For the last few years, I’ve become even more of a reader than I ever was growing up. I was really set this year on getting through a huge amount of my un-read bookshelf, but as life sometimes goes, I didn’t. I went months without picking up any book at all because I was just too busy and had zero desire to.
That’s not to say that I didn’t read at all in 2013, though. Actually, some of my now all-time favorite books I read for the first time this year. In no particular order, here were the ones that really stood out:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore- read my review
I can’t remember the last time I loved a fiction book this much. I had been meaning to read it for YEARS, but finally a good blogger friend, Jessica, convinced me it was time to pick it up and that I wouldn’t regret it. I actually re-reading this book in the last two weeks of December because I knew that to get back into reading, a favorite novel would do the trick. I loved it JUST as much the second time around.
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Another book that sat on my shelf for far too long. I read this book while I was on vacation and, even though I knew everyone loved it, was still completely caught off guard by how much the story impacted me. I haven’t had the chance to read his other two books yet, but I do plan to in 2014.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor- read my review
2013 was the year I discovered my love of fantasy novels, because this one also completely blew me away. The storyline is so out of the ordinary, but I just could not put it down for the life of me. I’ve been meaning to read the sequel ever since, but didn’t want to wait two years for the third to come out! I would have to say that Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore have some of the most eloquent & beautiful writing I’ve ever seen in YA novels.
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahallan
This non-fiction book tells the story of the author who develops an extremely rare disease that literally turns your brain against the rest of your body. It was pure luck that a doctor would finally diagnose her correctly when she was on the brink of losing herself completely. The book is extremely well researched and includes pieces from videos, her journal, and the few things she does remember from that time in her life. As a past Psychology student, this book fascinated me from start to finish.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’ve never been big on thrillers, but the way Flynn manipulates the reader throughout this entire story is absolutely insane. I know not everyone likes that feeling very much, but I think it’s the sign of being an incredibly talented writer if you can have everyone believe with such certainty that a certain story-line is developing, when in fact it’s entirely another. SO GOOD.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I went through a YA fantasy phase this year, and after the other two I needed my fix! Jessica is always the best at recommending so I trusted her 100% and was not disappointed in the least. I am a big fan of all these emerging authors with these completely out of the ordinary stories to tell! Definitely check this one out if you’re looking for a good fantasy ready, but nothing too over-the-top complicated.
Behind Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
I’ve always been very interested in Indian culture, and this non-fiction book, written by a journalist, tells the story of a group of families that live in an Indian slum, and how all their lives come together. They are in fact all real people, but the way she wrote her book, it comes together much in the way a fiction novel might. It’s really eye opening to see how some people are forced to live on the other side of the world, and how corrupt their government is. It’s hard to believe there’s nothing we can do from the comfort of our homes, when these people live with almost nothing.
What were your favorites of the year? Any must-reads in 2014?