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14 Must-Read Books Before the End of 2014

Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme

It’s New York in the late 1980s and Ceinwen Reilly has just moved from Mississippi to the big city. One day, she discovers that her downstairs neighbor may have starred in a forgotten silent film that hasn’t been seen for ages. So Ceinwen sets out to find this missing film, to impress her neighbor and become a part of movie history. As she embarks on her mission, Ceinwen meets Matthew, a charismatic English math professor. Together, they may or may not discover the missing reels—and may or may not fall in love. ($20; amazon.com

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Grace and Ted Chapman appear to be the perfect power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace is a carefree and beautiful homemaker—but it's what lies behind closed doors that could threaten their marriage. Grace finds herself wanting help, but has no one to turn to—until she meets Beth, Ted’s new assistant. Beth may be the answer to Grace's problem, but she quickly becomes Grace’s biggest threat—one that may cost her her marriage, reputation, and sanity. ($20; amazon.com

Passionate Nutrition by Jennifer Adler

This powerful healthy-living guidebook—from a nutritionist who once was homeless and addicted to heroin, but healed herself from the inside out—will encourage readers to eat well, lose weight, and embrace food as medicine. Part cookbook, part handbook, and part memoir, this book provides techniques, tips, and information to find your way to optimal health. With Adler’s personal story of recovering from a malnourished childhood and adolescence, readers will be inspired to embrace the healthy power of food. ($18; amazon.com)

(Want more inspiration? Check out The Most Inspiring Weight Loss Succes Stories of 2014)

The Unimaginable by Dina Silver

After 28 years of playing by the rules, Jessica moves from her small-town home in Indiana to the sun-soaked beaches of Thailand. After meeting an elusive sailor Grant, Jessica volunteers to sail around the world as a crew member on his boat. With love and tragedy, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. ($11; amazon.com

(Eager to escape reality for a short time? Check out: Retreat Yourself: Planning the Perfect Yoga Getaway)

The Heart Has Its Reasons by Marîa Dueñas

A talented college professor in Madrid, Blanca Perea seems to have it all—until her world is turned upside down when her husband of 20 years leaves her for another woman. Shattered by this, Blanca accepts what looks like a boring research grant in California involving an exiled Spanish writer who died decades ago. However, when Blanca meets Carter, a man who knows more about the deceased writer than anyone, she suddenly feels awakened by passion. ($20; amazon.com

The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, 49-year-old Tess is determined to finish her to do list before what she is sure is her impending death. She has to make peace with her estranged sister, rescue her daughter from an eating disorder, scatter her mother’s ashes, guide her son through adolescences, and reignite the spark in her almost 30-year-old marriage. With subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity, this book is poignant, gritty, spiritually uplifting, and absolutely hilarious. ($13; amazon.com

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. On Jane’s 29th birthday she receives a mysterious greeting card, specifying that Jane must identify all six types of love before the full moon on 30th birthday—or face the consequences. However, when Jane falls for a science writer who happens not to believe in love, she fears her fate is sealed. ($12; amazon.com

The Body Tourist by Dana Lise Shavin

Explore Dana Lise Shavin’s six-year journey after her purported recovery from anorexia in this moving and funny memoir. Anorexia is a life-long battle, and Shavin offers a candid and ultimately optimistic window into the mindset of a mental illness that has affected every aspect of her life, long after she was consider “cured.” ($15; amazon.com

(Check out: The Epidemic of Hidden Eating Disorders)

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras, and advice that will make you love Amy Poehler even more. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon," and "The Robots Will Kill Us All," Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by. ($15; amazon.com

Save Meby Kristyn Lewis

Daphne Mitchell loves her life—she has her dream job as a doctor, she's married to her childhood sweetheart Owen, and they live in a beautiful farmhouse together. Her life was actually perfect, until the day Owen came home early and told her he’s fallen in love with someone else. Unable to move forward, Daphne remains in limbo until Owen’s new love endures near-fatal injuries. Daphne becomes a rock of support and must decide if forgiveness is possible—and what path is right for her. ($29; amazon.com

(Check out: The Top 10 Reasons for Breakups)

All Days are Nightby Peter Stamm

Gillian is a successful and beautiful TV host who is content with her marriage. Then, everything changes for Gillian in an instant. After a heated argument, Gillian and her husband get into a terrible accident killing her husband and leaving Gillian in the hospital completely disfigured. After many twists and turns, she puts her life back together and reconnects with an old love interest who could be her possible future. ($17; amazon.com

What Is Found, What Is Lost by Anne Leigh Parrish

Meet Anna, Lorraine, Freddie, and Beth—four women who share blood and not much more, except that each is searching for something lost. Anna seeks to find her place in a new world. Lorraine looks for something to forget herself in. Freddie searches for herself without religion, and Beth can’t find her soul in her mother’s guarded eyes. Explore the journey of motherhood and family in this intelligent and understanding novel that questions the deep connection between love and true faith. ($14; amazon.com)

(Trying to and find your innerself? Yoga could help! Check out: Your Brain on: Yoga)

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Dai, Jin, and Mei Yee are all trapped under extreme circumstances. A ruthless kingpin, street gangs, and a brother all hold these three captive—and their greatest fear is that they'll never be free. They've been trapped for 730 days, and have just 18 days left to find out why. In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, the three come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out. ($13; amazon.com

A Second Bite at the Apple by Dana Bate

Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food—not just with eating it, but writing about it. Since food journalism jobs are almost obsolete, she pays the bills by working for one of TV’s biggest egomaniacs. That is, until she finds herself scrambling for shifts at the local farmers market. What seems like a dreary job turns into the chance of a lifetime after she starts writing the local market’s newsletter and attracts the attention from prominent food columnist. ($12; amazon.com

(Check Out: 8 Healthy Foods You Should Eat Everyday)

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