The Guinness World Records celebrated its 60th anniversary this year and is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the book holds its own world record: as the best-selling copyrighted book of all time! Every edition is crammed with mind-boggling achievements, as well as fresh record-breaking feats – for example, the first person to take a selfie in space!
Internet sensation Zoella, real name Zoe Sugg, released her debut novel in November and, unsurprisingly, it flew off the shelves. The vlogger’s down-to-earth and say-it-how-it-is attitude was reflected in this fictional book about a teenage blogger, Penny, and the highs and lows of adolescent life. Girl Online is a girl-meets-boy tale, but the 21st-century twists thrown in really bring it up to date.
This book, the new edition to Keri Smith’s previous bestseller, is said to be a lifeline for anyone experiencing the ‘fear of the blank page’; turning boredom into a time of creativity. She encourages the reader to partake in ‘destructive’ acts (such as poking holes through the page and colouring outside the lines!) to experience the true creative process. A quirky and eccentric book like you’ve never seen before, it’s what made it a bestseller this year.
Hailed as ‘the fastest-growing children’s author in the UK’ and ‘the new Roald Dahl’, what a year it’s been for comedian-cum-author David Walliams. Awful Auntie is said to be his best book to date, and the fabulously nostalgic illustrations from Tony Ross add an extra dimension to this hilarious and touching story. Perhaps Walliams’ success is partly down to the fact he is a well-established celebrity, but the main reason this book has been a bestseller is, quite simply, because kids love reading it.
Alfie Deyes is another A-list star in the vlogging world (his girlfriend is Zoella, if you didn’t know). His YouTube channel, PointlessBlog, has nearly 3.5 million subscribers, but in 2014 Alfie turned to print to expand his career further – and it certainly paid off. He called the book – which features advice on how to create a time capsule and bake a cake in a mug – ‘a gift to his fans’; and they certainly bought it in their dozens!
The Beano Annual has been published every year since 1939, with the popular character Dennis the Menace appearing on every front cover from 1979 onwards. The latest Beano Annual is, as always, jam-packed with favourite characters from the comic of the same name. For many, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a yearly dose of Dennis, The Bash Street Kids and Roger the Dodger; they get up to all sorts of mischief that we can’t in real life (unfortunately).
The Fault in our Stars was published back in 2012, but was once again propelled into the limelight this year thanks to the release of the film. Centring around a 16-year-old cancer patient who is forced to attend a support group, she meets and falls in love with another attendee. Heart-warming and deeply moving, this book (and subsequent film) really touched the nation in 2014.
Since the release of the first book in 2007, Jeff Kinney’s hilarious series seems to only be gaining popularity with each new release. The ninth book has been testament to this, and the unique diary-style in which it is written, along with handwritten notes and simple drawings (all done by Jeff himself) appeals to both young and seasoned readers alike.
Let’s face it, who hasn’t – at some point in their lives – been on the search for this elusive, striped, bespectacled chap? 2014 saw the release of the ‘Gold Collection’; a round-up of the first five best-selling Where’s Wally? adventures, as well as a sticker book with over 250 stickers, and a play page to create your own unique scene.
Just like Linda’s on-screen TV personality, this book is as honest and open as you can get. In 2013, Linda discovered she had terminal cancer, and decided to candidly recount her last few months. Emotional and heart-wrenching, but with some humorous moments too, fans of the Loose Women star, and those with cancer stories of their own, flocked to buy this book of bravery.
Due to the huge success of Minecraft – the world made entirely of blocks – this book is ideal for both aficionados and beginners alike, and was hugely popular in 2014 as a result. Every newly-discovered block in Minecraft is different and opens up new possibilities; some help you build and some help you stay alive. The Block-o-pedia is essentially an encyclopedia of the different Minecraft blocks and their uses; a helpful tool for any Minecraft fan.
The Lego Movie came out in 2014 and was a box-office smash hit, so it’s no surprise that the Lego Official Annual was on the Christmas wish-list of many children who had seen and loved the film. Crammed with activities, stories, puzzles and more, the annual is perfect for any Lego lover.
With so many possibilities in Minecraft, it can be hard to know where to start. This handbook is full of step-by-step guidance to help enthusiasts take their ‘worlds’ to the next level; teaching you how to construct quality bridges, floating islands, rollercoasters and more. Minecraft fans love the clear instructions of this book, helping them become a master builder in next to no time.
Due to the astonishing popularity of The Fault in our Stars, John Green features twice in the top book list this year with his 2005 debut novel Looking for Alaska. The book explores the life of Miles Halter, who feels his life is irrelevant until he meets a polar-opposite girl, Alaska, at boarding school. Looking for Alaska is also being made into a film next year, so expect to see the book at the top of our charts in 2015, too.
Guy Martin’s autobiography flew off the shelves following two successful Channel 4 series this year, and it’s easy to see why. In My Autobiography, the eccentric – and slightly bonkers – Guy Martin takes readers on an exhilarating ride through his life and career; from humble lorry mechanic to thrill-seeking TT rider who endured a 170mph crash and survived to tell you the tale.
Since its release back in 2009, Minecraft has become one of the world’s most popular video games. The aim of the game is simple: to build 3D-block constructions and defend them. And to help you out, the company behind the game have published a series of bestselling guide books. The series includes The Official Redstone Handbook, which teaches players everything they need to know about getting connected to Redstone.
One for the footie fans, The Second Half is the story of Roy Keane and is one of the best-selling sports books of 2014. Renowned as one of the world’s greatest footballers, Keane is also known for his ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. This book takes a look at his whole career – as footballer, captain, manager and successful TV pundit. His controversial walk-out from the 2002 World Cup after an incident with national coach Nick McCarthy is also visited in this honest, open-hearted account.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, who released their eponymously titled debut album a few months back. Ever since, they’ve been touring the world and melting the hearts of teenage girls along the way. The book tells the tale of how they went from four average Sydney teenagers to world-famous superstars. A must read, if you’re a fan.
Annuals are a round-up of all the best bits from the year and that’s why we love them. A 2014 favourite has been fortnightly satirical magazine Private Eye’s annual, filled with jokes, spoofs, cartoons and sketches from the past 12 months. Now in its 18th year, the Private Eye Annual is a recurrent Christmas bestseller and a still a firm favourite for many of us.
It’s definitely been a great year for one of our nation’s best-loved children’s author, Jacqueline Wilson, who had her 100th book published back in October. And that book was Opal Plumstead; an instant hit among children and teens across the country. The book tells the tale of 14-year-old Opal, whose dreams of attending university are dashed when her father is sent to prison and she must work to support her family.
Which books were your favourites of 2014? Let us know in the comments box below.