Round-up of the Round-ups

2014 Books covers


Aitken Alexander Associates have had a bumper round-up on the end of year lists in both the UK and the US, and Fiction and Non-fiction.

The much anticipated 10:04 by Ben Lerner received the most accolades, appearing both in the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 and Dwight Garner’s list of his 10 Favourite Books of 2014 in the same paper, The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of the Year, the Huffington Post USA best books of 2014 and also on the same site’s Book Gift Guide as a pick for Literary Nerds, the Boston Globe list of best fiction of 2014, on Maureen Corrigan’s favourite books of the year for NPR Books, was picked by Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, as the best book he read  this year, whilst Lerner’s poignant world-view’ is praised in Electric Literature’s end-of-year list.

A. N. Wilson’s fantastic royal biography Victoria: A Life was Biography of the Year in the Sunday Times chosen by Literary Editor Andrew Holgate, among the best Biographies of 2014 in the Observer by Associate Editor Robert McCrum, and was John Kampfner’s pick in the Writers’ Best Books of 2014 in the Guardian.

Colin Barrett’s short story collection, Young Skins, which recently won the Guardian First Book Award, was on Justine Jordan’s list of Best Fiction of 2014 in the Guardian, in the Independent’s best short story collections of the year, and was chosen by Tom Gatti as on of the books of the year in the New Statesman.

The second instalment of Alan Johnson’s moving memoir, Please, Mister Postman was chosen by Helen Lewis as one of the best Politics Books of 2014 in the Guardian, and David Marquand chose it as one of his books of the year in the New Statesman list, whilst the first instalment This Boy appeared in the same list, chosen by Jon Snow.

Beautiful nature writing in Adam Thorpe’s On Silbury Hill was chosen by Penelope Lively in the Writers’ Best Books of 2014 in the Guardian, and by William Boyd in the New Statesman’s books of the year.

The dark and wonderful debut novel Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson was picked by Eimear McBride in the New Statesman’s books of the year and also appeared on the Curious Animal’s best books of 2014.

A major re-evaluation First World War, Alexander Watson’s Ring of Steel was History Book of the Year in the Sunday Times chosen by Dominic Sandbrook and was Simon Heffer’s choice in the New Statesman list.

The heartbreaking memoir of being an Unremarried Widow by Artis Henderson was on both Amazon’s list of the best biographies and the Christian Science Monitors best non-fiction titles of the year.

The charged and troubling debut Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce, one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35, was on the Chicago Tribute’s best books of 2014 and judged ‘necessary’ on Electric Literature’s 2014 list.

Edward St Aubyn’s satirical look at literary prizes, Lost For Words, was picked by Elizabeth Day in the Writers’ Best Books of 2014 in the Guardian, whilst Julian Fellowes chose Charles Spencer’s story of regicide,  Killers of the King, in the same list.

Both Neverhome by Laird Hunt and Chez L’Arabe by Mireille Silcoff joined Ben Lerner on the Globe and Mail’s list of the 100 Best Books of the Year.

The debut story collection The Dog by Jack Livings appeared on the TLS’s books of the year and as one of Michiko Kakutani’s 10 Favourite Books of 2014 in the New York Times.

The beautiful coffee table book Cecil Beaton: Portraits and Profiles edited by Hugo Vickers is one of the Daily Mail’s Picture Books of the year.

Louise Booth’s moving memoir about how a cat has changed her autistic son’s life, When Fraser Met Billy, appeared as a pick in Scotland on Sunday’s leading Scots books of 2014.

A wonderful graphic novel, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ulinich appeared on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 and the Huffington Post USA’s 2014 Book Gift Guide as a perfect present for Art Geeks.

Hanya Yanagihara’s extraordinary first novel The People in the Trees was picked as one of the Independent’s best debuts.

The Good Childrenthe sixth novel from the hugely talented Roopa Farooki was chosen by John Harding in the Daily Mail as the outstanding novel of the year.

And finally for a very personal recommendation, Bill Gates himself has chosen Joe Studwell’s How Asia Works as one of his five books of the year. You can see his lego review video of Studwell’s look at this fascinating continent.