Friday, January 3, 2014

My Favorite Books of 2013

Can I just say that I love Goodreads? I keep really good records of what I read there. I love seeing what my friends are reading and it's the place to find the next book that I'm going to add to my never-shrinking to-read pile. I've been setting reading goals for the past few years on Goodreads. In 2013, I read 39 books. I had hoped to read 30. After looking over my list for 2013, I realized that it's heavy on YA fiction. 2013 was definitely the year for YA for me. I do love this genre and I will probably continue to add YA titles to my 2014 list.

Today, I'm linking up with to contribute my list to the discussion. So, these are the best books that I happened to read in 2013 and not the best published in 2013. So, here goes on my quirky list:

This is probably my favorite book that I read in 2013. The Sea of Tranquility is very mature YA. Here's the first line from my Goodreads review: This novel is heavy, wordy, dense, dark, but yet, compulsively readable.

 This book tells the story of two very damaged souls, but yet this book is full of hope. I can't wait for Katja Millay's next novel.

I'm so glad that I picked up this novel even after seeing the movie featuring Tina Fey. It's another book that's dense and the main character, Portia is a study in meta-cognition. The movie and book differ from each other quite dramatically. I love just sinking into words and Admission let me do that.

I read about this book on Modern Mrs. Darcy. Addie's faith memoir is amazing. Addie tells the story about an all-consuming fire for her Evangelical Christian faith and coming of age in the nineties. She ended up burned out and a little bitter, but she found a way to rebuild her faith on a more solid foundation. I loved that she was so frank about how young heartbreak played into her disillusion with faith as well.

Several years ago, I read Winner's thoughtful memoir about her conversion from Judaism to Christianity. She entered the Episcopal church enchanted. This new memoir is about what happens when the newness of faith has worn off. Her prose is spare, but heavy. Winner's book isn't unlike Addie Zierman's. They both deal with rebuilding faith when the enthusiasm is gone.

Happiness is worth considering. It isn't a selfish pursuit like I had always thought. I admit that I struggled a little bit with the concept of setting out to increase happiness. I suppose, more than any other book I read in 2013, this book made me think deeply about living more intentionally while paying attention, in particular, to self-care.

I bet you didn't expect to see this one on my list! This was the last book I read in 2013 and it was my second time reading it. I don't really have time to re-read books given my never-growing-smaller-pile-of-books-to-read, but I felt compelled to give this one another go since I didn't love it the first time around.

It's amazing how much my perspective changed upon another read. I read it more carefully and I really paid more attention to Katniss's interior thoughts. I know everyone was disappointed in the resolution of the love triangle, but honestly, I read this book differently this time. The book is quite subtle despite the never-ending violence, but if one reads it carefully, one will discover (I think) how much tenderness Katniss had for Peeta all along.

Honorable mentions:

There you have it!
Happiness, Faith, wordy dense novels, and a healthy dose of YA!

I never know what reading has in store for me, but I know that 2014 will take me on another great reading adventure!


Becca said...

The Fault in our Stars is at the top of my list for this coming year - I added a couple more to my list as well from your post; just hope I can get around to all of them, haha!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Have you read John Greene's An Abundance of Katherines or Paper Towns? Those two are my favorites.

Ashley Wells said...

I loved reading Happier at Home! Such a great read! Thanks for sharing!

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy said...

I loved Addie's memoir. I started Still last summer, but didn't get very far before my ebook loan expired, and I don't think I've thought about it since! Thanks for the reminder, because I really would like to read it--and sooner rather than later.