Top 13 of 2013
Happy New Year! As 2013 has drawn to a close, its that time to reflect on the past year of reading. I had a great year for reading, I read widely and found some fantastic books. I finished 73 books in 2013, and I have managed to narrow down 13 favourites to share with you today.
1) Into the Darkest Corner: Elizabeth Haynes
This book really stands out for me. Its a psychological thriller that follows Catherine; a woman trying to put her life back together after escaping from an abusive relationship. Just as Catherine begins to believe that she may finally be safe, threatening things begin to happen and Catherine realises that she may be far from safe. I literally could not put this book down, and whizzed through over 500 pages in little over a day! I highly recommend it.
2) We Need to Talk about Kevin: Lionel Shrivers
‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is a story, told in letter form from Eva to her husband Franklin, about Kevin and his life leading up to and beyond the day he went on a carefully planned rampage of murder. Eva uses these letters to examine whether her son was truly evil or whether his behaviour could be down to her own dislike of her son, and her failings as a mother. This book made my favourites list because of the unique way the story was told, and because of the impact the ending had on me. I could not stop myself thinking about this book for a long time after I finished it, and it has left an imprint I feel I will never forget.
3) Dracula – Bram Stoker
Technically, this was a re-read for me. But I could not deny that it was one of the books I enjoyed reading most in 2013. Dracula is my favourite classic horror novel and I love it more with each read.
4) Nothing to Envy – Barbara Demick
This is my favourite non-fiction read of the year. This book explores life in North Korea by describing the lives of 6 Koreans over a 15 year period. I knew very little about North Korea before picking up this book, so it really opened my eyes. I learnt a lot , and I would highly recommend it.
5) Rot and Ruin – Jonathon Mayberry
This is the first book in Mayberry’s Zombie series. When I initially started reading it, I found the start very slow and ended up putting the book down for a few months. I am very glad I decided to pick it up and give it another chance. About half way through the book, the action really picked up and I was absolutely gripped. I flew through it, and the next 2 books in the series. It has everything a zombie novel should have, with some fantastic unique elements as well.
6) A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin
This is the second instalment in ‘The Song of Ice and Fire’ series. Every time I read a George R R Martin book, I enjoy it more than the last. This is one of my favourite fantasy series – the world building, characterisation and plot is not to be faulted. Although the books in this series are hefty, I would not recommend missing them!
7) Roses – G R Mannering
This is dark re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. One of my favourite things about ‘Roses’ was the writing style. I felt almost poetic, and I really savoured this book. G R Mannering is also a fellow YouTuber, and it felt really great to red and enjoy a book written by someone who also blogs about books.
8) Professor Gargoyle – Charles Gilman
Professor Gargoyle is the first instalment in the children’s series ‘LoveCraft Middle School’. Even though this is written for children, I really loved it. It reminded me of the Goosebumps series a little, which left me with a fantastic sense of nostalgia while reading it. I definitely plan on reading the rest of this series, and think that its enjoyable for adults as well as children.
9) Scent of Magic – Maria Snyder
If you are familiar with me, then you will know that Maria Snyder is one of my favourite authors. Scent of Magic is the second book in her ‘Avry of Kazan’ trilogy. It is full of action right from the start, and ended on a killer cliff hanger. I am eagerly awaiting dispatch of the final book in this trilogy.
10) Life of Pi – Yann Martel
When a cargo ship sinks in the Blue Pacific, Pi is left in a lifeboat as the solitary human survivor. However, he is not alone. He is sharing his small lifeboat with a spotted hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, an orang-utan and a 450 pound Royal Bengal Tiger. Although it took me a while to really get into this novel, I have a huge appreciation for it. The writing is beautiful, and the whole story just came to life around me as I read the words.
11) A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
I do not have the right words to describe this book. It was incredibly touching, and I was left in tears by the time I finished reading it. I read a library copy, but I will be adding this to my own book collection in the future.
12) Joyland – Stephen King
Joyland is not a horror novel, it is more of a coming of age crime novel. It tells the story of the summer that Devin Jones comes to work at a carnival, and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. As a big fan of Stephen King, I have a tendency to enjoy most of his books, I like his style of writing and his characterisation, and I feel that Joyland is a must read for King fans.
13) Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
I am finishing this list with another King novel. Doctor Sleep is the sequel to one of King’s most loved novels ‘The Shining’. I was majorly excited to get my hands on this book, and I was not disappointed. The story starts right off where ‘The Shining’ ends (its worth re-reading that before picking this up), and we get to see where Danny Torrance’s life heads. This was a great read, but as I previously mentioned, I am rather infatuated with the works of Stephen King, and I dare to suggest that I would not offer negative reviews of his works.