Yikes it is here again! Time to think about and share my favorite reads of this past year. So for 2013 my total books read went down by half. Mostly because I started a ton of books that I did not finish. I've started to realize pretty quickly if I am going to like a book and I honestly just can't bare to read more than a chapter or two of some of them. I mean, who wants to spend time reading a bad book? :)
I only gave 8 books out of my 141 reads this year 5 stars. So there were some standouts, yes, but not as many as I have had in year's past. After much deliberation I have come up with my top 10 of 2013. And one lucky reader will get to choose from one of these amazing reads for their own collection.
Admittedly, I don't remember that much about this book. But I do remember that I loved it very much. A friend and I were talking about it and we weren't sure if this book was really that good, or if we had been in that bad of a reading rut. I think it was that good. This might be the first time I've really enjoyed reading a story within a story which is what you will find in Golden.
This might be the saddest book I have ever read about a neglectful horrific mother. How this book is still so hopeful is a testament to an amazing job by Emily Murdoch. It might be the first horrifically sad book that I would be willing to read again.
This is my favorite "cute" book of the year. There isn't any huge family issues, or some horrible story of abuse, or someone dealing with a death of a loved one. This book is just a cute little romance with plenty of sassy lines, swoony moments, and good fleshed out secondary characters. There is just no better word for it than CUUUUUTE!
This is the only book I have found so far in all of my reading that is the equivalent of a Chick-Lit book written by a guy about what it is like to be a guy. But don't let my Chick-Lit comparison make you think less of it. It is smart, funny, very funny, and hilarious, and has a ton of heart. Parts of this might shock my more innocent readers because it talks of guy stuff pretty openly, but if you can get through the first bit and you are still enjoying it then you will definitely enjoy the rest. I really wish there were more books like this in the world.
Can Miss Rainbow Rowell have two books on my list this year? I'll give you a hint: the answer is the opposite of "no way hoseay". Fangirl is great, and it was a nice comfort to know that Rowell was not an author who could only come up with one amazing book. She had more tricks up her sleeve and this book is one of them. It is a great college coming of age tale. I did find some of the added fanfic, written by our MC, kind of distracting at times...but...I could overlook it because the rest of Fangirl was freaking fantastic.
This was my favorite debut of the year. I never wanted it to end. I just wanted to keep reading and reading and reading about these characters. I read it back all the way in January so I honestly don't remember that much to tell you here except for this: I may have forgotten the details of it, but I remember the loving of it.
I actually read this for the first time last year, but I didn't put it on my best of 2012 list because it was officially released by Penguin this year after winning the Amazon Breakthrough Award. Regina came to Utah (where I live) this year and she is so darn lovely, and her book reflects that loveliness all over. I read it again this year, and I can tell you now that you have never read a coming of age book just like this. But at the same time this feels so familiar. This has such an interesting male love interest unlike any one I have ever read before but again so like lots of boys I've actually known in real life. Wonderful this book.
I champion Paige Toon on this blog constantly. I adore her stories and my only complaint is usually that they end much much too soon. One Perfect Summer is (I think...hard to choose) my favorite of hers. It takes place mostly in college and it is not some sexy New Adult trashy book that is thrown together to sell cheap copies on Amazon (sorry...little rant there...). So have you not yet read a Paige Toon book? What are you freaking waiting for? They are wonderful! Go on Amazon and buy a used one for a penny and find yourself a new girly author to love. May I suggest One Perfect Summer?
I was honored to be at the book debut party for Sara Zarr's 2013 release. It was beautiful to hear her speak so openly about the effort she put into writing this book. It made my read that much richer. Over the years I have come to really admire Zarr's writing. As you read one of her books you feel as if she chooses each word with extra thought and care. No words are just throw away words. They are all important. The Lucy Variations is probably my favorite of her books and as usual her characters shine bright, just daring me to love them.
I'm sure I won't be the only blogger to list Eleanor & Park as their #1 read of the year. But this book, I can't help love it as much as the next gal. In fact I just recently re-read it to make sure I liked it more than Fangirl, and I was instantly transported to the hearts of misfits Eleanor and Park. It was equally wonderful the second read through and I stand by my original review from earlier this year where I sang this book's praises to high heaven. It is sad, hilarious, beautiful, and rings so true. It is just one of those magical books you so rarely find and if you haven't read it yet...get going...I'll wait...
So that is a list of my favorites for 2013. Thanks to the all the authors out there that persevere and face the challenges of the publishing world to get their voice out there for all of us to enjoy. I'm glad there are people that write, just like I am sure they are glad that there are people like us who read. I hope this list has inspired you to give one of these reads a try in 2014.
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