Friday, January 10, 2014

2013: A Retrospect in Books

Books Reviewed in 2013: 109
Pages Read: 35,762
Fiction: 82
Non-fiction: 27
Books by male authors: 41
Books by female authors: 68
Most Disappointing Books: The Christmas TownCult Insanity 
Most Read Review: The Light in the Ruins 
Favorite book covers: The New York Trilogy, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and Seraphina 
Favorite New (to me) Author: Simon van Booy 

Best Books of 2013 (titles link to my reviews) 


The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
I love books that do new and fascinating things with a story. In The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, we read from the point of view of a very unreliable narrator who provides multiple version of events. Reading this book is a lot of fun and will make you think about what truth means and what story can do.

Chaos Walking Series
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)
If you have not read this series, go. Now. Read it. Patrick Ness is an exceptional writer. It's not until you have finished these books that you realize an amazing story actually asks some very important questions about war, power, trust, and control.

A Guide to Being Born
A Guide to Being Born: Stories
This short story collection is exquisite. The tales, like most good stories, are about love and birth and death. Each one will make you feel something - grief, anger, or joy. I want to read these stories on a weekly basis. 

The Illusion of Separateness
The Illusion of Separateness
Simon Van Booy can write. He can really really write. His sentences are spare, but beautiful. I am so excited to read Van Booy's other books and revel in the amazing ways he uses words. 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
This is Anthony Marra's debut novel and I was blown away. The story takes place over 10 years in Chechnya as a brutal war rages on. Marra's care for each one of these characters is evident as he shares both the tiniest details and the moments that will irrevocably change their lives.

The Returned 
The Returned
This might seem like a stunt novel - people who have been dead return to life without explanation. But in Jason Mott's hands, this becomes less a story about the living dead and more about the endurance of love.

Carry On, Warrior
Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
Bless Glennon Melton. With self-deprecating wit, she admits that she screws up...often. We all do. But she calls us to be brave in the face of life's cruelty and to care for each other. 

When We Were on Fire
When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over
People sometimes get burned by their churches, particularly when they are wholeheartedly invested. Addie Zierman is able to beautifully articulate both her disillusionment and her slow and hopeful journey back to the community of faith.

This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage 
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Ann Patchett could write about taking out the garbage and it would be masterful. In this collection, she shares articles she has written for publications as diverse as Seventeen magazine and The New York Times. She finds import in the smallest moments and brings out the grace and beauty of life-changing events. This is a book you must read.

Tiny Beautiful Things
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
This collection of essays is from Strayed's tenure as advice columnist Sugar at The Rumpus. When answering these letters, Strayed calls them out on their failings while gently pushing them towards a solution. Cheryl Strayed is the very wise and wise-cracking fairy godmother of advice.

What was your favorite book in 2013?


  1. Ooh, I like your wrap-up post. You and I had two books overlapping for our best books of 2013: the Anthony Marra and the Ann Patchett. I keep going back to wanting to read The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards whenever I see it mentioned.

    1. What can I say? We have a great taste. :)

      Do it! Read The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards. It's not even that long...

  2. Wonderful favourites list, Lindsey! Congratulations on a wonderful reading year! Glad to see 'The Illusion of Separateness' and 'A Constellation of Vital Phenomena' on your favourites list. 'The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards' is a very interesting title.

    1. Thanks Vishy. There were some great books this year!

  3. Monsters of Men! The Illusion of Separateness! So much goodness here. :D

  4. My favorite of 2013 would have to be Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall ... That one just sent me on a lovely ride!

    1. I've heard of that one. Perhaps I should add it to my list! :)