Books, Bikes, and Food

Reviews, Recipes, Rides… and some other things, too.

Top Reads of 2014


While I don’t read enough to make a big long list of books I loved in 2014, I want to at least leave you with my personal favourites (in no particular order). Because of my long blogging hiatus during the first 10 months of the year, quite a few books I read this year also never got reviewed. I have to say that this reading year picked up considerably towards the end! Cover Her Face was a huge hit as a holiday crime read. And I kept this post waiting to see if The Goldfinch would still make the list – it didn’t quite, but it did have a solid shot. I’m also currently loving The Interestings, which got started but not finished in 2014.


unigweg_black-sisters the_luminaries untamed_state

  • Chika Unigwe: On Black Sisters’ Street. (Review here) – I loved the narrative of this novel about five African women working in the sex trade in Belgium. What a beautifully written novel!
  • Roxane Gay: An Untamed State. (Mini-review here) – This little novel about a woman’s kidnapping in Haiti stayed with me for a long time after I finished it. It was one of the most horrific books I’ve ever read, but it’s excellent.
  • Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries (Mini-review here) – This book pulled me out of a major reading slump in the early summer. I spent delightful hours on the couch with this thriller set in Victorian New Zealand.


Snowden_Files lean-in

  • Luke Harding: The Snowden Files (Mini-review here) – A thrilling account of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA and CHCQ’s large-scale collection of data from ordinary citizens.
  • Sheryl Sandberg: Lean In (Mini-review here) – Despite all the caveats, I found Lean In to be a very encouraging and, dare I say it, inspiring book about having a career as a woman.

Author: bettinathenomad

Nomad. International Relations geek. Reader. Feminist. Swimmer. Boulderer. Runner. Hiker. Not necessarily in that order.

6 thoughts on “Top Reads of 2014

  1. Very intrigued by the Chika Unigwe. It’s one I’ll have to look for!

  2. Interesting list! I tried and tried with The Luminaries but the book and I just do not like one another. For the most part. I loved sections of it. But could never sustain any momentum in the read. I really liked Catton’s first novel so I was a little surprised. Happy reading in the new year!

    • Hey, sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment! I’ve heard from a few people that they found “The Luminaries” hard to get through, and I have to admit that I liked the first part better than the second. But for some reason it really worked for me! I should check out Catton’s first novel too.

  3. An Untamed State made my list too. It’s just a book you think about long after you finish. I loved the relationship between Mireille and her mother-in-law.

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