10 Books Luke Needs to Read in 2014 | Books

the finer things club blog lifestyle book review book haul tbr

A week ago, Luke picked out 10 movies that he thought I should watch in 2014. As you may know, Luke wants to read more widely this year, so I thought it was only fair that I was allowed to compile a list of 10 books that I think he should read in 2014. All of these books are from my bookcase so he'll be able to pick them up whenever he so wishes - some I have read, some I have yet to. Feel free to leave some book suggestions in the comments below and let us know what you think of these reads.  

uk lifestyle blogs the finer things book haul

1984 by george orwell
isbn: 014118776X | pages: 355

'Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skillfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet, he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world...(and) discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal'

B: As you may know, I picked up a copy of 1984 for Luke during our recent charity shop challenge, and I also featured it in my 2014 TBR over on Vivatramp1984 is a modern classic, and I think it's important for Luke to read literature that has inspired a lot of the films that he watches and the video games he plays. Everyone and their cat has read this novel, and I'm hoping that 2014 is the year that Luke and I team up and read it together. I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't already done so! 

L: It really is about time I got round to reading 1984, especially since so many of the films and books that I have enjoyed have taken so much inspiration from its musings on society. Whether its the Capitol and the state of Panem within the Hunger Games series, or a slightly skewed Guy Fawkes in V for Vendetta, there is no doubt that 1984 has had a huge influence on the modern science-fiction genre as we know it today. 

uk lifestyle blog the finer things book reviews

the knife of never letting go by patrick ness
isbn: 1406320757 | pages: 479

'Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? ...Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run...' 

B:  I love love love this series! I've just finished the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy and I find them incredibly addictive. I think Luke will really enjoy this novel - it's quick, action packed and the premise is absolutely spot on. The character development is also absolutely perfect! I'll be very surprised if Luke reads this and doesn't want to carry on with the trilogy! It's hugely addictive and I'd recommend it to everyone, particularly those that may be experiencing a bit of a reading slump!

L: Admittedly, I know very little about the author Patrick Ness and his work, but what I do know is that Bee is a massive fan, and this can only be a good thing! I did a sneaky bit of research and discovered that THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING go has actually won a number of awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize,  so I think this will be one of the first on this list that I read. After all, I am basically just a big kid.  

photo (3)

the wind in the willows by kenneth grahame
isbn:0143106643 | pages: 176 

'Meek little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant toad - emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie

B: This is one of my favourite books of all time! It's ethereal, it's enaging, it's powerful, it's nostalgic. I think it's pretty beautiful but, then again, I have been obsessed with this tale since I was a child. I would watch the VHS all the bloody time before playing the pretty snazzy board game of the film. I was cool, I know. If you're ever feeling a bit low, wack on the 1995 movie version (feat. Rik Mayall), and you'll soon feel better about life! I think Luke may regret reading this because, as soon as he has, I'm going to bore him to death with one-sided conversations about Toad's monomania, the class struggle between the animals and Ratty's spirituality. I think everyone should read this book at least once because, to me, it's a 5 star read! 

L: This will be a nice book to fit in between all the science-fiction and fantasy tales that I seem to limit myself to. It'll also be nice to reacquaint myself with Mr Toad and Ratty - characters that I have only had the pleasure of meeting, on various television screens, in cartoon form a long time ago. I'll probably start reading it in between the Song Of Ice and Fire series as a pick me up when George R.R. Martin no doubt finds some other kind of misery to write about, and subsequently get me down! 

uk lifestyle blogs

submarine by joe dunthorne
isbn: 0241955157 | pages: 290 

'Meet Oliver Tate, fifteen years old. Convinced that his father is depressed...and his mother is having an affair with her capoeira teacher, he embarks on a hilariously misguided campaign to bring the family back together. Meanwhile, he is also trying to lose his virginity to his pyromaniac girlfriend Jordana. Will Oliver succeed...?'

B:I have really fond memories of reading this book last year. I had just had some surgery and I needed a bit of a pick me up because I was stuck indoors, and boy did this book deliver! I found it to be piss-your-pants hilarious in parts, and the character development was fantastic. Oliver Tate comes out with some brilliant lines, and I think Luke will really warm to him as a protagonist. A really great read and another of my favourites.

L: Bee has spoken very highly of SUBMARINE and, to be honest, the constant bursts of laughter I witnessed while she was reading it tell me a lot! The premise sounds bizarrely hilarious. Whenever I wanted to watch the film, Bee stopped me because she wanted to read the book first, and it's probably about time that I get round to reading it now. I'm quite curious as to how they're going to fit a submarine into this tale...

the finer things club blog

ISBN: 1406339342 | PAGES: 215

'The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments...This monster is something different...And it wants the most dangerous thing of all...the truth'

B:THIS BOOK! OH GOD, THIS BOOK! I am so glad that 2013 was the year I discovered the genius that is Patrick Ness. This book was the first novel that I read by him and it was heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The story is so well-crafted, the character development so well done, and the plot so overwhelmingly emotional. I cried, and cried, and cried some more, before tweeting Ness to say thank you. He replied with his thanks. It was a beautiful, messy and hyper-emotional five minutes. Jim Kay's illustrations are also absolutely amazing so make sure you pick up the illustrated version as you'll be missing out otherwise. This book is another of my favourites and one that I would recommend to everyone! TW though as it deals with cancer. 

L: This novel seems to be another critically acclaimed piece that has so many 'winner' statements on its front cover you'd think Charlie Sheen had a hand in the doodling. Controversial celebrities aside, this is the second Patrick Ness novel that Bee has put on my to-read list and, again, I've heard very good things about this one. I think its time I started reading it, so I can hopefully tell people good things about this book myself.

uk lifestyle blog

neverwhere by neil gaiman
isbn: 0755322800 | pages:  384

'Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of...the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him...into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre'

B: I've included this book for a couple of reasons. The first being that I think Luke will really enjoy this book. The second being that I think Luke, as an aspiring writer, could really benefit from seeing how Gaiman crafts his fantastical world. I felt a little let down towards the end of the book but I think the vast amount of detail that Gaiman put in made it a really interesting read, nonetheless. 

L:Now from just reading the small synopsis, I straight away think it would make a brilliant film and I'm going to read it to see if I'm right. I love London! Bee and I have been a couple of times now and I'm going to stick my neck out and say it has got to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world, especially when you mix it in with a bit of fiction. NEVERWHERE sounds fascinating and it's definitely one I'm looking forward to reading. 

tbr list uk lifestyle the finer things club

brave new world by aldous huxley
isbn: 0060850523 | pages: 259

'In laboratories worldwide, genetic science has brought the human race to perfection...Bernard Marx is unhappy. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude...Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure...'

B: I have yet to read this book, it's actually featured on my 2014 TBR, but it's another modern classic that I think Luke will really enjoy and take a lot from, both as a reader and a writer. I've heard so many amazing things about this novel so I'm looking forward to reading it with Luke and seeing if it lives up to the hype!

L: I'll be honest with you, after seeing the cover of this book I'm not sure I like where the perfection of the human race has taken us, but hey, who am I to judge? I'm not sure where to begin with this one, both the title of novel and its small summary don't really give me too much to go on, and I'm left with a great many questions and no answers just yet. The need for those answers is urging me to read this novel.

book haul tbr book reviews lifestyle

slaughterhouse 5 by kurt vonnegut
isbn: 0385333846 | pages: 275

'Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller - these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim. (Slaughterhouse 5 is) a miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocolypse...'

B:I got a little way in to this book but I need to re-visit it properly and read it in full in 2014. The first chapter was really great so I've got high hopes. I have a feeling that this will be one of my favourite reads of 2014. I hope it's the case for Luke too, because I think it's a book that he can, again, definitely take things from. 

L:Okay, I think SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 had my attention pretty much from the start with the intriguing combination of 'prisoner of war, optometrist and time-traveler'.  I was even more intrigued when I quickly copied and pasted 'optometrist' into my dear friend Google to find out what it actually meant! I plan to find out what Billy Pilgrim has been up to before this year is out, and hopefully it will be as crazy as it sounds.

top uk lifestyle blogs

the time machine by h. g. wells
isbn: 0141199342 | pages: 99 

'A Victorian scientist is propelled into the year AD 802,701, where he is delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty and contentment in the form of the Eloi...But he soon realises that they are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and living in terror of the sinister Morlocks...who threaten his very return' 

B: This was the first bit of proper science fiction that I read, and I think that's pretty fitting seeing as it has pretty much paved the way for every bit of science fiction since its publication! Luke loves his sci-fi so I think this will be a great piece of lit for him to read because it gives him an insight into the beginnings of the genre. I found the ending pretty wonderful and I'm hoping Luke will be inclined to agree!

L: I am really glad Bee has put such a classic on this list! I've been meaning to read it for some time now, and I'm hoping this will finally nudge me between its pages. I really hate to admit it but, yes, I've never read this book (and maybe a lot of you haven't either), and as I profess to have such a love for science fiction, it does make me feel silly! I've seen the film, albeit the forgettable one from 2002, so I think I owe it to myself and Mr Wells to read his novella.  

literature book blogger

dr jekyll and mr hyde by robert louis stevenson
isbn: 0141389508 | pages: 111

'Set in a hellish, fog-bound London, the story of outwardly respectable Dr Jekyll, who unleashes his deepest cruelties and most murderous instincts when he is transformed into sinister Edward Hyde, is a Gothic masterpiece and a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil'

B: I WAS JEKYLL JEKYLL HYDE, JEKYLL HYDE HYDE, JEKYLL! Ahem, sorry, I just needed to get that out of my system! I bloody love Victorian literature, and I really like this novella. I could bore you all day with the ways in which it represents Victorian concerns of identity and class. However, I won't. I think it's important for Luke to read literature from different eras, particularly reads such as this, and I think he'll get a lot out of reading this novella in particular. I, for one, bloody loved it. You might too!

L: Here we have another classic and another trip back to London - two brilliant reasons for me to pick up this novella! I have seen this tale referenced in many places, and by many people, throughout my life and its just reminded me of this scene from the awesome film that is The Page Master, as it was the first place that I saw this tale referenced. I think once I've read it, I'll see just how many times it has been referenced in modern pop culture unbeknownst to me, and I'm hoping I'll come to understand why it has so easily stood the test of time. 

NOW THAT bee's picked these books, TELL US...
 What do you think of Bee's picks?
• Do you have any recommendations? 

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us using @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Wednesday! 

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



  1. You've picked some great books! But 1984 is really one of the best. Hope you enjoy it :)

  2. I have read one, count 'em, ONE on this list and that would be The Knife of Never Letting Go because I saw that Bee was reading it (I think maybe I should get out more?). I must admit, the others, specifically the Classics, don't really appeal to me but I'll probably have a go at reading some of them at some point in my life (thus, I have a while). Problem is, I'm a notorious book-leaver if a story doesn't grab me from the word go! I have the other 2 in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, and I really want to read A Monster Calls, so I guess they are the best place to get started!! Good luck Luke, I look forward to reading your reviews!

  3. I've heard such mixed reviews about Submarine that I don't know what I actually think about it - plus i've never been on for YA reads, they seem to have passed me by. As for HG Wells - his work is a must, War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man - endless!

  4. I have the George Orwell, 1984 in the library (meaning boyfriend has it) and he liked it, so I'm hoping to get around to it soon. some of the other ones are in my to read list too.

    imeowlife. ,Dixx

  5. Good picks! If you like George Orwell and haven't already read it, I really recommend 'Down and Out in Paris and London' :-) Ailish Goes

  6. A lot of these are on my list too! 1984 is one of my favourites :)

  7. This is such a good list! I'll definitely put some of these on my to-read list.

    How about Thomas Hardy? I've been reading Far From the Madding Crowd and really enjoying it.

  8. Ashamed to say I've only read 3 of these, definitely a few that are on my 'to read' list including 1984. I read Neverwhere for Alex (Odd Socks & Pretty Frocks) and her feature Blogging Good Read, and although I loved the concept I felt the characters were super under developed and that the immense detail that went into the setting was missing from the plot and the characters. Happy reading Luke.

  9. Hahaha you made me laugh so much at the 'Jekyll jekyll hyde jekyll hyde hyde jekyll!"
    Me and my sister cracked up at this when it was on TV and we still sing it to each other sometimes now!

  10. Apparently, you have a soft spot for dystopia!
    I've only read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, shame on me. However, I'm planning to read 1984 and The Time Machine this year. I hope I'll enjoy them as much as you did.
    If Luke is a fan of sci-fi, Ubik by Philip K. Dick would be an appropriate novel to read — if he hasn't read it already.
    Happy reading and good luck Luke :).

  11. Neverwhere and Submarine are my two favourite books of all time :) I found out the other day that my now boyfriend bought Submarine when we started dating because he knew I loved it and he wanted to get to know me. I always thought he read it before he met me. Cute xx

  12. Ahh Bee, your book reviews never fail in making me want to read said books, and this post is no different! I really want to try Submarine, Slaughterhouse 5 and both the Patrick Ness ones! Might need to dump a few clothes from the suitcase though, so I can take these books back home with me! x


Please leave your comments below! If you've got a burning question for us, why not tweet us at: @tftcblog!