Best Of 2013: Books

This was not a stellar year for reading, both in quantity and quality. I did not really read many books that I couldn't put down. I also did not really read very many books period. However, there were still some that were pretty darn good. Here are the top five in no particular order. 

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum: I usually enjoy WWII books, and this one did not disappoint. This is a dual story about a modern day daughter of a German woman who went through the war. The daughter tries to find out more about her mother's story, even though her mother does not want to talk about it. At the same time, we learn the mother's story, and it is a heart-wrenching story of survival.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell: This is an interesting take on how success is not always due to brains, but sometimes is due to positioning. For example, it opines that the best hockey players are born in a certain month, giving them a few month's advantage on the other players and causing most of the pros to be born in this month.
The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory:  I like how Gregory takes a real story and embellishes it enough to make it interesting but doesn't lose the truth of it all. This is a story about Anne of Cleves, Jane Rocheford and Katherine Howard, and of course, King Henry VIII, who you see as a gouty womanizer. Anne of Cleves is one of King Henry's only wives that he doesn't have killed, and as you know, he had a lot of wives! The story is full of lies and deceit and adultery. It's very entertaining.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hossein: A story about two women in Afghanistan, where the rights of women are not quite the same as you or I are used to. The two woman are two generations apart and both end up forced into the same household, yet they find a commonality and a friendship that cannot be matched. 

State of Wonder by Anne Patchett: This story was strange but it drew me in because of it's subject matter. A story about an Amazonian tribe in Brazil and a scientist who goes there to try to find out about a miracle drug that is causing miracles within the tribe. The characters find out some pretty interesting things about the tribe, find out what's causing the miracle, and they make friends and learn things about themselves along the way.

Hopefully this year I will get more chances (or MAKE more) to read and will find a lot of new great books for 2014! Do you have any recommendations? 

What were your favorite books for 2013? What is your favorite book ever? 


  1. I read 4 of these 5 books and agree that they are all really good! I did my 5 best books post last week and had a hard time picking what to include because I read so many books in 2013 and so many great ones! Some that didn't make the list that could have are The End of Your Life Book Club and The Rosie Project. My favorite book was probably Still Alice or And The Mountains Echoed. My favorite book ever is probably Tuesdays with Morrie. I try to read that book on a regular basis because it gives me the best perspective on things.

    Right now I am reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I usually do not like her books, but this one is really good!

  2. Since most of my books this year consisted of surprise flaps and girls with tiaras, I read The Storyteller last week. I LOVED it!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing your favorite reads of the year! Right now I'm reading about wine, but I have a Reading List on my blog that includes all my faves; look on the right hand side of the page. :-)

    Happy reading!

  4. I agree--this was not my favorite reading year. I am craving a really great, epic book. I am going to start Donna Tart's GoldFinch soon--NPR gave it #1 last year and a friend said it's amazing.

    I have not read that Anne Patchett book but would like to, and haven't read a Philipa Gregory since The Other Boelyn Girl, but did enjoy that one. The others I have read--Outliers was fascinating, don't you think?

  5. Thanks for sharing your fav reads of the year,,,keep telling us...Cheap Kilimanjaro Ticket

  6. My favorite for the year was the almond tree by Michelle Cohen corasantti.

  7. I did a lot of leisure reading for me this year -- I think it was 29 novels and 2 memoirs. My favorites were 2666, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and The Cuckoo's Calling.

  8. I am reading Those Who Save Us right now and really enjoying it!!

  9. LOVED Those Who Save Us! I thought it was well written. Malcolm's book….terrific, and agree with your comment. I've seen him on Charlie Rose and 60 Min, what an interesting guy, who I'd love to meet. A Thousand Splendid Suns, I bawled my eyes out! My GF's thought I was sacked but something made my emotions go deep reading that book. I seem to be reading more young adult books right now working in the school library, but what fun! I'm also finishing Garrison Keillor's, The Book of Guys….hilarious short stories!!! BTW….counted over 20 hats which include baseball caps:)

  10. I just read The Summit Seeker - about a woman's journey to becoming an ultra runner - loved it. And I am hosting a giveaway right now actually.... come enter.


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