My Fave Reads of 2013

I know I said I didn’t have time for these lists, but that was last year. It’s January and I wanna talk about what I read in 2013, dammit! So let’s go! Here’s the top 15 reads of the year (series are grouped together as one), listed in the order in which they were read:

  1. Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth – I loved Tris Prior’s struggle and spirit and Four soon became one of my favorite male protagonists. This series was last year’s Hunger Games for many, including me. Can’t wait for the movie.
  2. Bone River by Megan Chance – Such an intriguing, beautifully written story. And so well-researched! The twist was a bit predictable to me, but I really enjoyed this one. Bonus: it was a bit outside the box in terms of the genres I usually read.
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This one goes without saying. It started off slow, but once the real story began to take shape, I couldn’t put it down. Others may have disagreed with the ending, but I thought it was perfect. I hope the movie adaptation does it justice.
  4. World War Z by Max Brooks – This is THE most thought-provoking zombie apocalypse novel you’ll ever read. Formatting the book as a government report, written and presented after the war, was unique and added a touch of realism that can’t be found in other stories in this genre. The movie…not so much…but thanks for coming, Brad Pitt.
  5. Under the Dome by Stephen King – This turned out to be one of my favorite reads by Stephen King, even if it was a tome and took me almost a month to finish. All I can say is I live in a small town and now I’m terrified of everyone. Thanks, Steve. The TV series is also enjoyable, thought it has taken many liberties, often straying quite far from the original story.
  6. This Plague of Days (Seasons 1 & 2) by Robert Chazz Chute – Another high-brow zombie tale, but this one takes a look at the survivors in very different way. How can it not when one of the survivors is a teenager on the autism spectrum? I definitely recommend this serialized tale.
  7. The Davinci Code by Dan Brown – I know I’m late to the party on this one, but it was absolutely brilliant and it made my list. Don’t judge me. (Just recently saw the movie. Not bad.)
  8. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Yup, late to the party again. But I had to read this before the movie released and it was probably the best sci-fi book I’ve ever read. And, for once, the movie adaptation was almost equally as amazing.
  9. Wool, Shift, & Dust (The Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey – This series is phenomenal and Hugh Howey has made leaps and bounds in my mind, quickly earning the title of My Favorite Author. Can’t wait to kidnap him and keep him in our attic to pick his brain read more from him.
  10. Headhunters by Jo NesboThe Harry Hole Series had been recommended to me long ago, but the library didn’t have the first installment. Fortunately, I found this standalone novel by Nesbo and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a thrilling ride!
  11. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – This novel was highly publicized prior to its release and I worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. It did. Excellent world building, characterization, and attention to detail. Can’t wait for the rest of the series.
  12. Defending Jacob by William Landay – How far will parents go to defend their child? This novel shows you how far. This was an excellent legal thriller with an accurate representation of the human psyche.
  13. Horns by Joe Hill – This novel was weird and awesome at the same time. That’s really all I can say. Movie adaptation on the way, too, starring Harry Potter all grown up.
  14. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey – I’m so glad I read this novel. It is what the title implies: a work of brilliance. I particularly loved the way Sakey paralleled his plot with current events and politics, but in a subtle, clever way. And there’s a sequel on the way! Yippee!
  15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – The most poignant WWII story since The Diary of Anne Frank. Told from the POV of Death (a detail I’m not sure if the movie was able to grasp, but I’ll soon find out), this is definitely a must read.

There you have it, folks. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what my list looks like at the end of 2014! Have you read any of these? Are there any other books you’d like to recommend?

11 thoughts on “My Fave Reads of 2013

  1. Gone Girl was one of my favorites, too. Flynn got a lot of flack for her unlikable characters, but I still found the story gripping. I hated to put it down. I recently read ‘The Inferno.’ I don’t understand why people diss on Dan Brown so much. Sure, maybe his work is ‘formulaic’ (whatever that might mean), but the amount of research he does is mind-boggling. Talk about being transported to another world. I didn’t like Inferno as much as The Da Vinci Code, felt it was slower in places, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

    • I hate that she gets flack for her characters (maybe because I’ve had a couple people tell me my characters aren’t likable) because NOT ALL CHARACTERS ARE MEANT TO BE LIKABLE! Ugh. So irritating. Anyway, I also read Gone Girl overnight, unable to put it down.

      As for Dan Brown, I don’t see why people rip on him for being “formulaic.” Aren’t all books generally formulaic? I think people just don’t like him because his fiction challenges the church. But you’re right, The DaVinci Code was extremely well researched. I recalled some of it from religious studies courses and art history courses in college, but when I finished reading DaVince, I ended up going down an internet rabbit hole of even more research, just to separate fact from fiction in his novel. It was fascinating.

      • I agree–not all characters have to be likable. Even though I wasn’t enamored by the husband in Gone Girl, I certainly empathized with him, and that’s really the key, I think.

        And yes, what’s a 3-act structure if not formulaic?

      • Absolutely! Empathy, dammit!

        And yes, 3 acts is a formula. So is the dichotomy of a protagonist and antagonist, or conflict and resolution. I could probably think of a few others, too.

  2. Brilliance is on my kindle. I think it’s up next. Glad to have a first hand opinion of it. Thanks for that. Ender’s Game made my top 5. The Divergent series and Gone Girl are on my list ‘to read’ and now so are many others. Happy reading (and writing) on 2014. ~Gail

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