2. After Dead, Charlaine Harris - Having finished up the Sookie Stackhouse books, Harris decided to write a follow-up book that explains what happened to all of the characters after the events of the books ended. It was a super-quick read, and was super-fun. Harris has a wry sense of humor, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her vignettes on each of her characters. I also think it's pretty darn awesome that she decided to do the ever afters on her own terms.
3. Lud In The Mist, Hope Mirrlees - I'm a sucker for a good blurb, and when Neil Gaiman's name is attached it becomes a must-read. Lud is very much a typical fairy tale....although one with a bit more foo-foo language than most. I had trouble getting into it - partially because of that foo-foo language, which I found to be tiresome and confusing. (Overly flowery for flowery's sake) At the end of the day, though, I did enjoy the plot and characters. Yeah...I enjoyed it, but I don't know that I would recommend it.
4. Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowel - How to bait a hook really, really well for me: describe a book as Jane Austin with a magic twist! I tumbled across this book while looking through the Hugo and Nebula Award winner/nominee lists on iBooks, and could NOT resist. Absolutely true that it's a very lighthearted read with little of real substance...but it's also absolutely true that it was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to read the two sequels! It was a lot of fun tracing the Austin influence in Kowel's characters.
5. The Golum and the Jinni, Helene Wecker - This book popped up on multiple Best of 2013 lists, and when an online friend urged me to read it I knew I could not resist. Wow. Just.....Wow. I don't know that I really want to say much about it, other than....you should all totally read it asap.
6. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin - A couple of my college friends have been recommending this book to me for YEARS. Silly me, I really wish I'd read it immediately! I immediately fell in love with Yeine, our heroine, and was tickled to find a pretty fresh world in Jemisin's creation. It was a thoroughly satisfying read, and was probably the most traditional fantasy novel that I've read in a long while. It made me very hungry for more.
7. Shadow & Bone, Leigh Bardugo - A Books on the Nightstand recommendation that I couldn't resist when I discovered it was on sale for $2 on ibooks! Yay! (The end of the year deals have been amazing.) This is YA fantasy at it's absolute best, and I loved the Russian twist to the fantasy world. The second book came out this year, and according to at least one review I read it's every bit as good as the Shadow & Bone. The third book is due out next year, and the real question is do I read the second now or wait until #3 is published so that I can read them back to back?
8. Ironskin, Tina Connolly - Absolutely true, it is Jane Eyre with a fey twist. (The author recognizes that in the acknowledgements, although it's a tad unclear as to whether or not it was originally intended. I think it must have been. It's too obvious.) Just as with Shades of Milk and Honey, this second few twist on a classic was found on the Hugo and Nebula iBooks pages. The difference, though, is that there was real substance in Ironskin. There's much there about appearance, self-worth and finding one's inner value. I couldn't put it down....which was somewhat problematic as I was reading it over Christmas at my parents' house!
9. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Catherynne M. Valente - I absolutely adore Valente's books about the marvelous September....but I also am realizing that I find them maybe just a tad too precious. As much as I delight in the whimsy, I have to admit that these books can be a tad difficult to really get into, and they tend to put me to sleep when I'm reading them. I'm thinking it's perhaps because I was so fully engrossed by so many good books this month that I finally noticed....or maybe it's just because by book 3 the problems are starting to show. Not sure. I still love them, but I just can't give this one as much of a recommendation as I have in the past, and I'm not sure if I'll continue on if there are more books.
10. Copperhead, Tina Connolly - Ooohhhh....a sequel! With another one planned! Connolly has blissfully moved on from Jane Eyre, and focuses this book on Jane of Ironskin's sister, Helen. Yep, snapped it up as soon as I discovered it. Haven't finished it yet, but will by the stroke of midnight tomorrow night! Love it!
And now....drumroll please....
my 2013 Book and Reading Review!
- I read a total of 117 books this year.
- With about 4 of those being books I didn't complete, that averages out to 10 full books/month.
- October was my biggest month - with 16 books.
- Interestingly enough, my October book blog post was my most popular blog post ever.
- I had three months of themed reading, which was fun.
- Several years ago I discovered the Books on the Nightstand podcast, and since then the range of what I read has expanded greatly. I think it's been really good for me, and it's certainly introduced me to a wide range of authors that I never would have tried before.
- Having said that, December brought me back to fantasy, which has long been my great love - and I have to admit that it felt really, really good. I may focus more on fantasy/fairy tales in the next year.
My Top 10 of 2013
(in order of when they were read)
- Beautiful Ruins
- Tiny Beautiful Things
- The Hum and the Shiver
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane
- A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon
- Life After Life
- Night Film
- The Cats of Tanglewood Forest
- The Golum and the Jinni
Here's hoping 2014 brings just as many wonderful books!