Book Breakdown of 2013

  • Books
  • December 22, 2013

This is probably my last post of 2013…and it’s fitting to wind it down with the yearly book breakdown of all the books I’ve read and logged away in my book journal.

Read and recap. Let’s do this, bitches.

This year I read 16 books.

Last year it was 22.

I did not beat last year’s record.

Shamed. So shamed.

Shamed. So shamed.

However, let me blame this on two things and make excuses so I feel better about myself.

1) Spillover by David Quammen was amazing. However, it was also 582 pages and science-based. It took me a while to toil through this diseased beauty. But when you want a book about Ebola Virus and the Black Plague, Quammen’s your man.

2) The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. Dude. No. Just no. This book was no bueno. So uninterested, I just slogged through it. It took me two months, eating up precious reading time I could have allotted to other, more deserving reads. I probably should have given it up but I typically can’t abandon a book. It feels wrong.

The 2013 list goes a little something like this:

1. Dare Me by Megan Abbott – YES.

2. The Typewriter is Holy by Bill Morgan – Non-fiction book about The Beats. Amazing read.

3. Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson – Fucking yes. Read this.

4. Lit by Mary Karr – Sad, painful, hilarious.

5. Sweet Valley Confidential – The Sweet Life #4 by Francine Pascal et al. – Much needed fluff after Lit.

6. Sweet Valley Confidential – The Sweet Life #5 by Francine Pascal et al. – ditto

7. Spillover by David Quammen – Non-fiction about Ebola, AIDS and other viruses. Humorous and intelligent.

8. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk – Meh. Made me realize I’m not a big fan of Palahniuk.

9. The Son of Rosemary by Ira Levin – As I explained earlier, WHY GOD WHY?

10. Code for Failure by Ryan Bradley – Enjoyed, great characterization.

11. Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise by Justin Daugherty – Beauty of flash fiction.

12. Joyland by Stephen King – Classic King. Can’t go wrong.

13. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes – Nope.

14. Gulp by Mary Roach – Another homerun from the non-fic master.

15. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey – Great, easy read about the creative process of artists. Writers, any creators, I highly recommend getting this short book.

16. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – Hard to get through. I love McCarthy’s writing but at times the description became too much. However, there are so many beautiful moments, writing and dialogue to appreciate as well. Worth reading, just slow.

Out of all of the above, my favorite book of 2013…I gotta go with non-fiction. Either The Typewriter is Holy or Hell’s Angels. I dug these books so hard because of the great writing and the history.

As 2014 dances on the horizon, I have a whole shelf of books that are waiting and ready for me to pillage. And of course I know there’s a bookstore out there that needs plundering and an Amazon shopping cart that needs filling.

In next year's running...

In next year’s running…

How about you? What was your count? Your favorites?

And remember…


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    Michael Gillan Maxwell

    December 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I see I have some of the same books on my shelf. I spotted “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on your shelf for 2014.OMG ~ one of my favorite books. Ever. In fact I’ve given it as a gift to some of my more unhinged friends and relatives. (or those whom I thought could use a little therapeutic unhinging!) If you have not yet read that book then WHAT R U DOING? Drop everything NOW and start reading (and laughing) TONITE!

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    December 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I picked up a hardback copy of “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” at a book sale for a buck earlier this year. It was the first time I read an entire collection by Sedaris, and it reminded me why I love hearing him read on This American Life. Really tremendous stuff, and downright hilarious.

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