Books to read in 2014

Here’s my to-read list for 2014. It’s incomplete, always changing, and I’m sure I won’t get to all of these, not by a long shot, but it’s a convenient list when I’m choosing my next book. You may see a few of them featured on Books Can Save a Life. I’ve included titles that will be published in 2014, so you won’t find all of them on the shelves yet.

If you have enticing choices on your list, please share them in the comments!

Watch for my book giveaway in February to celebrate the second anniversary of Books Can Save a Life.


The Snow Queen book cover

The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey    “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book,” 2014

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Someone, by Alice McDermott

Carthage, by Joyce Carol Oates

Arctic Summer, by Damon Galgut

The Unknowns, by Gabriel Roth

The Circle, by David Eggers

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters

And Then We Came to the End; The Unnamed; To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris

Orfeo, by Richard Powers

Never Go Back, by Lee Child

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Snow Queen, by Michael Cunningham

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell

The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson

By Blood, Ellen Ullman

Canada, by Richard Ford

In Sunlight and in Shadow; and Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) and Untitled (2014)

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, by Bob Shacochis

Off Course, by Michelle Huneven

Gone Girl; Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn (movies in 2014)

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (Best book of the 21st century, according to Elizabeth Gilbert)



My Struggle, Books 1, 2, 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Norwegian)

Treasure Hunt; The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri (Sicilian)

Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante (Italian)


Son book cover

The Giver Quartet Series (including Son), by Lois Lowry

Divergent Series, by Veronica Roth

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green



Wave book cover

Men We Reaped, by Jessamyn Ward

Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett

Wave, by  Sonali Deraniyagala

Intensive Care: A Doctor’s Journey; and Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients, by Danielle Ofri



Five Days at Memorial book cover

Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, by Victor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI, by Betty Medsger

Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sheri Fink

What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine, by Danielle Ofri

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, by Jeff Guinn

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, by George Packer

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, by Megan Marshall

The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, by Brendan I. Koerner

The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems

Stalking the Divine, by Kristin Ohlson

Sons of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Parent, by Susan Nathiel

Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by Susan Sheehan

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, by Leonard S. Marcus

11 thoughts on “Books to read in 2014”

  1. Wow! What an undertaking. I think it would take me five years to read so many! A few of my “to read” are there–The Gold Finch, The Luninaries, and at least the first book of the divergent series. I alread read and loved The Snow Child, and read Halprins “A Winter’s Tale” years ago– the writing was magical. I have “Wolf Hall” on my list and will probably read the sequel if I like the first. I want to reread Oates “Bellefluer” which I read years ago and was mesmerized by it. I think I’ll wait to flesh out my list after I’ve read some of your reviews.

    1. Deborah, I too was mesmerized by Winter’s Tale. The movie is coming out in February but the trailer looks dreadful (to me, anyway) so I will probably skip the movie. There was an Oates book I was mesmerized by, too, a while back, but I can’t remember the title – it may have been Bellefluer, not sure – it was kind of a comic gothic novel. Oates is amazing.

      On 2 January 2014 19:06, Books Can Save A Life

  2. Wonderful reading plan, Valorie! I have read ‘The Language of Flowers’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and loved both of them. I think you will like them. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts. I want to read Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch’ and Eleanor Catton’s ‘The Luminaries’. And a whole lot of other books from your list 🙂 I didn’t know that Michael Cunningham’s new book is coming out. So wonderful! I am curious about Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Carthage’. I don’t know whether it is just a title or whether the book is a a novel set in ancient Carthage. I would be very interested if that were so. I read a historical novel called ‘Pride of Carthage’ by David Anthony Durham set in Ancient Carthage and I loved it.

    Happy New Year, Valorie! Hope you have a wonderful year filled with lots of joy and beauty and happiness and wonderful books and many beautiful reading moments!

  3. This is an absolutely wonderful list. A few of them are already on my “to read” list: The Interestings, The Goldfinch, Life After Life – and I see many I would like to add, particularly in the memoir group. Also most definitely The Gorgeous Nothings because I love Emily Dickinson and also find I do my best work on the backs on envelopes. I read The Language of Flowers a few months ago and like it a lot.

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