Best Standalone Novels of 2014…Better Late than Never.

Ok, so we’re officially a week into the new year. I think that’s a perfect time for my favorite standalone novels of 2014, don’t you?

standalone novelsYAYAYAYA!!

Ok, so I admit. I hemmed and hawed about these choices, mostly because I had to look through my actual *not electronic* bookshelves to find them. I typically just import my kindle list onto goodreads, and end up forgetting to add my hardcovers and paperbacks to my lists, because, lazy.

Have no fear, because, the man brought me (unfortunately not shirtless–as it’s colder than a witch’s tit) coffee! I can do this!!

These are in absolutely no order. The list may be added to as I type, because I’m staring at my shelf. Not to be confused with staring at my rack, which would leave me bored as there isn’t much at which to stare.

*picture is a link.

I finished this book from cover to cover with no bathroom breaks, one very large cup of tea, and a tin of biscuits. (They were Scottish, so I can’t call them cookies, or the Highlander will take offense….and he’s like, really big.)

Heartbreaking. Beautiful. So much of everything in a novel.

This was such a fast read as well. It’s gripping in its intensity, and completely unexpected.

I actually gave this book its own review here.  It was enlightening to say the very least.

I love a book wherein its pages, I learn something. I love even more when I’m flattened by how much I learn. If it sends me on a google frenzy a la, my platonic soul mate, even better.

I’ve re-read this twice already. Yep. Twice.

People are unfair to this novel. It’s NOT a religious novel–that’s simply not what it is. It’s a triumphant return to existentialism not seen since Cheever.

MORE EXISTENTIALISM. And not so weird as to be unreadable. It’s super effing readtastic.

The audiobook for this novel is bananas. Ba-na-nas.

Also? GET THEEEE THIS IN YOUR EARHOLES.

 

This book elbowed me in my emotions. It was a very personal and beautiful story for me. I can see myself reading this until the corners of the pages begin to become transparent.

Holy carp, guys. This book. this.book.

I did not intend on the accidental categorization in the last few books. LGBT-themed books just call to me. Apart from the Man, the very closest people to me in my life are gay. My wolfpack and my family. I just love them sososososo much I have a deep desire to understand the struggle they deal with and grew up with because I want to know how they became SO amazing. This book? It’s deeply emotional and beautifully written.

Honestly, I bought this book because of the beautiful cover. I kept reading because of the amazing story and unique prose.

The main character in this book really resonated with me. I honest to Pete felt like I knew her. Like I was her. That.

Note: I may add more to this post later as I find more books I want to add! I read bunches of them!

Now? winner winner chicken dinner.

*kill me now for quoting Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. 

This recipe has become a favorite at casa de la me. It’s the perfect marriage between salty-tangy-sweet, and they don’t mind being polygamous at all. In fact, they’re thinking of getting their own reality show on TLC.

Pickle-Brined Orange Chicken

(yes, PICKLE!!!) It should be noted that, seeing as how it’s orange season, this recipe is super-duper cheap as well. It’s a use-up that tastes like a miracle.

pickle brined orange chicken pickle brined orange chicken pickle brined orange chicken

Pickle-Brined Orange Chicken

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: overnight marinate

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Keywords: bake entree

Ingredients (2 lbs of chicken thighs (bone)

  • 2 lb chicken thighs, bone in and skin ON
  • 2 cups left over pickle juice (spicy or dill work best, but bread and butter isn’t bad.)
  • juice of one orange
  • 4 tangerines
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed peppercorn
  • 1 tsp Bell’s seasoning or other poultry seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • EVOO for drizzling

Instructions

In a BIG ziploc bag that’s in a big pan,

add chicken, pickle juice, salt, garlic, orange juice, peppercorn, bay leaf, and Bell’s seasoning.

zip the bag

marinate overnight

next day

preheat oven to 375F

place the chicken thighs skin up, flappy bits tucked under the pieces, 2″ apart

cut tangerines in half and place them scattered about the chicken, cut side up

drizzle all of that with EVOO, sprinkle the tangerines with some sea salt

bake until thermometer reads 160F in the center. About 35 minutes.

Squeeze roasted juice over the chicken (USE LONG TONGS!!)

serve.

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2 thoughts on “Best Standalone Novels of 2014…Better Late than Never.

  1. God I love these reviews...now...to start reading again. I used to read all the time..now I just feel guilty about not reading. I just woke my husband up to tell him about this recipe. I don't think he'll remember..but I'm making it this weekend.

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