20 Best Fiction Books Of 2014

For anyone who can’t resist a good story, Goodreads has rounded up the best fiction books of 2014.

To compile the list, Goodreads editors nominated titles frequently reviewed on the site, which were then voted on by readers.

The list spans genres from fantasy to crime to romance, pulling together some of the most compelling reads 2014 had to offer. 

'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell

When Georgie's husband, Neal, and her two daughters leave for a family trip without her, Georgie wonders if this might signify the end of her marriage as well. So when she discovers a way to relive the early, pivotal moments of her relationship with Neal, Georgie sets out to decide if their marriage should ever have happened at all.

Buy it here for $US15.58

'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty

This novel follows the lives of three mothers in a quiet Australian suburb who all have children in the same kindergarten class. Snippets of a police investigation are interspersed with the narration, revealing that one of the characters will end up dead in the end. But between cheating spouses, abusive husbands, and school bullies, it's impossible to know who the victim will be.

Buy it here for $US16.16

'The Storied Life Of A.J. Firky' by Gabrielle Zevin

After losing his wife and watching sales steadily decline at his bookstore, A.J. Firky begins to unravel. But when a baby mysteriously appears on the front steps of his store, the infant captures his heart and things begin to turn around.

Buy it here for $US10.75

'One Plus One' by Jojo Moyes

Jess's life is a bit of a disaster -- her husband left and never came back, her stepson is being bullied, and when her daughter is offered a chance to attend one of the most prestigious school in London, Jess can't afford to send her. But when Ed, the tech millionaire whose vacation home Jess cleans, offers to drive the family to the Maths Olympiad in Scotland so her daughter can win enough to pay for school, Jess's luck seems to be changing. However, Ed has some hidden problems of his own.

Buy it here for $US16.77

'Leaving Time' by Jodi Picoult

More than 10 years after Jenna Metcalf's mother, Alice, disappeared from an elephant sanctuary, a now-teenage Jenna continues to search for her. Between scouring the internet, analysing her mother's old journals from her studies on elephant grief, and help from psychic Serenity Jones and private detective Virgil Stanhope, Jenna begins to piece together her mother's story.

Buy it here for $US14.00

'The Bone Clocks' by David Mitchell

Following a fight with her mother, 15-year-old Holly Sykes runs away and wanders deeper and deeper into the English countryside. As she wanders, Holly attracts two feuding supernatural groups, each with their own set of psychic powers, which alter her memories and her reality. But what makes this story truly engrossing is its alternative structure, with each chapter narrated by a different character in a different setting, ranging from Holly's England to the war in Iraq to an apocalyptic future.

Buy it here for $US18.00

'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' by Haruki Murakami

Growing up, Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school whose names all contained colours -- except for his. So when his friends tell him they never want to see him or speak to him again, it leaves him lonely, depressed, and unable to truly connect with anyone. That is, until he meets Sara, who decides it's time for Tsukuru to finally figure out what happened back then.

Buy it here for $US15.57

'Stone Mattress: Nine Tails' by Margaret Atwood

In this collection, Atwood brings together nine separate stories full of psychological insight and turbulent relationships, all tied together by her signature dark humour. From revenge to mental disorders to vampires, this book touches on a wide range of compelling topics.

Buy it here for $US16.41

'Station Eleven' by Emily St. John Mandel

This gripping novel connects the stories of three characters during the decades before, during, and after civilisation deteriorates due to an unstoppable virus. There's Arthur Leander, an actor who collapsed onstage from a heart attack during a 'King Lear' performance; Jeevan Chaudhary, the EMT who jumped onstage to save him; and Kirsten Raymonde, a child actor who watched the whole thing wide-eyed from the audience.

Buy it here for $US14.97

'The Pearl That Broke Its Shell' by Nadia Hashimi

In Kabul, a society where men are favoured over women, Rahima and her sisters rarely get to go to school or even leave the house. Their only hope for survival is an ancient practice known as bacha posh, in which Rahima must dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age, like her great-great grandmother had done one a century before. The novel ties together the two women's stories, interweaving their seemingly similar destinies.

Buy it here for $US16.43

'Lila' by Marilynne Robinson

Robinson revisits the Gilead, the setting of her previous novels 'Gilead' and 'Home,' where a homeless Lila enters a church to escape the rain. There she meets minister John Ames, eventually becoming his wife. Lila must then find a way to reconcile her difficult past with her new life.

Buy it here for $US15.60

'Lost Lake' by Sarah Addison Allen

Both Kate and her great-aunt Eby's lives seem to be falling apart -- Kate finds herself in a fog since the death of her husband and Eby is close to selling her beloved resort camp, Lost Lake, to a seedy land developer. But when Kate's daughter Devin finds an old letter from Eby, they decide to pay her a visit, giving both women a chance to piece their lives back together.

Buy it here for $US18.51

'The Book of Unknown Americans' by Cristina Henríquez

After their daughter, Maribel, nearly dies in an accident, the Riveras leave Mexico for the United States, where they hope Maribel will be able to receive the treatment she needs. But as they face language barriers, financial struggles, and racial divides, the Riveras quickly realise living the American dream might not be as easy as they had hoped.

Buy it here for $US14.97

'Redeployment' by Phil Klay

This novel follows the lives of several soldiers, both those fighting on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan and those fighting to live a normal life after returning home. From a soldier who had to shoot dogs to keep them from eating human corpses to one who teaches Iraqis to play baseball, 'Redeployment' shows readers that there are many unseen sides to war.

Buy it here for $US16.17

'An Untamed State' by Roxane Gay

Mireille Duval Jameson, the daughter of one of Haiti's richest, lives an easy, normal life -- until she's kidnapped by a group of armed men in search of a hefty ransom from her wealthy father. But when it becomes apparent that her father isn't willing to give in to their demands, Mireille is tortured by her captor, who vehemently hates the privilege she represents to him.

Buy it here for $US10.12

'The Sleepwalker's Guide To Dancing' by Mira Jacob

Twenty years after Thomas Eapen and his family left India after a peculiar trip to visit his mother in 1979, Thomas begins to spend his days sitting on his porch talking to dead relatives. His daughter, Amina, comes home to help Thomas, only to find that the situation is much more complicated than she expected. But her father refuses to talk, leaving Amina on her own to dive into her family's mysterious and painful past.

Buy it here for $US16.45

'The Children Act' by Ian McEwan

When Adam, a 17-year-old boy, refuses life-saving medical treatment due to religious reasons (a decision backed by his parents), family court judge Fiona May is put in a tough position. As Fiona wrestles with the moral and ethical decision of the court, she simultaneously faces struggles in her own life and marriage.

Buy it here for $US15.00

'Still Life with Bread Crumbs' by Anna Quindlen

Once a prominent photographer, Rebecca Winter's career is now on the decline, as are her savings, forcing Rebecca to move from her lofty apartment in Manhattan to a middle-of-nowhere cottage upstate. In her new surroundings, Rebececa connects with her bird-watching neighbour, Jim, and rediscovers the creative inspiration she once lost.

Buy it here for $US12.41

'The Enchanted' by Rene Denfeld

No doubt stemming from Denfeld's experience as a death penalty case investigator, this novel focuses on York, a an inmate about to be executed, and 'The Lady,' an investigator set on saving him. Through her investigation, though, Lady uncovers hidden secrets from York's past, in turn revealing a some of her own.

Buy it here for $US18.92

'Tigerman' by Nick Harkaway

Upon retiring from the British Army, Lester Ferriss wants to settle down and rest on the island of Mancreu. Despite the sheer volume of illicit business happening on the island, Lester isn't bothered -- he just wants to live out his days in quiet isolation. That is, until he befriends a street kid whose entire world will be destroyed if the island collapses. In light of his new friendship, Lester finds himself stepping out of retirement and back into action.

Buy it here for $US17.38

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