Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read in 2013.

When I saw this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday, I chuckled a little bit. My goodreads reading challenge tells me I've read a paltry 34 books this year. I believe that at this time last year I was in the 50s...but oh well!

Most of what I've read this year falls into the YA category, which I'm actually okay with. I miss my classics diet, but I needed some YA in my life!

Without more rambling, here are the top ten books I've read this year. They aren't in any particular order-just going from January to now.

1. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns: I thought this was a brand new book when I began reading it in January, but it was so familiar to me that I eventually put the pieces together (apparently I read this as a sophomore). I loved the small town focus of this, and the hilarious scenes. It was heart-felt and warm...and just what I needed to kick off the year.

2. My Antonia by Willa Cather: I was really worried I would hate this, since I hated it as a high school freshman, but imagine my surprise when I LOVED it. I loved it so much that I kicked off my Willa Cather Project and began reading a long list of Cather titles. This is the perfect story about life on the plains...I kind of want to read it again.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I think what made me love this book even more was being able to teach it. I got to pull so much from it to share with my kids and they, in turn, pulled a lot to share with me. It was a great experience, and this is most definitely my favorite book I've taught (I'm guessing until I teach The Catcher in the Rye this fall. I have a feeling that I'm going to LOVE that).

4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore: I adored this novel. It was the perfect fantasy novel, with a great and believable love story. And lots of action! It is what jump-started a series of YA books on my nightstand. I ended up flying through Cashore's other 2 titles shortly after...and now I have to wait for the next one.

5. Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano: This was a title that I accepted for review...and have yet to actually review on the blog. It's the story of a young girl who pieces her story together slowly, and as she inspired by the pictures on Loteria cards. It was a beautifully written book-one that was slowly put together, and I really fell in love with the writing and mix of Spanish and English.

6. Every Day by David Levithan: I tried another Levithan book earlier in the year, but wasn't a huge fan. Since this one had pretty good reviews, I selected it as my second chance title...and wow. I love the premise of this-waking up in a different body every day and experiencing a new life every morning. It was wonderfully written and had great conflict. It also left me wanting to try another by Levithan!

7. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: I am deeply in love with Sepetys' other novel, Between Shades of Grey. It blew me away and I convinced about 10 people at school (teachers and students) to read it over the last school year. So I was very excited for her sophomore title! I loved this one as well-a great story about a girl in New Orleans who is struggling to find her place in a truly messed up environment. It was a fast and absorbing read!

8. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: I don't know what I thought I was getting when I started this one, but wow...this was something. There were many lines that made me laugh loudly (so I had to share many with my husband, who was wondering what exactly I was reading). But I loved the story of this family-woven in and out of the generations. In some ways it reminded me of One Hundred Days of Solitude...but more intense in some ways. It was great.

9. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris: First, let me just say that the title of this is awesome. And the cover equally so. I won this during the readathon, and I was excited to dive in. This is the only title by Sedaris I've read (I have another on a shelf somewhere), so I went in not knowing what to expect. It was funny, random, and just what I needed to get through the last week of school.

10. Under the Dome by Stephen King: My most recent read, but one that I really loved. It was my first fiction book by King (I had previously only read On Writing), so I was a bit hesitant. I ended up becoming completely obsessed with this book for the better part of 5 days until I managed to finish. It was simply awesome, and I cannot wait to try more novels by King (of the non-horror persuasion).

Let me know what your favorites have been from this year!


  1. I can't speak to what I've read this year (not much worth noting) but I do want to recommend Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King.

  2. I think my current count is 33 books for the year, but sadly, I haven't really been blown away by any. City of Dark Magic was pretty good and is probably my top read of the year (not including rereads). I did still adore Shadow and Bone when I reread it, and the sequel was pretty good. I've had a lot of good books, but not really any STELLAR choices, you know?

  3. Great list! I love Oscar Wao. It's such a good book. Loteria is on my desk now unread. Earlier this year, I read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and highly recommend it.

  4. I need to compile one of these lists! I love that you've mentioned Gatsby.

    I've just finished "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared" (phew, that title) by Jonas Jonasson and loved it. I'll get thinking about nine more!

  5. I'm no Stephen King aficionado, but since you said you wanted to read more non-horror from him, I have to recommend "The Body" from the "Different Seasons" collection. It's his best work (except, maybe, for "On Writing.")

    1. Yes! "The Body" was what became the movie "Stand By Me," and I love both. I also recommend The Green Mile (and maybe 11/22/63). But, some of his horror stuff is really fantastic - don't shy away completely! The Stand is brilliant, too - it's kind of horror, but not really.

  6. Winger by Andrew Smith
    O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
    A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
    A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf
    Claiming One by E.J. Runyon
    The Gunslinger by Stephen King
    Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz


  7. I've only read The Great Gatsby out of these and I wasn't a fan.

    1. Ahh! It's such a good book! A great book! To be fair, though, I really didn't like it the first time I read it. Liked it a lot my second time. LOVED it after the third read. Maybe it's just one of those.

  8. I picked The Great Gatsby, too. I loved that the movie got me to read it for the first time. I wish I would have learned it in school as a teen.

  9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao made its way onto my Top Ten list as well! I actually think it reminded me a bit more of Allende's The House of Spirits than Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, but nevertheless it was a wonderful read and I need to read more of Diaz's works. I hope he comes out with another full novel at some point!
    Graceling is one of my favorite YA fantasies. And I really need to re-read The Great Gatsby. I love how eclectic your list is!

  10. Looks like you've read some great stuff this year! I'm totally taken with the cover of Loteria, so I'm glad you liked it and it lived up to the cover. ;)

  11. We both have Cold Sassy Tree and Great Gatsby on our lists! I can't wait to get my hands on Sedaris' new book.