Favourite Books from 2014

One of the reasons 2014 was such a good one for me, is the number of amazing books that I worked my way through. Yes, maybe this is a bit sad, but to me, there’s not much I enjoy more than settling down and getting lost in a good book. Dreamy.

Over the course of the year, I made my way through so many great works of literature, ranging from the motivational, the hilarious, the shocking and the downright addictive!

Here are just a few of my absolute favourites from this year.

FUNNIEST READ:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling – Link

mindy kaling

Mindy Kaling has fast become my absolute idol. The woman is everything – confident, hilarious, inspiring, and full of sass. Not trying to sound like a mentalist, but I simultaneously love her and want to be her. The first time I saw her was not actually on The Office (US) like most people, but in No Strings Attached where she plays Natalie Portman’s roommate – a small part, but one of my favourites in the film. It only made sense when I found out she was bringing out her own show. If you love The Mindy Project, then I cannot recommend this book enough.

Okay, so I should probably talk about the book, but I’m not sure I’ll do it justice. IEHOWM is essentially a collection of Kaling’s thoughts on various things. There are chapters detailing her life growing up and her rise to fame, and others where she discusses her favourite comedies, or her bug bears in life. The book is kind of like being sat with Mindy for a day, just having a chat.. if that makes sense. There are moments that are hilarious and others that are thought-provoking. The book is a testament to Mindy Kaling – if you love her, then you will love it. GO READ IT.

MOTIVATIONAL READ:
#Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso – Link

girl boss

Like about 99% of the blogging population, I found myself all too eager to read #Girlboss this year. I’m one of those people who will buy a book based on the recommendation of just one person, which in the past has led me to books like ’50 Shades of Grey’ (which coincidentally I didn’t ever finish reading because it was SO BAD), so I was a bit hesitant to get on board with this one. But after seeing about 75,983,263 people rave about it on social media, I thought I’d give it a go. And I’m so glad I did.

This book is a must-have, not only for women interested in running their own business, but for every woman, in my opinion. While Amoruso does generally look at the rise of her self-made business, Nasty Gal, the advice and stories she shares are something that anyone would find inspiring and motivational. Essentially Amoruso started her business from nowhere and built it up to the million dollar business it is today, but her advice is about so much more than that. It’s about being true to yourself being confident in your decisions, and not expecting something to come from nothing. Highly recommend.

BEST (NEW) CLASSIC:
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, by Helen Fielding – Link

bridget jones mad about the boy

Like most of the female population, I see Bridget Jones as a projection of myself. She is the epitome of the ‘every woman’ and the struggles that we go through every day. So I got just a bit excited when I found out that a new Bridget Jones book was being released. I expected a similar collection of moments as in the previous two books, but what I found was actually very different – in a few ways at least. I won’t give anything away, but this book isn’t going to be what you expect. That said, I loved every second, and like the previous two, this book delved into so many of the struggles we go through as women in that wonderful Bridget style, making you cry your eyes out in one second and laugh out loud the next. And this time, there is the addition of Twitter and online dating to make it even more current. If you loved the first two book, then go and read this!

MOST CONTROVERSIAL:
Tampa, by Alissa Nutting – Link

tampa

I was a bit hesitant as to whether to include this book in here, but it absolutely stands out in my mind when I think of the books I’ve read this year, so I thought I should. You may have read my review earlier this year, when I go into more detail, so I’ll just keep it short and sweet here. This book is like nothing I’ve read before. Tampa is based on a real-life story, and takes a look at a woman who has a psychological sexual obsession with teenage boys. It is both disturbing and interesting all at once. Some moments are so disturbing that you want to put the book down, but can’t because you need to know what happens next. In short though, it is incredibly well-written, and so out of the ordinary that I would recommend giving it a try – although if you’re a bit prude-ish then probably give this one a miss!

THE ONE(S) I COULDN’T PUT DOWN:
The Divergent Trilogy, by Veronica Roth – Link

divergent

I featured the first two books in a review I did earlier this year, but have since completed the trilogy, so thought I would include this, as these books were definitely some of my favourites from the past year. I wasn’t entirely convinced when I started reading the first book – it seemed just a bit too similar to The Hunger Games, so I wasn’t sure of how good it would be. But after a few chapters, I was hooked. I finished the first two books in the space of two weeks, and though the last book took a little longer, it was a great ending to the series.

I won’t go into too much detail, but in short, the Divergent Trilogy is based on a world in which all people are divided into 5 different ‘factions’ – each with different duties in upholding society. It’s a world that’s not too dissimilar to The Hunger Games, and as a result, the story is similar in ways, but regardless, I found myself drawn to the main characters and addicted to finding out what would happen next. If you want a simple, but adventurous read that will get you hooked, then this is the one for you.

What were your favourite reads from last year? I’d love to get some recommendations of more great books for this year!

Leah x