"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, December 30, 2013

TTT: 2013 Favorites!

Top Ten Tuesday: List favorite books read in 2013.

Favorite novel:
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore-Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan---This book appeals to the nerd in me. It is very quirky, but so fun. It was an Alex Award winner last year, an adult book that appeals to teens. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012)

Favorite book club selection:
Flight Behavior-Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver---Kingsolver has a way of writing fiction that demonstrates her deep research on a subject.  She also is able to get the reader to see both sides of issues. This book about climate change was no exception. (HarperCollins 2012)

Favorite YA novel:
Eleanor & Park-Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell---Rowell tackles very difficult topics in a very sensitive way. After reading Fangirl, Rowell's second book published this year, I especially appreciate her boyfriend characters, who are thoughtful and kind. (St. Martin's Press, 2013)

Favorite poetry books, a tie:
Ten Poems to Change Your Life-Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden---Housden helps the reader out by adding his own thoughts about the poems he selected. I read them to myself and reread them to my husband. (Harmony, 2001)
Dog Songs-Dog Songs by Mary Oliver---Oliver is my favorite poet and dogs are one of my favorite subjects. It makes for a winning combination. (Penguin Press, 2013)

Favorite graphic novel (set):
Boxers (Boxers & Saints, #1)Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)-Boxer/Saints by Gene Luen Yang---two volumes telling the story of two individuals caught on opposites sides of the Boxer Revolution in China. Yang is a master of the graphic novel. (First Second, 2013)

Favorite audiobook:
A Confederacy of DuncesA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, read by Barrett Whitener---Whitener captures the voice of Ignatius J. Riley perfectly. He also reads the book using the intricacies of the New Orleans dialect. We had a lot of fun listening to this book. (Blackstone Audiobooks, 2005)

Favorite nonfiction (tie):
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption-Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand---the story of an American hero and Olympian, Louie Zamperini. (Random House, 2010)
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis-Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: the Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan---Edward Curtis is the famous photographer of Native Americans. This is the story of what it took for him to get those photographs. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011)

Favorite Memoir:
Rapture Practice-Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler---Hartzler recounts his early years being raised by very conservative Christian parents. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013)

Favorite reread:
The Fault in Our Stars-The Fault in our Stars by John Green---I listened to the audiobook of this favorite book from last year. It was the Odyssey Award winner for excellent audiobook. This is also the most popular book in the library right now. (Brilliance Audio, 2012)

Favorite book in a series:
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)-The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater---book #2 in the Raven Cycle series. (Scholastic Press, 2013)

Honorable Mention:
Far Far Away-Far Far Away by Tom McNeal---a fairy tale whose narrator is Jacob Grimm. This book has everything a good story should have. (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013)
The Paris Wife-The Paris Wife by Paula McLain---I became fairly obsessed with Hemingway and Fitzgerald after reading this book and attending the author event in our town. (Ballantine Books, 2011)
Fangirl-Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell---I like this author so much. I want to read everything she has or will write. (St. Martin's Press, 2013)

Here is The Scholastic List of Lists, the Best of 2013. Check out all the links.  My favorite is the NPR list.


  1. I think I recommended Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour bookstore to you, so I'm glad you liked it! Quirky, but oh, so interesting!!

  2. Really really enjoyed Boxers and Saints. I knew nothing about the Boxer Rebellions, so I feel like I learned a lot and was entertained, too! And I intend to listen to Unbroken next year, as I have only heard wonderful things about it!

    Thanks for stoppin' by! Have a Happy new year!

  3. I LOVED The Paris Wife. It was the 'county-wide book read' put out by my library. I don't really care for Hemingway at all, but I felt that I might attempt some of his books after reading this. Great list. :)

    <a href="http://raindropsandpages.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/top-ten-tuesday-10/My TTT</a>

  4. I have yet to read Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and the Raven Cycle! That's it - I am reading them this January :)

    Great list, by the way! You have such diverse reading selections.

  5. Lovely picks! I look forward to starting Rowell, I heard so much about her.
    I read all Green's books and found TFiOS good, but my favorite is Will Grayson. :)
    Happy reading and Happy New Year!
    My TTT

  6. Why haven't I read Dog Songs? Oh my. Must remedy that.

    Here's my Best of 2013!

  7. You've got some great books on your list! I've read all three by Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor & Park was amazing and the other two very good. I have Flight Behavior on my kindle, for some reason I just didn't get to it this year, although I'm a huge Kingsolver fan. Happy New Year!

  8. I have been meaning to read Fangirl for awhile now. I should get on that.

  9. I loved Eleanor & Park too and The Fault in Our Stars was flawless. I definitely need to pick up Sloan's book as I hear great things about it.

  10. Ooh! I saw Boxers and Saints on the lists a few months ago but didn't get to read it. I'm really impressed that it made top in graphic novels on your list!

    Fault in Our Stars, Fangirl, and Dream Thieves are on my to-read list, and I loved E&P too.:)

    Happy New Year!

  11. Great picks. I haven't read any of these yet, but Fault in Our Stars, Fangirl, and (after seeing it on several best-of-2013 lists today) the Mr. Penumbra book are all on my TBR list.

  12. Oh those are some really good books! I would also include the Rainbow Rowells, John Green, Rapture Practice and Unbroken. I love seeing people's lists as they remind me of some of my favorite reads.

  13. I love, love, LOVE Barbara Kingsolver. I've fallen behind on her books - I haven't read Flight Behavior OR The Lacuna yet...but I will. She manages to make me think of things I hadn't even thought of thinking about (if that makes sense), and it's not just boring information. She makes you care. Ahhhh her books are amazing!

  14. Great list, Anne! I really want to read Mr. Penumbra. Flight Behavior didn't make my Top Ten, though I did enjoy it - just not one of my favorites of hers. And I still need to read both Eleanor and Park and FanGirl - I am behind, as usual!

    I finally made my Best of list for 2013:



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