2013 in Reading

I wanted to get this post out around the 1st of January, but unfortunately – owing to the fact that my I spent most of the first few days of 2014 suffering from a reoccurring bout of blindness and a break from all readable words – I couldn’t. Anyway, 2013 was quite productive reading-wise, but I’m ashamed to admit that I did not stick to all the reader’s resolutions I set for myself.

Resolutions checked: 

  1. did read 40 books! But it was a very close call. I almost did not make it!
  2. I read one classic – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I’d always read the abridged version and only got around to the full one now. 
  3. I read children novels and loved 3 out of 4 of them… though admittedly one was a short story and another was so morbid I almost feel wrong classifying it as a children novel.
  4. I did not stop reading any books… but god did I want to, especially when I was dragging myself through an 841-page one.
  5. I did write a review for every book I read! 40 reviews in total – wewt.

Where did I fail? 

  1. I only read two indie novels this year, and I’m really disappointed in myself for not reading more.
  2. I failed miserably when it came to cutting down on paperback expenses. I’m almost horrified to think of the number of books I bought this year!
  3. I’m ashamed to admit that I allowed myself to be tricked by pretty covers and glowing reviews. I don’t think I will ever learn. =[

I’m going to attempt to stick to all my previous resolutions again this year, though instead of 40 books, I’m going to be reading 50! So if you’ve got any recommendations, do please throw them at me! 

So what did I read in 2013? Well, last year I categorized my books by favourites, most disappointing, most hated, etc, so this year I’m going to categorize them by number of stars awarded. However, I will say that my absolute favourite read of 2013 is The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land in a Ship of her own Making (god it’s a mouthful) and The Final Empire came close, but ultimately it just snatched the title from beneath them.

Click for captions!

What was your favourite book in 2013? How many books are you planning to read in 2014? Do any of my ratings clash/coincide with yours? Let me know! =D

41 thoughts on “2013 in Reading

    1. The Book of Lost Things is wonderful! I thought it was a book aimed at children at first, but it’s so very dark and twisted that I wouldn’t recommend it to any child!

  1. You read more than me! Well done 🙂 It’s interesting to see you give The Perks of Being a Wallflower only one star when everyone else I’ve seen about seems to rave about it. I flicked through it in a bookstore and the prose instantly grated at me, or something, I don’t know, it didn’t call to me. Is that the same way you felt?

    1. Yes! The story is told from the perspective of a somewhat mentally challenged boy, who insists it’s better to write in simple language than to use any sort of complicated prose, so basically it reads like a child wrote it. I didn’t like any of the characters, it didn’t feel realistic to me, and the ending was one of the most infuriating things I’ve ever read.

        1. Apologies in advance for cutting in, but I felt exactly the same way as Zen about this book, couldn’t stand it.I really enjoyed the movie though!! 🙂

  2. Congrats on reading so many books! I know I’ve been struggling with that this year — I seem to be watching more TV than ever, and it’s really cutting into the rest of my life, lol. Favorite books of 2013 … well, I did get to read the sequel to the amazing high-fantasy story The Name of the Wind (sequel = The Wise Man’s Fear), and that was just absolutely fantastic in every way. Other books … hmm. Actually, now that I think about it, I did actually read a lot of books, lol. Divergent … Leviathan … a bunch of indie books … yay reading!!!

    1. Haha, I understand where you’re coming from – though I don’t watch as much series as I do movies! You’re the second person to recommend The Name of the Wind – I have to find it now. 😀 And it’s easy to forget what books you’ve read – I keep track on Goodreads!

  3. Congratulations on reaching those reading resolutions! I tried for 50 a couple times and failed miserably. I’m loving the book I’m reading now – The Eight by Katherine Neville. It’s a little like The Da Vinci Code but better so far.

    1. Thank you! I’m trying for 50 years this year, and the number already seems daunting, haha. And ooh – I liked The Da Vinci Code, so maybe I will check out this one. =D

  4. Wow, good job on reading so many books last year! Fortunately, you seem to have enjoyed most of them. Great rating system, by the way.

    Unfortunately, I only read one (ONE!) book in 2013. And it wasn’t even that good: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak. I was fooled by the cover here as well. 😉
    Before coming to Turkey, I tried to read a book a month, which was manageable. Last year my focus got distracted from reading though, I did some writing instead.
    So, this year, inspired by your lovely post, I will read (at least) one book in every language I know. That makes five. It may take me a bit longer for the one in Turkish…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the books you read and for the inspiration. Happy 2014 reading!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I had a good reading year compared with 2013, so for that I am pleased. =D

      I’ve glimpsed The Bastard of Istanbul more than once in bookstores – the title and cover are eye-catching, but something always held me back! I guess I won’t have to buy it anymore. 😉 And that’s a nice resolution – good luck with it! Happy 2014 reading to you too!

  5. Fun to see which books you’ve read. I laughed when I saw you gave “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” one star. I, too, did not care for that book, but everybody else seemed to love it, so I was almost embarrassed to admit I didn’t. I gave Gone Girl 5 stars because it kept me so enthralled. But I agree, it was disturbing, and the characters not very likable. I think this is Gillian Flynn’s thing, because I read another one of hers and liked the characters even less.

    Hope your eyes are better. 😦

    1. Yeah, almost everyone’s in love with Perks and I just don’t understand the hype; glad to see some people on my side! I did not like any of the characters in Gone Girl, except maybe Go. I will admit that Gillian Flynn had me hooked all throughout. xD

      Treatment is ongoing for now… fingers crossed it works because otherwise I might need surgery. 😦

    1. It’s a very very good book in my opinion. So rich and beautiful – a fantastic blend of historical fiction and fantasy! I really cannot praise it enough, haha.

  6. You’re like me Zen, I always say I’ll buy fewer books but always end up getting tempted in the end, ugh!! Thank goodness I visit the library as well or I would definitely be broke, haha! Looking forward to reading more of your lovely posts this year (hope your vision is completely restored!).

    1. I wish we had a decent library around here; it would definitely cut down on my expenses! Or maybe not – I have this thing where I like to own the book I’m reading, haha. Thank you, Letizia! And my vision is on the way to recovery!

    1. I have this syndrome called recurrent corneal abrasion… I accidentally scratched my eye with a pen, and it was so bad I could not open my eye. Even trying to open my good eye caused me great discomfort, so I spent several days with my eyes completely closed. =[ And this keeps reoccurring every couple of weeks.

        1. Well, if the current treatment I’m on fails, I’ll have to undergo surgery, which would take care of it for good (supposedly). But it’s a scary thought, especially considering I’ll need a while to recover. 😦

  7. Wow! You did much better than I did in terms of reading. I had some trouble balancing reading for pleasure and all my academic stuff, but I’m going to be more determined this year!

    My favourite book of 2013 was “More Than This” by Patrick Ness. You must read it! I am in love with Ness and his writings! 😀

    The only book on your list that I’ve read is “One Day” by David Nicholls, which I would’ve given 4 stars. I really enjoyed reading it! The ending was so sad!

    1. I just looked up the Ness book; it sounds pretty interesting! Definitely adding it to my To-Read shelf.

      I didn’t like the ending of One Day. For the most part, I enjoyed the book, but the ending was horrible. It made me feel cheated, like the author was fishing for an easy way out. 😦

  8. 40 books…wowza! I made a goal of 30, but only made it to 21. Even though I love reading so much, a lot of my free time is spent writing/editing. Still debating on my goal for 2014. I’m taking the summer off from writing novels and plan to devote time to reading. Can’t wait!

    1. 21 is not bad either! I did no to little writing this year (I know, I know, I’m disappointed in myself =[), so I had a lot of time to read. Good luck meeting whatever goal you set, Britt! 🙂

  9. I hope your eye is feeling better now, Zen. What an awful thing to do (sounds like something I’d do to myself) 😦

    I’m sure you’ll have a great reading year! 😀

  10. Okay, that is really impressive. I gotta pick up any of the five books I’ve recently started and didn’t find the will to finish… but I will now!
    ps. I maybe have missed it but how did you decide which books?

    1. Good luck with that! Once you get into the swing of it you won’t be able to stop. =D

      Do you mean how I rated the books? Well, I judge based on writing style and the entertainment factor. Also, the ending is a big thing for me. Even if the whole book is nice, I will dock stars if the ending is horrible.

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