Book recommendations: the best books of 2014 by The Publishers Weekly


Each November, our reviews editors look back at the nearly 9,000 titles we reviewed over the course of the year and pick favorites in several categories: fiction, poetry, mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy/horror, romance/erotica, comics, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. From those longlists, the editors choose an overall top 10, including five each of the year’s best fiction and nonfiction titles. This year, our cover author is Marlon James. His epic novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, takes us to his native Jamaica and reveals its rocky past. Read on for the very best 2014 had to offer.

See all the nominated books here.

Book review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl


Night FilmNight Film by Marisha Pessl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the story of Scott McGrath, an investigative journalist, who tries to discover the reason for the disappearance of a cult-horror-film Stanislas Cordova, who hasn’t been seen for more than 30 years.

His investigation starts with the suicide of Ashley Cordova who was found dead in an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan.

As the narrative develops, the author tries to intricate the drama in the Cordova’s dark horror world.

But why this book is not so astonished as expected?

First at all, it is excessively long; a good mystery book must be concise in order to keep the suspense of the plot itself. many recent author are tending to ignore this first basic rule. I wonder why.

Sometimes the immoderate use of several genres of fiction, such as roman noir, suspense, horror, makes the plot lose its track even if the narrative is fast-paced in some way.

Since this is the second novel written by this author, perhaps she will improve her style in her next book.

A very nice and interesting review may be found here.

Book review: The Once and Future King by T.H. White


The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King #1-4)The Once and Future King by T.H. White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4:
T. H. White’s classic retelling of the King Arthur story dramatised by Brian Sibley. England is in turmoil. On the night before a decisive battle, Merlyn and Arthur meet to talk about what has brought the King and country to this perilous state.

Original music by Elizabeth Purnell
Directors: Gemma Jenkins, Marc Beeby and David Hunter

The radio debut of all five books of The Once and Future King in an adaptation by the award-winning dramatist, Brian Sibley, whose credits include dramatisations of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels and most recently, Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man.

White’s imagining of Arthur’s childhood in The Sword in The Stone, his use of myth to deliver a powerful anti-war message and the humanity of his depiction of doomed love marks this cycle of novels as one of the defining works of 20th century fantasy fiction.

White uses the Arthurian legends to explore epic themes of national identity, democracy and the virtues of right over might.

The Coming of Merlyn

1/6 Merlyn and Arthur meet to discuss what has brought England to its current perilous state.

The Sword in the Stone

2/6 Wart’s remarkable education at the hands of the wizard Merlyn draws to a close.

The Queen of Air and Darkness

3/6 Rebels led by King Lot and Queen Morgause of Orkney challenge Arthur’s claim to the throne

The Ill-Made Knight

4/6 Full of zeal for Arthur’s new chivalric order, Lancelot rides into Camelot.

The Lengthening Shadow

5/6 Murder and betrayal threaten to undermine all that Arthur holds dear.

The Candle in the Wind

6/6 Mordred uses Arthur’s new laws against him, and long-held secrets are revealed.

The Folio Prize announces 80 books nominated by The Folio Prize Academy as the best fiction published in the UK in 2014


THE FOLIO PRIZE, sponsored by The Folio Society, has today revealed the 80 books nominated by the Folio Prize Academy for consideration by this year’s Folio Prize judges. These are the 80 works of fiction published in the UK in 2014 that, in the eyes of the 235 writers and critics who constitute the Academy, are the best of the year.

The Folio Prize Academy’s role in selecting these 80 books is integral to the prize’s innovative peer review process. As an international body of writers and critics immersed in the world of books, the Academy is uniquely positioned to identify the most outstanding writing of our time.

The Folio Prize recognises and celebrates the best English language fiction from around the world, published in the United Kingdom in any given year regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin. Today’s announcement of the list of 80 nominations from The Folio Prize Academy shines a light on the very best storytelling published in the UK in 2014.

To see the list of 80 books, please click here.

Book review: Morgan’s Run by Colleen McCullough


Morgan's RunMorgan’s Run by Colleen McCullough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the story of Richard Morgan, a convict who spent twelve months on the seas and how this kind of people were used in order to populate an unknown continent. With the advent of the American Revolution has closed the New World to England’s prisoners.

The author thus describes the 18th century England’s colonization of Australia with the foundation of a new prison colony of

Botany Bay – the same place where Captain Cook landed in 1770.

The ships disembarked in Port Jackson, which will become later the Sydney Harbour.

Morgan moves then to the Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.

Since I’ve been to Australia quite recently, I wanted to learn a little more about the colonization of this relative young country.

This book was supposed to be the first one of a trilogy but as far as I know, the author never finished it.

4* Tim
4* An Indecent Obsession
4* Thorn Birds
3* A Creed for the Third Millennium
3* The ladies of Missalonghi
3* Morgan’s Run
TBR The First Man in Rome
TBR The Song of Troy
TBR Bittersweeet

Book recommendations: 2015 Books We Can’t Wait To Read


There’s much to look forward to next year in the world of fiction. Here, in order of release dates, are the books we can’t wait to read in 2015, by the Huffington Post:

1. Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman

2. The Season of Migration by Nellie Hermann

3. Amnesia by Peter Carey

4. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

5. A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

6. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

7. Prudence by David Treuer

8. Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link

9. The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

10. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

11. After Birth by Elisa Albert

12. Satin Island: A novel by Tom McCarthy

13. Find Me by Laura van den Berg

14. Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

15. Lucky Alan by Jonathan Lethem

16. Know Your Beholder by Adam Rapp

17. The Unloved by Deborah Levy

18. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

19. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

20. The Poser by Jacob Rubin

21. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

22. The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

23. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

24. Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Book recommendations: best books of 2014


It is December and it is time to find out new book recommendations, such as the ones listed below:

1. Welcome to the Globe’s annual list representing a whole year’s worth of reading and reviewing. Browse our critics’ top picks for children, teens, and adults, for fans of fiction and nonfiction, lovers of sports and thrillers, devotees of poetry and all things New England. You may even spot a holiday gift idea or two.

The Boston Globe

2. Each November, our reviews editors look back at the nearly 9,000 titles we reviewed over the course of the year and pick favorites in several categories: fiction, poetry, mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy/horror, romance/erotica, comics, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. From those long-lists, the editors choose an overall top 10, including five each of the year’s best fiction and nonfiction titles.

Publishers Weekly

3. The must-read novels and short story collections released in 2014 so far. Updated weekly.

The Telegraph

4. For us, 2014 was a year of reading insatiably, like most years prior. We tore through feverish, experimental stories and enjoyed science fiction that overturned the genre’s conventions. But more than anything, we savored simply told, affecting narratives.

Huffington Post

5. The Washington Post