2013 has been a relatively good year for reading, for me. My initial aim was 25 books, but I managed 17 (not counting all the stuff I read for uni and thesis research, though). This post will be a little low-down on the books I read this year, most of which I would highly recommend.
Books You Should Read / Buy for Others
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – I finally finished this awesome book this year. The second half was mostly “read” as an audio-book while running. Bottom line: it’s fantastic and I urge you to buy it for yourself and other people because LITERATURE.
The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan – Soooo good. A quick read that tumbles you in a beautifully uneasy world. I love McEwan.
Constellations by Nick Payne – A really good play that some of my friends put up this year. Short and touching.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I finally got around to reading this book this year, but while it was a great read, it didn’t “punch” my brain as much as I thought it would. Still highly recommended.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – An adorable story which left me ugly-crying my way through the last few pages.
Down Under by Bill Bryson – Bill Bryson’s writing voice is always hilarious and readable. I love tucking into one of his books every so often. This one was really good, and made me want to visit Australia ASAP – but also slightly afraid of all the crazy things that can kill you in Australia. Eep.
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson – Another brilliant Bryson book, although not as splendid as I was hoping it to be. Britain is a very special place in my books (hee), so I wasn’t too impressed by this young American dude traipsing around and complaining about things.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – Such a special book, this one. A little strange, but that’s part of its charm. Very curious about other books by this guy.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick – Not the most wonderfully written book ever, but such a rarity that I can immediately forgive any slight slips. North Korea fascinates me to no end, and this book opened it up to me in such an intimate way.
Paper Towns by John Green – My mission to read as much John Green as I can went forward greatly with this book this year. It started off a little slow and strange for me, but then became such a tender, interesting story. Not my favourite John Green (possibly my least favourite), but still a great book.
The Child in Time by Ian McEwan – Oh my. Another McEwan novel. Not as great as the other McEwan I read this year, in my opinion, but I did enjoy this, especially it’s very surreal ending.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – A very amusing and thought provoking read. Even though there are some bits which had me grimacing a tiny bit. But that’s just because everyone has different experiences and opinions about lots of things. I still loved this book, and would like everyone to read it.
Books You Might Want to Read / Buy for Others (but maybe not as a priority, you know)
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – A lot of people recommended this one to me, but I didn’t fully enjoy it. Parts of it were very enlightening and touching, but others just put me off.
Dr Fischer of Geneva by Graham Greene – A very, very strange story. Hmmm.
Romantic Dogs by Roberto Bolaño – This is a collection of poems. I marked out a few of them which were particularly intriguing to me, but overall it wasn’t a collection I would highly recommend.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Worth a read, and I’m sure you’ve heard all about this one, but not one of my absolute favourite reads of 2013.
Let’s hope for more beautiful / interesting books in 2014. I love books.