Best selling books of 2014

With another year in the books, it’s time to reflect what kind of year its been for books. Young-adult franchises continue to sell extraordinarily well. Both The Hunger Games and Divergent series popping up on best-seller lists again and again. For the younger crowd, each new Diary of a Wimpy Kid installment also rockets to the top of the charts .

Meanwhile, book from political figures and commentators continue to do well. Conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly’s Killing series scoring another hit with Killing Patton. Stephen King scored a couple of new hits, with Revival and Mr. Mercedes both being published this year. Inspirational and religious-themed books also cracked the top tier.
For the purposes of our list we’ve left out those series that have made a habit of camping out near the top spots. Instead focuses on singular novels and non-fiction books that have captured our collective imagination.

 

unbrokenUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Inspirational stories of perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity are almost always a hit with mainstream audiences. Throw in a true story involving an athlete surviving an against-all-odds scenario during World War II. You pretty much can’t miss. Unbroken is the biographical tale of Louis Zamperini’s harrowing ordeal and heroic triumph when the whole world had gone mad.
A former Olympic track star, Zamperini somehow survived a plane crash in the midst of the Pacific front of WWII. Drifting on a raft for 47 days, he was then captured by the Japanese, enduring a brutal two-and-a-half years in a POW camp. Unbroken was published in 2010. But its sales soared in 2014 thanks to the film adaptation by Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie.

all the light
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Thanks to a wooden scale-model her father has constructed for her. Meanwhile, in Germany, an orphan boy named Werner uses his uncanny skill with circuitry. Repairing a radio and listen to messages from France. This skill ultimately gets him sent to a horrible academy for Hitler youth. He is forced to use his talents for the Third Reich. Ultimately, as the years pass, Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s paths cross in a book nearly as intricately crafted as that scale-model of the city. All the Light We Cannot See was a hit with critics as well as book buyers. The novel was a finalist for the coveted National Book Award.

if i stay
If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

As demonstrated by the smash success of the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars, young-adult fiction remains as popular as ever. These works are often even more successful when dramatic struggles between life and death are involved. If I Stay centers on 17-year-old Mia and the aftermath of a disastrous car crash, involving her family. In the throes of a coma, Mia travels outside of her body and observes her family and friends gathering at her hospital bed. She ultimately is faced with the choice of returning to her body. Living a far more physically challenging life or letting herself drift off into death. This 2009 YA novel rocketed back up the best-seller charts thanks to its film adaptation, released earlier in 2014.

gray mountain
Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Along with death and taxes, one of life’s other certainties is that a new John Grisham novel will invariably end up on a best-seller list. Nobody does legal thrillers quite like him. Gray Mountain is set in the year 2008, and protagonist Samantha’s career is on the rise as a Wall Street lawyer. Then the recession hits and she finds herself in a free fall. Transported from Manhattan to a volunteer legal-aid gig in Appalachia. Clinging to the slim chance she’ll regain her high profile job when the economy bounces back. The small-town locals don’t take too kindly to the new city-slicker lawyer in their midst. Samantha is soon thrust into the dark side of the coal mining industry, where things can easily turn deadly. Another year, another lucrative hit for John Grisham.

Best Selling Books of 2013

With the leaves turning on the trees and those dark nights closing in, it’s hard to believe we are already halfway through the year. But what of the best selling books of 2013? What a year it has been for books so far, some old classics made a reappearance on the shelves, some favored writers took their hand to the pen once more and some new talent certainly crawled out of the woodwork. There has definitely been a balance of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the best selling books of 2013 so far. From Twilight fan fiction to the greatest books of all time. Take a look at what has been flying off the shelves all summer long.

best selling books of 2013-infernoInferno – Dan Brown

You either loved or loathed the hype surrounding ‘The Da Vinci Code’. And now Dan Brown is back to tackle the mystery and darkness surrounding Dante’s long and winding poem Inferno. The tale pulls you in through secret passageways, classic art and the rolling landscape of Italy. Dan Brown seems to stick to a formula he knows well. The book doesn’t step out of line with the previous three books in this series. If you are a Dan Brown die hard then you will adore this book. If you are on the fence then you may find this book more of a chore than an intrigue. Brown certainly provides food for thought with his ethical questions imprinted in the text. But his fascination with famous Italian attractions often gets in the way of a good story. And makes his work read more like a guide book than a fast paced and well-structured thriller. A very suitable addition to the best selling books of 2013.

The Great Gatsby– F.Scott Fitzgerald greatgatsby

One of the best books in literature has made a comeback thanks to the release of the Hollywood blockbuster of a film. The Great Gatsby needs little introduction as it takes you into the heat of the summer in Long Island 1925. He paints a painful portrayal of jazz and decadence and the downside of the American dream. The writing is flawless, the characters shallow and vacant and the social commentary is violent and scathing. Fitzgerald manages to create an elegant novella with arguably some of the best stand out lines in English literature.

gone girlGone Girl – Gillian Flynn

The new novel by Gillian Flynn offers binge reading at its best. It’s a thriller that once you start you will literally be unable to stop. Named as the New York Times bestseller, this is a story that will have you looking at your spouse with suspicion. Unable to focus on anything but the mystery of marriage. The razor sharp tale focuses on the disappearance of Nick’s wife Amy one sultry summer morning. Just when the couple are set to be celebrating their anniversary. As the story starts with golden boy Nick paying close attention to the skull of his beautiful wife as she lies in bed next to him. The reader is hurtled through a passage of dark secrets and whodunit scenarios. It’s a car wreck of a story you can’t miss and one that is sure to linger in the fabric of your imagination.

Fifty Shades of Grey – El James fifty shades of grey

The book that launched a thousand tirades still managed to make the best sellers list this year despite scathing criticism at every turn. This is a book that you should sheepishly hide under the cover of War and Peace when sat on the train. Spawned from Twilight fan fiction and an exploration of BDSM between a naïve college girl and a multimillionaire. The self-labeled mommy porn may be a page turner but for all the wrong reasons. Terribly inconsistent writing paired with irritating and unbelievable characters. It’s a book that truly punishes its reader for even attempting to pick it up. If you have a sense of humor you may stick your tongue firmly in your cheek as you dare to tackle this masterpiece of poor talent. The final addition to our category of the best selling books of 2013

The Best Thrillers of All Time

A killer thriller is a book that grips us with its plot, suspense and dramatic twist of adventure. Literary snobs can often turn their nose up when it comes to genre fiction. But the best thrillers are normally the ones that denote a sneer or two in the wrong crowd. However thrillers are one of the most complex and creative forms of writing out there. They are the true storytellers. They are skilled enough to enrapture the heartbeat of the reader and to have them turn the page in fear and hope. Thrillers crossover to many different genres. They aren’t all about cops and robbers, from Bram Stokers Dracula to Jurassic Park. A great thriller can bend the rules and still have you wanting more. Take a look at these top thrillers of all time and start your pulse racing…

silence of the lambsSilence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
This bone chilling book with a dazzling cast of characters was immortalized by Dennis Hopper in the film adaptation of the same name. Between the pages of Thomas Harris’s international best seller is where the story first began. A charming cannibal is kept under lock and key for his heinous crimes but a young FBI agent needs his help. To track down a serial killer and into the mind’s eye of the monster she must look. This is no cheap and trashy thriller, this is a book that is executed with the precision of a surgeon. A complex plot is layered to perfection and the author seems to hit every note on the rising crescendo of this thriller classic.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larson girl with dragon tattoo
Stieg Larson hit the nail on the head and managed to create a thriller that captured the whole world. With his fierce character Lisbeth and the frostbitten backdrop of Sweden. The first book in the Millennium series follows professional man Blomkvist and his quest to rekindle his reputation. By investigating a mysterious disappearance with the help of Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. Not just a thriller this is a scathing political commentary, a page turner with hard hitting themes and highly intelligent characters. No one can accuse this book of being dumbed down for the masses.

rebeccaRebecca Daphne du Maurier
The new wife of Max de Winter has been swept off her feet by this older man with money. But it is only when she is brought home to his estate that she discovers love isn’t quite what it seems. She has to compete with the other women, the woman who has been dead for eight months. Spine chilling and resounding with atmospheric gloom Daphne du Maurier’s tale of gothic love. It is full of twists and suspense that will have you hanging on for dear life.

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith talented mr ripley
Tom Ripley is highly talented when it comes to stealing identities, juggling separate lives and getting rid of those who stand in his way. In this gorgeous thriller set against the backdrop of a sun scorched Italy, we follow Tom Ripley at his very best game. The jury is still out as to whether Tom Ripley is a sociopath or a lost young man with an enormous talent. Whatever the answer, Patricia Highsmith nails the suspense, the descriptions of Italy and the flawless storytelling without taking a breath.

jaws

Jaws – Peter Benchley
No one can forget the fear roused by Steven Spielberg’s killer epic Jaws. But the great white first made its appearance in the bestselling book by Peter Benchley. The tale centers around the great white shark that begins to terrorize beach goers in a local small town. And the three men who set out to kill the great beast. There’s more than a bit of shark hunting going on between the pages of this best seller. There are complex explorations of marriage and discontentment and a tightly wound narrative. A thrilling read with more than a dash of horror and plenty of suspense. This book will have you gripped and even afraid to get into the bathtub.

Best Roald Dahl Books

It’s hard to believe in a childhood without Roald Dahl, the master storyteller who created weird and wonderful characters to dazzle young readers across the globe. Rumor has it that Roald Dahl was actually not a big fan of children; however in many of Roald Dahl’s books you actually see the author himself with a mischievous grin conspiring with the little people against the strange world of adults.

There’s no doubt that Roald Dahl had an imagination to rival even the most creative of children, from overblown peaches that won’t stop growing to giants that blow dreams into children’s ears at night, some of these stories are the most poignant, beautiful and awe inspiring tales that have ever been created. Here we take a look at the stories that kept us squinting over night lights and checking grownups toes throughout those young and formative years, take a look at the very best books from the mind of Roald Dahl.

witchesThe Witches
The grand high witch hates children and wants to turn them all into mice by sending her horde of witches to take over all the sweet-shops in Britain. Yet one seven year old boy happens to overhear their plan and it’s down to his grandmother and him to save the day. The Witches is perhaps the most terrifying of all Roald Dahl books because it’s all about witches who are disguised as real women which makes them very hard to spot. This was the tale that had you trembling as a child every time your mother bought a new friend home, the story that had you running screaming every time an adult offered you a chocolate, and the tale that made paintings of farmhouses creepy forever. The dark edge of fear and fantasy come together in the boldest and bravest of Roald Dahl books.

The BFG bfg
When Sophie is snatched late at night from her orphanage bed to the land of giants she has to stay on her toes to avoid the bone crunchers, the blood bottlers and the other terrifying trolls who like to devour children. However she soon learns that not all giants are the stuff of nightmares and the big friendly giant just wants to blow sweet dreams into children ears. This story is truly the stuff of dreams and has such a surreal and beautiful element that it will ignite your imagination from childhood until the day you die. Adults facing a reread of The BFG may notice a few rather un PC elaborations in the tale but the feat of imagery and language is sure to sweep you away at the stroke of witching hour.

matildaMatilda
Matilda is the ultimate bookworm who lives in a world where adults are either idiots or as mean as mean can be. Her parents spend their life eating TV dinners in front of the box and her headmistress Miss Trunchbull likes to swing children around by their hair and force chocolate cake down their throat. Only when Matilda discovers she has some special powers does her world start to take an interesting turn. This is the book that told children it was ok to read, that you can still come from a terrible family and be a good kid, and that smartness will see you through in the end. Very inspiring stuff from Roald Dahl and a childhood favorite for many.

Georges Marvelous Medicine george
Georges grandma is a real pain, miserable, mean spirited and with a small puckered mouth like a dogs bottom, and somehow George always has to watch over her. However one day when his parents go out he decides to create a medicine to cure her grumpiness. Little does he know his homemade concoction is about to have some rather bizarre consequences for all. Wicked humor to make you cackle and slap your hand over your mouth in shame is peppered throughout the pages and will strike a chord with anyone who had cantankerous grandparents who never made cakes! Yet again Dahl manages to capture the essence of an eight year old child and mark his words to speak to children everywhere in this shenanigan inspired tale.

Best selling books of 2015

Well, the end of another year and 2015 has produced some startling newcomers to the shelves of ‘books not to be missed’. But which books sold best, used or new, from the booksellers that partner with us at usedbooksearch ?

tale of 2 citiesThe girl on the train – Paula Hawkins 38,243 copies sold by Amazon
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a dark, haunting psychological thriller, but it’s quite remarkably effective thanks to the writing skills of former journalist Paula Hawkins. Rachel is divorced and would do anything for a drink, and like many consumed by a love affair with the bottle, seemingly becomes a victim of circumstances. Her husband Tom had an affair that resulted in a pregnancy. When he divorced Rachel, he married the “other woman” and bizarrely all three (wife, husband and child) are now happily together in the house that was once Rachel’s.

Fifty shades of grey – E.L. James 14,300 copies sold by Barnes & Noble Fifty shades of grey Book Cover by E.L. James
The book that launched a thousand tirades still managed to make the best sellers list this year despite scathing criticism at every turn. This is a book that you should sheepishly hide under the cover of War and Peace when sat on the train. Spawned from Twilight fan fiction and an exploration of BDSM between a naïve college girl and a multimillionaire. The self-labeled mommy porn may be a page turner but for all the wrong reasons. Terribly inconsistent writing paired with irritating and unbelievable characters. It’s a book that truly punishes its reader for even attempting to pick it up. If you have a sense of humor you may stick your tongue firmly in your cheek as you dare to tackle this masterpiece of poor talent.

le petit princeLe Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 140 million copies sold
Antoine de Saint-Expery was a wealthy aristocrat who managed to capture the hearts of millions with his tender tale of the little prince who fell to earth. Although published as a children’s book with gorgeous illustrations, this short and sweet poetic tale manages to encompass the heart, the human condition and loneliness in one swoop. Peppered with philosophy and some acute observations that bind the young and the old, few books have been so cherished and loved as Le Petit Prince in both the hands of adults and children.

dream of the red chamberDream of the Red Chamber – Cao Xueqin 100 million copies sold
Hailed as the Romeo and Juliet of the far flung East, Dream of the Red Chamber is known as the best book to come out of China. With an enormous cast of characters and complex themes entwined in the breathtaking and tragic story against the backdrop of 18th century china. The novel focuses on the Chia family and how their illustrious image cannot hide the deterioration of their household from the inside out. With family conflicts flying left, right and center this is an epic story that will grip you from beginning to end.

then there were noneAnd ThenThere Were None – Agatha Christie 100 million copies sold
Agatha Christie is la crème de la crème when it comes to mysteries and thrillers and this was the tale that really hit home with no less than 100 million eager readers. It’s the basis for all murder mystery weekends that have ever been as in the story ten people, with skeletons in the closet are invited to a lonely mansion where an unseen host accuses each of murder. The plot itself makes great stuff and is sure to have you hooked, each of them will fall but who will be left standing?

Best Harry Potter Books

harry potter books

After a decade of returning to Hogwarts for wands and wizardry JK Rowling finished her fabulous Harry potter series leaving those who had grown up with Harry, Hermione and Ron out on a limb. What makes these books so special is that Rowling managed not only to capture the imagination of a generation, but to allow her characters to grow up at the same pace as her readers. What starts as simple childish fantasy grows into something dark and atmospheric that propels the story and characters forward and also tackles the hardships of adolescence and change. Harry Potter is a fabulous role model for children; the underdog orphan who was kept in the closet goes on to be one of the most powerful wizards in history and embraces bravery, loyalty and friendship at every step. Rowling created Harry’s universe so in depth that as soon as you open the pages you are transported into a paradox of the world we know so well, but it is a world sprinkled with magic and spells. Rowling doesn’t flinch from the death and the darkness which is a brave move for a children’s author. She also blurs the lines of good and bad with complex troubled characters like Professor Snape, Draco Malfoy and even you-know-who. In short the Harry Potter books are more than a simple escape series, they are a whole new world waiting for you. Take a look at the best Harry Potter books and let the Hogwarts express take you away…

phil stoneHarry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
This was the book that very first took us into the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter. We first meet Potter as an orphan boy who lives with his hideous ‘muggle’ relatives who keep him stashed away in the cupboard and dress him in rags. That is until his eleventh birthday when Hagrid comes crashing through the door to transport him to Hogwarts School of Wizardry. Although this book is without a doubt the most childish of all the series, it is still one of the best. No one can forget the first time they read about the floating candles of Hogwarts, crashing through the platform to find the hidden train and all other kinds of magic and mysteries. Rowling set the stage and it was fascinating from the word go.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  goblet
The Goblet of Fire was the first book to truly take its first steps into the adult plain. This was the book where Hermione started to care about her hair, where Ron started to feel a flutter of jealousy, and where the children have to deal with death in its rawest form. This is also the book where Rowling truly goes wild in her fantasy creation, throwing in mermaids, dragons, dark forces and a whole lot more. It’s a glimpse into the darkness and a shift to an older plain which is what makes it such a standout book that doesn’t conform to the structure and sense of the past three. Friendships start to become more complex, webs start to get weaved and tangled and being a wizard stops being all about fun as the readers realize there are deadly consequences to this game.

azkabanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Another firm favorite in the great debate of the best harry potter books, the Prisoner of Azkaban always comes up trumps. Sirius Black is one of the best characters to come out of the woodwork and we really start to get a true look into the dark past of Hogwarts and what became of the Potter family that fateful night. The subject of horror and fear starts to pepper the pages and we feel a shiver down our spine as we read about the dementors who feed on human sadness and we start to see a Harry that has to face responsibly and defining moments that will stick with him for the rest of his life. This is where the tale takes a subtle twist and starts to let in the shadows and leave the whimsical light behind.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows deathly hallows
The dramatic finale in the series of Harry Potter and arguably the best. The Deathly Hallows leaves childish fantasy at the door and takes the reader into a world that is both dark and disturbing and without the safety net of certain characters to save the day. Harry is out on a limb and has to ride the roller coaster of fear, sadness, and an adventure alone, with only the readers in tow for company. This was the book that had us on the edge of our seats, the book that kept us breathless and the book that delivered nothing less than a perfect conclusion to a perfect story, the best way to end a decade.

Best Selling Books of All Time

Sometimes a book comes along that you simply refuse to part with; you grip it like a lost lover on the bus. You sneak out on your lunch break to hungrily race through the pages like a starving man at a great feast. And you are not the only one; in every book lovers home across the globe you can find a battered copy of these best-selling books. You can shyly nod at strangers on the train who pull this book out from their bag. Literary scholars may debate which is the best book in the world, but this list is a look at the best- selling books of all time. It encompasses a range of literary genres from fiction to philosophy, to make believe worlds, books that sparked children’s imaginations and books that have hung around our shelves for centuries. Take a look at few of the best- selling books of all time and see how many you have read.

tale of 2 cities
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens 200 million copies sold
Dickens may demand a lot of concentration but this story set in the gray slate streets of London and the violent streets of Paris truly has everything of a great story stashed between its pages. Love, blood, revenge and revolt are just a few of the themes that Dickens makes come alive in his tale that follows Dr. Manette, a former prisoner of the Bastille. Love it or loathe it, Dickens knows how to throw together a great melodrama and although many will claim that finishing a Tale of Two Cities was the best of times and the worst of times, 200 million gave it a go and made it the best- selling book of all time.

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien 150 million copies sold The Fellowship Of The Ring Book Cover by JRR Tolkien_1
The one story to rule them all is without a doubt The Lord of the Rings trilogy by the late and the very great J.R.R Tolkien. This is the quintessential story of good vs. evil, set in a fantasy world that the linguistics and literary professor crafted and shaped from our very own earth. It’s a story of sheer delight and fascination with loveable characters that will stay in our hearts until the end of time.

Frodo Baggins, a quaint and happy hobbit who loves to smoke beside the fireplace is taken out of his comfortable life and given a quest that will change Middle Earth forever. Elves, wizards, dwarves and all living species come together to fight the greatest war that will ever be. Although this is fantasy you can get lost in, you can never escape the human qualities of bravery, spirit and good and evil that Tolkien makes so relevant in his timeless masterpiece.

le petit princeLe Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 140 million copies sold
Antoine de Saint-Expery was a wealthy aristocrat who managed to capture the hearts of millions with his tender tale of the little prince who fell to earth. Although published as a children’s book with gorgeous illustrations, this short and sweet poetic tale manages to encompass the heart, the human condition and loneliness in one swoop. Peppered with philosophy and some acute observations that bind the young and the old, few books have been so cherished and loved as Le Petit Prince in both the hands of adults and children.

dream of the red chamberDream of the Red Chamber – Cao Xueqin 100 million copies sold
Hailed as the Romeo and Juliet of the far flung East, Dream of the Red Chamber is known as the best book to come out of China. With an enormous cast of characters and complex themes entwined in the breathtaking and tragic story against the backdrop of 18th century china. The novel focuses on the Chia family and how their illustrious image cannot hide the deterioration of their household from the inside out. With family conflicts flying left, right and center this is an epic story that will grip you from beginning to end.

then there were none - best-selling booksAnd ThenThere Were None – Agatha Christie 100 million copies sold
Agatha Christie is la crème de la crème when it comes to mysteries and thrillers and this was the tale that really hit home with no less than 100 million eager readers. It’s the basis for all murder mystery weekends that have ever been as in the story ten people, with skeletons in the closet are invited to a lonely mansion where an unseen host accuses each of murder. The plot itself makes great stuff and is sure to have you hooked, each of them will fall but who will be left standing?

Best Novels

Every writer dreams of creating the world’s greatest novel, but taking pen to paper can prove a challenge. There are many fabulous books that line the shelves of libraries across the world. Some have the strength and the power to wrench our hearts from our chest, to crack our sides with laughter. Forcing us to hold our breath in suspense as we devour the pages.

A great novel is able to take us from the humdrum of everyday life and to transport us into a different world. Where the characters are as real as the people outside on our street. Where the landscape is so vivid you could reach out and touch it. And where the plot is so absurdly or simply fascinating that we follow the journey with baited breath. Then there are those novels that challenge us, that lead us through a whirlwind of emotions and that stay with us until the end of time. Choosing the best novels in the world is never easy. It is a list that can be chopped and chewed and changed depending on how you feel that day. However there are titles that turn up time and time again as being the novels that changed the world.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy anna karenina
Leo Tolstoy sat down to pen one of the most scandalous love affairs ever to be told and it took him two decades to tell the tale. The young and unhappy aristocrat Anna Karenina leaves her husband to chase the dream of love with the charming Count Vronsky. This decision leaves her shunned from the social scene of Russia and things start to take a turn for the worse. This tragic tale is literally flawless and reading between the lines you get so much more than a trite love story, you get a glimpse into Russian upper class society, gender politics, philosophy, and the complexities of human relationships. This masterpiece is a firm reminder that the flight of fairytale is often bound by the weight of reality.

lolitaLolita by Vladimir Nabokov
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.” So begins the tremulous journey through the mind and life of Humbert Humbert, a literary scholar with a penchant for a young so called nymphet named Lolita. Vladimir Nabokov is a master of the literary tongue and blends poetry and power into this fascinating and often disturbing novel that challenges the controversial topic of adolescents and sexuality. The story of Lolita is perhaps one of the finest examples in history of the unreliable narrator and this novel has proved to be a cult classic that will forever stand the test of time.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck  east of eden
Even though John Steinbeck is known for his Great Depression era masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath, his greatest novel remains the epic East of Eden. The novel is ambitious and never falls short of spectacular as Steinbeck brings the biblical tale of Cain and Abel into the Salinas Valley. The Magnum Opus follows the family tree of the Hamilton family and explores the struggle of family ties, good and evil and the destruction of love. The characterization runs as deep as the valley and the complexities of the plot and theme are as sweepingly epic as the rolling landscape in which the story is set. This book is the true great American novel.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller catch 22
“He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.” Joseph Heller may have been a one hit wonder but no novel can strike as close to the bone as the fabulously satirical Catch 22. Captain John Yossarian of the US Army Air Force takes us through the mind melting absurdity of war and bureaucracy and teeters on the fine line of sanity and insanity. With a joke on every page and a non-chronological structure, Heller manages to capture the essence of screaming into paper and binding it all in an iconic comedy of errors. The book even coined a new phrase to be included in the English dictionary and has never failed to be relevant.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee To_Kill_a_Mockingbird
The only book ever penned by Harper Lee has turned out to be one of the most important stories to sit on our shelves. Short, sharp and woven with sweetness, the tale follows six year old scout and her loss of innocence in a tired old town in the deep south of Alabama. Scouts father, Atticus Finch, is perhaps one of the most moral characters in modern literature as he stands against the pitchfork to defend a black man at the height of racial inequality during the Great Depression. Harper Lee’s gift for storytelling is both spellbinding and flawless and she manages to tackle some hard hitting themes with compassion and even a warm dab of humor. To Kill a Mockingbird is a quiet masterpiece that will set fire to your soul and leave you smoldering for years to come.

Best Books 2013

It’s been an exciting year in literature considering we are only just putting the sweltering summer behind us. With new releases from time honored authors like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Khaled Hosseini, we can only speculate as to what the golden leaves of autumn will bring to our shelves. This year has seen modern classics like “The Great Gatsby” get plucked from the past with the release of Baz Lurhmans brazen film adaption. It has witnessed George R Martins “Song of Ice and Fire” Series stir up a frenzy and it has hopefully allowed us to scramble up the falling cliffs of fifty shades of gray and put that all behind us. So what secret gems have we discovered this year so far in the wonderful world of literature, take a look.

  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseiniand the mountains echoed
Literary lovers across the globe fell in love with the stark lyrical genius of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and the mesmerizing poetry of “The Kite Runner”. This year Khaled Hosseini doesn’t disappoint with his third novel “And the Mountains Echoed”. The series of interlinking stories takes us from a tiny village in Afghanistan. Takes us through five different countries in a tale that spans for decades. The reader witness’s war, birth, life, death, love and consequence as every action resounds through generations. It’s a journey that will bring the reader to tears and a brave attempt at a timeless tale that will rock the foundations on which you stand.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimanneil gaiman
Many will argue that fantasy and Gaiman are a niche genre. Yet this novel has been anticipated for years as his first offering of a new adult novel. Neil Gaiman has always had a penchant for the magical and the hazy lines between dreams and reality. A man revisits his past and his memory is drawn to the old farmhouse and the enchanting girl that once lived there in this haunting tale of memory and survival. This is said to be Gaiman’s most personal attempt at writing. And the human spirit glistens like the silky fabric of a spider’s web in this adult fairytale.

Transatlantic Colum McCanntransatlantic
Colum McCann has little to prove after awing readers with powerful storytelling in “This Side of Brightness”. Tackling the unknown with his exploration of hidden Romani culture in “Zoli”. Yet somehow McCann just keeps on giving and “Transatlantic” is his latest offering. The first non-stop transatlantic flight made in 1919 lies at the center of this spellbinding tale. McCann reaches out to embrace over 150 years of Irish and American history. At times the narrative is difficult to grasp in the palm of your hand. It follows three different series of events, but this turbulence is short lived. The result is a McCann classic, a strong story interspersed with lyricism, poetry and harmony.

Devil in the Grove by Gilbert Kingdevil in the grove
Amongst the sweet scent of orange blossom down in Florida there lurks something sinister. Gilbert King takes an unflinching look at the events that helped shaped the civil revolution. Its 1949 and a young white girl cries rape in a small town. The so called perpetrators are four young black men. The red eyed sheriff is looking for any excuse to take them down and incite a lynching.

What strikes a chord close to the heart is this daring masterpiece is testament to the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction. It’s an exploration of the dark heart of America in a time when racial inequality was at the forefront of everyday life. Homage to those who had the guts to stand and be heard. The research is flawless and the lyrical approach puts a touch of fear into your heart in a southern Gothic style.