Books I’ve Read This Year Part III

In looking back to the books I read in the final part of the year, I realize that I didn’t read anything for about the last 6 weeks of the year. This is the longest hiatus I’ve had of not finishing a book in… ever? I’m not sure what happened there, but I have been having a record amount of headaches, migraines, and migraine hang-overs the past couple of months (not sure why), so that might be part of it. Also (and for this I have zero regrets) David and I have been watching Veronica Mars before bed, which sucks up so much of my reading time.

Anyway! Onward! (You can read what else I’ve read this year here and here.)

Truth and Beauty- Anne Patchett- I love Anne Patchett, and I loved this autobiographical book about her life with her dear friend Lucy (enough, in fact, to read Lucy’s autobiography too). I also found the life of a young writer interesting.

Every Last One by Anna Quindlin- I liked this book even though it’s premise is horrifying. I’m not sure if I would recommend it due to the gruesome nature of the crime involved (and a crime I was not expecting, to boot), but I read it quickly and couldn’t put it down.

Dog Stars by Peter Heller- I liked this dystopian novel very much, even though it presented a very bleak and violent futuristic world. I still think about it, and I would read more if I found out there were more in the series (I keep meaning to google this). I read it so long ago that I’m having trouble feeling qualified to comment much on the story, but seriously, read it and then text me.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham- I needed a light read after several dark ones, so I chose this. It was light, and I liked it ok, but I could only picture Sarah from Parenthood (and hear her voice too). I found it an okay book if you need something fluffy.

Biography of a Face by Lucy Grealy- I became interested in this book after reading about Lucy in Anne Patchett’s book (above). Lucy suffered cancer of her jaw as a child, and spent the bulk of her life enduring surgery after surgery trying to reshape her face (both for cosmetic reasons as well as medical ones; Lucy had a hard time eating and swallowing due to her facial deformities). This is one of those books that appear to be about cancer but are in fact about so much more than that. I really liked it.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson- Ok, the other thing about the last part of 2013 is that I had a WAY above average streak of books that I didn’t finish. This was one of them. I found it funny and entertaining when I was reading it, but it the end it simply didn’t hold my attention. It might have been ME, to be fair, because as I said, I had this happen far more than usual this fall.

Life After Life by Kate Atkins- Jenna loved this one, and I always like what Jenna likes, but I had trouble getting into it. She encouraged me to keep at it, and I did finish it, but I never LOOOOOVED it like others did. Seriously, what was my problem? It did describe what living through a world war was like in a way that I have never read before. That part will stay with me for a long time, I think.

These Is My Words by Nancy E Turner- FINALLY, a book I loved! This was the official book of the Blathering, and I was reading it while in Charleston, so it was fun to have little snippets of discussion about this with the other ladies. That aside, though, I really enjoyed this book. A young girl keeps a diary of her family’s life in the territories, and as her education and grammar improve, so does her narration. She was very loveable, and the romance in the story was swoon-worthy. Highly recommend.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt- Another one that I really, really loved. I’d recommend this to anyone. It takes place in the 80s and is a story about AIDS (and remember how little we knew about AIDS back then?). The narrator is pretty much exactly the age I would have been the years this book took place, so many of the pop culture references made me smile with fond memories. And the story itself was solid and beautiful. Seriously, read this.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- I really, really love Ms Rowell and everything she writes. This book was perfectly done. I don’t often reread things (if ever), but this is one I’d reread the next time I need a happy, quirky, darling love story. You will love it, I’m sure of it.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee- I’ve read this book several times before and always love it. I decided to reread it because my 10 yo  was reading it (!!). I wasn’t sure she was ready for it, but I figured that if it was too beyond her ability she would self-weed herself out and stop reading it. But she read it all and loved it. I admit to skimming it a little as she started it a week or so before me and I was trying to catch up to her. Afterwards, we watched the (very old) movie. You guys, I have daughters that are old enough to read some of my favorite things now! So fun!

Lost and Found by Chris Van Hakes- My friend wrote this (under a pen name… and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to mention her real name or not), and I love her so that I thought I’d love it just because SHE wrote it. (My friend! wrote a whole book!!) However, I found myself so wrapped up in the story that I completely forgot that I knew the author. It was so honestly written; she really captured what it was like to be young and single and unsure and falling in love. I really loved it. Recommend. (And I hear she’s writing another, which makes me so excited!)

Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman- Like so many others, I loved this Netflix original series. LOVED. So after I binge watched the entire first season (and then found out I had to wait many months for season 2), I had the epiphany that I could READ THE BOOK! So I did, and I loved the book. Her written account is very, very different from the tv show. She suffered way less drama during her incarcerated time, but I still loved it. I also enjoyed her viewpoint on the American prison system’s failings. Interesting and well-written. I’d recommend it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (but we all know it was really by JK Rowling)- This is another book I haven’t finished… I was reading this one in the midst of all those headaches and so, while I was enjoying it, I never read enough to really get to that “can’t put it down” phase. I think I’ll give it another go this year.

Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E Turner- This is a sequel to These Is My Words. Like some others, I thought that book wrapped up nicely and wasn’t positive if I’d read the sequel. However, I became a little desperate for a book that would totally suck me in, so I decided to give it a try. I loved it as much as the first one! This book is very different, which is what makes it a success, I think. The first book covered so many years (like maybe 20? I can’t remember for sure), but this one covers only one long-ass summer. I love reading about the pace of their days (this might be because Laura Ingalls is my original home girl, so any pioneer style descriptions captivate me), but the fact that it covered so little time gave more time to further develop some of the characters, which I really liked. The romance was so special in the first book that I was sure it could not be rivaled, but in fact there was a very sweet romance in this one too. Overall, I’d recommend it to anyone who liked her first book. I loved it just as much, anyway.

If I’m remembering all the books that I read in 2013, I read about 40-something books, which seems so low. That’s because I read the first 30 or so in the first half of the year, and then came to a huge slump. I guess an average of 3 books a month isn’t too shabby considering that I really only read right before bed (and I TIRED most nights). I know the next three books I’m reading: The Secret Keeper (currently enjoying), The Dinner (for book club), and The Signature of All Things (on loan from a friend, so I must finish it in a timely manner). What else should I be reading this year?