The Year On Twitter How A Little Bird Told Us The News In 2014
Whether you”re looking for a bookish gift to buy for the holidays or you”re hoping to curl up with a new read yourself, we”ve got you covered with a look at more than 100 of the best titles that hit shelves this year. Celebrity-penned books like Lena Dunham”s Not That Kind of Girl, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and Neil Patrick Harris”s autobiography are sure to satisfy the pop culture fan, while new titles from popular authors like Emily Giffin, Stephen King, Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), and Rainbow Rowell are perfect picks for those who love fiction. Check out POPSUGAR Love”s favorite 2014 reads for women, then take a look at the year”s best books — so far!
Laura Lamont”s Life in Pictures author Emma Straub writes about one family”s two-week trip to the island of Mallorca in The Vacationers, a story about the complicated up-and-down dynamics among family and friends.
The Opposite of Loneliness
Marina Keegan”s The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories is a posthumous collection written by a 2012 Yale student who had a play set to be produced and a job waiting at The New Yorker when she died tragically in a car crash days after graduation. Following the viral success of her final essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” her essays and stories have been gathered into a collection.
One More Thing
Former writer from The Office and funny guy B.J. Novak brings his musings to the page with One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, a collection of witty, clever short stories that cover the trials of love, social media, and trying to succeed.
The One & Only
Bestselling author Emily Giffin”s latest novel, The One & Only, takes place in a small Texas town where football is everything. Shea, a 33-year-old woman, was born and raised in the college community, and when tragedy strikes, she”s forced to face difficult questions of love and friendship.
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Leave it to Neil Patrick Harris to put a clever spin on the memoir with his book Choose Your Own Autobiography. The actor teamed up with the creators of the Choose Your Own Adventure series to write the book, which guides readers through actual events from his life (Doogie Howser, M.D., How I Met Your Mother, etc.) but also includes a few other options.
The Good Luck of Right Now
The Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick returns with the story of the 38-year-old Bartholomew, who struggles to be on his own after his mother”s death. In the witty book, titled The Good Luck of Right Now, Bartholomew finds a letter from Richard Gere among his mother”s things, and he sets out to find himself as he writes letter after letter to the actor.
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion
In her essay collection The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, Meghan Daum brings wit, wisdom, and insight in pieces about everything from love to death to pop culture.
I Am Pilgrim
Terry Hayes”s thriller I Am Pilgrim tells the story of a secret agent — with the code name Pilgrim — who is forced to face his greatest enemy after the murder of a wealthy American.
Lost For Words
Edward St. Aubyn”s Lost For Words is a satirical novel that follows a quirky group of literary hopefuls vying for a prestigious book award.
One Plus One
Bestselling author Jojo Moyes”s latest, One Plus One: A Novel, follows a cast of quirky, compelling characters as they set out on a road trip. The group includes single mom Jess and her two kids, Tanzie and Nicky, who meet a tech millionaire named Ed in a chance encounter before heading off on an adventure.
Lorrie Moore”s latest collection, Bark: Stories, features her signature wit, with eight short stories about struggling characters who are moving through personal challenges.
In the satirical novel Beautiful You by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, a megamillionaire named C. Linus Maxwell develops a line of crazy-effective sex toys, leading millions of women to become so obsessed that they quite literally don”t leave their bedrooms. As the test subject for the products, a woman named Penny comes to understand the darkness behind Maxwell”s plan, deciding he needs to be stopped.
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult brings mystery into the mix with her new book, Leaving Time, which combines a daughter”s narrative with her mother”s journal entires. As Jenna seeks out her mom a decade after her disappearance, she”s forced to face her past.
Amy Poehler”s buzzed-about first book, Yes Please, features the funny lady”s personal stories and wise, hilarious advice.
J: A Novel
A finalist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, J: A Novel by Howard Jacobson tells the dystopian story of one couple”s complicated love affair — one that may or may not affect the entire human race.
The Laughing Monsters
National Book Award winner Denis Johnson”s new novel The Laughing Monsters is a suspenseful book about an intelligence agent and the man he”s following through Africa as both men hold on to secrets of their own.
In Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience, author Eileen Cronin writes about her life, detailing what it was like to be born without legs, how she thought of herself as “an elusive mermaid,” and her work toward self-acceptance.
We Are Called to Rise
Set in Sin City and told from different points of view, We Are Called to Rise: A Novel by Laura McBride tells the story of four lives that unexpectedly come together.
All Fall Down
Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner”s latest novel, All Fall Down, follows a woman named Allison who struggles to face her addiction to pills in the midst of several family dramas.
What I Know For Sure
Oprah Winfrey”s legendary career spans decades, and in that time, she”s learned so much about being successful. She”s been sharing her findings for quite a while in O Magazine, but now you can read a collection of the best and most inspiring entries in her new book, What I Know For Sure.
In The Heist by bestselling author Daniel Silva, there”s murder, mystery, and intrigue as spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon searches for a stolen masterpiece.
Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter is a novel about a complicated friendship between two girls, Perry and Baby Girl, and the alleged high school boy who”s been following them.
David Nicholls”s book Us: A Novel, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, tells the story of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks as they travel across the globe with their teenage son.
Landline, the latest from bestselling author Rainbow Rowell, follows the story of Georgie, a woman who”s struggling with her marriage. When she comes across a way to time travel, she debates whether or not to go back in time and try to save her relationship.
Stephen King”s book Revival spans five decades, following the story of a man from a small New England town, a minister, and the connection between the two.
In Hillary Rodham Clinton”s Hard Choices, she writes about her experience as the first lady, her time as secretary of state, and more.
The Bees by Laline Paull is what Room author Emma Donoghue calls a “heart-pounding novel” and a “wild ride” about an ancient culture with a strong caste system in which only the queen can breed. Flora 717, a member of the lowest caste, is caught between personal dreams and society”s demands when she dares to challenge the queen”s wishes.
Boy, Snow, Bird
Reminiscent of the Snow White fairy tale, Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi is about a woman named Boy who finds herself in a small Massachusetts town, where she marries a widowed man who has a young daughter, Snow Whitman. She evolves into a wicked sort of stepmother, forced to confront herself and her beliefs when she has a daughter of her own, Bird.
Not That Kind of Girl
If you love Girls, you”ll obviously love Lena Dunham”s forthcoming collection of essays in her publishing debut, Not That Kind of Girl. You can expect the same kind of hilarious candor you”ve come to know and love.
With a wry sense of humor, Sam Harris writes about his life through humorous essays in Ham: Slices of a Life. Touching on everything from parenting to show business, he dishes on the ups and downs of his life through a witty lens.
The New York Times called Amy Bloom”s Away a “literary triumph.” Her latest book, Lucky Us, is set in 1940s America, where Iris — who hopes to be a star — and her friend Eva decide to leave their small Midwest town and head to Hollywood and Long Island.
Radiance of Tomorrow
Ishmael Beah”s first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, follows two male friends who head back to their hometown in Sierra Leone after a civil war, teaming up to rebuild their community in the face of several obstacles.
Part memoir and part how-to guide, Lea Michele”s Brunette Ambition features stories from her life along with advice on style, beauty, fitness, and finding success.
How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky
Love, fate, and the connection between the two come into play in How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer. In it, best friends and astronomers George and Irene find out that their mothers raised them to be each other”s soul mates, and they find themselves diving into their pasts to learn more.
Author Fabio Genovesi”s Live Bait takes place in a small Italian town. In the book, Genovesi weaves together the stories of a 19-year-old metalhead, the 32-year-old woman who catches his eye, and a quirky teenage cycling champion.
The Last Days of California
In The Last Days of California: A Novel by Mary Miller, 14-year-old Jess and her family leave Alabama and head west to California to prepare for the Second Coming. Her religious parents plan to save as many people as possible during their trip, leaving angsty, teenaged Jess unsure about who she is and what she believes.
Still Life With Bread Crumbs
In bestselling author Anna Quindlen”s Still Life With Bread Crumbs: A Novel, Rebecca Winter is a well-known photographer whose career is slowing down as she seeks out a quieter life, finding love in an unexpected place.
Uganda Be Kidding Me
Chelsea Handler”s back with another book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, this time sharing her hilarious, outrageous stories from traveling the world.
With a 2011 bestseller under his belt, actor Rob Lowe talks men, women, sex, and love in Love Life. He shares stories about Parks and Recreation, parties at the Playboy Mansion, and more personal observations about parenthood and marriage.
Summer House With Swimming Pool
Bestselling author Herman Koch”s novel Summer House With Swimming Pool follows the strange circumstances surrounding an A-list actor who dies during a procedure performed by a high-profile doctor.
In Julia Fierro”s debut novel, Cutting Teeth, a group of 30-something couples spend the weekend at a Long Island beach house, where surprising truths surface and relationships are reevaluated.
Diary of a Mad Diva
Nothing”s off-limits in the late Joan Rivers”s book Diary of a Mad Diva, which covers everything from her personal life to her craziest celebrity interactions.
Every Day Is For the Thief
Every Day Is For the Thief by Teju Cole follows a young Nigerian who leaves his home in NYC to return to Lagos. In reconnecting with friends and family and rediscovering the city, he learns what”s changed both in his home country and in himself.
Leaving the Sea: Stories
Ben Marcus touches on love, mortality, and human nature in Leaving the Sea: Stories. The writer”s second collection includes a story about a writer, a divorced dad, and a son who”s dealing with his mother”s old age.
Susan Minot weaves together two young women”s stories in Thirty Girls, including that of a Ugandan teenager who”s facing life-or-death challenges and an American journalist who”s traveled to Africa to cover the people”s struggles.
The Way of All Fish
The sequel to Martha Grimes”s bestselling novel Foul Matter is The Way of All Fish, a satirical book about hitmen hired to help out a writer who”s being sued by her literary agent.
In Magnificent Vibration: A Novel, musician and bestselling author Rick Springfield writes about a man who pairs up with a beautiful woman to search for his life purpose.
Popular author Paulo Coelho is back with Adultery, a book about a woman who”s struggling with midlife boredom, only to rediscover her passion and face a difficult decision when she reconnects with her high school boyfriend.
On Such a Full Sea
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee imagines a future America that”s divided by class. In it, a woman named Fan leaves her settlement to find the man she loves after he disappears, only to end up on a journey bigger than she”d expected.
Why I Read
Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser is a love letter to books, with Lesser exploring some of her favorite literary works, the culture of books, and a personal look at reading”s influence on her life.
Shopaholic to the Stars
Sophie Kinsella”s popular Shopaholic series continues with Shopaholic to the Stars, and this time around, Becky has relocated to LA, where she comes face to face with the ups and downs of the A-list lifestyle.
After I”m Gone
In bestselling author Laura Lippman”s After I”m Gone: A Novel, a detective investigates one woman”s murder, only to find that she”s one of five women caught in a web of cases that surround one missing man.
My Life in Middlemarch
Fans of classic literature will appreciate Rebecca Mead”s My Life in Middlemarch, which weaves together stories from her life as they relate to George Eliot”s Middlemarch, one of Mead”s favorite novels.
Set in the 19th century, Belle Cora: A Novel by Philip Margulies tells the story of Arabella Godwin, whose extraordinary life takes her from upstate New York to California with the Gold Rush until she one day disappears.
Suspenseful and mysterious, Rachel Pastan”s Alena follows an unnamed heroine who”s hired as the curator of a prestigious art museum following the death of Alena, the former curator. Suspicious details of Alena”s tragic passing come out, leaving the heroine caught up in a dangerous, provocative situation.
Your Face in Mine
Swamplandia author Karen Russell calls Jess Row”s book Your Face in Mine a “fearless, unforgettable novel.” In it, a man who”s grieving the loss of his wife and child comes across a white childhood friend who”s undergone surgery to pass as African-American, rekindling the relationship as he struggles with love and loss.
Can”t and Won”t: Stories by Lydia Davis
The highly anticipated book Can”t and Won”t: Stories by 2013 Man Booker International Prize winner Lydia Davis is a collection of sharp, poignant, and experimental stories that shed light on the humor and challenges of everyday life.
The Winter People
When 19-year-old Ruthie”s mother disappears, she starts searching for clues and discovers a girl”s diary from the early 1900s. The Winter People is a literary thriller that follows Ruthie”s investigation, plus all the ways it”s weaved into the mysterious history of a small Vermont town.
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
Bestselling author Anne Lamott shares thoughtful, funny insights into love, family, and faith in her latest book, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.
A Brief History of Seven Killings
In A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel, author Marlon James moves between cities and decades for a fictional exploration of the 1970s assassination attempt of Bob Marley.
One of Us
In Tawni O”Dell”s thriller One of Us, a forensic psychologist returns to his hometown only to discover shocking truths about his family and his past.
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee is a novel that”s shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In it, several generations of a family live together in one home, with each set of family members living on its own floor. Everyday dysfunction, the demise of the family business, and a grandchild”s interest in political extremism threaten to break the family apart as they struggle to come together.
In her book True Love, Jennifer Lopez gets candid about everything from her career to her relationships to who she is today.
The Book of Unknown Americans
In The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel by Cristina Henriquez, a family moves from Mexico to America, where they come to know a family from Panama and get caught up in a strange, surprising web of relationships.
Side Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy is a young-adult novel about Alice, a 16-year-old girl who”s diagnosed with leukemia and decides to make amends and find revenge on the wrongs of her life — only to go into remission and have to deal with what she”s done.
In Visible City by Tova Mirvis, three NYC couples” stories come together, each pair moving through a different phase of life.
In Paradise: A Novel by National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen is set at a former concentration camp in Winter 1996. Over a hundred men and women from different backgrounds gather for a weeklong retreat to pray and remember the Holocaust, and American academic Clements Olin finds himself among them to research the experience. With the retreat participants eating and sleeping in the Nazi officer quarters, tensions builds as they struggle through an emotional, complicated experience.
Love Letters to the Dead
In what The Perks of Being a Wallflower author Stephen Chbosky calls “a stunning debut,” author Ava Dellaira tells the story of Laurel, who struggles with a school assignment — to write a letter to a dead person. The book, called Love Letters to the Dead, follows Laurel”s journey as she writes letter after letter to people like Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and Kurt Cobain, who her late sister once loved. Through her writing, Laurel remembers pieces of her past she”d hidden away, learning more about who she is and who her sister had truly been.
Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes muses over the significance of place in her book Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir. She writes about her upbringing, her family, her time in California, and her home in the South, shedding light on all the ways we”re moved and affected by the places we”ve lived and loved.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel by National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris follows a man named Paul who”s shocked to find that his identity has been stolen, both horrified and intrigued as he watches a virtual version of his life play out on fake Facebook and Twitter accounts.
An Untamed State
Roxane Gay”s debut novel, An Untamed State, tells the story of a woman who”s living what seems to be a perfect life until she”s kidnapped by a gang of men in front of her wealthy father”s estate.
The Dog: Stories
Jack Livings”s The Dog: Stories is a collection that covers a range of characters living in modern China. The stories dive into portraits of a gangster who clashes with his gay grandson, a journalist who can”t compete with younger writers, and more.
We Were Liars
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green calls We Were Liars by E. Lockhart “thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart.” In it, there”s a group of four friends called The Liars, and one of them, a girl named Cady, is part of a distinguished, mysterious family.
As You Wish
Actor Cary Elwes goes behind the scenes of 1987″s The Princess Bride in his book As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride, sharing personal stories, exclusive pictures, and interviews with fellow cast members.
The Black Hour
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day is about a Chicago professor who”s shot by one of her students before he shoots himself. As she searches for reasons why, she teams up with a teaching assistant who agrees to help her investigate the truth.
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr”s All the Light We Cannot See follows Marie-Laure, a Parisian girl, and Werner, an orphan who finds himself at an academy for Hitler Youth. The pair”s stories intertwine in occupied France as they both try to survive World War II.
The Silkworm is by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), the author of The Cuckoo”s Calling. In it, detective Cormoran Strike investigates the disappearance of a novelist whose manuscript featured biting stories about people who would have plenty of cause to silence him.
In Stephen King”s latest novel, Mr. Mercedes: A Novel, a driver intentionally runs over a group of people gathered for a job fair, and a retired cop finds himself at the center of the case when he receives a letter from the killer who threatens to do it again.
The Rise & Fall of Great Powers
Bestselling author Tom Rachman”s latest, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel, tells the story of Tooly Zylberberg, a quirky, quiet woman who owns a bookshop in the countryside. Surrounded by stories, she finds herself looking back on her own, remembering and rethinking how she was kidnapped and taken across the globe as a child.
Bestselling author Lisa See”s China Dolls is set in 1930s San Francisco, where three young women find themselves facing suspicion and cultural confusion after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Say What You Will
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern is a young adult novel. In it, a teen with cerebral palsy gets to know a boy who struggles with OCD, finding an unlikely friend to help her through her senior year of high school.
The Girl With All the Gifts
M.R. Carey”s postapocalyptic thriller The Girl With All the Gifts tells the story of Melanie, a very special young girl who knows very little about her identity or why she is the way she is.
The Wild Truth
The popular book-turned-movie Into the Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, and now Chris”s sister, Carine McCandless, is telling more of her brother”s incredible story in her book The Wild Truth.
Midnight in Europe
Set in 1930s Paris, Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst captures the complicated lives and loves of characters across the continent as the world moves toward war.
The Sleepwalker”s Guide to Dancing
The Sleepwalker”s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob is the author”s debut novel. Told from the perspective of Amina, a 30-year-old photographer, the book is about an Indian-American family that struggles to move forward after facing tragedy.
My Family and Other Hazards
In My Family and Other Hazards: A Memoir by June Melby, the author offers a nostalgic, hilarious look at her Midwestern upbringing, including stories about her unique childhood home — a family-run miniature golf course in Wisconsin.
Edan Lepucki”s California: A Novel tells the story of a couple trying to survive in a dark, unfamiliar future. A Visit From the Goon Squad author Jennifer Egan calls it “a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future.”
The Hundred-Year House
The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai follows the quirky, complicated dynamics of a wealthy family, the Devohrs. The book moves between years and generations to reveal the truth about the family and their strange, storied house.
2 A.M. at The Cat”s Pajamas
In Marie-Helene Bertino”s debut novel, 2 A.M. at The Cat”s Pajamas, the stories of three people are unexpectedly woven together, including that of a rebellious 9-year-old, an elementary school teacher, and a jazz club owner.
The Story Hour
Bestselling author Thrity Umrigar writes about friendship, family, and forgiveness in The Story Hour. In it, a psychologist named Maggie finds herself invested in a patient”s story, inviting the young woman to live with her and beginning a complicated friendship that forces her to confront her own secrets.
When the World Was Young
When the World Was Young by Elizabeth Gaffney tells the story of Wally Baker, a young woman who feels like she doesn”t fit in. Set in postwar Brooklyn, the book follows Wally and her family as they make their way through the aftermath of WWII.
No Safe House
Bestselling author Linwood Barclay”s latest thriller, No Safe House, tells the story of Terry Archer and his family. Years after experiencing a dark, haunting night, they find themselves tangled up in another dangerous, suspenseful ordeal, their lives left in jeopardy.
Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert calls René Steinke”s book Friendswood “absolutely masterful.” The novel tells the compelling, up-and-down stories of people in a small town called Friendswood, TX, after the area faces a major tragedy.
We Are Not Ourselves
Matthew Thomas”s debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves, follows the epic story of an Irish-American family trying to make it in the 20th century. The Art of Fielding author Chad Harbach calls it “powerfully moving,” saying protagonist Eileen is “a real addition to our literature.”
Jessie Burton”s debut novel, The Miniaturist, is set in 17th century Amsterdam, where a young woman named Nella receives a small replica of her new home from her husband, Johannes. After turning to a miniaturist to help her furnish the replica, she discovers strange, dangerous secrets that make her question everything.
The Secret Place
Be prepared to fall down the rabbit hole into Tana French”s latest psychological mystery, The Secret Place, which follows two detectives attempting to solve a year-old unsolved murder at an affluent all-girls school in Dublin. As it alternates between the months leading up to the murder from the perspective of the girls and the present time a year later from the perspective of the detectives, it keeps you guessing all the way until the bitter end. This is the fifth book in the author”s gripping Dublin Murder Squad series, which starts off strong with In the Woods and truly only gets better with each novel.
One Direction: Who We Are
The boys of One Direction are opening up like they never have before in One Direction: Who We Are: Our Official Autobiography. The book follows the boys on the road to stardom, from their nervous audition for The X Factor to becoming a global sensation. You”ll learn everything, including how they feel about fame, what inspires them, and what”s next.
A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing
Eimear McBride”s debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, tells of a young woman and her relationship with her brother. Their lives are fraught with childhood traumas and personal struggles and the constant battle to stay sane and grounded in spite of it all.
Stone Mattress: Nine Tails
Margaret Atwood returns to short fiction for the first time since 2006 with Stone Mattress: Nine Tails. Each of the stories brings sharp, psychological observations, tumultuous relationships, and the same dark sense of humor we”ve all come to know and love.
The Paying Guests
Set in London in 1922, The Paying Guests examines a tense and dark time in history, when many were out of work and hungry. In the southern part of the city, an impoverished widow named Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, live in a large, empty, silent villa. Forced to take lodgers to make ends meet, their lives are about to be completely transformed.
The Children Act
Ian McEwan”s new novel, The Children Act, focuses on a difficult court case and the intelligent, sensitive judge who must preside over it. Fiona Maye must decide whether to honor the wish of a 17-year-old boy who refuses treatment for religious reasons, or to act in accordance with the rules of her court.
A new, brave step into the world of eerie modern novels, Rooms tells the tale of a haunted house left by a wealthy man to his estranged family. It”s not long after the family shows up that the worlds of the living and the dead collide with terrifying and explosive force.
In Some Luck by Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, each chapter covers an entire year, with the book spanning from 1920 to the 1950s. As the first part of a trilogy, the book kicks off an epic story that weaves a family”s personal experiences with historical events, generation by generation.
Blue Horses: Poems
Mary Oliver”s new poetry collection, Blue Horses, features earthy imagery and the connections between nature, art, and love.
Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel
Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel is the latest from Patricia Cornwell. In it, Dr. Kay Scarpetta pursues a serial sniper, only to find a surprising connection to her own niece.
Lalita Tademy”s Citizens Creek follows the stories of Cow Tom, a slave who buys his freedom, and his granddaughter, Rose, who strives to follow in his brave footsteps years later.