The Savvy Reader’s Best Books of 2014

It’s here! After sharing our Best Books of 2014 (So Far) list in July, we’ve been keeping track of which books to add to the definitive list of the Best Books of 2014. It was a very difficult task, and appreciate the help from fellow Savvy Readers and 50 Book Pledgers who helped us narrow down which books should be included.


The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld: Many words have been used to describe The Enchanted, Rene Denfeld‘s debut novel: Remarkable. Haunting. Beautiful. Unexpected. But none of these words can do it justice. Simply, it is a powerful story told through the eyes of a death row inmate who seeks escape from his grim surroundings in his books and the fiction he creates. Read our review of The Enchanted here.

In addition to being chosen as HarperCollinsCanada‘s Book of the Year by their 130,000+ Facebook fans, The Enchanted was also nominated by our fellow Savvy Reader Danielle on Twitter.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven is an audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse. It is so, so good, and we’re not the only ones who think so: it’s been featured on over 14 ‘Best of 2014’ lists, including Time’s, NPR’s and BookRiot’s. It was also nominated by Savvy Readers Janet, Chrissie and Kathleen! Read an excerpt here.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi: Debut Afghan-American author Nadia Hashimi‘s The Pearl That Broke Its Shell entwines the stories of two Afghan women who find freedom in the tradition of bacha posh, which allows girls to dress and live as boys until they are of marriageable age. In her review, Kate called this “one of the most beautiful novels that I have had the privilege of reading in a very long time.” Read her review here.

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill: This year, we loved The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill, author of the international bestselling, award-winning Lullabies for Little Criminals. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is a coming-of-age novel set on the seedy side of Montreal’s St. Laurent Boulevard, and was short-listed for the elusive Scotiabank Giller Prize. Read our review here.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman: In Bird Box, something is out there and whoever sees it is driven to insanity. An intriguing plot, but what really earns Bird Box its place on our Best of List is Josh Malerman‘s gripping, tense and suspenseful writing. This book is one you will read in one sitting; you won’t be able to put it down! Nominated by Savvy Readers Degus and Sandra. Read our review here!

Us by David Nicholls: From David Nicholls, author of One Day, comes Us, a thoughtful and heartbreaking novel that follows one man’s efforts to salvage his marriage—and repair his troubled relationship with his teenaged son—during the course of a trip around Europe. The familiarity of the familial relationships portrayed, along with the very real representation of what comes after happily ever after, plus an excruciatingly heartbreaking line towards the end of the book is why Us deserves to be on our list. That, and its Man Booker Prize longlist nomination. Read our review here or start reading Us now!

I Must Say by Martin Short: In I Must Say, an engagingly witty, wise, and heartfelt memoir, Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood’s favorite funnymen. What really hooked us, however, were the chapters Martin shared about Nancy, his late wife and the love of his life. Read our review here.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler: Yes Please by Amy Poehler is like sitting down with a good friend who you admire and, quite frankly, leaves you a bit starstruck. Through Yes Please, Amy offers readers personal stories; funny anecdotes on sex, love and friendship; and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). We haven’t loved a book this much since BossypantsHere’s more reasons we love Amy and Yes Please.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel: Kenneth Oppel‘s middle-grade novel The Boundless is an edge of your seat thriller that unfolds against the backdrop of the Canadian Pacific Railway and is perfect for readers of all ages. Hailed as the book for young readers this year, it sits on more than 10 Best Books of 2014 lists and holds a special place in our hearts. Read our review here.

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King: According to the Governor General’s Literary Awards, The Back of the Turtle is the best novel of the year (and we completely agree!). Thomas King’s first literary novel in 15 years follows Gabriel as he returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up that has since been deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population and the wildlife. It’s touching, memorable and powerful. Read our review here.

For those of you who have joined us in the 50 Book Pledge this year, you can only imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our lists of the ‘Best Books of the Year’ to only 10. This is why we’ve included honourable mentions from our own Read shelves, plus fellow Savvy Readers and 50 Book Pledgers, below.

What’s the best book you read this year? Tell us in the comments below and see the best of the ‘Best Of’ lists here.

Here’s to another great year of reading in 2015!


Follow me on Twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.


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Digital Marketing Coordinator at HarperCollins Canada. Film, fiction and fashion blog enthusiast. Follow me on twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.

3 thoughts on “The Savvy Reader’s Best Books of 2014

  1. I am in total agreement about “The Rosie Effect” (Don Tillman is, officially, one of my favorite literary characters of all times) and “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair” (couldn’t put it down). I would, however, have to add “No Relation” by Terry Fallis (brilliant, witty, and quite original).

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