: The Queen of the Tearling.  This wasn’t a perfect book, but I cannot freaking wait for this sequel. I’ve already reread this in anticipation.

What’s on your list?  Anything amazing that we missed?


  1. So many books on this list that I’ve read and loved! Ok, I haven’t read Silver Shadows yet, but I love the whole Bloodlines series, so I’m super excited to read it. I also really enjoyed The Golem & The Jinni, The Queen of the Tearling and I loved Tell the Wolves I’m Home, The Poisonwood Bible, and Tiny Beautiful Things. It sounds like you both had an amazing reading year!

  2. Tell the Wolves I’m Home & The Enchanted were both great & definitely two of my favorite books I read this year! I meant to read the Golem and the Jinni, but never quite got to it this year. It’ll have be a 2015 read.

  3. Maybe because The Enchanted came out in the first half of the year people have forgotten how much they loved it at the time? I haven’t read it but I also haven’t read a bad thing about it.

    OK gotta add March to my list.

    I’m with you on The Poisonwood Bible Holly – that book! I remember reading that and sobbing at the end. I think it can totally be called a classic.

  4. What great picks!! I’m halfway through Tiny Beautiful Things and very slowly am savoring it. I don’t want to blow through it too quickly!

    The Signature of All Things is one that I’m interested in but I’m having a hard time separating it from Eat, Pray, Love. Bah. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s