Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013: A Year in Books

I, along with many Americans, made a handful of resolutions in January. And I, along with many Americans, promptly forgot/ignored/procrastinated most of those resolutions. I don't even remember what most of my resolutions were, but the one I was actually intent on was my reading goal. At the end of 2012 my grand total stood at 71. Not too shabby, but I felt I could do better. So in January I set out to have read 85 books by the end of the year, and at least one new-to-me classic a month.

I met the goal handily. I surpassed 71 in September and 85 the second week of November. Final count (I know I'm not going to finish The Real Pepsi Challenge by tomorrow night): 95

48 fiction, 47 nonfiction

9 books were rereads

The longest book I read was Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. The first half really flows, 5/5 the second half drags, 2.5/5. Worth a read, but not my favorite. It wasn't the tragedy and death that made the latter half lag, it was the focus on Marius and Cosette as characters. There's not a lot of depth there. The Bishop, on the other hand, is awesome, and of course, Javert. It's a good book, but you do have to be prepared for fifty page tangents on Waterloo, royalty, whatever caught Hugo's attention.

The oldest book I read was Samuel Richardson's Pamela, published in 1740. It's been out for nearly three hundred years! Crazy. (Another crazy, not-as-fun fact: rape-justification arguments used in this book are still thrown around today.)

The book that makes me happy just by its very existence: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher (Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare! I am one-thousand percent okay with this! Fetch me a sequel!)

The book that I saw in a book store when I was like twelve and wanted to buy but didn't and I just barely got around to reading it: Brainiac by Ken Jennings. (It was delightful.)

And now, Rebecca's Top Ten Books of 2013 (Only books I hadn't read before were considered.) Drum roll, please.

10. Through the Children's Gate-- Adam Gopnik
9. The Ballad of Tom Dooley-- Karyn McCrumb
8. The ABC Murders-- Agatha Christie  
7. The Violinist's Thumb-- Sam Kean
6. Okay For Now-- Gary D Schmidt
5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks-- E Lockhart
4. The Color Purple-- Alice Walker
3. The Clockwork Universe-- Edward Dolnick (A.W.E.S.O.M.E.)
2. The Kite Runner-- Khaled Hosseini (Read this book. But be aware it will Rip. Your. Heart. Out.)
1. Mao's Last Dancer-- Li Cunxin (Read this book. Just, read it. Read it, read it, read it.)

Honorable mentions:
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Emma by Jane Austen (Fiction)
At Home by Bill Bryson and The Ghost Map by Samuel Johnson (Non-fiction)

"I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson

No comments:

Post a Comment