Friday, January 3, 2014

My Year in Books: 2013.

Ever since I challenged myself in 2009 to read 52 books in the year, I established some good reading habits to keep up the momentum. I've relaxed on the challenge aspect of reading, since I don't want to deter from reading longer books just because they may take more time.

This year I managed to read 33 books!

I managed to read more books that were released this year than perhaps ever before, so I'm a bit proud of that. Like always though, it's definitely a mix! And unfortunately, I still haven't finished S, so that will have to count towards 2014.

Here are the books I read this year in chronological order, the star rating I gave them on Goodreads, and those that are bold became all-time favorite books of mine.

01 Dark Places, Gillian Flynn ****
02 The Secret History, Donna Tartt *****
03 The Expendable Man, Dorothy B. Hughes ****
04 The Group, Mary McCarthy *****
05 Ariel, Sylvia Plath *****
06 By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, Elizabeth Smart **
07 The Liars' Club, Mary Karr *****
08 Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn ***
09 Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell *****
10 On Beauty, Zadie Smith ***
11 The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald ***** (a re-read)
12 Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple *****
13 Never Mind, Edward St. Aubyn ***
14 Bad News, Edward St. Aubyn *
15 Some Hope, Edward St. Aubyn ***
16 Mother's Milk, Edward St. Aubyn **
17 People Who Eat Darkness, Richard Lloyd Perry *****
18 The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller *****
19 Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim ****
20 Howards End, E.M. Forster *****
21 The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James *****
22 East Lynne, Mrs. Henry Wood **
23 Manhattan, When I Was Young, Mary Cantwell ****
24 This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz *****
25 The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Sarah Bruni ****
26 The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp *
27 Life After Life, Kate Atkinson *****
28 Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, Juliann Garey ***
29 Travels, Michael Crichton ****
30 The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri *****
31 The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt ****
32 The Postmortal, Drew Magary ***
33 The Silent Wife, A.S.A. Harrison ****

I'm currently in the middle of Sylvia Plath's journals, Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams' S, and The Best American Magazine Writing 2013 - and I'll be posting my favorite articles from it soon. Hopefully I'll finish all these within January. As always, my family was great at Christmas and I got quite a few more books, including what I believe is the rest of Joan Didion's works I haven't read.

As a tribute to my year of reading, I'm going to the Frick tomorrow to see Carel Fabritius' painting, "The Goldfinch," which was the subject of Donna Tartt's book of the same name. I loved the book, it has four stars on Goodreads but it's really a 4.5 star book. I'm excited to see the painting live, and Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is also on display in the same exhibit - and I read that book years ago.

I'd highly recommend any of my favorites, five-star, or four-star novels. Especially Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - what an adventure! However, I also love tailoring book recommendations so if you'd like a personal one, let me know some of your favorite books and I'd be happy to suggest!

What were some of your favorite books you read this year?

Previously: 2009 | 2012


  1. What an awesome looking list! Now that I finally have time to read things that aren't school related, I will most certainly be adding all of your bolded books to my list, as well as a few others.

    1. Thanks, lady! I actually think The Goldfinch is probably one of my favorite books...I kind of .. am still thinking about it? Highly recommend as well! Should change it to a full five star...!