Wow! Today’s the day. The last day of the year. Where did the time go? I fee like when I was a kid, time passed at a snail’s pace. Summer never got here fast enough, it took forever for basketball season to start, the dance was always so far away. But now, that I’m adult and look back and wish I cherished that time more, the time is flying before my eyes.
This year was a big year for me in the term of books. This year I actually followed through with a few of my reading goals from last year. I didn’t set a number goal for this year, but I did get through 76 books. I’m pretty proud of that number. I never count until the end of the year, and honestly, am horrible at guessing, so it’s always a surprise.
This year, especially toward the end of the year, I did a lot better with reading books off NetGalley. This is also in part to another goal: being more picky and choosy about my review books. For several years I felt obligated to read every single book that came into my inbox. I still get several of my books that way and always give an extra credit to those who have found me and taken the time to email me. But, like everything else in life, some books just aren’t meant for some people.
One thing I did, unintentionally, this year, was to expand in genres. This year I read about art, travel, countries I had to look up on a map, history, ghosts, teens, murder and mystery. I even read a chick lit book with the main character being a man. Who would have ever thought? I would never have imagined reading so many different genres and actually enjoying them. I give a lot of that credit to SheReads.org. They have opened my eyes when it comes to reading. There are several books that are on my favorite list this year that came from their recommendation. And they are books I would not have picked up without them.
One thing I super slacked on this year was cleaning off my TBR shelf. But hey, two outta three aint bad… right? I did add a few to my shelf, like The Great Gatsby. One of these days, I may not want to review books anymore (lol just kitten with ya)… but I may need to fall back on my shelf. And when I do, I’ll have months of reading before needing to restock.
So, you’re here for my favorite books of 2013. Hold on for this one. We are all over the place!
Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain: I listened to this book on audio book and fell in love. There are several in this series, and I missed the first few, but there were definite “Oh sh!t” moments in this book. You know it’s good when you are texting people tell them they HAVE to get to the library immediately to check this one out.
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks: Do I really have to explain this one? What put this one on the list, other than my love for NS, was the fact that I felt this book was completely different than his others. Yes, you have a little love story, but this was deep and dark compared to my other loves of his.
Hysteria by Megan Miranda: This. Book. Was. Crazy. Enough. Said.
The Boy from Reactor Four by Orest Stelmach: I denied this book when it first came in. Then I had an opening and thought, ‘What the heck’. Boy am I glad for that opening. Totally not what I would consider up my alley, but this book blew me away and led to me doing quite a bit of research, which if you can get me to do historical research, you deserve a prize!
The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi: Why not throw a religious mystery into the mix. Is your head spinning yet? This book blew me away. You don’t have to be “into” religion to like this book. It’s a fast paced thrilled that keeps you on your toes from start to finish. And the research done to make this book come together. Very commendable.
The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb: When I reviewed this book back in April I said it was going to be on my favorite list for this year, and here it is. Oh and this was another audio book. I really nailed it at the library this year. From the cover to the story. I loved its intensity.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline: I think this is an absolute, must read for this year. Amazing story weaving the past with the present, fiction and reality.
Shadowlands by Kate Brian: We all know I’m a fangirl of Kate Brian. Have been since my husband bought my a random book from the Private series. This book had been hooked from the summary. And will keep you hooked until the very last period. Then infuriate you that you have to wait until you can get your hands on the next book. I didn’t love the second book in this series as much, but Shadowlands was top notch.
Oh and you are probably wanting to know what my FAVORITE book of 2013 was, right? Drumroll please….. Here we go!
Julie Kibler set the bar so high for me back in February, there was no chance anyone could get close to topping this one for me. I am still gushing about it 10 months later. From the Kentucky setting of this book, to a story that is told through the past and the present, to the characters who jump from the pages, straight to your heart, Kibler nailed it with Calling Me Home. And what I love most about this, is that I have seen that I am not the only one who made this the top read of 2013. I even had a former teacher, who shares a love for reading, have my mom ask me about this book because she had to share it with someone. Kudos to SheReads.org for an amazing pick and Julie Kibler for the homerun!
What were your top reads of 2013??? Let me know if you have posted them so I can make sure I add them to my TBR!
Happy Reading in 2014!