It just occurred to me that I should take stock of the books I read last year in 2013. After the final tally, I was shocked to realize that I read 20 new books and I re-read 10 old books. That makes a grand total of 30 books.
All I have to say is thank goodness for free library audiobooks. If you don’t know how to access audiobooks from your public library, click here.
New Books I Read for the First Time
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Could not put this one down. A total swashbuckler!
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
So-so sci-fi story. Part of a series that I won’t be continuing.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Grade: Solid A
Good for people who are frequently embarrassed by those around them.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Loved it. Heartbreaking portrayal of how one traditional Chinese man’s morality declines as his standard of living rises.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Modern re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. Just an OK read. The best part is Card’s research into 9th century Russian myth.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Gorgeous writing! But one particular plot twist left me traumatized. About a young girl whose family owns an alligator amusement park in the Florida keys.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Self-deprecating and humorous Christian bildungsroman.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Not nearly as good as I thought it would be. Starts strong, but the plotline loses steam about 3/4 of the way through.
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
Who doesn’t love this play?
All My Sons by Arthur Miller
A tear-jerker with a classic Millerian ending. Do not read if contemplating suicide.
Candida by George Bernard Shaw
A good laugh! But the joke is ultimately on the institution of marriage.
The Constant Wife by W. Somerset Maugham
Wonderfully written and highly entertaining but sooooo heartless and cynical.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Everyone should have to read this book to graduate from life!
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
Not my style. I love dramas about poor, ordinary people in the mid-century rural south, but the main character just really annoyed me.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Not as mind-bending and kick-butt as the movies suggest, but it’s worth it just to witness Holmes’ logic first-hand.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Exceeded my expectations. Post-WWII epistolary novel with an awesome heroine that is totally clueless about love.
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
I wanted to punch Nora in the face the whole time. Even at the end she still bugged me.
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
I listened to a very nicely done dramatic reading by LA Theater Works.
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Read this on the recommendation of a 16-year-old girl. Isn’t there a limited space in this world for teenage hormone-crazed supernatural love stories?
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
I’m being serious, guys. This one will change your perspective on life.
Books I Re-read
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Moral dissipation! Full of classic one-liners.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A totally luscious mystery and beautiful story of second chances
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
I could probably read this one once per year and it wouldn’t be enough.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(Technically I finished Jan. 9)
I’m giving the entire HP series an A+ grade. I mean, really. They’re already classics. I wouldn’t dedicate the entire fourth quarter of 2013 to any series rating less than an A+ in my book.
Let’s connect on Goodreads and see if we like the same stuff.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What was the best book you read last year?