Over the past several weeks, the nine of us on our GNB team — Lindsey Mead, Nina Badzin, Jess Vealitzek, Hallie Sawyer, Stacey Loscalzo, Cathleen Holst, Katie Noah Gibson, Julia Munroe Martin, and Jennifer King — have worked hard to each try and pick our favorite book from 2014. Between the nine of us, we’ve read over 450 books this year. It hasn’t been an easy task to choose just one book apiece. But here, after long deliberation, are our favorite book picks (old and new) we’ve read this year …



Lindsey’s pick: 

EUPHORIA by Lily King Euphoria by Lily King


I was swept away by Lily King’s compelling, transporting narrative.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her story for several months, which is the sure sign of an excellent book.  While telling a powerful, page-turning tale, King also touches on questions of love and loyalty, feminism and agency, and the slippery nature of subjectivity. I loved this book.

Read more from Lindsey by clicking here.

Lindsey can also be found on Twitter @lemead.


Nina’s pick: 



Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlin

In 2014 I read many memoirs and countless quality personal essays on websites and in print magazines. Nobody’s work flows as smoothly as Anna Quindlen’s, in my opinion. In LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE, Quindlen hits all the right notes with essays that are poignant, clever, and wise. I like that she’s able to make me laugh and cry all in one piece of writing, and she does this without being either crass or melodramatic. I’ve given LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE as a gift to several friends this year and plan to keep doing so until another book makes as good of an impression on me.

Read more from Nina by clicking here.

Nina can also be found on Twitter @ninabadzin.


Jessica’s pick: 



Redeployment by Phil Klay

REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay. It is rare for me to come upon a book that lives up to a high standard set by a predecessor (in this case, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried). But I believe this book of war stories does so. Klay refuses to hit the reader over the head and dress up emotional situations. His ability to choose just the right details and then get out of the way and let the story speak for itself is masterful.

Read more of Jess’s recommendation by clicking here.

Jess can also be found on Twitter @jessvealitzek.


Hallie’s pick:



The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I loved that the beginning of each chapter started with a book recommendation by the the main character. As a book lover, I’ve always had a desire to own my own bookstore and this story let me immerse myself in that world just a bit. AJ Fikry’s character arc is nothing less than adorable as he falls into fatherhood rather clumsily yet manages to leave me weeping by the end of the story.

Read more by Hallie by clicking here.

Hallie can also be found on Twitter @hallie_sawyer.


Stacey’s pick: 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

I was so drawn into this book that I woke up one morning believing that we were living in a post flu-pandemic world. Fortunately, I quickly returned to reality but I believe this speaks to the power of the story told in Station Eleven. Station Eleven is a true page turner filled with a clearly compelling story and well written prose.

Read more about Stacey by clicking here.

Stacey can also be found on Twitter @staceyloscalzo.


Cathleen’s pick: 


ETCHED ON ME by Jenn Crowell

Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell

ETCHED ON ME by Jenn Crowell. I chose this book because of its staying power. I read it in early 2014, and now here we are closing in on the end of the year, and I still find myself shaking my head, recalling the story, and its emotional impact.

Read more from Cathy by clicking here.

Cathy can also be found on Twitter @cathleenholst.


Katie’s pick: 



Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck


I broke a (self-imposed) book-buying fast to snag a charming $3 copy of this book off a sale cart. I have no regrets. Steinbeck’s rambling, sometimes irascible, keenly observed account of a cross-country road trip with Charley (his elderly, dignified French poodle) is fresh, funny and wise.

Read more from Katie by clicking here.

Katie can also be found on Twitter @katiengibson.


Julia’s pick: 



Redeployment by Phil Klay

This was a very tough question for me because my favorite book of the year was one published in 1980: THE BLIND CORRAL by Ralph Beer. I’d go so far to say it’s the best book I’ve ever read. As for the best new book I read this year, I’ll join Jess in choosing REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay. The stories are incredibly well told, and Klay’s writing is brilliant and powerful.

Read more from Julia by clicking here.

Julia can also be found on Twitter @wordsxo.[/author_info]


Jennifer’s pick: 



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I picked this book up for the gorgeous cover, read a few pages, and discovered a cinematic story which I could not put down. It’s my favorite book for its pacing, beautiful characters and writing and imagery, story and meaning and depth. I loved it for its irresistible characters, the alternating chapter format, the immersive language and details and story, and for the most moving account of 1940s Europe I’ve ever read. A beautiful book in every way; a must-read.

Read more from Jennifer’s recommendation by clicking here.

She can also be found on Twitter @JenniferLynKing.


At GNB, we’re delighted to say we’ve officially recommended 52 great books in 2014, which means we have over 100 books we think you’ll love to read here on our site. Please browse our archives and find a few books to add to your to-read stack. And subscribe (on the right sidebar) to our weekly email to receive each new weekly recommendation direct in your inbox.

More than anything, we enjoy getting to share and talk great books with you. We’re glad you’re here with us!

For You: We’d love to hear about the favorite book you’ve read in 2014 (old or new) — please share your best book with us in the comments below. Thank you for joining us this year at GNB!