#AMonthofFaves: Top 10 Books That Blew My Mind in 2014

Today is all about mind-blowing books! The link-up for Top 10 Books That Blew My Mind in 2014 is over at The Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.

I agonize over the definition of "mind-blowing" since it could go in so many ways. I am going with "intensely affecting the mind or the emotions." 

Here's my quick list, in no particular order. I'm mind-blown by ... because ....

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- Disclaimer: I love everything by Gaiman.
- This adult version of Coraline left me deeply saddened yet totally in awe of Gaiman's storytelling.

The Trickster's Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity by Nick Bantock
- Disclaimer once again: I love Nick Bantock's art!
- Practically art and creativity lessons from Nick Bantock himself. How cool is that?

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
- Out of the mouth of babes, the horrors they face in conflict-ridden Africa is a tough read. But it's a necessary one which sheds light on the harsh reality that many children in the world live through every day.
- Heartbreaking. I remember each of these five stories vividly.

- Makes mythology sexy. I'll never think of The Iliad in the same way again.
- While technically a re-read for 2014, the love story affected me so much more the second time around. 

- A chunkster that never felt like a chore. Masterful and engrossing storytelling. 
- What a fascinating, chameleon of a woman! And yes, she was a real person.
- Wait ... this is historical fiction? It feels so real!

- High school required reading put on its head. Who knew Juliet's nurse with the insider track of the Romeo and Juliet love story - and her own love story - would be so much more interesting?

- I'd never thought I'd enjoy reading short stories of the medical field. I LOVED these!
- These stories are bizarre and surreal. Sometimes absurd, sometimes uncomfortably disturbing. But I couldn't stop reading them!

The Frangipani Hotel: Stories by Violet Kupersmith
- Reminded me so much of my own roots where culture, folklore and superstition meld together in strange mysterious ways. I lapped up each of these Vietnamese ghost stories.

Man V. Nature: Stories by Diane Cook
- Because these stories distill human nature to its basest, these made for unsettling reading. It's disturbing yet illuminating. 

Cain by Jose Saramago (unreviewed)- Growing up Catholic, these alternate versions of oft-told Biblical stories really shook me up ... and even made me laugh!
- Provoking, challenging, logical ... I reveled in all Saramago had to offer.

Get more info for A Month of Faves hosted by the awesome gals Estella's Revenge, Girlxoxo and Traveling with T. Go get it here.

Link-up is over at The Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday

#AMonthofFaves at Guiltless Reading:
5 Fave Non-Bookish Things

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  1. I've read Gaiman this year for the first time but I've read The Ocean... before Coraline so the second book has been a little disappointing (I read very little - nearly never - books for teenagers) and I'm happy you bring these books together because when I've read Coraline, I've had the feeling to read something very close to The Ocean. As I'm just discovering Gaiman's work (I've also read the short story Closing Time), I didn't know if his stories were all the same.

    Thank you to draw my attention towards Say You're One of Them. I had noticed the book when it has been released in France last year but I had forgotten it. I totally agree with what you say: it's not always easy to read such stories but it's necessary.

    Incendiary Girls is already on my wishlist.

    And I'm more than happy to see a novel by Saramago! I've loved Cain but even more The Gospel According to Jesus Christ which is one of my all-time favorites.

    1. Flo, I'm so glad you're picking up Gaiman! Gaiman writes such a variety of stuff that I can't say they're all the same. I only mention Coraline because that's what Ocean reminded me of.

      If you get chance, I'd recommend you look for The Graveyard Book, which is technically a children's book and his short story collection M is for Magic (btw, I've never read Closing Time though and now you've got me really curious!). I also really enjoyed Stardust (young adult) and The Anansi Boys -- both fantasy!

  2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was one of my favorites, too! :)

  3. Cain has been on my TBR list for awhile...someday I will get to it. I do love the other books of Saramago's that I read. This is the first I've heard of The Frangipani Hotel but it looks good to me! Adding it to the list.

  4. I cannot believe that I haven't read any of these. Have to sort that - think I will start with the Gaiman book (I've owned it for ages I just haven't gotten started)


© guiltless readingMaira Gall