I just barely reached my goal of 60 books this year, but I managed to outdo 2012's page count by 2000 pages! Thank you Mr. George RR Martin! I'm planning on geeking out over my reading stats a little more this year (locations, fiction/non-fiction categories, oh the possibilities!) and upping my reading goal to 65. I also really want to read more on the craft of writing (I have my eye on Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to start with) as well as working on the unread books I already own. I have so much motivation and excitement in January! We'll see if it's still around in June :)
On to this year's favorites though. I read much more fiction than non-fiction, but there were very few books I finished that I didn't like. If you want to see the whole list for 2013 you can see it on Goodreads. (Friend me while you're there!) I also keep a running list on my "books" tab!
Here though are my top 10, in no particular order.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The second graphic novel from the writer of "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" was more mature than his first both in subject and writing. A young boy journeys to New York and ends up hiding in the Museum of Natural History while he tries to find his father. The scene that takes place in the middle of miniaturization of New York City is one I still think about months later.
A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn
Deanna Raybourn is one of my favorite authors, hands down. (Seriously, read her blog and tell me you don't adore her.) This is a standalone novel set in Kenya in the 1920's, as opposed to her usual Victorian series. Delilah Drummond, sent away from Paris while a scandal cools down, finds more than she bargained for when a murder intrudes on the Happy Valley set.
A Daughter's Tale by Mary Soames
A memoir written by Winston Churchill's youngest daughter. Fascinating glimpse into their lives leading up to World War II. It was a lovely read paired with Mr. Churchill's Secretary.
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
Barbara Buncle is a quiet spinster living in a small village outside of London. She needs money and on a whim writes a novel about the people she knows best-her neighbors. When the book becomes a hit, and life begins to imitate art, the village is turned upside down. This is simply a sweet book. It's not syrupy, but it's comfort reading at it's best.
Instant Mom by Nia Vardolos
As an adoptive parent I love this book not only because it's well written and funny but it's also a refreshingly honest portrayal of adoption. I wrote a longer review here.
Quiet by Susan Cain
As an introvert it was fascinating to read this book and just keep nodding my head. I learned a lot about myself and my interactions with people, and learned a few new ways to keep myself from burning out. Whether you're an introvert or not, this is really interesting stuff. (And the kindle edition is just $2.99!)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This book is the perfect example of why I love my book club. I would never have picked this up. Ever. I would have continued thinking it was too scary and not my cup of tea thankyouverymuch. Once I started it, I realized it's much more like Harry Potter than horror…and all those creepy vintage photographs? They don't seem creepy within the story. In fact, they help tell the story and that's such a cool concept that even if the story was just "meh" this would have ended up on my best of the year roundup anyway.
Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A man returns to the town he grew up in for a funeral and he begins to remember a haunting story from his childhood. Gaiman is not for everyone, but man this book is good. I literally harassed my poor husband to read it for weeks after I finished. It's part horror, part fantasy, part coming of age. It almost edges out The Graveyard Book for my favorite Gaiman story, which is saying a lot!
The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
St. James creates an utterly chilling story about a temp named Sarah sent to assist a ghost hunter study a ghost who is afraid of men. The writing is phenomenal and I couldn't put it down for about 24 hours. I was also too chicken to read it before going to sleep :)
Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children by Sarah Napthali
I loved the theme of becoming a more mindful and present parent, and this book gave me ideas and support that you don't often find in parenting books. She acknowledges the difficult parts of parenting children who are very young, while presenting reassurance and a path through the tough moments, as well as a reminder to care for yourself too. Not just for Buddhists, and in fact only the last chapter really discusses Buddhism as a religion as opposed to the beliefs (like mindfulness) woven throughout the book. Careful, though, this one is pretty dense reading.
What were your favorite reads this year? Modern Mrs. Darcy is hosting a linkup of 2013 favorites today-click here to check them all out!
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