Jessica Day George

Friday, January 23, 2015

Best of the Best of the Best 2014!



Aloha! I'm writing this post from my private cabana on Disney's Castaway Cay!

...

No, just kidding. I'm sitting in my bed and I need to shower.

Anyhoo! I know you're all dying to know: What did Jessica love in 2014? What books moved her? What movies thrilled her?

WAIT NO MORE!

I now present to you: THE BEST OF 2014 ACCORDING TO MOI!

Beginning, as ever, with the movie picks:

Movies for Grownups:

Guardians of the Galaxy (So much to love, from the story to the humor to the action to the characters themselves. We ARE Groot!)
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (I had to watch it twice to really appreciate it. It really leads in so well to the Lord of the Rings movies.)
Interstellar
Maleficent
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Winter's Tale
Live. Die. Repeat. (aka Edge of Tomorrow)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Chef
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Monuments Men

Movies for Kids:

The Lego Movie
Big Hero 6
The Secret of Kells (This movie is several years old, but I finally saw it, and it was gorgeous!)
Muppets: Most Wanted
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Planes: Fire and Rescue

And now, the books! BOOKS! BOOOOOOOOKS! So many good books this year! So many! As those of you who follow me on Goodreads know, I actually made my goal of reading 160 books in 2014! I'm so proud of myself! And so pleased, too, that I discovered so many great books!

Also, for the most part, these lists are all ten-way ties. To choose which one I liked better, LANDLINE or ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, is simply ridiculous, because they were both amazing, and so different. It's like asking which I like better: steak or dark chocolate.

Books for Grownups, Fiction:

LANDLINE - Rainbow Rowell
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE - Anthony Doerr
THE BONE CLOCKS - Brian David Mitchell
THE ROSIE PROJECT - Graeme Simsion
WINTER'S TALE - Mark Helprin
THE HUSBAND'S SECRET - Liane Moriarty
THE SILKWORM - Robert Galbraith
DANIEL DERONDA - George Eliot
GIDGET - Frederick Kohner
DEATH OF A POLICEMAN - M. C. Beaton

Books for Grownups, Fantasy/Sci fi:

SOME KIND OF FAIRY TALE - Graham Joyce (Graham, who was so kind and hilarious and wonderful, passed away this fall after a long battle with cancer. If you haven't treated yourself to one of his gorgeous books before, start with this one.)
MY REAL CHILDREN - Jo Walton
WORDS OF RADIANCE - Brandon Sanderson
ANATHEM - Neal Stephenson (It took me two tries to get into this book, because the language is so different, but once I did . . . WOW.)
THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS - Patrick Rothfuss
THE BONE SEASON - Samantha Shannon
BLOOD OF TYRANTS - Naomi Novik
ODD THOMAS - Dean Koontz
FARTHING - Jo Walton
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS - M. R. Carey

Books for Grownups, Nonfiction:

THE EGG AND I - Betty MacDonald (I loved the movie as a kid, and just recently discovered that it was originally a book, which was autobiographical, and by the author of my beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books!)
EVERY LIVING THING - James Herriot
AS YOU WISH - Cary Elwes

Young Adult, Fiction:

I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN - Jandy Nelson (Definitely for older teens and adults, but so beautifully written and heart-breaking, it's my pick for the Printz Award!)
THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE - Leila Sales
WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE - Trish Doller
NOT IN THE SCRIPT - Amy Finnegan (Amy is a good friend of mine, and this debut YA book of hers is simply to die for! A fabulous rom-com!)
THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH - Rosemary Sutcliff
MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME - edited by Stephanie Perkins
THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE - Julie Berry
SKINK - NO SURRENDER - Carl Hiaasen
THE CHAPEL WARS - Lindsey Leavitt
THE OUTSIDERS - S. E. Hinton (Nope, I've never read it before. Yep, it was great!)

Young Adult, Fantasy/Sci fi:

DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS - Laini Taylor (Gorgeous ending to this trilogy!)
MIDWINTERBLOOD - Marcus Sedgewick (The Printz winner, and so deserving of it!)
A BREATH OF FROST/WHISPER THE DEAD - Alyxandra Harvey (The first two books in the Lovegrove Legacy and I couldn't put them down!)
IN THE SHADOWS - Jim diBartolo and Kirsten White
IN THE AGE OF LOVE AND CHOCOLATE - Gabrielle Zevin (Another great trilogy ender!)
THE SHADE OF THE MOON - Susan Beth Pfeffer
BLACKOUT - Robison Wells
CHASING POWER - Sarah Beth Durst
STEELHEART - Brandon Sanderson
AFTERWORLDS - Scott Westerfeld

Middle Grade, Fiction:

LIAR & SPY - Rebecca Stead
WEST OF THE MOON - Margi Preus
HOMECOMING/ DICEY'S SONG - Cynthia Voigt
CHARLOTTE'S ROSE - A. E. Cannon (This book is hard to find, and has been out several years, but it is just gorgeous, and fans of Little House on the Prairie will love it!)
THE SECRET OF THE FORTUNE WOOKIEE/THE SURPRISE ATTACK OF JABBA THE PUPPETT/PRINCESS LABELMAKER TO THE RESCUE/EMPEROR PICKLETINE RIDES THE BUS - Tom Angleberger (Basically, if you haven't read this series, you really must!)
THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING - Maryrose Wood
LIFE ON MARS - Jennifer Brown
THE SPY CATCHERS OF MAPLE HILL - Megan Frazer Blakemore

Middle Grade, Fantasy/Sci Fi:

THE HERO'S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE - Christopher Healy
NIGHTMARES! - Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
THE NIGHT GARDENER - Jonathan Auxier
THE MAGIC HALF - Annie Barrows
IRON-HEARTED VIOLET - Kelly Barnhill
THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA - Tony DiTerlizzi
THE WIDE AWAKE PRINCESS - E. D. Baker
THE PRINCESS IN BLACK - Dean and Shannon Hale
THE QUIRKS: WELCOME TO NORMAL - Erin Soderberg
THE FAIRY TALE MATCHMAKER - E. D. Baker

Graphic Novels:

TREATIES, TRENCHES, MUD, AND BLOOD - Nathan Hale
EL DEAFO - CeCe Bell
SISTERS - Raina Telgemeier
WHY GRIZZLY BEARS SHOULD WEAR UNDERPANTS - The Oatmeal
DRAMA - Raina Telgemeier
RESIDENT MAD SCIENTIST - Howard Tayler
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 1: COSMIC AVENGERS - Brian Michael Bendis
ANDRE THE GIANT - Box Brown

Picture Books: 

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE - Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett
MOO! - David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka
GASTON - Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson
HUG MACHINE - Scott Campbell
THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES - Brigette Barrager (My daughter has had the Princess Matching Game based on this for years, and I just realized that there was a book featuring this beautiful art, and the princesses are all flower names, too!)
UNI THE UNICORN - Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager
WAITING IS NOT EASY - Mo Willems
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS - Jan Pienkowski
THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH - Mo Willems
FOUND - Salina Yoon


6 comments:

Allison Ruvidich said...

I love these! Congratulations on reaching your goal! : )

Julie said...

Thanks, lovey!

Amy said...

Hello my name is Alina and I am eleven years old. I love Tuesdays at the Castle, Wednesdays in the Tower, and Thursdays with the Crown.And I would love for them to be a movie, so I can enjoy them again.I was wondering if there was any way that you could talk to producers so they could make a movie out of the books. If they do make a movie and they do not have anyone to be Celie, I will gladly do it and I would love to! I even have curly hair like her! lol!

louisamcbeeza said...

Great choices! I love The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker, and I can't wait for the fourth book to come out in the spring! Princess in Black by Shannon Hale is adorable, too. :)

Regina said...

Awesome post, my daughter reads a book or two or three a day and you are one of her all time favorites! She'll love this list. She reads your books to shreds. I'm so sad we missed all your public appearances in December so close to home, didn't find your blog until January.

Sarah said...

Have you read: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman? Also, please, I know your schedule is nuts, but my favorites of yours are the Dragon Slippers and the Princesses books, so please, please go back to them at some point soon!

Thank you!!