Best of Reading for 2013

Posted 29 December, 2013 by Trish in Reading Nook / 35 Comments

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Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has offered up the 4th  Annual End of the Year Book Survey. And I answered her questions (ok, so I copied my questions from last year so if mine are a tiny bit different…oops!).  While 2013 was not quite what I expected it would be in terms of the things I would accomplish, it was an awesome reading year. At the time of typing this I’ve finished 42 books (including audio) and I may finish one more by the end of the year. This is the most I’ve read since 2009 when I was at the height of my book blogging.

Best of Reading for 2013!
(links to posts are down below…where available)

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

So so so tough. But it’s a toss up between 11/22/63 by Stephen King and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Oh, I totally forgot about Outlander by Diana Gabaldan. Ok, three way tie.

If you MADE me choose one, I’d have to go with Owen Meany. No, 11/22/63. Ok, I can’t choose.

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Shining by Stephen King. I was terribly let down by this book after loving IT.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. A zombie love story. Who would have guessed?

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2013?


11/22/63 by Stephen King. Even my grandma read it!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Normally I’d spout off about how I’m terrible at reading series (though I did finish Mockingjay this year!), but this year the answer is easy…The Outlander Series by Gabaldan.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2013?

I loved Jojo Moyes’ books this year (The Girl You Left Behind and Me Before You) and look forward to listening to more Mary Roach books after being fascinated by Stiff.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

2013 was kind of a year of comfort for me. Really I’m looking at my list and there’s nothing unusual there.

8.  Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Outlander. It has been a long long time since I’ve been so utterly consumed by a book.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Do people really do this? (nevermind that I did read The Great Gatsby twice this year)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell? I’m making this up.

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Hrmmm. Either Charlie Manx from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (those teeth!) or Jamie from Outlander.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

I can’t choose just one. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami Don’t make me keep going…

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Unclutter Your Life in One Week. Ok, so not so much…but I do see clutter EVERYWHERE now.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. And not in a good way. Probably Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. So good!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Oh well. I didn’t keep very good track of this type of thing. Next year. Undoubtedly my favorite passage would probably be from The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald can turn a mean phrase!

16.Shortest and Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Being There by Jerzy Kosinski (2 hrs 51min audio)
Longest: ??  Either 11/22/63, Under the Dome, Outlander, or Vanity Fair. Since three of these I also listened to audio, I’ll say Outlander.

17.   Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Pretty much all of Outlander. Thank goodness my sister was reading it at the same time I was!

18.   Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

If 2012 was the year of King, 2013 is the year of Outlander. Jamie and Claire. Though Eleanor and Park receive notable mention (from the same titled book by Rainbow Rowell)

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You Read Previously


11/22/63 by Stephen King. or A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else: 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldan. I had never heard of the series before blogging (and I even recommended it a few times before reading it).

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Fiction. Though I did read a handful of non-fiction.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Jamie Fraser from Outlander. I don’t dare say anything more for fear of blushing.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Does this mean book that was published in 2013? Or an author who debuted in 2013? Oh well, going with The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Stephen King is the king (ahem) of world building. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome were both fantastic for this. Ok fine, Outlander as well.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldan. (Is this record broken?) CONSUMED I tell you.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

11/22/63 and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Both left me a sobbing mess. This is why I cannot chose a favorite between them. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan also made me cry. And Me Before You by Jojo Moyes–oh, I forgot about that one! Sobbing in Starbucks! The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Possibly The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Have I ever told y’all how much I love when books make me cry?

(it’s in the freezer)

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Meh. I don’t follow the new releases this closely.

And then looking forward…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?


One great thing about not participating in challenges anymore is I constantly have a clean slate (except for book club books). I have nothing planned so far except for Possession by AS Byatt.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014?


See above. So, um, Possession by AS Byatt. Though I have been meaning to read it for years!

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?


Two things. First, I’d like to read some of the books that I’ve owned for years. Second, I’d like to read a few more classics than I did last year. I’m again setting my goal at 24 books for the year.

So what did I read in 2013?  (links lead to posts and stars denote my favorites)
1. Bleak House – Charles Dickens (paper/audio)
2. 11/22/63 – Stephen King (audio/ebook)**
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky (paper)
4. Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (audio)
5. The Shining – Stephen King (audio/ebook)
6. A Good American – Alex George (paper)
7. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes (paper)*
8. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson (paper)
9. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (paper/audio)
10. Dear John – Nicholas Sparks (paper/audio)
11. Calling Me Home – Julie Kibler (paper)
12. Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walters (audio)
13. Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder (paper)
14. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (audio)
15. Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion (audio)*
16. The Obituary Writer – Ann Hood (paper)
17. The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff (audio)*
18. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami (paper)*
19. The Absolutist – John Boyne (audio)
20. Being There – Jerzy Kosinski (audio)
21. The Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline (ebook)
22. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (paper)*
23. The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan (audio)*
24. A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson (paper)
25. Under the Dome – Stephen King (ebook/audio)*
26. Naked – David Sedaris (ebook)
27. Pain, Parties, Work  – Elizabeth Winder (audio)
28. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (paper/audio)**
29. Life After Life – Kate Atkinson (ebook)
30. Unclutter Your Life in One Week  – Erin Rooney Doland (paper)
31. The Talisman – Stephen King and Peter Straub (paper/audio)
32. The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell (paper)
33. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins (paper)
34. Mudbound – Hillary Jordan (paper)**
35. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – Mary Roach (audio)*
36. The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes (paper)*
37. NOS4A2 – Joe Hill (paper)
38. The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan (paper)*
39. Half World – Hiromi Goto (paper)
40. Outlander – Diana Gabaldan (ebook)**
41. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (audio)*
42. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling (audio)

Quick Stats:
Book Posts: 30 (71%)
E-books: 7 (17%)
Audios (including dual reads): 19 (45%)
Library Books: 7 (17%)
From the Shelf (before 2013): 10 (24%)
Male/Female Ratio: 23:19 (55% : 45%)
Book Club: 17 (40%)
Fiction/Non-Fiction Ratio: 33:9 (79% : 21%)

Some linky linkies. In case you’re wondering about my 2012 Reading Year2011 Reading Year (or my pretend 2011 reading year), or even my 2010 Reading Year.

How was YOUR 2013 reading year? I’d love to hear what your favorite book of the year was.

35 Responses to “Best of Reading for 2013”

  1. I’ll be posting my survey next week. I’m denial about how few days I have left. For some reason I think I’ll finish 2 more books. Maybe graphic novels!

  2. My favorite book read this year? Well, standalone novel anyway. It’s on my blog today. :)

    I completely agree with your choices of 11/22/63 and A Prayer for Owen Meany, although I’d lean A LOT (yes, A LOT <– oops, didn’t mean that ironically ;) ) toward A Prayer for Owen Meany being my No. 1 because well, it’s probably MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK <– IRONY NOW INTENDED.

  3. I read 11/22/63 and Owen Meany before this year and loved both of them!! Vance gave me The Perks of Being a Wallflower for Christmas and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  4. I totally know how you feel about Outlander (since I read the entire series this year!) and definitely have a huge crush on Jamie :-) Do you plan to read the next book in 2014? Because of you, I have 11/22/63 on my list at the library! I need to vary my reading a bit, as I pretty much read all fiction, and very few classics. Hello Oliver Twist??

  5. I love this post ! (Well I love all of your posts!) :-) I really need to read (and finish) Owen Meany next year. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for too long.

  6. Owen Meany is one of my all time favorites :) I’ve decided not to participate in challenges this year as well and slacking off on review books. I almost stressed myself out this past year with review books. :/ Reading is too important to me for that. :) Enjoyed this list :):)

  7. You had such a great year, Trish! I have to read Outlander this next year. Too many amazing recommendations to ignore any longer.

  8. Great roundup!! Goodness, you read a lot of Stephen King!! I loved doing the #Domealong with you and wish I hadn’t spaced your Talisman-along. (I managed to get in 11/22/63 this year also.) Anyway, kudos to you!! You read a wonderful variety of books. Awesome reading year for sure!!!
    p.s can’t wait to see what you think of Possession–loved it!!!

  9. I am glad you enjoyed Outlander so much. I have read it twice and really want to listen to it on audio one day. Like I told you on Twitter, or a blog comment, or… somewhere… I have never felt compelled to read on in the series. I felt the one book ended well, but one day I might read on… I hope you have a great reading year in 2014.

  10. Ti

    I was let down by The Shining too. I mean, after IT, could anything compare? Probably not.
    For this year, I want to add more classics too. I think that is what was missing from my list this year. I need the classics to ground me. I work them in every now and then but this was not the year for it. I do want to read Pride and Prejudice at some point but never did get it read before the new year.

  11. I have read several Charles Dickens books. I started Bleak House but did not finish because I was so confused plot wise. Have you read any Wilkie Collins? I listened to the Woman in White and it was really good. I read some of the other ones. I have to be careful on Audio. I listen to them in the car and they make me sleepy in the mornings.

    I was bawling at the end of Perks of being a Wallflower movie. I have not read the book. I have read the Great Gatsby many times. I saw the movie this year and the ending they did make me mad. I liked the book better. I started the Wind up Bird Chronicle but did not get far. I am a little conservative and some parts were a little shocking. I did read Kafka on the Shore and it was ok.

  12. You make me want to try Outlander. Especially since I didn’t really have any non-rereads that really stood out for me this year. Boo.

  13. I love reading end of year lists because they always provide me with more books to add to my list :)

    Sounds like you had a great reading year! Mine was sort of about comfort reads too. I need to venture more out of my reading comfort zone – next year’s goal!

  14. OK, you know this whole post makes me ridiculously happy, right? I MEAN OUTLANDER!!! And all the love for Owen and Mudbound! And I obvs need to read 11/22/63.

  15. I love this survey. It really makes you reflect on the year’s reading. I plan on reading Outlander in 2014. I started it on audio years ago…and was loving it…but had to return it to the library before finishing and never finished it. It’s time!

    Wishing you much satisfaction in your reading next year!

  16. I always love to read round-up posts! Some of your answers made me laugh. And Yay!!! that you’re on the Outlander bandwagon.

  17. Loved reading your favorites! I also re-read The Great Gatsby this year for the first time since college — though not until after I saw the excellent film (Leo! Swoon!). I loved it as much as I remembered, which was a huge relief! And sounds like I really need to get wise to this whole Outlander thing . . .

  18. LOL!! I so loved Outlander it is nice to see how consumed you were! I had a hard time with Owen Meany, I wanted to like it because everyone else seems too, but it just didn’t happen for me.
    I’m not sure about how I feel about Jamie onscreen since my vision of him is going to be hard to beat :)

  19. I love this survey! And I knew we had pretty similar taste in books, but didn’t realize until now just how similar. Heh. I’m tallying up my stats this week, so I hope you don’t mind if I borrow the idea and do something similar! What were your quick thoughts on Mindy Kaling’s book? I’ve almost picked it up so many times recently…

  20. Great reading list! I am amazed that you manage to read so many great books with your little ones. :-) I loved 11/22/63 — thank you for recommending it to me.

  21. Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite authors ever! I’ve been reading her novels for years now and yes, Claire Randall & Jamie Fraser are an awesome couple… I’d pick him too for fictional crush!!

    As as side note, you can order autographed copies of Diana Gabaldon’s novels from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona if you’re into collecting books with authors autographs inside them. http://www.poisonedpen.com/

    Check out my end of the year book survey: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2013/12/2013-end-of-year-book-survey.html

  22. This is great. I feel so inspired. Having read your list I have already downloaded 11/22/63 and the first of the Outlander series. Thank you!

  23. So, what you’re saying is I need to read Outlander? I got it for sale on my Kindle, but I have so many chunksters to read!! I’m sure it will suck me in right away, so I’m waiting for the perfect moment when I need that kind of book. Have a very lovely new year dear Trish!

  24. Happy New Year, Trish!

    I have recommended Outlander to one of my daughters many times, but she finally bought it for her Kindle just recently when I pointed out that it was on sale. That “sale” word does it every time! :) I hope I made the right move. I have been burned before by recommending books I haven’t read myself. However, I now make it VERY clear that I did not read it and am NOT responsible. Outlander has been around a long time and has fantastic ratings and reviews, so . . . I didn’t think this one would be a blunder.

    A Prayer for Owen Meany appeals to me only because of its hype. The length disturbs me and keeps me from picking it up. Sad, but true. I don’t remember much about Mudbound, but it was a favorite. I have a couple on your list that I hope to get to this year: Me Before You, Calling Me Home and Beautiful Ruins. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods was an absolute favorite of mine. I’m disappointed that you didn’t like it more.

    Happy Reading in 2014! :)

  25. Great post! Glad to see The Joy Luck Club and Life After Life (which made my “best of 2013 list”) mentioned. Happy new year!

  26. Just found your blog thanks to my lovely friend Suey. I don’t think I’ve been by before and what a shame, you have a lovely blog! I’ll definitely be adding it to my feed and stopping by often.

    I felt the same way about OUTLANDER — just totally sucked in and consumed. It’s been quite a while since I read it, though, so I’ll probably have to re-read it before continuing with the series. Which I will. Someday.

    Happy New Year!

  27. I enjoyed reading your answers to the survey, Trish! I am glad you enjoyed A Prayer for Owen Meany so much. I plan to read it this year for Carrie’s I’ve Been Meaning To Read That! Challenge. I bought an e-copy so I couldn’t back out (I have a print copy too). The Shining was my disappointment book too–one of them, anyway.

  28. I always think the years are flying by but then I read the year end posts and think “dang, it seems like a long time since Trish was crying about how great 11/22/63 is.” And then I really can’t believe that I haven’t read it yet!

  29. I really liked Outlander too, despite all of the blushing it induced. It was a bit steamier than I usually can handle, but Jamie is pretty great. The audio is crazy good. I’ve been holding off on reading the second because I really want to listen to it.again but am too cheap to buy it. My last library had it on tape (haha) so that was a no-go, but I’m guessing my current library has it on CD.

  30. Fun! I had more to say but now I’ve forgotten it in the time it took to click open this comment box. Sigh…
    OH! I remember. I love books that make me cry. I don’t think I gave this a thought though when I compiled my books stats. Now I have to go look.
    (and sorry, I didn’t get wowed by Outlander like you did. But I enjoy your joy in it anyway…)