Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Favorites of 2013

Happy 2014 Everyone!!

Thank you for being such avid readers of this eclectic blog of mine. I started it a couple months after I graduated from college in 2010 and it has certainly transformed from time to time. And now I am trying to get in to grad school to become a certified Elementary School teacher. YIKES! Which means this month I am going back to school to complete some necessary pre-reqs. I will be taking Biology & Math...DOUBLE YIKES! We'll see how long my lovely little blog lasts with these new things I have to do. Perhaps I will procrastinate on my bio homework by reading and writing reviews. As of now, I intend to continue to update every Wednesday at 6:30pm. So get off work, eat some dinner, relax, and see if I've found you a new book to fall in love with. I'm planning on starting to read some picture books and middle readers, so if I do get into school I will have something to read to the little ones and won't have to scramble. If you have any suggestions, especially kid-tested ones for grades K-6, I'd love to hear them!

This year I reviewed 29 books and gave 5 stars to Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Ocean at the End of the LaneSomeday, Someday, MaybeWorld War ZA Prayer for Owen Meany (it is incredibly embarrassing how long it took me to read that book), Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, and, of course, Hyperbole and a Half. 

Which is perfect, because each is for an entirely different reader.

Tony Award Best Play 2013 - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - Christopher Durang
For those that love comedic plays. Less crass then most of Durang's work.  Delightful. Read it. Or if you are so blessed see it.

Fantasy - The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Pretty quick. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author himself. Best bedtime drive story. A grownup children's story, with monsters and heroes, seen through the eyes of a little boy, but not for children.

Chick Lit (Really, for my actor friends.) Someday, Someday Maybe - Lauren Graham
The actress that played Lorelai Gilmore wrote a book about a girl in NYC struggling to become an actress. For all of you following the same path, your journey is beautiful and funny and miraculous and you need to read this book.

Horror/Zombies World War Z - Max Brooks
If you're a zombie person, you must have already read this. If you're not, it's not that gruesome and I find it interesting to see how different parts of the world reacted to the zombies, fought the zombies, and how we pieced ourselves back together, in this fantasy written as non fiction. Also listened to the audiobook which made it sound like I was listening to actual people telling the stories. Was disappointed that not all books had a voice actor for each character, even though I know that would be ridiculous.

Classic Literature A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
For those keeping score, yes, it really did take me two years to read this book. And yet I gave it five stars? Yup. This novel, my first piece of classic literature to read since the days when it was assigned to me, reminded me that there is a reason why "real" books are so long. You need that much time to figure out your characters and their world and the whole point of the story.

Contemporary Literature/Fantasy memoirs of an imaginary friend - Matthew Dicks
I can't even describe how beautiful this book is, I think it maybe took me two days to read it. An imaginary friend tries to find his kidnapped child and help him escape.

Hilarious Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh
This girl is the voice of my generation. She is witty and poignant and suffers from depression, and also from the same compulsiveness so many of us do. Or maybe its just me. And her. At least I'm in good company.

I also have to add to the list Cinder, because I've read it at least twice this year. Whenever I hit the wall with a stack of new books I haven't quite committed to I cycle through re-reading books. The Harry Potter series is too long to do more than once every other year, but I usually hit up The Hunger Games, Ella Enchanted, sometimes Holes, and now Cinder. I am super excited for the third book Cress to come out in February (which you probably already know).
You can probably figure out from that list that Cinder is for the YA Fantasy/SciFi readers.

In other news:
Still working as an actor! I have not "thrown in the towel" to do the nice, easy job of teaching (ha ha), I just want my teaching to be more of a 9-5 (again, ha ha) and less of a...4-8pm...which conflicts with the whole acting thing.
I already have an acting gig booked for a murder mystery (? that's what I'll call it till I read the script) feature film. My character is a terrible, terrible person. So that will be a nice challenge! (because I'm nice? ha ha?)

What were your favorites? I've perused the best books as chosen by Amazon, GoodReads, and the NY Times, but what about you? What books did you discover that weren't written this year? Or were, that's fine too. Especially those not chosen by the bestseller list.  


  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane and this was the year I read The Night Circus. That is Top of my list!

  2. Both so good!! Have I convinced you to read Cinder yet?