Jamie, a wonderful person and amazing book blogger, has posted a survey for the end of the year. Once I saw it I immediately started making my list. I can’t help it – I freaking love filling out surveys!
Seriously, though, if you’ve never checked out her blog, you have to. She puts my blog to shame.
This year I read 70 books – here are some of my selections!
1) Best Book You Read In 2013?
This, of course, is a really hard question to answer. I want to cheat and put down a couple but I’m going to get my focus together and make a commitment. Drum roll please….!
This book just gave me so many FEELS. It touched me, it fascinated me, and it made me really believe in the idea of traveling (not that I didn’t before) for the sake of meeting people but also for meeting myself. Tahir Shah is a man who really understands the written word and it humbles and excites me all at the same time. Not to forget just how beautiful the stories in this book are as well.
2) Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
This one was much easier to choose.
Man. I took me forever to commit to this book. I had heard such good things but it’s so LONG that I never felt like I had time to read it. So when Eric and I went on a 40 hour road trip we thought this would be perfect. But the end of the trip it was torture. This book is just so long winded! It could be half the length. Even though the story is good and the writing is interesting the length just ruined it. So disappointing.
3) Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
I know very few people have read this, will want to read this, or will ever read this, but it’s the best answer for this survey. This book is about a bombing that happened on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus back in the ’70s. I had this book on my life forever but never got around to reading it. When I finally got it from the local library I almost choked – it is over 400 pages long! Dullsville, I assumed. I still checked it out, however, thinking I would just skim the interesting parts and return it. I didn’t though. I ended up finding it fascinating and learned so much about the school I call home. I found myself talking about it and recommending it. It totally surprised me!
4) Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
It’s hard to say, because I recommended quite a few, but I think this was the most likely. I loved this book and I think it’s one of those books that I lot of people could like. It’s fascinating because of its truth but it’s also just an incredible story. As a memoir buff I realize that not everyone gets the same kick I do when truth-sounds-like-fiction but I think the popularity of this book shows that the author really did it right.
5) Best series you discovered in 2013?
Hands down. I put off reading this forever because it was so daunting. Not only are the books long in of themselves but the series is long – and still going! I didn’t want to make a commitment to something that would take up so many hours of my life. But I don’t regret it one bit. I’ve been power-reading these books on audible and I don’t often do the one-after-another read when it comes to series. I have had one of these books in my currently reading list for the majority of the year and I’m not even close to being sick of Davina Porter’s voice. Love it!
6) Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Okay, so I’ve only read one book by her so it’s hard to call her a favorite author for the year but I really loved I’ve Got Your Number. It was so damn FUN! You can just tell she’s good and she really gets the whole chick-lit scene. I would love to be able to write books like her and I fully intend to make my way through others by her.
7) Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
This was out of my comfort zone for a couple reasons – one being, as you can see, it was written in Spanish. My Spanish is pretty competent but I still read with a dictionary and it takes some time. Pair that with it being a mystery and my first Agatha Christie novel this was definitely not a typical read for me. I loved it though and will definitely be getting more of Christie’s books under my belt- probably in English next, though. 🙂
8) Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
There a lot of books that I power-read but “thrilling” is an entirely different category. Gone Girl is pretty dense and I still ate it up. In the end it didn’t hold as being a favorite book of mine but it still did the trick in the moment.
9) Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I’m not the kind of person that re-reads books very often. Even my favorite book of all time, The Catcher In The Rye I’ve only read two or three times. Caravan was a re-read for me this year, actually, and I freaking loved in. Gilman is a master writer and Caravan is a story of such twists and such a strong protagonist. I love it and will likely read it again, if not next year, sometime in the next couple years.
10) Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
It’s just cool. I like covers that not only are pleasing to the eye but also tell you a little about a story – Cinder’s cover is just perfect. You know it’s a Cinderella re-telling but you also know it’s totally different but any other retelling you’ve heard!
11) Most memorable character in 2013?
The Darkling (Shadow and Bone)
I don’t want to say much since The Darkling’s character is, in of itself, a kind of spoiler. Let me just say that I loved how dynamic The Darkling is – I also love how he has no name. It’s kudos to the author that this character kept me guessing. As a reader I definitely find him arousing and terrifying all at once.
12) Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
This book was just really well done, such an interesting story and when it got exciting it got really exciting. I love when you’re reading a book and you can just take a deep breath and think, “This. This is a book of beauty.” This is one of those.
13) Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Somaly Mam – she knows how to tell you like it is. Because I really like to read memoirs I think I already knew more about the sex trade than a lot of people in the U.S. do and this still shocked me. Maybe what shocked me even more is how Mam has survived. This is a book that people can’t read without feeling it’s impact, I believe.
14) Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
I’m very much a read-such-and-such-book-before-you-die kind of person. When I hear from the masses that something is good or a classic, I tend to pick it up. As much as I disdain the public opinion sometimes I still can’t withstand the curiosity of picking up a well-known book. I picked up Slaughterhouse Five probably 10 years ago, read a few pages, got confused, put it down, and never picked it up again. I finally got around to reading it here. I was no less confused, but I definitely appreciated it more.
15) Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey, Bossypants
16) Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
All I want for Christmas was just a fun little novella. A Fine Balance was polar opposite of that. A Fine Balance was truly a wonderful book that I would never wish upon anyone. (Don’t think too hard about that. Just trust me.)
17) Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
This is the fourth book in the Outlander series. My husband is reading all the Outlander books after me, but he’s one book behind. Something happened in this book that I was positive couldn’t happen and I almost exploded for wanting to talk about it. But, of course, he’s not to this part yet so I am STILL waiting!
18) Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)
Jamie and Claire from Outlander
I know, Diana Gabaldon is taking over this survey but Jamie and Claire are the reason why those books are what they are. Seriously, so good. It’s so believable and real and for one of the first times in a series I can see a parallel between my relationship with my husband and the characters. No, Eric is not a 7 foot tall Scotsman, but I do really love him.
19) Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I’ve actually read a lot of new authors this year so this is a bit hard. That being said, Lola and the Boy Next Door is just adorable and I had loved Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss too. I’m excited to get my hands on Isla, too!
20) Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
I never in a million years would have picked up this book (okay, that’s not true, but I doubt it would have crossed my path). But I kept seeing it pop up on my GoodReads feed from friends and decided to give it a true. I’m so glad I did! This book is heartbreakingly beautiful.
21) Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
I think I’ve read more Young Adult this year than I have since I was a young adult. One of the reasons is because there are so many new young adults out there and a lot that have excellent ratings. The other was that I decided to write young adult for my NaNo novel this year and I wanted to do some “research” 🙂
22) Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Let’s face it – Four is a lovely brooder. When it comes to real like I love it when men are sweet and cuddly. But when it comes to a novel I’m more than happy to find someone who is totally scary.
23) Best 2013 debut you read?
This book is so good. She’s balls to the wall about how she talks about her experience, which is so brave. I know that Lundhout had a co-author as well but I’ll still give her a lot of credit for telling us so much about her incredible ordeal.
24) Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
It’s not very often that I am excited for a book to be made into a movie – normally I’m pretty nervous about it. This book, though, is going to be an incredible movie. The writing is so vivid and there are so many wonderful things happening. It’ll look great with real visuals.
25) Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
I cracked up over this book. Giddy, maniacal laughter in public, the lot of it. It was just a blast to read. Literary books that are all deep and stuff are good, too, but this stuff is just awesome.
26) Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
This is a book about kids with cancer and I don’t have a heart made of stone. ‘Nuff said.
27) Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
Can’t help it – this book has always been overlooked. It is SO good. All must read!
28) One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
I know that Angelfall is popular in its own right but I never really hear much about it. I feel like I’m getting ahead of the bandwagon curve which is a pretty new location for me and I’m excited to stay there. Angelfall left off in such an interesting spot, I am so curious to see what Ee does next!
29) Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
It feels like so long since I’ve read Scarlet! I love Meyer not only for her books but for being a NaNoWriMo author. So curious to learn about the next step in this series!