Friday 5 December 2014

Top 10 Books from 2014

by Iola Goulton

I've read almost two hundred books this year, so it's been pretty hard to narrow them down to just ten titles. I've cheated a little by excluding the non-fiction books I've read (like the Bible, or writing craft books).

So here they are, in no particular order (it's hard enough picking ten. No way am I going to attempt to rank them!):

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

Reay's debut novel, Dear Mr Knightley, was nominated for several awards, but I actually think Lizzy and Jane is better.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Lizzy and Jane

Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon

More fiction with Christian themes than standard Christian fiction, but a powerful story of disaster and redemption.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Five Days in May

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall's debut novel, a historical romance with some underlying suspense. It's written in first person, which is an unusual choice for historical fiction, but compelling.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: The Hesitant Heiress

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

A fascinating tale of the challenge to find a cure for tuberculosis, told with Camden's trademark excellent writing.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: With Every Breath

Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg

Enjoyable contemporary romance with a touch of humour, and that all-important Australian setting (well, New Zealand would be better but we take what we can get).

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Too Pretty

A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Claire Massey has the perfect life ... until she finds it's all built on lies and deceit.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: A Woman of Fortune

Hacker by Ted Dekker

Freaky good suspense (yes, typical Ted Dekker).

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Hacker

Circle of Spies by Roseanna M White

Romance, suspense, and some characters you'll love to hate in this excellent historical romance set during the American Civil War.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Circle of Spies

The Miracle Thief by Iris Anthony

Fascinating yet unusual story set during the era of the Crusades. It's not published by a Christian publisher ... because they wouldn't accept the topic. Go figure.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: The Miracle Thief

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Romance and suspense set in a chocolate factory. My only complaint is I couldn't eat the chocolate.

You can read my review by clicking on this link: Echoes of Mercy

Have you read any of my favourites? What did you think?


  1. So it really should read, "Top 10 Fiction books from 2014"?

    1. If you're going to get technical, it's my Top 10 Novels from Christian Authors :)

      I think that's what people expect from me given, my blog is called Iola's Christian Reads. If you want to see everything I've read this year, you can find me on Goodreads.

      However, this is the first post in a series, hence the generic title. Come back next week for Ian Acheson's Top 10--I suspect his list will have quite a different feel.

  2. I love this time of year for many reasons but one of them is to see people's Top Lists for the year. I've only read one of the one's you mention and it happens to be on my list. But I'll keep it a surprise until Monday. Hehe (but I'm pretty sure you'll guess which one, Iola).

    Andrea's Too Pretty stares down at me from my bookshelf (what's going on behind those sunglasses?) and Katherine's novels have been so wonderfully received that I must get round to them, especially as I'm an Austen fan & Lizzie B is one of my all time favourite characters.

    I often wish I could read as fast as you, Iola. I'd love to see your complete reading list for 2014.

    Well done and thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. I'm pretty sure I can guess! But I'll have to wait until Monday. :)

  3. Iola, great list! I enjoyed reading Too Pretty and I have a couple of the others in my tbr list. I'm impressed that you can find the time to read 200+ books in a year :)

    1. When I was at the Romance Writers of NZ conference this year I asked author Courtney Milan how many books she reads each year, and she's another 200+ woman, but we both pale into insignificance compared to one of my Goodreads friends, who reads an average of 450 books per year.

  4. I also loved Lizzy & Jane and The Hesitant Heiress and Elizabeth's and Andrea's are both on my TBR. And I agree, Australia is great but New Zealand would be even better. Hopefully one day :)

    A few of my other favourites this year included Becky Wade's Meant to Be Mine, Katie Ganshert's A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Tracy Groot's The Sentinels of Andersonville.

    1. Yes, I saw your Top 5 list at Novel Crossing (and was thankful I didn't have to pare my list any further!). I enjoyed Meant to Be Mine but haven't yet read your other two favourites - The Sentinels of Andersonville looked a lot more serious than most historical fiction.

  5. Well, I have to say I'm thrilled to be in your Top Ten, Iola! (I take it if I want to get in there again I need to write one set in NZ?)

    I'm super impressed with the number of books you read in a year considering how busy you are. Great Top Ten. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Thanks Iola for the book suggestions. Can't say i have read any of them yet.


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