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The Best Books of 2014?: Authors We Know and Love

I’ve been flicking through publisher catalogues and asking booksellers and publicists about the most exciting books to be published in the UK in 2014. Next week I’ll let you know which debut authors I’m excited about, but this week it is the turn of the authors we are already familiar with.

Here are the 2014 new releases that caught my eye:

Note: UK release month shown, date may be different in other countries

The Lie

The Lie by Helen Dunmore

January, Hutchinson

The Siege is one of my favourite books so it is great to see Dunmore returning to the theme of war. This book is about a soldier returning from the First World War and the way he is haunted by a lie. One to watch for the Baileys Fiction Prize this year?


Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

January, Atlantic

The Slap was a controversial, but riveting read. Barracuda seems to be getting even more praise in Australia so I’m looking forward to finding out how he’s managed to make a novel about competitive swimming so engaging!

The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

February, Gollanz, 

“a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods “

Joanne Harris has already proved she can write well in multiple genres. I’m looking forward to learning all about the “Underworld of Chaos!”

The Last Word

The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

February, Faber & Faber

Kureishi writes with a rare combination of humor and power. I’m looking forward to this one which compares “the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth.”

The Blazing World

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

March, Sceptre

 “Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic and playful, The Blazing World is as gripping as it is thought-provoking.” Is it possible to write a blurb that is more appealing to me than that? I doubt it!


In by Natsuo Kirino

August, Harvill Secker
Out by Natsuo Kirino is my favourite thriller so I’m very excited that her new book is going to be published here later this year. In contains an investigation into a best-selling author and promises to question the differences between life and literature. I hope it lives up to my exceedingly high expectations.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

September, Sceptre

Climate change, a cult of predatory soul-decanters and a band of vigilantes? Only David Mitchell could pull off such a bizarre mix of themes. I can’t wait! 

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Autumn, Virago

Set in London in 1922 this book revolves around a large house where impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. It is “beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises” I hope it is as good as it sounds!


Visitants by Eggers

November, Hamish Hamilton

I don’t know anything about this one, but I’ve loved many books written by Dave Eggers so this is on my “must-read” list.  


Other books to look forward to:

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Il Divino Bambino by James Frey

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh

Falling Out of Time by David Grossman

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

Untitled Novel by Leo Benedictus

Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole

Irène by Pierre Lemaitre

Everland by Rebecca Hunt

Eyrie by Tim Winton

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss

The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry

Which 2014 books are you excited about?

31 replies on “The Best Books of 2014?: Authors We Know and Love”

Quite a few of those I’ll definitely be reading (Dunmore, Hustvedt, Waters, Mitchell, Barry…) though I’m really going to try and buy less next year!
A few that I’m looking forward to: Alexi Zentner’s ‘The Lobster Kings’ (I loved ‘Touch’), Robin Black’s ‘Life Drawing’ (I read her short story collection recently and have high hopes for her debut novel), David Adams Richards’ ‘Crimes Against My Brother’, Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Carthage’, Thomas Keneally’s ‘Shame and the Captives’, Lorrie Moore’s ‘Bark’…
I usually have a look through the catalogues over Christmas and jot down all the books I’m interested in on my new calendar.

David, Thanks for all the recommendations! I’m not familiar with a lot of the authors you mention.

I may end up reading ‘Carthage’, but I haven’t read that many of her huge backlist so would probably be good to carry on with the better ones of those. I also have a hit/miss relationship with Keneally so will wait until the reviews are out before I rush into any decision on that one. Let’s hope all the books are as good as they sound!

I like that idea of jotting new releases in a calendar. Wonder why I’ve never done it before.
OK – so my desk diary now has the 1st two entries for 2014.
2nd Jan – The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells – Andrew Sean Greer (Faber)
16th Jan – The King – Kader Abdolah (Canongate)

I am beyond excited about The Paying Guests. I have loved every book Waters has written.

The Mitchell looks interesting, too. And I always pick up anything new by Tim Winton and David Grossman.

Sophronisba, Yes – Sarah Waters is one of my favourite authors. I love the atmosphere she creates in her books. I hope she puts some of her amazing twists in this one too 🙂

OMG OMG A NEW ONE BY SARAH WATERS!!!! That just made my day. A few others here look good as well, but now I cannot concentrate. Not sure if you have seen the Thor movies, but if not, I’ll just suggest that Loki is an idiot, and wears a hat that makes him look like a dung beetle. Not sure if I could take that one seriously! Haha

Sandy, I know! I was thrilled when I heard she’s written a new book. I really hope it is up to her usual high standard 🙂

No, I’ve never seen Thor. Sounds as though it isn’t my thing, but hopefully the book will be.

Lindsay: I’ve just read the Mary Lawson and couldn’t put it down – set in Struan again, with various characters from the first two novels popping up. I didn’t know Sadie Jones had a new one coming out – I love her books 🙂

Jenny, Yes, I find Dunmore hit/miss too. I think the problem is that she is so skilled at writing in different writing styles that you never really know whether an individual book will be to your taste. Fingers crossed this one will be to mine 🙂

Oh, yay, a new Sarah Waters!! I really must get around to more Dunmore. The one book I have read by her I really liked and then I sort of fizzled because my library doesn’t really have anything by her!

I am so so excited about The Paying Guests and also about the new Sarah Moss. Also looking forward to a new Sarah Hall novel, The Hunting School, in March and I just read that Val McDermid has written the second in the Jane Austen project books, Northanger Abbey. Can’t wait to see how she has modernised it!

Victoria, Thank you for letting me know about the new Sarah Hall book – I didn’t know about that one. I love her writing so that will be top of my list for March 🙂

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