Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Books of 2013

Welcome back to regularly scheduled programming! I hope you had a delightful holiday week last week. Kevin and I had the whole week off and spent it traveling around to our families. Delightful to see everyone, but we are exhausted and very glad to be home. 

As we wrap up 2013 and start 2014, I have a full week planned for Read.Write.Repeat. Make sure you check in every day this week for a new post!

To kick things off today, I'm covering some literary highlights of 2013.  I have so much fun doing this post each year. It reminds me of all the things I read this year, good and bad. If you just started reading the blog in the last year, I really recommend going back and checking out the 2012 version of this post. You will find some good stuff there as well!

I have brought back a few "awards" from last year, as well as created some new ones. If there's something I missed, just leave a comment and I'll be happy to let you know what book would have topped your category. 

Longest: Ulysses ~ No question about it. This James Joyce classic clocked in at a very long 816 pages. It also took me the longest to read - over six months!

Most Thought Provoking: A Year of Biblical Womanhood ~ I loved Rachel Held Evans' memoir about living for a year by Biblical laws for women. It challenged me in so many ways.

Most Unique: The Girl Who Was on Fire ~ With two more movies to go, the Hunger Games craze won't be dwindling any time soon. While you wait for the next movie, check out this series of essays by other young adults authors analyzing and discussing Suzanne Collins' masterful series.

Most Thrilling: Silo trilogy ~ Umm, have you figured out yet that this was my favorite series of the year? If you have not snatched this books up at their low price on Amazon, what are you waiting for? I could not get my hands on them fast enough and, once I did, I could not put them down until the end.

Most Educational: Quiet ~ There was some stiff competition in this category, but ultimately I went with Susan Cain's exploration of introversion in America. This book will help you understand yourself and those around you better, no matter your personality type. Plus, if you are an introvert, it will make you feel totally validated.

Most Visited: Dust ~ Back to Hugh Howey's dystopian series. You all must have enjoyed reading about this as much as I enjoyed reading the books. My post about Dust got more than 400 page views since I posted it at the end of August.

Biggest Throwback: The Phantom Tollbooth ~ I am so glad I picked this up from my parents' house on a whim last Christmas. If you never got around to this classic as a child, I highly recommend it for adults as well.

Surprise Hit: Visiting Tom ~ My first book tour turned out to be a rousing success. Michael Perry's nonfiction memoir has stayed with me over the past few months. I definitely will be reading more of Perry's work in the future. Plus, I got a flattering shout out on Perry's blog - always a plus!

Most Recommended: The Orphan Master's Son ~ I get asked for a lot of book recommendations; I have consistently recommending this year's Pulitzer Prize winner about a North Korean orphan over and over again to people of all ages and interests. Even Kevin liked it!

Favorite Classic: The Age of Innocence ~ As I work my way through Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list, I'm finding winners and losers. The award for my favorite so far goes to Edith Wharton. Let me tell you, though, the two Fitzgerald novels I read were not far behind. How did I not realize previously what a genius that man was?

So there you have it - my awards for 2013. Believe me, just narrowing down to these 10 was super hard. I read so many wonderful books this year. As always, I'm happy to provide personalized recommendations for anyone looking for just the right book.

What were your favorite books in 2013?

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