Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Best Books of 2013

The Best Book of 2013!

I read 83 books in 2014 and I met my goal.  Yahoo.
49 of the books I read were written by women and 34 of the books I read were written by men. I've never kept track of the difference between male and female authors so I find the statistics interesting.

The books I have chosen for this list are my favorites reads of the year.  It is always hard to choose the top ten books of a given year because I have read and enjoyed so many of them.  But alas here is my own personal attempt to come up with a top ten book list of the best books of 2013.

Young Adult

1.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - If you haven't read this yet all I can say is: What are you waiting for??  It is extraordinary.

2.  Ask the Passengers by A. S. King- This was the best book I read over of the summer.  Fabulous.
I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

3.  Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - Every Minnesotan teen should read this book to tell adults (who like to ban books) that you can choose what to read on your own and if you censor perfectly wonderful books, we will read them anyways.

Honorable Mention in this category goes to:

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick - Based on the true story of a child soldier in the caught in the middle of Cambodian genocide and Civil War.

Adult Fiction

1.  The Round House by Louise Erdrich - Hands down the best fiction book I read last year.  Wow!  It won the National Book Award.  Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors and this book just blew me away.

2.  The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - Loved it.  It was creative and beautiful and the ending surprised the heck out of me.  Well written.

3.  The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - Another one of my favorite authors.  The White Queen is Elizabeth Queen of York and her story absolutely fascinates me.  I also watched the Starz mini-series of the same title and was immersed in the world of the famed, Cousin's War for half of the year.

Honorable Mention in this category goes to:

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya - I loved the characters in this novel, especially Ultima and the narrator, Antonio.  So good.

Narrative Non-Fiction

This is the first time in a long time that I have included several titles of non-fiction on my list.

1.  When Women Were Birds.  Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams - The first book I have ever read by Williams and it is a good one.  This book gave me a lot to think about and I have a lot of tags marking the important passages.  I won't be borrowing this one to anyone but I will be giving them as gifts.  A great book for mothers and daughters.

2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon -
This book was a life changer for me.  It made me look at the world in a completely different way and has inspired my creativity and my writing.  Love this book.  I plan to re-read it this year.

3.  Why Be Happy When You Can be Normal by Jeanette Winterson - To appreciate this book you really need to read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson first.  Why Be Happy is her memoir and it is deeply personal and introspective.  It was a revelation to me and I had much in common with Winterson.

4.  This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett -  I love Ann Patchett and really enjoyed this collection of her essays new and old.  It gave me an insight into the writing life and give you a whole lot of information on a multitude of topics to think on.

Honorable Mention in this category goes to:

A Choice of Weapons by Gordon Park - This was the Minneapolis One Read book for 2013 and it was a text I used in my senior social issues course called VOICES.  This book is well-written and is the memoir of the first African American photographer hired by Life magazine.  Check out his photography!

There you have it.
So tell me, what books made your best of the year list??