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2013 in books

December 28, 2013

Happy (almost) New Year everybody! Since this is a blog about books I figured I would share the books that I read this year and give some recommendations. I set out to read 50 books this year and I have done just that! Below is the list of books I read in 2013 with a ranking system I am borrowing from my lovely friend Amanda’s blog post about the 52 (!!!) books that she read this year. You can find her original post, and the books she’s been reading and loving here.

An asterisk for books I recommend, and a double asterisk for books that you should probably just pick up and start reading now. Italics are for books I read in the original French, so my recommendation may be skewed. Here we go.

1. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
2. The Dog Stars*
3. The Swerve**
4. The Wind-up Bird Chronicles
5. Bossypants
6. Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?
7. The Da Vinci Code (don’t judge me)
8. Les Miserables
9. The Better Angels of Our Nature*
10. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
11. The Yellow Birds*
12. The Sisters Brothers
13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking*
14. A Visit From The Goon Squad
15. Germinal 
16. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer*
17. Behind The Beautiful Forevers*
18. The Orphan Master’s Son**
19. Postwar**
20. The Age of Miracles
21. The Black Count
22. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
23. Thinking Fast and Slow
24. The Song of Achilles
25. The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean
26. Blundering To Glory: Napoleon’s Military Campaigns (I would recommend this, but you have to love Napoleon)
27. And the Mountains Echoed*
28. Sister Mother Husband Dog
29. Le Morte D’Arthur Vol. I
30. Shogun*
31. Catch Me If You Can*
32. Lean In
33. The Garlic Ballads
34. Everything Beautiful Began After
35. Night
36. The Bell Jar
37. The Optimism Bias
38. The Fellowship of the Ring
39. The Two Towers
40. The Return of the King
41. Monuments Men**
42. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat*
43. Room
44. Swamplandia!
45. All Quiet on the Western Front
46. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
47. L’Étranger (The Stranger)*
48. The War of Art
49. Siddartha
50. The Prince*

I also re-read all the Harry Potter books this year but they don’t count since I’d read them before. I recommend them nonetheless.
There are quite a few books from my list from this year that I would recommend. I was lucky to be almost constantly entertained by my reading material over the past 12 months, and most any book from this list is worth a read.

The year isn’t over and I’m still working my way through another book (The Paradox of Choice), but chances are I will not finish it in the 4 days left to me this year and it will kick off next year’s list. Hopefully I’ll make it to 50 again! If you’ve got recommendations for me, let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

Hopefully I’ll get around to writing about many more of these books in the coming months. Check back here for more later!


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  1. Best Reads of 2013 | Story Treasury

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