Top Books of 2014

Top Books of 2014

Every year, I find myself reading with the maniac intensity of someone who believes it might be the last reading year. (I like to turn everything into an extreme sport.) After all, what self-respecting writer doesn’t study at the feet of the masters as much as she can? I had so much fun sharing my top books from last year that I couldn’t wait to do it again. So, without further ado, here are my top books of 2014.

I try to read three or four books at a time: a novel, a general non-fiction book, a writing book, and a devotional book. Below, you can find my Top 5 favorites in each category.

But, first, here are my stats for the year:

Total books read: 135

Fiction to non-fiction ratio: 61:74

Male to female author ratio: 81:54

Top 5 genres: Non-Fiction History (with 36 books), Classic Fiction (with 25), Writing How-To (with 15), Fantasy (with 11), and Historical Fiction (with 9).

Number of books per rating: 5 stars (6), 4 stars (48), 3 stars (53), 2 stars (21), 1 star (4).

Top Fiction Books

For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway

1. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

 The Officer’s Code by Lyn Alexander

2. The Officer’s Code by Lyn Alexander

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

3. The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

 Rose Garden Susanna Kearsley

4.  The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Ready Player One Ernest Cline

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Top General Non-Fiction Books

Soldiers John Keegan Richard Holmes

3. Soldiers by John Keegan and Richard Holmes

Was That Really Me?  by Naomi Quenk

4. Was That Really Me? by Naomi Quenk

 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

5.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand


Top Devotional Books

Heresies Harold O J Brown

1. Heresies by Harold O.J. Brown

The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul

2. The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul

Knowing Me, Knowing God by Malcolm Goldsmith

3. Knowing Me, Knowing God by Malcolm Goldsmith

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesteron

4. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesteron

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

5. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

Top Writing How-To Books

Story by Robert McKee

1. Story by Robert McKee

Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell

2. Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell

 Writing in Obedience by Linda W. Yezak and Terry Brooks

3.  Writing in Obedience by Linda W. Yezak and Terry Brooks

Writer's Doubt by Bryan Hutchinson

5. Writer’s Doubt by Bryan Hutchinson

My Books

And if any of those titles pique your interest, then you just might find some of my own writing to be right up your alley too!


Tell me your opinion: What are your top books of the year?

Top Books of 2014

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. robert easterbrook says

    Even though I didn’t read one hundred books this year, do I still get a bookworm badge? ;p

  2. Sophia Zervas says

    I was so excited when you decided to continue the “top books” tradition! My favorite book this year was, hands down, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The symbolism was incredible, not to mention his writing. I still can’t get over the fact that English was his 3rd language! A close second would be Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It’s hard to compare a translation to the original, but the characters were distinct and original and the thematic implications fascinating.

    Outside of the classics, I loved your Behold the Dawn! After avidly following your blog, it was fun (and extremely helpful) seeing your advice applied in novel form. The writing was absolutely gorgeous and the characters captivated me (I’m a sucker for “strong and silent heroes,” and Gethin fused shades of light and darkness brilliantly). Also, Cathy Gohlke’s Saving Amelie is keeping me up way later than I should be! Speaking of…off to finish the last 40 pages! 🙂

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Aww, you just made my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed Behold the Dawn. And I totally agree on Joseph Conrad. Love his Lord Jim.

  3. Aaron Lambert says

    I recently finished listening to the audio version of Ready Player One, read by Wil Wheaton. The beginning was a bit of a downer and there were a few problems I had with how the Oasis worked, but otherwise a very fun story. It was a fantastic tribute to the good ol 80’s, especially where gaming and geek culture are concerned, in other words, right up my alley.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yeah, all the pop-culture tributes are really what make the book roll. I didn’t listen to the audio version, but I hear lots of good things about it.

      • Aaron Lambert says

        Have you ever read The Final Quest by Rick Joyner? Essentially, it is a spiritual analogy based on a vision the author had. It is powerful and moving and unlike anything I’ve read before. And it’s a quick read to boot. I haven’t yet read the following two books in the series, but, from one believer to another, I highly recommend giving the first one a shot.

  4. How awesome! I read my first Hemingway book this year: the old man and the sea. And I loved it. Looking forward to read more of his books soon.
    As for 2014, my favorite read may have been Self-Help by Lorrie Moore.

    I wrote a post about the books I read in 2014, you can check it out here:

    Have a lovely reading this 2015!!

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