Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Books of 2013

I've been keeping track of the books I finish in a given year for a couple years now. Here are the books I read in 2013:

  1. Undead and Unemployed by MaryJanice Davidson
  2. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (translated by Ralph Manheim)
  3. M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. In the Stone Circle by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
  6. Five Little Peppers Midway by Margaret Sidney
  7. Selected Poems by Robert Browning, ed. William C. DeVane
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  9. Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
  10. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  11. The Book of Animal Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
  12. Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons by Bill Waterson
  13. North to Thule by John & Harriet Frye
  14. Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton
  15. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  16. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  17. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
  18. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  19. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
  20. To Be or Not to Be: A Choosable Path Adventure by Ryan North and William Shakespeare
  21. Poor Yorick by Ryan North
  22. Changes by Danielle Steel
  23. An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
  24. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  25. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
  26. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  27. Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
  28. Swift Rivers by Cornelia Meigs
  29. The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel

Honestly, I had hoped to read a few more… (I did get partway through Middlemarch by George Eliot, but about 200 or 300 pages in, I just wasn't invested enough in the characters to continue. I looked up the plot summary because I was interested in how things worked out, but I just couldn't stomach wading through another 400 pages to get to those resolutions!) I've been hoping for a while that I might manage to get to 50 books in one year, but I seem to be stuck right around 29 or 30. I think if I'm not getting distracted by work or other obligations, I'm distracted by the internet. It's possible it would help to only read one book at a time, instead of constantly being in the middle of 3 or 4 books at once, ha.

General reviews:

Favorites were, I think (excluding Harry Potter because that's not even fair), The Secret Life of Bees, and the Calvin & Hobbes collection. The Lovely Bones was really good, although incredibly creepy and unsettling. Oh, and of course the choose-your-own-Hamlet was amazing. (Not that I'm biased because I helped fund its publication or anything…)

I did not like the Danielle Steel novel at all, which I was a little surprised by. Not that I'm huge into romance novels, but I like a trashy novel every once in a while, and I assumed I couldn't really go wrong with something by someone so successful. Big mistake. I might as well have picked up Twilight. The characters started out relatable enough, but as the plot progressed it just lost me. And then I got to the scene where the father character slapped his oldest son across the face. And I was just done. I don't care that the book was written in the 80's or whatever, that's not really acceptable to me. And to have the female protagonist not say a word about it… Ugh. Just… over it. (There might also be a scene where the same guy hits the female protagonist? Again, not okay. It just made me want to throw the book across the room.) This was definitely a book I finished by dint of sheer stubbornness. I was also kind of disappointed with the conclusion of Black and Blue, but I guess things can't always end happily if you're trying to write "realistic" novels.