It's been a great reading year, as I say in my previous post. I've read a fantastic lot of books ... thanks to fellow book lovers/bloggers for their reviews and recommendations, to publishers and authors who pitch their books to me ... and to serendipity (because really, sometimes, I just have a gut feel about certain books)!
In no particular order, here are some of the books I enjoyed in 2013.
(I've reviewed majority of them, but there may be that odd one that I haven't so don't be too surprised if the link leads to a Friday 56 post!)
Oh, and let me know if you've read any of them, as I'd love to compare notes :)
- Some Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson (romance): An atypical romance for those who gag (me) at typical romances.
- Countdown City (The Last Policeman II) by Ben H. Winters (sc-fi): 74 days left for the asteroid to hit the earth, and Hank is still being the policeman! The anticipated second book in the trilogy, it exceeded my expectations!
- The Death of Bees by Lisa O-Donnell (dark comedy): Weirded me out that I liked it so much.
- Ru by Kim Thuy (essays based on true events of a Vietnamese immigrant to Canada): Stark, stripped, unsentimental writing. An immigrant story that hits really hard.
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Native American lit): Hard-hitting. This book's story about the desecration of what is considered sacred in life and in the Native American culture is such a powerful read.
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (young adult): Intensely smart, witty, and funny young adult lit.
- The Tragedy of Fidel Castro by Joao Cerqueira (satire, alternate reality): Definitely out of my comfort zone, but so funny it felt good. A satire of the Cuban missile crisis.
- Persephone's Torch: A Novel in Three Acts by freder (historical fiction): An homage to theatre and theatre professionals, this book is deliciously atmospheric.
- This is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakuwila (short stories): I had an affinity to the cultural context of these short stories about the gritty side of Hawaii. Loved every single story! A debut novel.
- A Vision of Angels by Timothy Jay Smith (crime/suspense): An intense read, this humanizes and highlights the futility of war as depicted in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The author was a journalist who covered this area and he really breathes life into his characters.
- Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano (novel, but more like a novelette): A short quick read which has Mexican Loteria cards being revealed as the page turns, and slowly piecing together the tragic pieces of 11-year-old Luz. Yet another great debut novel!
- The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro (historical fiction): A story that draws upon the powerful memories that scent triggers. Set in both the 1920s and the 1950s, this is about the mystery of identity. Intriguing and sensual.
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (mythology): A re-imagining of Homer's Iliad, this s a look into the life of Achilles and his friendship with Patroclus ... amidst wars, and the bickerings of gods and goddesses. Inventive, engaging, and makes mythology so damn sexy!
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (satire): Balram Halwai is "The White Tiger, a Thinking Man and an Entrepreneur," who in his autobiography announces he is a murderer. Apparently that's what it takes to move up in a corrupt India!
- Mountainfit by Meera Sethi Lee: Essays ruminating about life and the sheer wonder of being out and interacting with the natural world.
- This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett: Essays about life, love and commitment. Funny, insightful, and oh-so-accessible.
- However Long the Night by Amy Molloy: A biography about a woman and a group that put a stop to female genital mutilation in Africa. Amazing stuff.
- Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder: A magazine-like compilation of Sylvia Plath as a young woman, pre-suicidal. Compelled me to read Plath's The Bell Jar. Such a provoking read!
Special mentionUno Kudo Volume 2: Naked: I wasn't sure how to classify this book but it is unlike anything I have ever seen! It is the product of an art collective and draws in the best of art -- poetry, photography, essays, graphic art -- to explore nakedness. It is all around gorgeous!
Well, that's it for this round-up! Happy New Year! Have a wonderful reading year ahead!