Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Books Read in 2013

Are you looking for some good books to read this year? Below is my list of Top 10 books read in 2013 as well as the whole list. For most of them, you can click on the title to go to my review on my SmallWorld Reads blog. I was a big lazy last year, so a few go to Amazon. If you're looking for more books to read, be sure to check out my  Best of the Years posts from the past several years.

In 2013 I read and reviewed 38 books and probably read a dozen others (juvenile fiction read alouds to my youngest). I've been doing this for six years now. (See my other Best of the Years posts.) This is my "worst" year in reading in all those years. I was a slower reader. I didn't have any long car trips during which I read non-stop, and our vacation to Paris was so crammed with activities that reading was shoved aside. But there were some great books this year—and some really not so great ones, too.

Top 10 Books Read in 2013 (click for my reviews)

Favorite Book of the Year
Rachel Simon's Story of Beautiful Girl is going to take this year's #1 position, followed very closely by Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I just absolutely loved both of these, although the first is a novel and then second a nonfiction account of survival in World War II. I look forward to 2014 to find at least 10 books as fabulous as the ones in my list above!

I read several classics this year—a huge bonus of being an English teacher. I don't count these on my Top 10 list because they are perpetually in my top 10.  Here are my beloved classics from this year:
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (Truman Capote) 
  • Crucible, The (Arthur Miller)
  • Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
  • The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
  • The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms (Truman Capote)
    Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry)
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

• I added only 19 books to my Ever-Growing TBR list (last year's total was 38), and I marked off 19. Wow!! For the first time ever, my TBR list will start the new year without having gained more. Somehow, I find that discouraging rather than encouraging, though. I'm not activity looking for books as much as usual.   I learned about books from posts on The Sunday Salon, Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books, from various internet sources, from personal recommendations, and especially from other book bloggers.

 • Below is the total list of books read, minus the juvenile fiction. Each link leads to a review or, rarely, to amazon.com if I didn't get a chance to review it. My star-ranking system is as follows: 5 stars--absolutely must read; 4 stars--highly recommended; 3 stars--enjoyable; 2 stars--ick; 1 star--no, no, no.

Linked up with List It Tuesday


  1. I have a couple of those on my favorites list, as well. I will definitely be getting Story of a Beautiful Girl and the Mrs. Tom Thumb book. I loved The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, so I am sure it will be a hit with me. Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. I love your lists! I have already read 6 of your top 10, and agree with you that they were all good, so of course I have to add the other 4 to my TBR list (happily, one was already on my TBR list!) (My TBR list has over 100 books on it...I think I need to remove some of the ones I added a long time ago and will probably never get around to....) Hope you are having a good January! xox

  3. That is a great list. I need to go check out those reviews and see what I can add to my reading list this year. I used to read lots more than I do now. But I would like to get back to books that really, really capture me. You know, those kinds that you wish would never end...


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