At the end of the year for the past few years, you have reported how many books you read that year (2011 and 2012), which has prompted me to look at my Amazon and Audible accounts and make a rough guess. In 2012, I read about 50 books based on that unscientific figuring.
At the beginning of 2013, I started writing down the books that I read. Part of that was that I moved to a city with an awesome library, so I committed to using it and I wanted to track my progress on that goal. At the halfway point, I realized I was slated to read 100 books this year, so... I went for it.
Yup -- I consumed a total of 100 books in 2013 (counting all 19 volumes of The Walking Dead as one book). Of those, nearly half (48) were aBooks. Surprisingly (to me) only 12 were eBooks, leaving 41 as good old-fashioned pBooks -- if you had asked me before this moment, I would have guessed that I don't read many pBooks anymore, but I guess I do! Aaand... 31 were books from the library. (Of those, 6 were aBooks and the rest were pBooks.) So my library goal was a pretty successful.
The reason that I managed to read so much this year? Because I didn't do much else! As you know, I now exercise a lot, which is makes for good quality book time (aBooks when walking and e/pBooks on the bike) but -- and this is really the key -- I didn't make anything this year! I usually spend a lot of my free time crafting and I read books instead this past year. I will tell you right now that that is going to change in 2014, so I anticipate returning to my usual number as more of my time is spent making, rather than reading.
One nice thing about keeping a written list this year was that I could refer to it whenever anyone asked me for a book recommendation (that question always makes me draw a blank -- so weird) Here are a few of my favorites from 2013, in no particular order:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieThank you for recommending this book to me. Awesome story and a fantastic narrator on the aBook. I think this is one of those books made better by listening to it. The accents brought so much to the story and when I saw some of the names spelled later, I realized I totally would have butchered the pronunciations in my head. Heh.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellTerrific YA book that transcends the "YA" genre. Partially because it's set in the 80s, so anyone who grew up in the 80s is transported (mix tapes, baby!) but partially because of how the characters' lives (especially Eleanor) are drawn. Her family life is a disaster and the description was so poignant. I really loved this book.
Man in the Empty Suit by Sean FerrellReally fun little read about time travel plus a decent mystery. I enjoy time travel books, so this was right up my alley.
Wool by Hugh HoweySF book about a dystopian future with a good story and great characters. I really enjoyed this book, but there have since been two more books in the saga that don't seem to be living up to the hype, so I'm probably done.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerOriginal and imaginative story about two supernatural creatures who seem completely unrelated, but end up developing a neat, unexpected relationship.
The Initiates by Etienne DavodeauVery cool graphic novel wherein a graphic artist and a winemaker "exchange jobs" (sort of -- more like educate each other about their jobs) for a year. And then, of course, the artist creates this book all about it. Fascinating information about both wine and graphic novels, two topics I enjoy. I recommend this book for anyone looking to get into graphic novels, since it's got a great appendix that lists all of the novels recommended/read throughout the book.
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam JohnsonI don't really have to tell you about this -- it won the ToB and the Pulitzer and it's by far the book I have recommended the most this year and everyone who has read it has really enjoyed it. The narrators on the aBook were fantastic and it was great to actually hear the booming voice of the loudspeakers. The only thing I cannot believe is that I read this in 2013 -- it was one of my first of the year and it seems sooooo long ago now!
Those are my Top 7 and that's a weird random number, but I'll leave it at that.
Aaaand... I have said it before, but I will say it again: 2014 is my year to start abandoning books (with abandon!) I slogged through a couple this year (Jonathan Strange and Little, Big come to mind) that I should have ditched after 50 or so pages. I did manage to abandon an aBook or two sooo... I'm getting there!
Soooo... Other than Americanah, what were your favorites this year?