I’m a little disappointed in myself because I didn’t read nearly as many books as I’d hoped to this year (I had a goal of about seventy-five), and I didn’t even read as many as last year. I could chalk it up to being busy with moving and graduation and finding a job, but excuses are unnecessary, and the real truth of it is simply that I didn’t make reading as much of a priority as I would have liked to (and feel I should have) in 2013. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t find books that I had a wonderful time reading and absorbing, so here’s a recap of my favorites. Some were published this year, some are older, but they’re all ones I read for the first time in 2013, and hopefully you find yourself a little interested in at least one of them as well.
Young/New Adult: Ragdoll House by Maranda Elizabeth / This was a book I read in one night and have probably mentioned about half a million times since then. It even got its own post here on the ol’ blog as my first recommended reading. I connected so enjoyably with the characters while being genuinely intrigued and entertained that it was easily one of my favorites this year. If I had to firmly suggest any book from my list, it would absolutely be this one.
Horror: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill / I feel like I always wish I read more horror novels, but other than Stephen King I don’t much know where to start. I heard about Joe Hill a few years ago, I think when Heart-Shaped Box came out, but it wasn’t until I listened to the Nerdist podcast with Gerard Way in which they discussed Locke & Key that I decided, “I need to read more by him.” So I read Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, then happily found NOS4A2 at the library when I didn’t think they had any copies.
Scifi/Fantasy: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin / I will always say that these books are a commitment, not because they’re a necessarily difficult read but because they are an involved read. There is so much detail to each book that it takes me a solid month to get through just one most of the time. I would read a piece at a time, then take a rest to absorb what I’d read. It wasn’t a conscious decision to take the time, but it’s useful. I do hope to read A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons a bit faster than the last three I’ve read, though, because sometimes I just prefer to inhale a book.
Young Adult: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell / Another book of the year read in one night, Eleanor & Park was so enjoyable that I bought my mom a copy for her Kindle weeks before Christmas because I wanted to know her opinion right away. Her thoughts on the end were a little weird (and morbid), and they weren’t my feelings, but I’m still glad I shared it with her. This is a book I want to share with everyone. I was so impressed with the fact that the characters weren’t skinny white teens, and even though that doesn’t make the book perfect (there can always be more diversity), it was still a breath of fresh air to read about a girl whose chubbiness wasn’t mentioned once then ignored the rest of the book and a boy whose Asian roots aren’t fully assimilated, no matter how hard his mom tried.
Non-Fiction: Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar / Non-fiction books are very uncommon for me to read; I think this year alone I only read three. They were all fun and interesting, and it was a tough choice for me, but in the end this was probably my favorite. I’m hoping to read more non-fiction in 2014, and I plan on looking for others regarding DIY, homesteading, and this idea of getting back to “simpler roots” like this book looked at.
I was worried I’d struggle with having variety in this list because it feels like the books I read were overwhelmingly young adult, but going back through my reading for the year, I was surprised by how many books of other genres I not only read but thoroughly enjoyed. I’m hoping to branch out even more next year, especially reading more horror, more non-fiction, and more fantasy. With the library, this should certainly be a simple task to fulfill.
What were your favorite books read this year?