The list of books I read in 2013 that I have assembled in my head seems a bit more impressive than the actual list of books I read this year. Maybe that’s because seven of the thirty-nine were re-reads of the Harry Potter series, which I enjoyed digesting while food didn’t sound good during my first trimester. It could also be that when I look back over the books I read in 2013, I’m also looking back at the amount of time I was watching Frasier, White Collar, and Friends instead of reading. Or maybe it’s just that I have a whole passel of amazing books still in my to-read queue.
Regardless, this year has been a great year for books. I’m linking up with Sarah, Anne, and Haley with this unorganized post about the books I read this year. (This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.)
- 19 non-fiction, 20 fiction
- 28 different authors, 23 of whom I hadn’t read books by before this year
- I used Goodreads faithfully all year (thanks to the recommendation of the lovely Lindsay.)
- I also compiled a list of life-changing books.
- I started participating in Twitterature (short, casual book reviews with a link-up hosted by Modern Mrs. Darcy)! You can find my Twitterature posts for the books I read in 2013 here.
My Favorite Books of 2013 (that I read in 2013, not necessarily published in 2013)
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
A beautiful memoir of food, family, and friendship. Her prose are effortless, the themes are relevant, and the recipes are delicious. I loved everything about this book. I loved this book so much, I geekily wrote an expanded discussion guide for the book. You can find them here: Intro, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Adam: God’s Beloved by Henri Nouwen
I’m always immensely challenged by Nouwen’s words and this was no exception. Adam rocked my worldview. I won’t ever look at physical, mental, or emotional disabilities the same. Nouwen’s heartfelt tribute to a dear friend is poignant, playing on themes from previous works like Life of The Beloved.
Quiet by Susan Cain
Quiet was insightful on so many levels. As an introvert, I learned much about myself and how I interact with others. But, Cain makes it clear that her book is less about one personality type overpowering the other and more about empowering people to be comfortable in their personality skin. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, the content of Quiet forces you to take a closer look at yourself and those around you. (Also $2.99 on Amazon right now!)
My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay
An extreme but realistic look at what could happen on a third-world mission trip from the perspective of 18 year old Cori. I appreciated the not-so-perfect ending. Plus, the teen romance factor wasn’t cloying or annoying. I was totally immersed and engaged.
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman
Hard to pick between this one and A Million Little Ways, but GGG was just so pertinent to who I am. I need a constant reminder to let go and let God. I heard her message to come out from hiding behind girl-made masks loud and clear.
There’s a couple more, like The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp and Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt (full review here) that are on my favorites list, but five seemed like such a nice number to highlight.
I would also like to mention two note-worthy authors that I read for the first time this year: Tessa Afshar and Alison Strobel.
- Tessa Afshar – I already wrote a whole post about her and her books, so I will keep this brief… She writes wonderful Christian fiction and her three books were some of my favorite this year.
- Alison Strobel – Composing Amelia and Reinventing Rachel were good books, but what I really appreciate about Alison is how she portrays the typical Christian perspective. I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the cultural Christian responses of her main characters before pausing to examine if my own responses to life ever appear that way to others. She also doesn’t shy away from gritty topics like mental illness and addiction, which I like especially from a youth worker perspective.
What were your favorite books of 2013? What should be on my 2014 to-read list?