Monday, January 6, 2014

My 2013 In Books

I was 10 books short of completing the 52 book challenge.  But even had I finished reading 52 books, I had only reviewed 5 of them books so that counts as a FAIL in my book.  I am disappointed in myself. Maybe it was the new job.  My reading on the ipod has too many distractions.  There was a time there, where I, like many people, was addicted to Candy Crush.  It was just maybe 3 weeks, but still, that's a lot of wasted time doing nothing.  2014 will be better, I hope.  So here the books I read last year.  Highly recommended ones are bolded.

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke - very long but very worth it.  "historical" fantasy.  alternate english history with MAGICIANS
  2. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - historical(ly inaccurate) fiction.  not as bad as i thought it would be but too long and repetitive.
  3. Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston - ralston is simulatneouly stupid (for not leaving a note) and so brave and smart.  it was excruciating to read the lengths he went through to survive.
  4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - effed up psychological thriller
  5. will grayson, will grayson by David Levithan and John Green - YA.  i liked john green's will grayson better than levithan's
  6. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer - still didn't make me go vegetarian
  7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - very book-of-the-month club
  8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - beautiful,funny, uncomfortable
  9. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion - zombie purists will be pissed but i thought it was pretty funny.  i just didn't enjoy that it was too on-point with the love will change the world thing.
  10. Paper Towns by John Green - It's typical John Green and I love it
  11. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon - a Holmsian (as in Sherlock) novella
  12. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - historical fantasy interspersed with present day (ok 90's) thriller. twas ok.
  13. Push by Sapphire - harrowing with a little ray of hope at the end
  14. Bossypants by  Tina Fey - funny lady
  15. Live From New York by Tom Shales - i haven't even watched a single episode of SNL.  I don't know why I read this.  But it was pretty interesting since most of the names are familiar
  16. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher - another funny and kick ass lady
  17. Pacific Rims by Rafe Batholomew - foreigner explores our basketball crazy culture.  insightful and sometimes touching
  18. Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes - ugh
  19. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - i am a huge murakami fan but i just didn't like this too much :( i'm sorry.  i thought it was repetitive and a bit pointless
  20. Inferno by Dan Brown - usual dan brown.  read it in a few hours and forgot about it in the same amount of hours
  21. World War Z by Max Brooks - this is a reread and it is still an AWESOME book.  nothing like the movie.
  22. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn - Weird but good.  Gross and strangely heartbreaking.
  23. Professional Idiot by Steve-O Glover - Huh.  He is a pretty cool guy.
  24. Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy - /wrists depressing.  amazing prose, fuck the no quotation marks
  25. Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey - actually prequel to Wool Omnibus (no. 24).  good sci-fi
  26. Song of Kali by Dan Simmons - very atmospheric.  you can feel India, the humidity, the confusion.  very creepy and icky.
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl - deliciously creepy and twisted kiddie book
  28. Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey - first book in the trilogy (2nd is the prequel, "shift" and third is the last book, "Dust")  really cool concept and world
  29. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - female-centric retelling of Arthurian legend with Morgaine as the main character and focused on the superseding of christianity of Goddess worship.  Guinivere is annoying.
  30. Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin - interesting look at the 2008 US presidential campaign.  some surprising insights on clinton, obama, mccain, palin, edwards and other then contenders
  31. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver - chilling.  A story of a high school shooting from the shooter's mother's perspective.  I am never able to make up my mind if Kevin was a sociopathic monster or he just had a horrible mother.  I'm leaning towards both.
  32. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - this is a gentle Africa.  quaint and an easy read.
  33. The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - another really good YA book
  34. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright - again, very informative since I wanted to learn more about the genesis of 9/11 and politics in that area of the world.  a thriller and a tragedy
  35. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond - The how and why of the rise and decline of civilizations.  really made sense
  36. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - hmm, this is YA in the vein of John Green and I guess it also reminded me a little of Jerry Spinelli
  37. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - takes us into the world of fan fiction and the relationship of twins who just started college.  also pretty good
  38. Tweak by Nic Sheff - read his father's memoir, "beautiful boy" about nic sheff's addiction and it was the scariest thing i've ever read.  this one is from nic's point of view and it is just as scary
  39. Damned by Chuck Palahnuik - this one was pretty enjoyable and absurd.  not quite reaching the levels of his earlier books but loads better than snuff
  40. Dare Me by Megan Abbott - high school cheerleaders are pretty damn scary.  thought his would be lighter, but its a very dark and heavy book, in contrast to all the glitter in cheerleading
  41. Going Clear by Lawrence Wright - another informative book, this time about Scientology.  I know all religions are crazy but this one ups the crazy by 1000.
  42. Dust by Hugh Howey - a satisfying end to a thrilling and imaginatice sci-fi trilogy