1. Juliet's Nurse, by Lois Leveen. Loved, loved, loved how Leveen brought Shakespeare's Nurse to life. I'm currently reading Romeo and Juliet with my students and watching them meet the Nurse for the first time in Shakespeare's play makes me appreciate Leveen's attention to detail all the more.
2. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. Two things about this book - its length and its complexity. I do love a big book, but this one was also a challenge. With multiple, crossing narratives covering a whole timeline of dates and places, Mitchell has created a masterpiece here with a great theme to boot.
3. The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult. Because...Picoult and Holocaust. If neither of those makes you understand, I can't help you. You need to help yourself by reading this book.
4. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North. I think I liked this one so much because it was time travel, which I enjoy as a plot. I've read it in other books, such as The Time Traveller's Wife and Life After Life, not to mention my favorite movies of all time, the "Back to the Future" trilogy. North's book impressed me because of its detail an definite direction.
5. Divergent, by Veronica Roth. Dystopian fiction, I love it. I liked the factions split by personality and felt it had the right mix of action and romance.
6. The Truest Thing About You, by David Lomas. A good book about the right place to put your identity. It affirmed things I learned the hard way...wish I'd have had the book sooner.
7. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This story was good, but it makes the list as much for the reason that it intimidated the crap out of me and I read through just fine!
8. The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst. A good study on why and when it's good to say no, as well as how. I was happy to read this with friends, those who have this trouble like me and those who don't. All were a big help.
9. The Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp. I love Voskamp's writing on her blog and on her books. This book was a daily reading devotional for Advent. It really made me slow down and pay attention to the importance of the Christmas season this year.
10. Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. Among the last books I read in 2014, it is also one of the books that taught me the most. Enthralled by the culture and the characters, I found myself at the end more attached to them than I had realized.
So that's it. The top ten books I read this year. Have you read any of them? Any of them sound good to you?