Best of 2014

As with every year, these are – in no particular order – the books that entertained me the most this year. Many of them are 2014 releases, but not all of them!

I hadn’t planned on my reading to go the way it did this year. I expected to read more suspense than I did, and my ongoing obsession with historical fiction really derailed things!

 

The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

Danger Close by Kaylea Cross

Danger Close by Kaylea Cross

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.indd

Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Second Cover

Marriage Made in Money by Sophia James

Marriage Made in Money by Sophia James

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter

The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Laird by Grace Burrowes

The Laird by Grace Burrowes

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Surrender by Pamela Clare

Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers #1) by Pamela Clare

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra by Madeline Hunter

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra by Madeline Hunter

A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden

A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden

A 1950s Housewife (nonfiction) by Sheila Hardy

 A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

 

And a book that will be released in 2015:

 

Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

The Week: 10th – 16th February

Gracie Gold USA Figure Skating Team Free Skate Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

Gracie Gold

It was a bit of an odd week as far as reading went. I finished a couple of Regency romances, read an excellent upcoming Sarah Mayberry book. I’m feeling a little restless – I keep browsing the review books on NetGalley, looking for whatever it is I’m in the mood for, but I haven’t figured it out yet!

Is this the first time the Winter Olympics turned into the Summer Olympics?

Sochi has been 18°C (64.4°F) for a few days now! What a strange mess of an Olympics this has been.

Here is a great series of images outlining why the Opening Ceremony was so incredibly offensive – particularly to Ukrainians. Even if The Huffington Post does call Kyiv by the Russian name, Kiev! I was also hugely annoyed that Sochi used so many Ukrainians past and present to represent “Russia”…

Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony 2014

My review of Her Rancher Rescuer by Donna Alward

Her Rancher Rescuer by Donna Alward

My review of The Bear by Claire Cameron

The Bear by Claire Cameron

My review of Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter

Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter

My review of A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

Being a housewife in the 1950s was quite a different experience to today. After the independence of the wartime years, women had to leave their jobs when they married and support their husband by creating a spotless home, delicious meals and an inviting bedroom. A 1950s Housewife collects heart-warming personal anecdotes from women who embarked on married life during this fascinating post-war period, providing a trip down memory lane for any wife or child of the 1950s. This book will prove an eye-opener for those who now wish they had listened when their mothers attempted to tell them stories of the ‘old days’, and will provide useful first-hand accounts for those with a love of all things kitsch and vintage. From ingenious cleaning tips, ration-book recipes and home decor inspiration, the homemaking methods of the fifties give an entertaining and poignant insight into the lives of 1950s women.

A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

What an interesting, comprehensive book this is!

Do not be fooled by the oh-so cutesy packaging; this isn’t one of those lifestyle guides conservative ladies pass around during Bible study. What it is is a spectacularly well-researched, extremely detailed look at life in 1950s England. That is life in general, though there is an emphasis on the life of young women just getting started in their marriages.

Based on many personal accounts from volunteer contributors, the author has constructed a fascinating book that doesn’t paint anything perfectly or otherwise. You’ll hear as much about the hardships as the parts everyone likes to reminisce about. The detail that might become tedious in lesser hands is engrossing here. You’ll know how much things cost and who could afford them, the different things people did for fun, the different modes of transportation, the food that was eaten. The details on housework are terrifying. Even though I’ve heard many stories from family members, seeing it all put together in this book adds up to an exhausting explanation as to why there wasn’t an obesity problem in the 1950s!

A 1950s Housewife makes me think the British had it harder in the 1950s than the average Australian or American, thanks to the Second World War.

This is an eye-opener for anyone who tends to be delusional about “how much better” things were in the past, and is a book I’d highly recommend for anyone with an interest in this era.