I am updating this post to boast for the end of 2013.
I hit my goal of 50 books today, not too bad. 7 days to spare! I’ll share some highlights and lowlights but if you want to see all of the books head to my goodreads
page. Friend me if you have a goodreads account, I always love to see what people are reading. If you don’t have a goodreads account and love to read, you should get one. If you don’t love to read, well… you should.
Book of the year for me: Blindness.
A really, really good story about society and our senses and what happens when we lose the sense that many believe most makes us who we are. Stunning on both a macroscopic and microscopic scale is powerful, hilarious, inspiring and overly depressing.
Runner-up: The Road.
Wow! What a simple book with a powerful message. A great read and one that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up yet.
Honorable Mention: Read Crime and Punishment
for the fifth time. Still is my favorite book--aside from Catch-22--of all time.
Other favorites from the year:Dune
(thanks to ashersky for recommending it). How had a missed this awesome sci-fi series? I don’t think I had ever heard of it until this year. As someone who really likes these genres (I think it boardlines both sci-fi and fantasy) I was amazed I had missed this classic growing up.In Cold Blood
, who wouldn’t like a non-fiction story about the murdering of a Kansas family in the 1950s? The subject matter isn’t glamorous (or at least shouldn’t be) but Capote treats this story—and it does become a story more than a crime report—with grace, respect and elegance for both those killed and those who did the killing. A really gripping story.A Natural History of Dragons
, I just finished reading this a few days ago and I loved it. It isn’t your typical fantasy book. It in many ways reminded me of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
(thanks to Galzria for recommending that fun read, I liked it, but not quite enough to be put on the best of the year list) in that it is a story about the wonderous and supernatural (dragons in this instance) but it is set in a time period (something akin to Victorian England) where hunting dragons is very out of place and unusual. It is extremely witty, had a pretty good plot and is just a simple, hilarious book about dragons.
Worst book of the year: Quite a few options here… The Witches of Eastwick, which I just finished, might be it, but I think it has to be “By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept. A horrible book about seeking out your dreams (nothing wrong with that) by completely giving up on the world around you (that’s a bit extreme don’t you think?) and mocking those who do stick around to pay the bills (hey… someone has to foot the bill while you are running around with a complete ass racking up expensive charges for food, hotels, gas and other expendables). This book encourages people to fall in love with complete jerks, overly dramatizes the idea of true love (who falls in love at age 10 and then stays in love with a person for 20 years despite never seeing them during that whole time?) and completely give up on education and a good career to chase something mystical and mysterious. Lame.
Other books to take a look at if you are interested: Read two stories by David Mitchell
(known for Cloud Atlas) neither were nearly as good. Finally got into Haruki Murakami with 1Q84
. This was one of the best books I have ever read up to the halfway point. Then it became insipid. Whole chapters on end of the main characters sitting in their apartment buildings thinking about doing stuff instead of doing stuff. White Noise
was really good as was Zorba the Greek
, Ali and Nino: A Love Story
, Salvation on Sand Mountain
and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
What did you guys reads this year?