My Favorite Books of 2014

People are always asking me what I read and what my favorite books are. Since that’s too tough, I thought I’d share here ten of the best books I read in 2014. They’re in no particular order.Days of Rage

  • Days of Rage, by Brad Taylor. This is the sixth in the Pike Logan series, and once again, Pike saves the world (or at least the US and its allies) from the deadly terrorist threat. Taylor is a retired Army Delta Team commander and authenticity drips from his novels.
  • The Bone Orchard, by Paul Doiron. I met Paul at the Crime Bake conference in Boston in 2013, and love his Mike Bowditch character and his Maine woods setting. I liked the previous four novels of this series, too.
  • The Professional, by Robert B. Parker. I needed a P.I. story fix, and no one does it better than Parker with his Spencer character.
  • The Black Box, by Michael Connelly. Connelly published the first Harry Bosch novel more than twenty years ago. If you like crime novels featuring a police detective as the hero, you can’t go wrong with LAPD’s fictional detective Harry Bosch. More than 50 million of his books have been sold, so others must agree.
  • Cartwheel, by Jennifer Dubois. I chaired the Housatonic Book Awards, a writing contest sponsored by Western Connecticut State University, and over the summer, I read parts of more than twenty books, searching for the best. I read the best ones to the end, and two of us on the committee picked Cartwheel as #1. It’s characterized as a literary novel; however, for readers like me, don’t let that turn you off. It’s not only extremely well written, but it has a fast-paced, compelling storyline.
  • Duty, by Robert M. Gates. Yes, I read nonfiction books, too. I’m not much of a fan of politicians, and anyone appointed as the CIA Director and Secretary of Defense is, in my book, a politician. Nevertheless, I think Gates was one of the best DCIs and SecDefs of my generation, and his book gave me a superb reeducation on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the White House politics between 2006-2011.
  • Playing God, by Kate Flora. I really liked Kate when I met her last year, so I had to read one of her books. I loved it. Although Kate never carried a badge and gun for a living, she does extensive research and has charmed her way into the hearts of a number of cops in her home state of Maine, which allows her to write very authentic police detective novels featuring her Joe Burgess character.
  • Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane. Some call Lehane a literary writer; others consider him a crime writer. In Mystic River, as with other novels, he writes stories centering around a crime in beautiful language.
  • Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn. Like her more famous book, Gone Girl, this is a superbly written book about a crime. Like Lehane’s books, some bookstores will shelf this with literary fiction, others with mysteries/crime fiction.
  • Broken Harbor, by Tana French. An Irish writer, her previous book won the Edgar for best first novel. Since this book was on my editor’s list of favorite books he’d read in 2014, when I saw it in the library, I figured I could take it for a free drive and if I didn’t like it, I hadn’t wasted any money. I’m halfway through so far and completely hooked.

It was hard to limit this list to only ten books because I’ve read so many more wonderful books this year. In addition, as a disclaimer, these are not necessarily my ten most favorite books. They were just the ones that jumped out at me as I went down my reading list and scanned my bookshelves. If your reading tastes are anything like mine, you’ll love any of these books.

4 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2014

  1. Brian: I read extensively as well and am always on the lookout for another good book. Two of the authors I’ve already discovered. I’ll pick out a couple more from your list. Thanks.

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