|The row of grey Persephone books mark the end of the fiction. The two rows below that are various non-fiction books that have yet to be organized. I ran out of time.|
All of this makes it a little hard to get motivated to blog about the fun stuff, like organizing my new and improved library, and recapping my favorite reads for 2014. To aid my efforts, I have decided to use two handy crutches: photos and lists.
Top Five Yawns of 2014
Some of these titles had some redeeming qualities, but the overall impression they left was boredom, especially when viewed through the lens of a year-end recap.
- Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine
- Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
- A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron
- Miss Fuller by April Bernard
- Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
|Same fireplace when we first moved in and were thinking about a grey paint for the library.|
|Looking the same general direction showing a bit more of the shelves. We ended up going with a much warmer grey with a little more brown and green in it.|
All of these novels were written by authors who were new to me. Three of them were recommended to me and two (Leary and Cameron) were just ones I thought I would give a go. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed all of them quite a lot.
- The Dinner by Herman Koch
- The Good House by Ann Leary
- Andorra by Peter Cameron
- The Bookseller by Mark Pryor
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
|All of the books had already been put on the shelves, but they weren't in any order. It took me most of a day to just get the fiction set right.|
|I haven't read any of the stories in these Everyman collections, but their covers have been too darn pretty to pass up.|
|The end wall shelves are deeper and will house mainly art, gardening, and coffee table books.|
|Early in the process. I was still on the Bs.|
With all the upheaval in my life in 2014 it is no surprise I sought out some comforting authors to get me through it all. The Brookner was part of my re-read of all her novels while the rest are authors I have been able to rely on when I need a good, cozy read. Big surprise, all are British and all are women.
- Family and Friends by Anita Brookner
- Less than Angels by Barbara Pym
- Linden Rise by Richmal Crompton
- The Happy Prisoner by Monica Dickens
- Still Glides the Stream by D.E. Stevenson
|Another 'before' picture for comparison. I'll admit this is looking pretty cozy.|
Five Favorite Spy/Thriller/Intrigue Novels of 2014
There have been many years when I wouldn't even have a single title that could fit this category. But this year I got a bit of a bug and a good tip off on Eric Ambler. What they all have in common is they are a bit old fashion and don't have much, if any, violence. I unequivocally loved all of these.
- Six Days of the Condor by James Grady
- A Kind of Anger by Eric Ambler
- The Human Factor by Graham Greene
- Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
- State of Siege by Eric Ambler
Top Five Reads of 2014
In no particular order.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I picked this one up with a bunch of other new hardcover fiction to get a bit more current stuff into my TBR. In the end this was the only one I ended up liking and I really ended up liking it. It made me go out an buy all of her other books.
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A wonderful, if often tragic novel.
- Birds of America by Mary McCarthy. Best known for her novel The Group, McCarthy has lots of other novels that are well worth reading. I took a particular shine to this one. I loved the main character and I love the fact that I picked it up by chance at a second hand book sale.
- Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym. Not surprising a Pym makes the list. Full of Pym's amazing character observations and witty prose but with a rather bleak outlook. Think of Brookner with a sense of humor.
- The Human Factor by Graham Greene. Easily the best of the thriller type books I read this year and a close second to The End of the Affair which I read in 2013.
|This has nothing to do with the library but everything to do with cute.|