Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Books of 2013

I've been keeping track of my reading on Goodreads the last couple years, and it's fun to look back at what I read each year! I don't have a good memory for that stuff (in fact, in writing this post I realized I'd left out 3 books), so if I didn't have it all collected somewhere I'd lose track of what I read when. I read 13 books this year (5927 pages). Nathan read a CRAZY amount... check out HIS Goodreads account. I'm ashamed of my meager list. ;)

 Most of the reading I did this year was Orson Scott Card books from the Enderverse. I read Ender's Game (for probably the third time) at the very end of 2012, and continued with rereading Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. I read Ender in Exile as well as the Shadow series for the first time, including Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant. I just discovered that there are a couple more. I enjoyed reading the Shadow books, but for me the original four books can't really be topped. I'd read those four (especially the first two) again and again, but I'm not as compelled to keep rereading the rest. I think Ender's Shadow was the best by far. If you've never read Ender's Game, it's certainly one I'd highly recommend!

My husband is the BEST and likes to read books aloud to me. He's been wanting me to read Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles for quite a while, so when we caught up on our backlog of TV shows, he decided to read them to me. They were So. Good. Honestly, I'm pretty sure having someone read to you is one of the best ways to experience a book (Nathan does the voices, accents, and everything. I love it.), but I'm sure that reading it myself would have been awesome too. These books are HUGE... each one is like three standard novels... but even so, I was sad when each one ended. There's a third in the works, and I'm anxiously looking forward to it. If you like adventure or fantasy books, these are a great pick for you. However, I do need to give a couple disclaimers: both books have a good deal of swearing, and the second book has some uncomfortable-to-read sexual stuff. You've been warned. Again, I really loved these books, and I'd give The Name of the Wind the title of my favorite book of 2013.

I read two non-fiction books this year. The first one was The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson... because... let's be honest. I have one or two of those. It was really great... his style is so easy and fun to read, and I just love how realistic he is. He doesn't have qualms about calling a child a brat for behaving in a way that warrants it instead of making excuses for the behavior and making all children out to be perfect, innocent little angels. Ha! His views on discipline are sound, and I love how much personal and professional experience he included (real-life examples are great!). The version I read (above) was really outdated, though... I would like to read The NEW Strong Willed Child to see if it becomes even more relevant to parenting today.

The second non-fiction book I read was In on it, a book about supporting family and friends who have adopted or who are planning to. I have several friends who have/will adopt, so it was really nice to get some perspective and information on a subject I don't feel terribly educated about. Most of us don't realize how daunting the adoption process is! If you know someone who's going through the process of adoption, I'd recommend this one.

Green is the final (NOT first, thank you very much) book in the Circle series by Tedd Dekker. I listened to the Circle Trilogy on audio book a couple years ago and loved them, so when  I finally got around to reading Green I was somewhat disappointed. It was a good enough book, pretty standard for Dekker. I just really didn't care for the ending, and especially for the claim that it could be read as the first in the series. NO! Don't do it! I'm not saying this is a bad book at all... in fact, if you haven't read the rest of the Circle series (Black, White, and Red), you should! It just relies too heavily on some of Dekker's other books set in the same world (leaving the reader confused if they haven't read the Showdown series, for instance) and seems too contrived at the end. I may not read this book again even if I read the rest of the series.

It was a pretty good reading year for me! I'm already about half way through a book right now, and I'm hoping to hit 15-20 books this year... but with a newborn making its entrance half way through the year, that may be lofty thinking ;) What have YOU been reading??
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