The Rest of 2013

As I said at this time a year ago, when I really love a book I generally write about it here, mostly so I can tell as many people as possible what to do. So you’ve already read here about the best books I read in 2013: Code Name Verity, Eleanor and Park, Me Before You, and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But there were plenty of other books that I enjoyed but never got around to reviewing on the blog for one reason or another. Rather than let those slip through the cracks, here are the five best books I read in 2013 that I didn’t already mention on the blog:

1) 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

I am not a Stephen King fan, and this didn’t make me want to read anything else by him. However, I love books about time travel, John Kennedy, the 1960s, and Texas, so it’s like this was written especially for me. It’s way too long, and there are some annoying factual errors–some of them might not be noticeable if you’re not from Texas, but at one point he mentions JFK’s daughter, “Carolyn.” Where was his editor? But it was engrossing and I really enjoyed it, even if if weighs a ton and took forever to finish.

2) Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson

Did you know that you can give someone a book via Kindle, and it will appear on their device as if by magic? I love my Kindle. Anyway, one day I got an email saying that my friend Jocelyn had given me this book I had never even heard of, and it is completely delightful. Written in the 1930s, the book is set in a tiny, picturesque English village where Barbara Buncle has written a book based on the people she knows in town. When the book is published, anonymously, and becomes a hit, the townspeople are not too happy to see themselves in print. The whole thing is just charming.

3) You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me and Unsticky by Sarra Manning

The night before I was leaving for vacation this summer I realized I didn’t have enough to read to carry me through my whole trip, so I frantically got on Twitter looking for cheap e-book recommendations. Someone (I can’t remember now who, but thank you, whoever you were!) said that these were $2.99 on Amazon and were entertaining, and I bought them without knowing anything else about them. And I loved them both! I guess you’d call them chicklit–they’re both romances that involve cool, young, urban (London-based) 20-somethings. But I found them unpredictable, and all the characters were much more complex than I was expecting. I think Unsticky was my favorite, but they were both fun.

4) Going Clear by Lawrence Wright

I am OBSESSED with Scientology. As in, I read blogs and message boards where people who’ve left the church hang out, and follow the gossip like it’s about people I know. It’s all just so INSANE. I’ve read a bunch of books about the church, and this one is definitely the best. It swings between detailing L. Ron Hubbard’s life  and the beginnings of the church, and current day leadership and scandals. It a long, detailed book, and I found every word of it FASCINATING.

5) The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber

Do you ever watch those true-crime TV shows, like Dateline ID or 48 Hours? I love those, and this is like a really, really good one in book form. It’s about a nurse who killed people–maybe dozens, maybe hundreds–during his career, and how he was ultimately caught. A quick, but riveting read, that may make you terrified of even the idea of being in the hospital.

And now I’ve started a new list of Books Read for 2014 and am looking forward to a year of more awesome reading.

3 comments on “The Rest of 2013

  1. Anna says:

    I’m so pleased with myself that I’ve read three of your four top books from 2013! I guess I better get cracking on Me Before You.

  2. Kinsey says:

    You know what? Don’t. I don’t think that the subject matter in Me Before is what you need right now. I will let you know when it’s okay for you to read it.

    But you and Rebecca should totally do Best Ofs too! I need suggestions too.

    • Anna says:

      Haha! Thanks, that is exactly the kind of intervention I need (and rereading your entry, you are very right that it is exactly not what I want right now)! I’m currently reading (and very much enjoying) YA fluff.

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