2013 in Books

Originally posted here.

Let’s talk books. How was your reading year?

I did my best to log the books I read in 2013. In no particluar order, these are the books I rated with 5 stars this year:

The Joy of Hate by Greg Gutfield

Instruments of Darkness  by Imogen Robertson


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52 Responses to 2013 in Books

  1. votermom says:

    If you have a smartphone, goodreads now has a “scan” on its app that lets you scan a book’s isbn – so cool. Makes it so much easier to put a book I’m reading on my list.

  2. votermom says:

    I read at least 80 books this year; probably more as I go through period of forgetting about goodreads.

    Btw, Anne Cleeland, the author of one of the books I 5-starred, Tainted Angel, is apparently an ace of spades regular (i.e. “moronette”).

  3. DeniseVB says:

    So my husband asked for a book for Christmas. ‘Never Say Die’ by a Col. Jack Hawkins.

    What to my surprise! It was out of print, so I spent time in the belly of Amazon to find a rare bookseller who had the last copy on earth…and $100 + shipping later, it was dh’s on Christmas morning under the tree

    He was pleased. .

  4. Gojoyknocks says:

    The Goldfinch..Donna Tartt
    The Lowland..Jhumpa Lahiri
    Tudor..Leanda DeLisle
    Things That Matter..Krauthammer
    TransAtlantic..Colum McCann
    Let The Great World Spin..Colum McCann
    The Death Of Santini..Pat Conroy
    Of the ten books I’ve read this month, these are my favorites. The Goldfinch is the best book I’ve read in years.

    • votermom says:

      Goldfinch looks good – I will try to read it.
      (I put links on your titles btw, except for Tudor since there are two books on that come up for that.)

      • Jadzia says:

        I loved The Secret History lo these many years ago, but fiction doesn’t have the same value for me as non-fiction, because the enjoyment of the re-read is lower. YMMV.

        • votermom says:

          I noticed that about your list below – mostly non-fiction. Impressive.
          I’m a very escapist reader, rarely read NF unless it’s part of some “project.”

        • Gojoyknocks says:

          I love re-reading the books of my childhood. Austen, Bronte, Dickens, and Rand are quite different with older eyes.

        • Jadzia says:

          VM, I just have trouble getting “into” fiction for some reason. Indian literature works (The Folded Earth, by Anuradha Roy, is great, especially if you are at all interested in mountaineering), but there is no other genre of fiction that has ever really hooked me. All the sociology/current events type stuff on the Kindle, I guess it makes me feel like I’m doing something!

        • helenk3 says:

          those you like Ayn Rand would like Taylor Caldwell. I read her in the late 70s and still have some of her books

  5. helenk3 says:

    My son gave me a kindle for Christmas. so now I am exploring the Amazon book store and finding some very good reads.
    one author I just found was Roger Stolijes. very interesting mysteries.
    also Phil Ward same type of books as W.E.B Griffith. With him I had ordered some books before I got my kindle and I am waiting delivery. so I can read them in order.
    Amazon has a lot of free books for the kindle

    Now I have a Nook and a Kindle so I am in hog heaven. can get e-books from both Barnes and Noble and Amazon

    • votermom says:

      Cool! Is it a kindle e-reader or a kindle fire? (just curious)

      Either way, you can probably also borrow kindle books from your library – at least, I can from my county lib and from the Philly Free Lib. Very convenient.

      • elliesmom says:

        I have both a Fire and a Paperwihte. While I like the Fire for lots of things, I prefer the Paperwhite for reading. Less glare and much, much better battery life.

        • votermom says:

          Oh, fun!
          Then you probably have a 1 month free of amazon prime with it – be sure to check out the free streaming movies/tv shows & 2 day shipping. 😀
          Also check the app store daily for the Free App of The Day – some are cool (I always read a couple of reviews first before deciding whether to get it. I think today’s FAOTD, Cogs, also somehow came with bonus “amazon coins”0

    • abc says:

      Also, your local library might have kindle and/or nook books that you can check out online. Mine does.

  6. votermom says:

    This is the Goodreads Choice Awards “Best Books of 2013” list (iow most popular with members)


    I’ve only read a few of them, and those I read I rate as so-so (except for Dan Brown’s Inferno, which I rate “cant even get past Chapter 1, it’s so bad”

  7. Gojoyknocks says:

    I can’t give up hardcovers. Paperbacks will do in an emergency. My bookstore, the oldest in Maine, is an hour away so I stock up in summer when I’m working. I’m a sucker for autographed books. Can’t do library or used because of what I try to convince myself is a tomato seed stuck on a page.

    • lyn says:

      LOL. We are two peas in a pod.

    • helenk3 says:

      I just filled my car trunk twice an took books both hardcover and paperback to two different thrift stores. they were all over my house. every time I go to a thrift store I come out with books. They are my weakness

  8. Jadzia says:

    Well, there’s a lot of trash on this list, but it’s not like I work with any of you all:

    Kathryn Casey, She Wanted It All: A True Story of Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire

    Ann Rule, Too Late to Say Goodbye

    Kathryn Casey, Deadly Little Secrets

    Jeff Sharlet, The Family

    Kathryn Joyce, The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption

    Sanjiv Bhattacharya, Secrets and Wives (awful)

    Tom Vanderbilt, Traffic (sociology)

    Kathryn Joyce, Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

    Diablo Cody, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper

    Christopher Ryan, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

    Craig Brandon, The Five-Year Party: How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child

    AJ Jacobs, Drop-Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

    Izabella St. James, Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion

    AJ Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically

    That’s the first two screens off my Kindle….

    • helenk3 says:

      I have read Anne Rule for many years. I like her books

      when I need get away from it all books
      I read and reread Julie Garwood books

      two of my favorite authors have both died but I found some of their books in old book stores

      Doris Mortman her romances are worth reading

      Elizabeth Evelyn Allen she writes historical romances but her grasp of history really brings different periods to life

      Celeste De Blasis love her books

  9. Nice to see the Crowther / Westerman book up there. What did you think of it / them? I really enjoyed them, even though there were some flaws. It’s hard to find the perfect book when you have a degree in English with a writing concentration and spent some number of years critiquing others’ writing.

    I finally rediscovered the joy of novels this year after taking a lot of time off from them since approx. 2008. Read a ton, many of them already discussed here. I spent the last three months of the year on the Fifty Shades trilogy. It’s pretty boring and predictable after the first book. The first book is pretty offensive to feminist sensibilities if you’re just going by storyline, but it does have some hot, hot, hot sex scenes. In another way, though, it’s kind of appealing to feminist sensibilities because it’s just the kind of female-centric porn we need more of.

    And even though I found the second and third books boring and had to slog through them, even they are kind of feminist oriented because they promote female fantasy above and beyond sex. The female lead gets her marriage and a hot, rich husband (who lifts all her financial burdens), as well as an adventurous sex life. That’s total female fantasy. Hehe.

  10. underwhelmed says:

    Yay for the Kate Elliott! She’s a rock star.

    • votermom says:

      Omg, so rare to meet another fan! What’s your favorite series by her? Mine would be the Spirit Gate one.

      • underwhelmed says:

        Well, I really love Crown of Stars. So under-rated. And the Spirit Walker trilogy I think is splendid. I have Spirit Gate on my to be read pile, but yikes. I’m so swamped with that! I have a lot of research reading to do, so pleasure reading gets shoved sideways a lot. Whimper. But I aim to do more in the coming year.

        Who else do you enjoy in the fantasy line?

        • votermom says:

          I used to like a lot of epic fantasy etc; a bit worn out since GRRMartin started floundering in his series.
          I will say, a lot of my fantasy (& sf enjoyment) is spoiled in recent years by the pc crap that gets in them.

          Do you like Wen Spencer? She’s another mid-list underrated author imo. Her Tinker trilogy is fun.

        • underwhelmed says:

          I do like Wen Spencer. And if you’ve never read Kage Baker, I would say run run run and buy! Or borrow! She was amazing, and died too young and under rated, like so many women SF authors. Start with In the Garden of Iden, the first of her Company books. She got to finish that series, which is remarkable. And I totally hear you about Martin. Very frustrating.

  11. DandyTIger says:

    Been the worst year for pleasure reading for me. Way too swamped building a business and reading endless technical things. Plan to make up for it next year.

  12. The Klown says:

    Since this is a book thread, here’s a fun read:

  13. helenk3 says:

    not books but tv

    on netflix I just started watching a series called Underbelly.

    picture the New York Mob with Australian accents. do not have your kids in the room when it is on. I think they want to really increase the population of Australia

    • helenk3 says:

      never mind. the story is based on a true mob war but they have made it like watching porn flicks

      • votermom says:

        Speaking of netflix, I like how you can set up separate profiles for each person in the household. Now the gory action movies don’t have to fraternize with the cartoons.
        Except on our tv, since the bluray player we use has an old netflix app pn it, everything is all jammed together.

        • helenk3 says:

          I just ordered the book leadbelly by john silvester. this is the book the series was based on. I want to know the story but am not into porn while finding out about it

        • lyn says:

          I recently put the Netflix app on my Fire HD, and it is great. I watched “Lovelace.”

  14. angienc says:

    OT — I didn’t watch Breaking Bad while it was running, but have spent the entire weekend watching the marathon (in order!) of it on AMC (I just started season 4 & am dvr’ing the rest to watch tomorrow). I’m completely hooked & actually thankful that I didn’t watch it during it’s run, because having to wait a week and/or year to find out “what happens next” would have killed me.

    Anyway, I know this is going to cause controversy, but I’ve got to say it:

    I don’t think Skylar is a bitch. At all. I totally understand her POV.

    Plus, the actress who plays the character is marvelous to watch — even in this cast of really talented actors, she stands out IMO.

    The show is also fascinating to see how the good guy turns into the bad guy (although honestly it seems to me that Walt had some major flaws with ego & bitterness over his “not appreciated genius” when he was supposedly still the good guy — obviously he isn’t doing all this “for his family” — he’s doing it for himself because he likes being the BMOC & he missed out on being that the first 50 years of his life — the “for my family” thing is just a rationalization. I’ll be very disappointed in this show if Walt doesn’t admit that in the end).

    • 1539days says:

      Walt never came off as a good guy to me. He was a beaten down guy, mostly by his own doing. I think Skyler didn’t get what she expected with Walt and that made her kind of resentful.

    • lyn says:

      I watched the series over the past three months, and I enjoyed it. Walt was the only character whom I liked. I couldn’t stand Jesse. I think Skyler and Walt were equals, and I liked Skyler in the beginning. Angie, you won’t be disappointed; the last episode was a perfect ending to this wild Western.

    • DandyTIger says:

      I suspected UAV operators, seeing the results of what they’re doing on video, albeit in a safe room away from battle, would still have similar issues as anyone that kills in battle. But the added issue of never being completely sure of the target given bad video can make that especially troubling.

  15. helenk3 says:

    this is a good site to find books


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