2013 book report

Today is a snow day. It is a literal winter wonderland outside. I briefly considered showing up at school with all three children ANYWAY and just dropping them off, but I think we can make it a little longer. #famouslastwords #imtired

Before January completely takes of and 2013 is forgotten, I want to record the books I read last year. This list is taken directly from my Kindle files, so it’s missing the hard copies I read… but this is the jist of my efforts. Y’all know I love to read. It’s a fast and furious passion. Books are often finished in a day or maybe two, even if they are absolutely terrible (seriously- some of the plots that get pushed through to publishing are just absolutely ridiculous). Doing more than half of my reading digitally has helped me to curb my greatest vice: reading ahead to the end FIRST and then settling in for the long haul.

I hope we can still be friends. 

It’s an awful habit, I know… but I am so much calmer if I know where things are headed. I pay more attention instead of trying to read fast to get to the resolution. At any rate, it’s much more difficult for me to do on my Kindle than with paper, so I consider myself on the road to recovery. I do still very much prefer hard copies of books, but the Kindle allows me to store digital highlights (which I love) AND “go to the library” without my children in tow (lovely).

I will spare you my pages and pages of highlights from all of the books, but suffice it to say that while there are ridiculous things being published there are still, in fact, absolute masters of language and storytelling out there. I’ve included just a few examples for you below the list of books and authors. The books in red were my absolute favorites, for various reasons. The few I remember being angry I had to keep reading on principle alone I marked, as well.

[Thursday, I want to talk about this essay… so read ahead if you can.]

reading

Books read in 2013

  1. Gone Girl, Flynn
  2. Same Kind of Different as Me, Hall & Moore
  3. Dark Places, Flynn
  4. Outliers, Gladwell
  5. Beautiful Lies, Unger
  6. Bad Things Happen, Dolan
  7. The Other Wes Moore, Moore
  8. The Tipping Point, Gladwell
  9. Imperfect Birds, Lamott
  10. Dinner: A Love Story, Rosenstrach
  11. My name is Memory, Brashares
  12. Fragile, Unger
  13. Wait For me, Naughton
  14. Homesong, Crews (eh)
  15. The Girl From Long Guyland, Reznik (eh)
  16. The Secret Keeper, Morton
  17. The Storyteller, Picoult
  18. The Time Keeper, Albom (blah)
  19. The Kitchen House, Grissom
  20. These is My Words, Turner
  21. One Thousand White Women, Fergus
  22. The Light Between Oceans, Stedman
  23. The Dead Don’t Dance, Martin
  24. When Crickets Cry, Martin
  25. Chasing Fireflies, Martin
  26. Maggie, Martin
  27. The Mountain Between Us, Martin
  28. The Four Corners of the Sky, Malone (absolutely hated this)
  29. Sweet Mercy, Tatlock
  30. The Sisterhood, Bryan
  31. When I Found You, Ryan Hyde
  32. Where the River Ends, Martin
  33. The Art of Racing in the Rain, Stein
  34. The Devil in the White City, Larson (crazy scary)
  35. The Red Tent, Diamant
  36. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Joyce
  37. A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash
  38. The O’Briens, Behrens (blah)
  39. Alice I Have Been, Benjamin
  40. The Silver Linings Playbook, Quick
  41. The Birth House, McKay (eh)
  42. The Virgin Cure, McKay (eh)
  43. The Last Original Wife , Frank (eh… bad run here of blah books)
  44. When Mockingbirds Sing, Coffey
  45. Firefly Lane, Hannah
  46. Wild, Strayed
  47. War Brides, Bryan
  48. Falling Together, de los Santos
  49. The Peach Keeper, Allen
  50. Beautiful Ruins, Walter
  51. Every Shattered Thing, Ramirez
  52. The Engagements, Sullivan (no)
  53. American Rust, Meyer
  54. The Woman Upstairs, Messud
  55. The Lost Husband, Center
  56. Mockingbird, Erskine
  57. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman
  58. Me Before You, Moyes
  59. Orphan Train, Kline
  60. The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield (amazing, classic)
  61. Little Bee, Cleave
  62. True…Sort of, Hannigan (best ever)
  63. The Husband’s Secret, Moriarity
  64. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Jackson
  65. The Space Between Us, Umrigar
  66. The Rules of Inheritance, Smith
  67. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Janzen
  68. The Rosie Project, Simsion
  69. The Girl You Left Behind, Moyes
  70. The Last Letter from Your Lover, Moyes

Audiobooks

  1. Eleanor & Park, Rowell (perfect in every way)
  2. Someday Someday Maybe, Graham (loved)
  3. Before I Fall, Oliver (eh)

Quotes

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen :: “But my friend wasn’t Catholic! I thought he had to be buried outside the fence!” exclaimed the ex-soldier. “Yes,” said the priest. “But I scoured the books of church law. I couldn’t find anything that said we couldn’t move the fence.”

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave :: A story is a powerful thing in my country, and God help the girl who takes one that is not her own.

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield :: Our lives at the start are not really our own but only the continuation of someone else’s story.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman :: “You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud :: But who I am in my head, very few people really get to see that. Almost none. It’s the most precious gift I can give, to bring her out of hiding. Maybe I’ve learned it’s a mistake to reveal her at all.

The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick :: You need to know it’s your actions that will make you a good person, not desire.

Where the River Ends by Charles Martin :: Sleep cures tired, but it has no effect on fatigued.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus :: The white man builds his forts and houses, his stores and churches—his flimsy fortifications against the vastness and emptiness of earth which he does not know to worship but tries instead to simply fill up.

These Is My Words by Nancy Turner :: Sometimes I feel like a tree on a hill, at the place where all the wind blows and the hail hits the hardest. All the people I love are down the side aways, sheltered under a great rock, and I am out of the fold, standing alone in the sun and the snow. I feel like I am not part of the rest somehow, although they welcome me and are kind. I see my family as they sit together and it is like they have a certain way between them that is beyond me. I wonder if other folks ever feel included yet alone.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore :: You never know whose eyes God is watchin’ you through. It probably ain’t gonna be your preacher.

Do you have any recent favorites?

 

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About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

15 responses to “2013 book report

  • hometowntourists

    There were kids who didn’t like silent reading time?

  • Carley

    I read 44 books last year. 71? I am wondering if and when you sleep?? I read books. The real ones. I have an iPad… but it’s just not the same as a good book.
    In your list, are the ones in red your favorites!? I have read a handful of the same ones as you and some of them would be in red on my list! 🙂

    • texasnorth

      I do sleep, but not very well 😊 I read ridiculously fast… I do. The problem is if I’m not interested I keep reading and remember nothing, which accounts for probably a third of the list. The red books were by far my favorite of the bunch… Though I did really enjoy all of the Martin books. But I wouldn’t consist them game-changers. Really good, though.

  • Mandi Watts

    My MIL also reads the end first, and we always tease her about it. She’ll be glad to know she’s not alone! Thank you for sharing your list. One of the most intimidating things in the world for me is picking a new book to read (even though I love to read!), so I love to have recommendations. Have you read “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak? I loved it and will read it again when I have a chance. I also enjoyed “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.

  • Lucy Higuera

    Amazing! When do you get anything done?! Like sleep?!
    I also evaluate books by their ending, and often continue that way to the beginning! It seems so indulgent to start at the front, as if one really has the time to enjoy a book…unless, of course, one is on vacation. Which is where I read When Crickets Cry and promptly sent copies to all my loved ones! What a read!
    The most eye-opening book I read in 2013 was Identity Theft by Ron Cantor. I knew I needed help when my 8 y.o. asked me, “Was Jesus a Jew?”

  • Lauren

    That’s a great list! This year was filled with a few epic novels for me! Finally read Pillars of the Earth and Five Smooth Stones! Did you read the Orchardist? Also, The Dovekeepers and The Calligrapher’s Daughter were great thoughtful reads with strong female characters. Heading Out to Wonderful was good but disturbing.

  • Maria D.

    I knew there was ANOTHER reason I liked you so much. I love to read but I am a very slow reader. And I have several partially read books at any given time. But here are 3 that I enjoyed this year. Phyllis Tickle, “The Shaping of a Life” ( She is a spiritual giant and this biography is kind of amazing if terribly slow at time. ) Pat Summit, “Sum It Up” (another biography and a sports one at that…very different for me but she lived thru some historical time in women’s sports and I played a little HS b-ball so I have that connection, too), and I’m just about to finish a little book by Barbara Pym that has definitely caught my interest. It’s called “Excellent Women”. It is set in London right after WW I and centers around a 30-something single woman. Does it show that I live with only boys and was raised with 4 sister? Thanks for your list! xoxo

  • cara maat

    I love this! love the list, love the quotes.
    I cannot believe you read more than 71 books in one year. as Eli would say, OMG. Pay no attention to my goodreads feed as I add many of these titles. I read 19 books in 2013, which I track in goodreads. My fave was Ask the Passengers, King.

  • steph

    Same Kind of Different as Me….sigh. I hosted 3 book signings for Ron and Denver while I worked at B&N. Denver was a man of few words…but at one signing, he actually sang some gospel. You could have heard a pin drop in that store. I’ll never forget it. Such a moving story. They wrote another book together I have yet to read.

    On another note…I have ALWAYS been jealous of your fast reading ability. Always.

  • Missy

    I shall love you despite your desire to skip ahead to the end of the book. Love does conquer ALL, after all.

    Now, that book list – WHOA NELLIE! And I thought I was a reader! You put me to shame – and I love it. So inspired. I also read numbers 1,2,4,16,21,24,25,27,32,35,45,46,50,57, and 61. We can chat about those sometime when we’re bored. 😉

    Some of my favorites from this year were The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman, The Wednesday Sisters Meg Waite Clayton, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Philippe Sendker, Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple, and The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak.

    Can’t wait for Thursday!

  • Steve Sheldon

    Try Bill Bryson’s. One Summer: America 1927. Or pretty much anything by Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods and A Brief History of Nearly Everything being favorites.

  • Lia

    Even on my Kindle… I read the end first. I don’t like the stress of not knowing what the goal is. High five my friend.

  • susannah

    amazing! i’ve just entered the wonderful world of e-readers. and i think this will make it easier for me to have a book or two on the go all the time. i don’t feel that i had a stand out book this past year, but i enjoyed mary lawson’s latest: road ends. she’s a canadian author 🙂

  • Rachel

    ‘These Is My Words’ is one of my favourite books ever. I’ve lent it to so many people it’s falling apart – and everyone I’ve lent it to loves it as well. Sarah and Jack are two of my favourite ever characters. It never fails to make me cry and laugh 🙂

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