December 20, 2013

My Top 10 Reads of 2013!

Ahoy mateys! 

I've been meaning to blog about this little bit of news for ages but proposal-writing and holiday-things have caused me to neglect this ye olde blog—but I am now a member of the YA Buccaneers group blog! Yay! I'm so excited to be a part of this group and to get to know these talented ladies better. 

And now for my inaugural YA Bucs post (aside from my interview), I bring you my Top 10 Reads of 2013! Also, be sure to check out the YA Bucs blog to find out what the other Buccaneers have chosen for their own lists! 


 


1. LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg
In one word: brilliant. As I read Sandberg's book about women in the workforce, I found myself nodding and nodding and--oh look, my head just fell off because I nodded so much! I especially liked how she encouraged women to take more ownership of their accomplishments because we tend to sell ourselves short. A must-read for women who would like to have a career and a family! 

2. THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker
At first glance, this book sounds like the next big YA dystopian: a young girl lives in a world where the rotation of the Earth starts to slow, causing the days and nights to stretch longer and longer. But this adult literary novel takes this big premise and spins it into a quiet and haunting coming-of-age story. Lovely prose. 

3. AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini
If you liked The Kite Runner, read this book. Hosseini has truly grown as a writer and that bleeds into every page of this read. One thing that I didn't expect? The book is told in continual shift of POVs but everything ties together in surprising ways. 


               


4. THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally
Oh, Miranda! When it comes to Ms. Kenneally's novels, she has never ever disappointed me. I read an early copy while I was doing volunteer work in Costa Rica and where I had to wake up everyday around 5:30AM. Every night before bed, I knew I should put away my Kindle and get some sleep but I just couldn't put this book down! So heartfelt and honest. I think Kate might be my favorite protagonist that Miranda has written!

5. BRINGING UP BEBE by Pamela Druckerman
I think this might be the first parenting book I've read? Although "parenting book" isn't quite the right term here because Bringing Up Bebe is more of a memoir with some parenting advice thrown in. But whatever you want to call it, this is an entertaining and insightful read that compares American parenting versus French parenting. AND IT IS SET IN PARIS! Enough said. 

6. ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
I'm not sure what I can say about this book that hasn't already been said! An amazing voice, so-real-you-can-touch-them characters, and just about the sweetest romance. I inhaled this novel. 




7. THE SWIFT BOYS & ME by Kody Keplinger
Kody and I share the same editor at Scholastic, and she was kind enough to send me an early copy of this awesome middle grade novel! Oh my goodness, this is one of those books that makes your heart break one minute and then sends it soaring in the next. Such beautiful prose and characters. Kody is truly the real deal. And she's only, like, twenty! 

8. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate
I read this Newbery award winner on the plane to San Francisco, and I wept quietly throughout it. (Sorry, fellow passengers!) I'm actually at a loss for words at how to describe this novel—narrated by a gorilla of all things!—except to say...this is middle grade at its absolute finest. 

9. SEKRET by Lindsay Smith
I'm lucky enough to know Lindsay in real life, and she graciously sent me a copy of her debut SEKRET even though it comes out in 2014. Basically, I lost an entire day utterly absorbed in this novel, which is set in postwar Russia and centers on a girl who can read minds through touch. The prose in the book is absolutely delicious! Months later, I still think about some of its gorgeous passages.




And finally...what's my toppity-top book pic for 2013? DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers!!!

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book because I absolutely loved GRAVE MERCY, the first novel in the His Fair Assassins trilogy. I mean, assassin nuns in medieval France? Heck yes! 

DARK TRIUMPH is indeed darker than its predecessor, but I loved following Sybella's story and discovering the painful secrets in her past. And once I picked up this novel I couldn't put it down---murder and intrigue coupled with Sybella's power-hungry family and her sweet romance with Beast. Can't wait for Book 3!

So how about you? What's your top book pick for 2013?

9 comments:

  1. Caroline, it was such a nice change to see something other than YA & MG books on a favourites list. Wow! What a concept! :-) I must admit, I've had THE ONE & ONLY IVAN sitting on my desk at work forever......I guess I'll have to get this one out and see what it's all about. Thanks for the suggestion!

    And I LOVED your year in review card....adorable. Can't wait until February to find out about our newest little Buccaneer! I'm sure she's going to be a great addition! :-)

    Have a wonderful holiday!

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  2. What a great list! I've heard amazing things about LEAN IN and BRINGING UP BEBE - I'll have to get my hands on those. :) Plus His Fair Assassins series sounds SO good. I keep hearing about it, and it's right up my alley. Great list, Caroline! So glad you joined our crew! :)

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  3. So may great books on your list!!! I want to read them all! I Loved THE KITE RUNNER but I haven't read AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED yet. Definitely going to have to add that to my TBR pile.

    Hope your Holidays are Shiny and Bright!

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  4. I think the best thing about Lean In is that it appeals to all ages. No matter where you are in life, there's something in there that's helpful and inspiring. Thing's I Can't Forget is my favourite of the Hundred Oaks series. Miranda Kenneally tackled some pretty big issues really well, in my opinion, and Kate was so well written. Happy holidays!

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  5. I LOVED Eleanor & Park and I'm so happy to see it on so many end of year lists. I read it in 2012 though, so my pick for this year is The Dream Thieves.
    I'm going to check out The Swift Boys and Me, it sounds great.
    Happy Holidays, hope you get lots of books and cookies :D

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  6. Great list! I haven't yet read AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED, but I've been meaning to. THE AGE OF MIRACLES also sounds wonderful. I need to read more "grown-up" books in 2014, and I'll put those two near the top of my list!

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  7. LEAN IN is on my to-read list too. And I'm going to have to check out The One and Only Ivan. My pick for this year is THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA. I loooved that book. Managed to badger Jim into reading it too. Haha...

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  8. Oh Caroline, I love your taste in books! I really enjoyed Eleanor and Park, as well as Bringing up Bebe. I'll have to add these others to my list. Have you read Me Before You? I just finished it and I can't stop thinking about it.

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  9. Great list! I really want to read LEAN IN. I've heard so many good things about it!

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