The year that was in books

So this year I managed to read 39 books. Not bad, however I had a goal of reaching 52. I blame our trip to Europe entirely of course! I normally read about a book a week. So, being away for 7 weeks meant I was 7 books short…oh wait, that still doesn’t add up. 😉

In any case, there’s always next year, however, I fear my new Galaxy Note tablet may have something to say about that too. I find myself spending hours watching Youtube vloggers, reading eMags from my library, or just..ya know, doing stuff.

So what really stood out?

My ‘ohmygod you have GOT to read this’ list!

  • The Secret Life of Bees– Sue Monk Kidd- You can see my full review of this here. A fast read, it was just really sweet and quaint.
  • Bitterblue – Kristin Cashore – I was SO excited to read the third installment in the Graceling Realm series. This book was probably my favourite of the three, and I would say the series itself is one of my fave Young Adult Fantasy series. From the Goodreads reviews, I think many felt the lack of romance was a let down but I didn’t agree. I thought that was true to the character, and anything else would have been selling out.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone &Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor – Wow. Love love this series. Very original, great characters, great universe and great setting. I enjoyed the follow up even more. On a side note, the title and cover art are probably the best I’ve seen in some time.
  • The Twelve – Justin Cronin – The plot is so clever and complex at times that it’s easy to get lost in, however I really enjoyed the second in The Passage series. If viral plagues, vampires and dystopian is your thing, you’ll probably love this.
  • The Shadow of the Wind  – Carlos Ruiz Zafon- I devoured all three in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series one after the other. Simply put…wow. I’m so glad Neen recommended this to me. I had seen it many times, but something about it made me skip past it on the shelf.  I’m a big believer that certain books come into your life when it’s right…which is ironic since that is pretty much the central theme to this mystery series. The writing is astoundingly good. I have whole passages marked up in my Kindle which I have since re-read. The characters are well developed, the pace good and the setting, Barcelona 1945, is haunting and a character in itself. I read the last installment of this series in Barcelona earlier this year, and I saw the story unfold right in front of my eyes. The sense of nostalgia from the character (the author?) as you read just washes over you…very special writing.
  • The Summer of Katya – Trevanian – This was the years surprise for me. I hadn’t ever come across this author before, so it was a bit of a wild card. You can read the full review here.
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak – Another recommendation by Neen. Is there anyone left in the world who HASN’T read this (apart from me, at the time?) Loved it. Simply put, one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The voice of death as narrator was superb, and surprisingly, only came about in the edit/rewrite stage. Good move. Can’t wait to see the movie.
  • The Wild Girl – Kate Forsyth- I love Kate’s stories, and the story of  Dortchen Wild, the girl behind the infamous stories of the Brothers Grimm did not disappoint. Definitely a standout of 2013.
  • The Light Between Oceans – ML Stedman – Such as amazing story, amazingly written. One of those moral dilemma ‘what would I do’ type reads. You would probably like it if you liked The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards.

I read a whole bunch of other books which I would also recommend. These are the ones with a * on this list, if you’re looking for something for your 2014 reading list.

So what makes your list of best reads for 2013?

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3 thoughts on “The year that was in books

  1. I have many things to say. First, I love your writing. Love the way you’ve reviewed these books. I think I’ll probably start every comment on your blog with ‘I love your writing’. Because I do.

    Second, good on you for reading 39 books! That’s awesome and definitely the best part of commuting! It makes it a lot easier to find reading time. I only managed 17 books and 7 plays in 2013. But I’ll aim high again this year!

    Also, I’m glad you loved Shadows of the Wind & The Book Thief. I think they are two of my favourite books of all time.

    And lastly, I think I want to read and reread all the books on this list!

  2. Thanks Janine 🙂 I also love your writing, so there we are. Even.

    I think my list will be a whole lot shorter this year…I’m totally addicted to Youtube vloggers!

    Can’t wait to get started on your other recommendation Bel Canto

    • I hope you like Bel Canto. It’s one that takes a little while to get into. But it’s also on my favourites list 🙂 However I won’t be the slightest bit offended if you don’t like.

Love to hear your thoughts!

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