Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Review

So, if you know me well, you know how much I love Goodreads. I'm not sure how I missed this in the past, but this is the first year I realized that Goodreads has a stats feature where I can review all the books I've read in the past year in neat and pretty bar graphs and organized charts. It really is quite fun to look back over all the books I've read this year and remember my favorites, and I thought it would be nice to do a summary review here.

According to Goodreads, I read 44 books in the year 2013. However, I can think of five books off hand that I didn't review on Goodreads, and I'm hoping there are a few more I can't remember off hand, because I'd like to think that I was a little closer to my book-a-week goal than that. Also, it's interesting for me to look back at the star ratings I gave books, because I think with the benefit of distance I'd change some of my ratings (for some reason, I only gave Sanderson's The Emperor's Soul three stars, but I remember it as being one of my favorites of the year, deserving at least 4 or 4.5). Anyway, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite reads from the year:

*I've linked to all my reviews, but as I only started this blog in May, and as I seem to have read many of my favorites before May, some don't have reviews to link to.

Favorite Favorites:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is not a book for everyone, but reading it was such a beautiful, pleasurable experience for me. Some of the imagery will stay with me forever.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Another beautifully written book. The characters in this were just incredible. I still can't get over the fact that du Maurier was able to create such a vivid character who was dead before the book even began. Crazy good writing.

Favorite NonFiction

The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens. I'm currently rereading this one right now, and will probably try to reread this once a year if possible. There is just so much good stuff to think about.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barabara Demick. I probably never would have picked this book up if my book club hadn't chosen it, but it was fascinating. Honestly, I couldn't stop talking about this book to everyone I met for about a month. I was that weird annoying person who was randomly obsessed with North Korea, but it was just because this book was so interesting. My husband loved it too, but we're both kind of nerds like that.

Favorite Fantasy

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson. You guys know how much I love Sanderson, and this slim little novella is honestly one of my all time favorites of his. It's a tight, wonderful little story that kept me thinking about human nature for a long time afterward.

Favorite YA

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Once again, tight story-telling, good characters, elegant writing, mixed with a little fun mythology.

Favorite Series

The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. I actually read this series last year over Christmas Break, but considering I didn't finish the last two books until January, it still counts for 2013, right? This was a fun fantasy YA series, perhaps with a lot of stereotypes, but very well done stereotypes. I really enjoyed it.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This one was a surprise hit for me, but I will say that my most anticipated book of 2014 is that last book in this trilogy (which I believe will be called Cress).

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all my favorites from the year. These are just some highlights, books I remember fondly and would recommend. It's interesting to look back and reflect on my reading choices (I was quite heavy on the YA lit this year, but not many of them actually became favorites) and think about the books I want to read for 2014. But that's a post for the New Year.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if Goodreads had that cool stats feature in years past. I saw it for the first time this year, too, and I found it ridiculously fascinating.

    I read Rebecca last year, and it is now one of my favorite books as well. Gorgeous writing.