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2014 Staff Picks: Part 3

Throughout the month of January I'm sharing our staff picks in a multi-part series.  You can read the previous installments here and here.  In today's installment I'm sharing my picks for the previous year.  All of my picks for books have been reviewed here on the blog, and I encourage you to click the link to read the review for each pick.

Favorite Books

An Inquiry Into Love and Death and Silence For The Dead, both by Simone St. James: thus far, I've read and reviewed all of St. James' novels after falling in love with her debut novel, The Haunting of Maddy Clare.  These novels are must reads for anyone who loves a good period piece with more than a dash of terror and/or suspense of the supernatural persuasion thrown in.

The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, A Plotting Duchess & A Family Secret by Catherine Bailey: if it seems like these picks have theme so far, sorry, that's just the way my picks shook out this year.  I think the title pretty much says it all--it's British drama, it's a mystery, there's a family secret, there's sleuthing involved, and there's DRAMA, oh, and a scheming duchess.

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand; Hilderbrand writes stories set on Nantucket Island, and I've become a fan of these family dramas.  This particular one requires tissues at the end (really, get ready to cry your heart out at the end of this one).

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon: This is a very tense, suspenseful thriller with a supernatural twist.

Those are my favorite books from the previous year (in no particular order).

Favorite Movies

I used to also review movies sometimes on this blog before I switched the sole focus to books and began reviewing every book I read.  I still watch a lot of movies, and I wanted to share some favorites from the previous year.  Usually I wait until the movie comes out on DVD and one of the library's acquires it before I borrow it and watch it, but sometimes there's a movie that I'll want to see in theaters because I can't wait for the DVD.  I had to see The Dark Knight Rises, the last of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy (and before the sacrilegious re-casting of Ben Affleck in the role; for real, BEN AFFLECK.  WHY.), in theaters.  I also had to see Avengers (the first one) in theaters (did not regret it).  I also saw Man of Steel in theaters.  But all of those were not from 2014.  And in case you noticed a theme to these movies, well, you won't be disappointed in my pick.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is the only movie I saw in theaters this year.  At first I was just going to wait for the DVD, but then the previews sucked me in and made me incredibly anxious about what was going down in the movies--so much so that I was obsessing about the movie to my cousin on facebook ["Steve Rogers is a fugitive and he needs to STAND DOWN.  WHAT IS HAPPENING"].  This particular cousin was the one that was going with me to see the movie, and I'm sure she was glad when we finally saw it because then I could stop posting about it on her facebook page.  It was a great movie, and we were not disappointed.

Literary website

I just wanted to share with you a website dedicated to books that I discovered a while ago.  It's called Book Riot.  And if you're a book lover, you have to check it.  There are articles about upcoming books, reviews, discussions about books, literary links, AND there's a shop that features literary themed wares plus so much more.

Those are my picks for 2014.  What are yours?

--written by Ms. Angie


Carmen said…
Great picks, Ms. Angie, both in books and movies. Hilderbrand is one of my favorite authors. I'm intrigued enough by the Simone St. James books to want to read them at some point.
I agree with you, The Dark Knight Rises was great; let's see how Ben Affleck fares compared to Christian Bale. In my opinion, Bale owned the character of Batman.
Ms. Angie said…
I agree; Christian Bale will be hard to follow up in the role of Batman. In my opinion, Affleck was not a very inspired casting decision, and thus I think the role of Batman will suffer in his hands. But then I'm still a little bitter about his casting because I'm not a fan of Affleck as an actor, so maybe given my low expectations, he will surprise me.

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