Skip to main content

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

Comments

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…