In the Bookcase


Top 10* favorite reads of 2014!

Maybe you'll find a new book to add to your TBR pile... Here's a peek at my absolute favorite reads from this past year, including my reviews.

What are your 2014 favorites?

Tarissa's bookshelf: 2014-top-favorite

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I
5 of 5 stars
Sherlock Holmes is my FAVORITE literary character of all time. And I've only read half the stories. I never dreamed I would fall in love with the mastery of one fictional man's capabilities of mind. I now use Holmes' methods of deducing...
Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
5 of 5 stars
"World War II not only wiped away whole villages and populations. It also wiped away pieces of history." (Page 175, Death in the Baltic) Cathryn Prince tells a harrowing story, one of a mass murdering. Many think of the Titanic as a tra...
The Sinking of the MV Le JOOLA: Africa's Titanic
5 of 5 stars
Imagine this scenario: A shipwreck with as many victims as the Titanic -- no, more victims in fact -- took place in 2002. And the world didn't hear about it. Isn't that just chilling? MV Le Joola is the name of this ship of the past. ...
The Blue Castle
5 of 5 stars
Valancy Stirling has lived a rather quiet life for almost 29 years. She has no exceptionally wonderful childhood memories, as others might. Her adult life didn't carry much happiness for her either. Just the day-in and day-out motions of...
The Far Side of the Loch
5 of 5 stars
The Far Side of the Loch is the second in a series about Martha Morse, great-grandmother to Laura Ingalls Wilder. This series tells Martha's childhood story, in much the same way that Laura's childhood is vividly chronicled in the popula...
5 of 5 stars
"Shadow" is one of my favorite reads of the entire year! A young Afghan boy tells the harrowing tale of his and his mother's escape from their war-torn home country. The Taliban are relentless in their attacks across Afghanistan, leavin...
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
5 of 5 stars
"The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict" makes an excellent example of creativity and ingenuity in an author's writing style. This book is actually the prequel to the "Mysterious Benedict Society" trilogy. You really must rea...
A Different Kind of Courage
5 of 5 stars
A man holding mysteries and secrets. Political battles shattering lifelong friends and neighbors in Boston. A new nation collapsing to gain independence. British tea tossed into the harbor. A royal government stifling the cries of its ch...
Touch the Sky
5 of 5 stars
The end of one of the BEST series of juvenile fiction. Robert Elmer wove such great stories into the Young Underground series. I'm sad that it had to stop with book #8, but... as they say, all good things must come to an end. I especia...
The Time Pirate
5 of 5 stars
The Time Pirate is an exceptional sequel to Nick of Time. So much adventure! So much intrigue! As a note to parents: The story sometimes gets pretty violent, especially considering that a 12-year-old boy is shooting down Nazis from his...
A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella
5 of 5 stars
What does Christmas represent? Love for one another. Cheer. Birth of new things. Reconciliation with the old things. Brilliance. Joy and festivities. Our Savior. A Wreath of Snow embodies all these thoughts as one, wraps the whole in a ...

* By creating this list, I intended to tell you about my top 10 favorite reads... but I had to mix one extra on there, because I loved it so much. "Touch the Sky" is book #8 in the Young Underground series by Robert Elmer -- it's actually the last book in a wonderful series written for kids/teens, and I truly recommend the entire set! You should start with #1, "A Way Through the Sea".


  1. Armed With Pencils12/30/2014

    I love this list! I think I'll read The Blue Castle this next year and check out A Different Kind of Courage.

  2. What a great list. I need to check some of these out. I added a link to your list at my Saturday Review for book lists. Please feel free to come check out what others have been reading and enjoying this past year.

  3. I like your list. Several on there made me smile and I'm curious about several more.

    As you know, I'm always curious to find a new Christmas title to read in December so I'm making note of A Wreath of Snow, as you rated it so highly!

  4. I am so honored that A Different Kind of Courage made your list. Thank you.