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.]
Books read in 2013
- Gone Girl, Flynn
- Same Kind of Different as Me, Hall & Moore
- Dark Places, Flynn
- Outliers, Gladwell
- Beautiful Lies, Unger
- Bad Things Happen, Dolan
- The Other Wes Moore, Moore
- The Tipping Point, Gladwell
- Imperfect Birds, Lamott
- Dinner: A Love Story, Rosenstrach
- My name is Memory, Brashares
- Fragile, Unger
- Wait For me, Naughton
- Homesong, Crews (eh)
- The Girl From Long Guyland, Reznik (eh)
- The Secret Keeper, Morton
- The Storyteller, Picoult
- The Time Keeper, Albom (blah)
- The Kitchen House, Grissom
- These is My Words, Turner
- One Thousand White Women, Fergus
- The Light Between Oceans, Stedman
- The Dead Don’t Dance, Martin
- When Crickets Cry, Martin
- Chasing Fireflies, Martin
- Maggie, Martin
- The Mountain Between Us, Martin
- The Four Corners of the Sky, Malone (absolutely hated this)
- Sweet Mercy, Tatlock
- The Sisterhood, Bryan
- When I Found You, Ryan Hyde
- Where the River Ends, Martin
- The Art of Racing in the Rain, Stein
- The Devil in the White City, Larson (crazy scary)
- The Red Tent, Diamant
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Joyce
- A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash
- The O’Briens, Behrens (blah)
- Alice I Have Been, Benjamin
- The Silver Linings Playbook, Quick
- The Birth House, McKay (eh)
- The Virgin Cure, McKay (eh)
- The Last Original Wife , Frank (eh… bad run here of blah books)
- When Mockingbirds Sing, Coffey
- Firefly Lane, Hannah
- Wild, Strayed
- War Brides, Bryan
- Falling Together, de los Santos
- The Peach Keeper, Allen
- Beautiful Ruins, Walter
- Every Shattered Thing, Ramirez
- The Engagements, Sullivan (no)
- American Rust, Meyer
- The Woman Upstairs, Messud
- The Lost Husband, Center
- Mockingbird, Erskine
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman
- Me Before You, Moyes
- Orphan Train, Kline
- The Thirteenth Tale, Setterfield (amazing, classic)
- Little Bee, Cleave
- True…Sort of, Hannigan (best ever)
- The Husband’s Secret, Moriarity
- The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Jackson
- The Space Between Us, Umrigar
- The Rules of Inheritance, Smith
- Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Janzen
- The Rosie Project, Simsion
- The Girl You Left Behind, Moyes
- The Last Letter from Your Lover, Moyes
- Eleanor & Park, Rowell (perfect in every way)
- Someday Someday Maybe, Graham (loved)
- Before I Fall, Oliver (eh)
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?