I’ve completed my reading goal for the year! I set my goal on Goodreads back on January 1, 2013. This year I’d lowered it to 50 books, hoping to use my extra time and tackle more classics. I’m not sure how well I accomplished that, but I did pass my goal with a final count of 63/50.
Not all of these books were published in 2013, but below is a list of my favorites from my reading list this year.
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
Young Adult fiction. Huckleberry Finn meets Firefly. Fantastically written. Though the book looks long, once you get past about page 30 it’s impossible to put down. Really unique world, great characters, challenging moral dilemmas. I’d recommend it to adventure lovers and especially to boys.
2. Skellig – David Almond
Middle Grade, I think? Michael’s baby sister is dying, and he has nearly given up hope until he finds the mysterious Skellig in his garage. Poetically written and absolutely beautiful. The depth hidden in David Almond’s clean, succinct writing style can be appreciated by young teens and adults alike.
3. Son – Lois Lowry
Young Adult. Claire lives an ordinary life in her community, until she gives birth to her “product” (a baby boy) and her life turns upside down. The book follows her quest to find and keep her son, no matter what it costs. Lois Lowry is one of my favorite writers in the world. This is a strong, perfect ending to The Giver Quartet.
4. The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, [an advanced reader’s copy of] Cress) – Marissa Meyer
Young Adult. Each book is a retelling of a fairytale (Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel) set in the future. The world building feels like Treasure Planet (sans-aliens), and Marissa Meyer’s characters and plots are top-notch. Though on a sentence level her writing can be a little rough, the books are well worth the read for the tapestry of stories she creates.
5. Night – Elie Wiesel
Non-fiction. Elie Wiesel’s account of the Holocaust. Even praise would belittle this book. Written with a weight of silence between his simple sentences, this account is both accessible and unbearably heavy.
6. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Fiction. In a world where books are burned, a fireman begins to read the forbidden material and finds himself changing. Loved this book so much more than I expected—definitely my favorite of the classics I read this year!
His Own Good Sword (Amanda McCrina) – YA/NA. Gripping fantasy set in a solid, Roman-esque world.
Chime (Franny Billingsley) – YA. A wonderfully unique first-person narrative that’s like an adult Witch of Blackbird Pond blended with a delicious mixture of folklore and magic.
Magic Most Deadly (E.L. Bates) – Fiction (maybe NA?). Downton Abbey meets The Dresden Files and Right Ho, Jeeves.
Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters (Jon Acuff ) – Non-fiction. Practical advice shown through amusing examples in Jon’s usual, crazy-detailed, hilarious writing.