20140127

2013 in Books

Another slow reading year.. with travelling, moving and the baby I was usually too tired at the end of the day to read more than a few pages. Rarely do I go to sleep without reading even a few pages of flip through a magazine.. 

I used to have this thing about never leaving a book unfinished. I thought it rude to the author to not finish. There was always a slight chance that things would turn around and with a little clever twist I would end up liking it rather than not. I can no longer afford to do that. I am mom to a toddler, I am exhausted, I barely get the time to read. I make the time because I love to read. If in the first few chapters I am not even mildly engaged then I just stop reading and move on.



I started off the year with The Solitary Tales.. a series of four books. I won the first three in a giveaway and am now waiting for the fourth.

1. Solitary - Travis Thrasher - On an average day I would have never picked up these books. They are about a teenage boy new in a small middle of nowhere town with a dark history and many secrets. He falls in love with a girl and then all hell breaks loose. Plus there were very heavy religious overtones.


2. Gravestone - Travis Thrasher - The second book of the series was my favorite of the series. It was fast paced, less mushy teenage love crap and a little darker too.


3. Temptation - Travis Thrasher - The third book was better than the first but not as good as the third. Good enough to make me want to read the last book in the series Hurt.


4. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese - It is about twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone  born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. I didn't start out liking this book. I considered stopping numerous times.. That only reason I pushed on was because so many people seemed to like it.. So I gave it a chance.. It took me a few months to finish but I am so glad I did.. I got to a point where I couldn't put it down. So beautifully written my nitpicks hardly matter, it deals with just about everything.. love, hate, relationships, war, medicine, poverty. So epic even in its simplicity. 


5. The Glass of Time - Micheal Cox - Set in 1876. It is about nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood in Northamptonshire. There she will serve as the new lady's maid to the former Emily Carteret, now Lady Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal - and to set right a past injustice in which her own life is intertwined. I picked this one up mid travel and it was the perfect travel read. Nothing mind blowing but enough surprises to keep you reading.


6. Gone Girl - Gillian Flyn - I know I am a year too late. But better late then never right? All I can say is mind blowingly awesome. If you still haven't read it.. read it. Waiting on M's schedule to lighten up a bit so he can start.


7. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini - It is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding. Another book I am a few years late on.. but then again I still haven't read the Kite Runner either. And even though I absolutely loved this book I don't think I will read The Kite Runner. I don't think this book was written for me. I came from a country similar to this.. though I thank God a thousand times that not as bad as this. Pakistan may be a third world country and this may be the lives of many women living there.. but not all and not as bad as what is depicted here. While I was saddened by so much of what happened in the book I was not shocked by it. This book was written for the people of the first world countries and there first world problems as a reality check and hopefully as eye opener. If you haven't already then I'd still recommend reading it.. just be prepared to cry.. a lot!


8. Arcadia: A Play - Tom Stoppard - I don't know why I even bothered. And what all those people who gave it 5 star reviews were on. takes us back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging over the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life. Focusing on the mysteries romantic, scientific, literary that engage the minds and hearts of characters whose passions and lives intersect across scientific planes and centuries Blah blah blah. I was thankful that it was a quick read. And while it may not have been a complete waste of time.. leaving it like that.. open ended made it just that.. a waste of my time.


9. Still Alice - Lisa Genova - Alice Howland, Harvard professor, gifted researcher, and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children—sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's. This was a beautifully written book. It was not overly sentimental, it was written from the point of view of Alice, a smart woman, and she dealt with her disease with logic. The emotion was there, it made you feel sad, cry here and there.. but the book was not about just that.. emotion and tears..it did not drip with melodrama. It was about the disease, it was informative and respectful. A book to be read.


10. All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot - Tells his journey as veterinarian through the English countryside and into the homes of its inhabitants, four-legged and otherwise. This was, as claimed a charming tale.. but unfortunately I could not finish it.. I have been very busy as most of you observed.. and it took me months to get half way through it. Not because it wasn't good.. it was but it lacked the need to read more. An 'oh my god what is going to happen now' was missing. It was just page after page of animals getting sick and a small county vet healing them, over coming obstacles and surprises along the way.. And after a tiring day I need a book that makes me want to.. need to pick it up. 


Currently reading: Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert - the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker, a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction, into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. I am only 100 or so pages into the book and so far so good. 

So I guess that makes it 9 books read and finished and 1 left unfinished. 
Here's a look at what I read in 2011 and 2012

What was your favorite read of 2013? Something to add to my never ending list of reads.. :)

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45 comments:

  1. Thank you for the list of books
    Stoppard is an interest. I'll read his and let you know my reaction.
    I've begun reading the Louise Penny detective Gamache series. He's, and his wife, are likable characters that reminds me of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
    Hope you are getting your rest with the new baby in the house

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    1. Love to hear what you think about it.

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  2. I also have A Thousand Splendid Suns unread, hopefully in this year. 2013 haven't been my year considering reading the books, I did read, but not that much as I would like to, mentally I was dealing with other things and with other kind of reads. But I will make my time again:) And I will definitely consider something from ur list. xx

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    1. No matter what the subject, as long as you are reading.

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  3. Awesome list, thank you for taking the time to make it, I am always on the lookout for new books to read! You've given me some new possibilities!

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    1. My pleasure. I look forward to writing this post all year

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  4. I am beyond the point where I will make myself finish a bad book. Also, in non fiction, so books say all that they need to say before I get to the end. It's not that they're bad but that I get the main part of what they have to teach.

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  5. I'm getting Gone Girl from the library!

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  6. I've been wanting to read Gone Girl but never motivated enough to put it at the top of my to read list. Maybe the movie will be good...and motivate me to read the book!
    My fave book this past year was Discovery of Witches by Harkness...3 books in it, third comes out this summer. Can't wait! Read the blurb, see if it is up your alley. I like magical things.

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    1. The book is a must read. I just hope the movie does it justice.

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  7. Ever since I started blogging, I've hardly read a book! These days, I just read short stories from magazines. The last book I read was a book one of my bloggy buddies sent me for a shout-out on my blog.

    Great list BTW! I read #10 more than 40 years ago! Yep, I'm that old!

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    1. lol.
      I can't imagine not reading.. it's the perfect escape.

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  8. wow you read some really great books. i read the Hunger Game series (I know, super late on that one!), the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, and started Unbroken. i've been doing it on the elliptical at the gym!

    http://spinning-threads.blogspot.com

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    1. Both great series'. Better late than never right?

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  9. Thanks for these suggestions :)! I've only heard about the Gone Girl and everybody says it's awesome. Please do a review for us when you're finished with reading, that would be great :)!

    xx
    http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

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    1. I have read it. I would love to do a review.. but for this particular book I feel like saying anything would give too much away.

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  10. I have read Thousand Splendid Suns. I miss reading. :(

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    1. I can't imagine not reading. No matter how tired I am I always try to squeeze in a few pages before bed

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  11. I've read gone girl and loved it too. you made me want to check out the glass of time. I always love novels set in other time periods.
    -- jackie - jade and oak

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    1. You should check it out. It was an intriguing read.

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  12. Excellent book list! The Signature of All Things is on my list for this year. My favorite read of 2013 was Barbara Brown Taylor's "An Altar in the World". It was so beautiful. Thanks for visiting my blog! Happy reading,
    Sarah M

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    1. Thanks. I just finished reading it.. and while towards the end it was a few hundred pages longer than it needed to be.. the first 3/4ths of the book were great.

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  13. These books look wonderful! And you are already on your way with reading the first 3. Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at brewedtogether.com

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  14. Drop by me blog, you have been nominated for two awards. xo
    http://www.kickingkilos.com/2014/01/awards-and-wednesday-weigh-in.html

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  15. I've actually never read any of these books! Pathetic, I know. But they all sound so great. I did read "The Kite Runner" though and I loved Hosseini's writing.

    xoxo
    Taylor

    www.welcomehometaylor.com

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    1. Not pathetic.. there are gazillions of books out there..

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  16. I love great book recommendation! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Great list, reminds me I have an unfinished book by George RR Martin to complete! It's been sitting on my bedside for a few years now! Eeek!

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  18. i still always try to finish a book, but have less time for reading for pleasure when i have to read so many books for uni.. but i used to love reading james herriot and watch the tv show when i was younger, the stories are so heartwarming! hope you get the chance to finish the book at some point:-) x

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    1. Didn't know there was a tv show. How interesting.. will have to check it out.

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  19. So many great books!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  20. I love books, Hena and will try to get my hands on 'Gone Girl' you intrigued me. And yes, my New Year's resolution is to read more so this should set me off nicely. xx

    www.todaymyway.com

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    1. Great resolution. Would love to hear what you think once your done.

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  21. I keep track of my books every year too! I can actually say I had a great run last year, I got through 36! I also ready gone girl and loved it.

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. wow.. 36 is a great number.

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  22. Hi Hena!
    I don't have any children, so I still have the thing about never leaving a book unfinished!
    I write down all the book you read, because I think I'm going to love them as I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini!
    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Oh I miss those days when reading wasn't such a luxury.

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  23. You may think it is a short list but it seems like a good one. I didn't read as much last year as I wanted to but I now have some to add to my list for this year!

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  24. Great list Hena. I loved your thoughts on each book. I will definitely check some of these out.

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