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pearls before swine
It's the last midnight
It's the last wish
Final Reading List 2013 
12th-Jan-2014 02:54 pm
pearls before swine


In 2013, I read 56 books total. However, I've decided from this point on only to count books that I have never read before toward my goal. So, since one book was a re-read (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), I just met my goal of 55.

I tackled some very long books. However, because of life's interruptions (I bought a house! And I failed at getting a puppy), I lost out on a several weeks of reading time, and had to read some YA at the end to get to my goal. It's okay, though, I love YA!

Here is the list:

** = Definitely recommend
* = Enjoyed a lot
^^ = Hated. Stay far, far away

Reading List 2013

1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King**
2. The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde**
3. Flowertown by S.G. Redling**
4. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley**
5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness*
6. Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe
7. The Lost World by Michael Crichton**
8. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
9. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson*
10. House of Evidence by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
11. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy^^
12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*
13. The Dark Monk by Oliver Potzsch*
14. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis**
15. The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead*
16. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith*
17. Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
18. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
19. Sucker’s Portfolio by Kurt Vonnegut*
20. Under the Dome by Stephen King
21. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew King**
22. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut*
23. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio*
24. Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead by Chris Pauls & Matt Solomon*
25. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton**
26. This Perfect Day by Ira Levin*
27. Divergent by Veronica Roth**
28. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut*
29. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
30. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie**
31. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson*
32. The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead*
33. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky**
34. My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares*
35. Awaken His Eyes by Jason Tesar
36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green*
37. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie**
38. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde**
39. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins**
40. Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling**
41. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut*
42. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins**
43. The Hiding Place by David Bell*
44. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore*
45. The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler
46. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins*
47. Music of Ghosts by Sallie Bissell*
48. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot**
49. Pines by Blake Crouch*
50. The Shining by Stephen King**
51. Doctor Who Encyclopedia by Gary Russell**
52. Heroes of Olympus Book 4: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan**
53. A Son of the Circus by John Irving*
54. Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot**
55. Princess in Love by Meg Cabot**
56. Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins*


Some notes:

11/22/63 and Under the Dome - I decided to read more King, because I really enjoyed the first one I read (The Long Walk). I have to say, these left me somewhat cold. Both really suffered from lack of editing - started out good, got bogged down in the middle, then picked up in the last 200 pages. Under the Dome had some of the worst written characters of all time. If I ever read "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAARBIE in print ever again, I may shoot myself. I still gave 11/22/63 a "definitely recommend" because, despite all its faults, I'm a sucker for time travel, and I felt that when it finally DID pick up, it did so spectacularly. I just wish King's editor had said "Dude, this could be 200 pages shorter and still be the same exact book."

The Shining - I was let down by King, so I was going to lay off on his books for a little while. But my friend convinced me to read this one, and I'm glad I did. I was only vaguely familiar with the Jack Nicholson movie. But I loved this book. It had the perfect blend of realism and sci-fi elements. And the pace was right on point. This one made me understand why so many people love Stephen King.

A Son of the Circus - Another book that suffers from lack of editing. This one started out incredibly slow, and sat untouched on my couch for months. But eventually, about halfway through, the plot picked up, the irrelevant exposition disappeared, and the characters developed interesting personalities. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. But it is extremely weird.

Gone Girl - I halfway called the twist, which makes me a little proud. I don't know about this one. I would recommend it, but I'm still not 100% sure how I felt about it. It was a little too "Lifetime movie tried to be edgy" for me, I think.

My Name is Memory - My first Ann Brashares novel since finishing the Sisterhood series. I thought it was extremely interesting until the end, when it became just ridiculous. And there was hardly any resolution. I don't know if maybe she was planning on a sequel that just never came to fruition or what, but that "ending" was disappointing.

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton continues to be one of my favorite authors. I absolutely adore her writing style. A lot of this one took place during the Blitz, which is a fascinating part of history. And I called the twist, but only about 3 pages before it was revealed, so she did a really good job with that. I can't wait to see what she does next!

Divergent - Okay. So. I have only read the first one. I plan on reading the others, I just haven't gotten my hands on the second one yet. My friend and I had a good discussion on this one. I feel like Veronica Roth woke up one day with the idea of a dystopian society where everyone picks a faction based on personality traits, and she just ran with it, without developing that idea any further. Seriously. It is a good idea, but that's it. An idea. I would have liked more back story on HOW society came to be like this (of course, this may exist in the second and third novels; I have no idea). I also think that the ending was rushed - Tris should have spent more time in Dauntless before all that went down. It is fun to think about what faction you'd be in, though - I think I'd be Candor. I would love it if I could tell people exactly what I feel about them.

Silver Linings Playbook - One of the very few instances where the movie is better than the book (others include [The] Children of Men and Mary Poppins). That's not to say the book isn't good; it is. But it needed improvements, and the movie made them.

Cuckoo's Calling - Okay, yes, I went into this one biased, knowing that it was JKR. I loved it. I don't read a lot of mystery novels, but if they were all like this one, I'd read a lot more. I had a lot of fun trying to determine who killed Lula Landry (at one point I did suspect the eventual culprit; however, I discarded him/her. I also suspected everyone, so even that wasn't very impressive). I lovelovelove the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott (who is basically Hermione, let's be real) working relationship. I need JK to continue this as a series. And I just wikipedia'd it and found out a sequel will be released this year. Thank goodness!

The Fault in Our Stars - Possibly unpopular opinion. I liked this book a lot. I sobbed at the end. I would definitely recommend it. But I didn't LOVE it. I would never in a million years consider it a favorite. Sometimes it felt like the author was trying too hard to make readers feel. And, I'm sorry, but a kid someone finds an email address of someone who has been out of the public eye for years, emails back and forth with this famous author, then two seconds later is planning a trip to Amsterdam to visit said author? A little too much fantasy (leaps of faith, at least) for me in a book that was supposed to be about realism.

Gregor the Overlander/The Underland Chronicles - Look, these aren't even YA. They are children's books. Written by Suzanne Collins (yes, the author of The Hunger Games). I'm including them because they show that Collins' work can indeed carry over into books for kids. So far (I haven't read the fifth and final book yet), there are no child deaths. But there ARE deaths, and very dark moments, and very gory moments. And, of course, at the end of each book, there is a sense of "we've escaped for now, but by no means are we out of the woods yet."

The Princess Diaries - I don't care that I'm 26. I love Disney, and this series is basically a teenage girl discovering her life is a Disney movie. They are light and fun and the perfect escape when I have a crappy week in my adult life.

New goal for 2014: 50, because I would like to reread some books (LOTR tops the list, maybe His Dark Materials), and I am no longer counting rereads.

Comments 
28th-Jan-2014 12:39 am (UTC)
I also have a goal to try and read at least 50 books this year (but I'm including rereads).
I want to read the LOTR books and His Dark Materials (which i got as a Christmas present.)
There are other books in your list that I want to read. (When I finish the big stack i have by my bedside locker.)
Good luck with your goal. :)
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