2 of the best novels of 2014

The nominees for the National Book Award were announced yesterday. The list of nominees is long. Where do you start? Here are 2 recommendations:

From Euan Kerr:

I’ve always enjoyed dystopian novels, but Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven” takes the genre to a new literary level. While she creates a world which is enduring horrible calamity in the form of a virulent flu which wipes out most of humanity, her literary creation is of the community of survivors living on in their new reality. It’s a group comprised of ordinary people finding ways of facing its new reality, and re-establishing some form of civilization. It’s not comfortable, but, other than moments of abject terror, Mandel’s story is engrossing in the way it portrays life that’s it’s not that different from our own everyday struggles.

From Kerri Miller:

I opened “All the Light We Cannot See” with a certain amount of wariness: What is there new to say about the experience of World War II? But Anthony Doerr’s characters come from such unexpected places and live such richly detailed days during the war. I feel like he’s ruined me for any other war-time novel!

If you have a favorite novel or work of non-fiction from 2014, share it below.