The ten best novels of 2014

The “best of” season is in full swing and I can’t resist the opportunity to share my opinion.

I’ve already done my fair share of raving over these novels in previous months, so I’m highlighting some of my favorite lines in hopes you might pick them up if you haven’t already.

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1. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales

by Margaret Atwood

“There’s only so long you can feel sorry for a person before you come to feel that their affliction is an act of malice committed by them against you.”

2. An Untamed State

by Roxane Gay

“It is often women who pay the price for what men want.”

3. Neverhome

by Laird Hunt

“I was strong and he was not, so it was me went to war to defend the Republic.”

4. Euphoria

by Lily King

“I was raised on Science as other people are raised on God, or gods, or the crocodile.”

5. Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

“The revelation of privacy: she can walk down the street and absolutely no one knows who she is. It’s possible that no one who didn’t grow up in a small place can understand how beautiful this is, how the anonymity of city life feels like freedom.”

6. Florence Gordon

by Brian Morton

“You expect to love your children; it brings a different kind of joy to realize you admire them.”

7. Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky

by David Connerley Nahm

“Without the bonds of school, they pour out of doors, unable to be constrained. The classroom is a coffin and the bedroom is a coffin and even their own bodies are coffins and they must escape.”

8. Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

“She buried her nose in Lydia’s hair and made silent promises. Never to tell her to sit up straight, to find a husband, to keep a house. Never to suggest that there were jobs or lives or worlds not meant for her; never to let her hear doctor and think only man.”

9. Dept. of Speculation

by Jenny Offill

“She signed away the right to self-destruct years ago. The fine print on the birth certificate, her friends call it.”

10. All the Birds, Singing

by Evie Wyld

“Another sheep, mangled and bled out, her innards not yet crusting and the vapours rising from her like a steamed pudding.”

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Shannon Nemer

Shannon is a reader, teacher, and professional Australian Shepherd entertainer.

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