Our Favorite Book Club Books of 2014


Favorite book club books 2014

This has been a busy year for our book club! We read 19 books together!

I love that From Left to  Write reads such diverse range of books. I polled our members to find out which of our 2014 was their most favorite. Not only were these great titles to read, our discussions for each of these were really insightful and fascinating. Here they are in the order that we read them.

Our Favorite Book Club Books of 2014

Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement (February book club). Don’t let this slim novel fool you. Between those two covers is a powerful, life changing story about a young girl in rural Mexico who tries to avoid human traffickers and drug lords. Our book club discussion touched on topics about identity, growing up in Canada, and the beauty of young girls.

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger was our March book club pick. The highly entertaining debut novel is written entirely in the form of letters and legal documents as it recounts an acrimonious divorce. With this book, we discussed everything from love letters to parenting to dream jobs.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittmore (May book club) actually made it on the favorite and least favorite lists for our members. Any book that causes such strong feelings is definitely one you should read. Part coming-of-age and part mystery, this multilayered novel shows the affluent and influential families have deep secrets too. Our discussion included college life, summer experiences, and special needs siblings.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (July book club). We usually don’t read children’s books for our book club. Dahl’s book celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and we joined the festivities.  Rereading this classic in tandem with our kids (for those who have kids) brought back so many good memories! We even had some young readers join our discussion!

Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg (September book club). Nordberg investigative book was an eye-opener for many of us. Before this, none of us had heard of the secret Afghan practice of pacha posh, where young girls are dressed and raised as boys–something originally unfathomable in a culture where the two genders are segregated almost from birth. Our discussion of this book is not to be missed.

Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan (December book club) came at the right time for us. November and December are busy times for bloggers, and our book club members enjoyed escaping to the small town of Mill River. Since sibling rivalry was a big theme of this novel, our discussion touched not just our siblings but our children. Our members shared some tough moments in their lives too.

Whew! It was hard to narrow down our favorites. I think our favorites are the ones illicit a strong reaction from our book club members, whether they loved it or disliked it. That’s what you want from a book club pick right?

What was your favorite book club book of 2014?

What’s On Your Nightstand: ​Désirée Zamorano

What's On Your Nightstand-From Left to Write

For this week’s What’s On Your Nightstand series, I’m continuing my focus on writers of color. I’m thrilled to have Désirée Zamorano share more about the books she’s currently reading (and avoiding). 

Desiree Zamorano headshot

Books Désirée is currently reading:

John Lahr’s biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the FleshThis is a compelling page-turner which is also deepening my understanding of theater and American culture. Hey, did you know an early lover of his in New Orleans was Mexican?
Erika Wurth’s Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend: We shared a panel and her reading was mesmerizing–as is her novel, regarding young people in a small Colorado town.
She’s avoiding: 
I am AVOIDING Scalia, A Court of One:  I just can’t get past that fatuous face on the cover.
More about Désirée:
Amado Orig

Désirée Zamorano writes in order to shred the cloak of invisibility thrust upon Latinas. Her novel The Amado Women is about four women connected by birth, separated by secrets, one of Remezcla’s must-reads for 2014. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Review: The Novel Cure + Giveaway

The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud & Suan Elderkin

Books are the cure for almost anything that ails us. Need to escape the stress of everyday life? Pick up a romance book or a thriller. Need a good cry? Pick up a drama. What if you have an ailment and unsure of the literary cure? Reach for The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books […]

[Continue reading...]

Review: Everything I Never Told You

You might have seen Celeste Ng’s novel Everything I Never Told You on many best books of 2014 lists. There’s a reason for it. It’s damned good. In fact, I’m adding it to my list of top books read in 2014 (coming soon). I received a copy of Everything I Never Told You as part of the Ford Audiobook […]

[Continue reading...]

Darcie Chan Shares Inspiration Behind Her Mill River Series

Darcie Chan Headshot

We had so much fun discussing our December book club selection  The Mill River Redemption, that we asked author Darcie Chan to come back for an interview! Our From Left to Write members had some great questions about the inspiration behind her novels and Darcie even shares her writing process with us. From Left to Write: I […]

[Continue reading...]

Review: Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands + Giveaway

Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands Review

Armchair adventurers, you want this book. Unassuming at first glance, the Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will by Judith Schalansky is a delight to read. As I read it, I imagine myself as a cranky, old lady recounting tales of gorgeous islands that no one should ever step foot […]

[Continue reading...]