Top Five Fiction Books I Read in 2014
It's that time of the year again(!), the time when bloggers write posts about their year in review. Top posts, favorite books, etc. It's just the name of the game. I'm not one to get left out of the festivities so here we go!
I make it a point to always be reading some work of fiction or another. Often, my wife, Caroline, and I will read fiction books together (or rather I'll read them out-loud to us before we go to sleep at night). I wanted to share the top five fiction books I read from 2014.
Here we go:
5: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I'm actually currently Great Expectations but I've only got about 40 pages left and I will finish it in 2014. It's quite a bear of a book (around 400 pages) but once you finally read the point in the story where the pace begins to pick up it's quite enchanting. Dickens has a way of creating stories and characters that are simultaneously realistic and haunting. Great Expectations is my first exposure to Dickens and I've enjoyed it!
4: Pride and Prejudice by Janes Austen
Caroline officially got me on the Jane Austen band wagon this year! We started with Pride and Prejudice and moved on to Sense and Sensibility. Pride and Prejudice was my favorite of the two although they were both excellent. In reading Austen I always found that her titles shed more and more light on the novels the further I got in to them!
3: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Like a lot of Christians in 2014 I read a Marilynne Robinson novel. All I really want to say about this novel is that it a a great example of what "Christian fiction" should be like. If you read my post "Why Are Christians Novels & Movies So Bad?" and agreed with it then you should think of Gilead as the exact opposite of what I was characterizing in that post.
2: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
If you're a fan of Tolkien and love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit but are craving more then look no further than The Silmarillion! I imagine it to be something analogous to Genesis through Job but for Middle Earth (not the world we inhabit). Tolkien really was a genius and I can't really begin to wrap my mind around the glory hidden in this book. All I can say is that this will not be the last time I read it!
1: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Maybe I'm just a cliche Christian for having Tolkien and Lewis at the top of my list but cliches are there for a reason. Lewis, preeminently known for his Chronicles of Narnia books and his non-fiction writing, wrote more expansively (in both fiction and non-fiction) than most people realize. I'm proud to say that I've begun to dip into some of Lewis' lesser known fictional works and I've come away a better person for it. As you might expect, Till We Have Faces was not an exception to this experience. In fact, I think it is the best Lewis fiction work I've read (perhaps tied with That Hideous Strength). Like The Silmarillion there is so much in this book that I don't have the capacity to grasp. Like all great fiction it stretches beyond our mental capacity to comprehend and draws us into the divine; something Lewis is uniquely capable of!
All this being said, if you're looking for some good reading in 2015 and haven't read any of these, I'd highly recommend them!
Here's to another great year of reading!