At this time of year, when people are putting away their Christmas trees and finalizing plans for New Year’s Eve, many bloggers write posts announcing their favorite books of the year. I was one of these bloggers last year and the year before (and possibly the year before that). 2013 was a record breaking year for me in terms of how many books I read. I was seriously addicted to reading, so much so that it often got in the way of writing. I read every chance I had: whether it was while waiting for the elevator to reach my floor, blow drying my hair, or in line for the ATM machine. If I had two minutes to spare, I spent the time with my head in my Kindle. So far, I’ve read 82 books this year. I say “so far” because we still have almost a full week remaining in 2013, and I am confident that I will complete the book I am currently reading and possibly one more before the ball drops in the Big Apple on New Year’s Eve.
Of the 82 + books I read this year, I enjoyed almost all of them. Seriously, it was a banner year for reading and I only started a handful of books that I was not drawn in enough to complete. (With the multitude of books on my Kindle, I do not force myself to read a book that hasn’t sparked my interest after reading 10% and so if I’ve read and completed your book, you can assume I enjoyed it :) ). Unfortunately, the multitude of books I enjoyed this year made it impossible for me to narrow my choices down to three or even ten favorites. Below are 13 of my favorites, in no particular order, along with the link to my Goodreads review, where applicable:
Zoey and the Moment of Zen – Cat Lavoie https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/712192307
You Knew Me When – Emily Liepert https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/743281068
Fame – Tilly Bagshawe https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/638831487
Saving Saffron Sweeting – Pauline Wiles https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/597095356
Three Girls and a Baby – Rachel Shurig https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/645936282
What the Dog Ate – Jackie Bouchard https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15748889-what-the-dog-ate?from_search=true
Arranged – Catherine McKenzie https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/522978604
The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/633471316
Beautiful Creatures series – Kami Garcia- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/661857614
That Time of the Month – Emily Shaffer https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/435359917
On the Island – Tracey Garvis-Graves
Cocktail Hour – Tara McTiernan https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/638828350
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340004209
In addition to these books, I devoured and gave four and a half and five star reviews to many other novels that were equally as deserving and you can read my reviews on my Goodreads page https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4303919?shelf=read. I chose the above because I truly lost myself in these novels to the point where I was thinking about the stories and the characters even when I was not reading; because I chose reading over sleeping and sometimes even eating in order to finish these books; and because I became so invested in the characters that, for a period of time, their fates were as important to me as my own. What’s especially cool about this particular list, in my opinion, is that some of them were New York Times best sellers which will be (or have been) made into movies and some were traditionally published books I read with my book club which were written by well-known authors, but many of them were published by small independent publishers or self-published by the author herself. It just goes to show that how a book is published and by whom does not necessarily dictate how high it ranks on a reader’s enjoyability/well-written meter- at least not for this reader :).
I will probably write another post or two before the culmination of 2014; perhaps my New Year’s Resolutions (if I can think of any) or maybe a list of the books I am most excited to read in 2014. If, for some reason, I do not post again in 2013 (too busy at work, too drunk, trapped under a dresser in my apartment, held captive by a sexy romantic hero – the possibilities are endless), I will leave you with my best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy, well-read and well-fed New Year!