Monday, January 6, 2014

2013: The Year in Books (The Sunday Salon)

In 2013 I read and reviewed 38 books here on SmallWorld Reads, 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 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.


Jen said...

I would love if you listed your juvenile fiction as well. I am always looking for good read alouds. I also loved The Story of Beautiful Girl.

Literary Feline said...

Many of your top ten are books I would like to read. I am really hoping to read more by Khaled Hosseini this year. I've still only read The Kite Runner by him. And I plan to read State of Wonder this spring, so I'm glad to see you liked it so much. Unbroken is another one I really want to read (I have a hardcover copy but also bought an e-copy because I knew I'd be more likely to read it that way--terrible, I know).

I hope you have a Happy New Year, Sarah!

Anonymous said...

I loved The Secret Keeper when I read it a couple of years ago. Glad you liked it too

Sandra said...

I love your reviews and have read some great books as a result. I'm just saddened by the number I want to read that our library system doesn't have. I may just have to buy Jetta Carleton's though. Your review makes it sound like soemthing I'd enjoy. Yesterday I finished Teh Story of Beautiful Girl and immediately passed it to 19yodd. Today I started State of Wonder and have Land More Kind than Home ready to start next.

Sherry said...

Whaat a great list. Unbroken and The Story of Beautiful Girl are two books that have been favorites of mine and have "stuck" to my mind map.

Annie Kate said...

Thanks for the list. I love that it's mostly fiction, and I've read none of them yet.

There's only one novel in my top 10 list for last year! That shocked me, and it should perhaps change. I'm going to try a few of your books.

Thanks for visiting my weekly wrap-up!