Readers at Ballymena Bookclub have collected their favourite reads from 2014. We love the winter and sometimes our favourite winter pass time is curling up in a blanket with a pot of tea and a great book. But what to read? We have collected some titles recommended by members of Ballymena Bookclub, Waterstones Booksellers and the Ballymena Today team. Here is the lowdown on what to add to your reading list this winter.


We met these keen readers and discussed their favourite books from 2014. We trawled through their bookshelves and borrowed their kindles, and over a hot chocolate, ended up with this list.


We came up with these:

How to be Both by Ali Smith – Bob’s pick is already an award winner, this cleverly written novel is really two novellas entwined together – One set in the 15th Century and one in present day. The gimmick – this book is available in two versions. Very clever – find out more here. 

Stoner by John Williams – Chosen as Waterstones book of the year for 2013 it was on all our reading list for 2014. Not a lot happens, it has to be said, but what does happen is so well written that it is worth picking up. This book split the bookclub, half loved it while half weren’t so keen.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – This is a bog book which follows a young man who loses his mother at a young age but acquires a priceless painting. What will he do with this masterpiece? Read and find out. This would be a great book for a reader with the weekend off.

The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion – Light hearted, fun and intriguing The Rosie Project is a book that will have you giggling from the start to the finish. Lecturer Don decides that it is time to find a partner with whom he can share his life and he approaches it in a way that only a genetic lecturer can, with scientific planning and methodology.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson – This is a long book which will keep you reading right up to the final page. Ursula keeps being born into her family over and over again – does this affect her decisions? A complex but rewarding read.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – If you haven’t watched the film yet then grab the book now. It follows the search for Amy, the perfect wife, who has disappeared from her home. Watch how her husband becomes suspect no. 1. It is dramatic, full of red herrings and an easy, fun read. The whole bookclub found this was their guilty pleasure.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – Waterstones chose this as their book of the year for 2014. The bookclub are currently reading this novel and they are all gripped. A mysterious miniaturist is furnishing a miniature house for newlywed Nella but how does she know the very secrets held in Nella’s family?

When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan – When Mr Dog bites is the story of Dylan, a teenager with Tourettes, who believes that he will die in the next few months. What will Dylan do with his final days and where will his adventure take him?

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne – John Boyne is one of our favourite writers, he wrote The boy in the striped pyjamas and in his latest book he finally writes about his homeland or Ireland. He tackles big issues about the clergy, the priesthood and their failings.

Do Purpose by David Hieatt – the Do Books were a surprise hit last year. Do Purpose is a non fiction where Hyiatt denim founder David Hieatt discusses business, passion and purpose driven business. A fresh look at work and business

Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik – Another non-fiction which takes a photograph and tells the tale behind each material shown in it. Stainless steel, concrete, paper, glass – each has its own dramatic tale which is sometimes stranger than fiction.

All books are available from Waterstones bookshop in Ballymena and online. Read more about Ballymena bookclub here.

Hopefully there is something above in our favourite books from 2014 which will encourage you to get reading this winter.