Even though I ended the year without a bang, I still had a pretty spectacular year in books. I recently sat down and stared at my Goodreads 2013 shelf thinking this list would be hard to compile, but not so much. Ten books immediately jumped out at me, and now I get to share them with y’all! They are also in completely random order and quotes are from my own reviews.
Without further ado:
#1 – Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
A BOOK FILLED WITH AWESOME. Richly layered, such amazing attention to detail, great sense of place. I want to read everything about geisha history and culture.
#2 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Francie is my new favorite heroine of all time. Her sad moments are filled with joy, her happy moments sobered by sorrow. She’s independent, smart, and dreamily lonely. Her story is both tragic and uplifting. I wanted to crawl inside this novel and live there forever.
#3 – Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I like to think of Walter as a storytelling magician.
#4 – Heft by Liz Moore
She writes people filled with a gritty humanity that makes you yearn for a happy ending. Kel and Arthur go through so many trials and push through so many obstacles that you barely understand how they are still surviving. But they are surviving and it is spectacular.
#5 – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
So many tears – an ugly cry that I haven’t cried in a long time. Her ending is difficult, layered, and will leave at least a tiny hole in your heart, but I never really yearned for a different conclusion.
#6 – Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Hartman has built a world that was an absolute pleasure to visit. I wanted souvenirs!
#7 – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I sat down the next evening and read it in one sitting. Four hours that ran the emotional gamut. READ. THIS. BOOK.
#8 – The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy
The man can destroy you in six words and rebuild whole worlds in just six more. Talent oozes from every single sentence.
#9 – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
So many of The Goldfinch’scharacters are a slave to their own artistic endeavors – Hobie and his restoration, Pippa and her music – and arguably, Donna Tartt and her writing. Familiar books such as Oliver Twist and Great Expectations were woven throughout The Goldfinch and gave life to each character. It would be ridiculous to think Tartt didn’t do this on purpose and for a very specific reason. I believe it’s her way of showing how she’s chained to past literary giants.
#10 – Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
I was sucked in from the first page and didn’t let go until the last word. Sitting here writing this review, my heart continues to break for these characters. Daniel’s writing feels almost like coming home amid one of the worst familial disasters ever.