Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Nook - Best of 2013

Looking back at 2013, it wasn't my best year for reading.  I just didn't have as much time as usual to read and I also didn't knit as much as usual (therefore greatly reducing my books-on-CD time).  But, despite this, there were still a few books that I just loved - here they are, my favorites from the year:

Favorite Biography: Storyteller
I absolutely love Roald Dahl's work, and over the past year or two, the Bachsters and I have read just about every book of his that we could get our hands on.  So, it was only logical to move from reading books by Roald Dahl to reading books about him.  He really led an amazing life and was quite an interesting character.  And since reading the book & posting about it on Book Nook, I've discovered his favorite color was yellow!   Here's the link to the post.

Favorite Non-Fiction book: The Creative Habit
Reading books on the subject of creativity was a big thing with me in 2013.  And this was one of my favorite books I read from the year, on any subject.  Twyla Tharp is intelligent, honest, encouraging and inspiring.  Her insights into creativity were real eye-openers for me.  This is definitely one that I will re-read.  Here's the link.

Favorite work of fiction: tie (and both YA)!

The Fault in Our Stars - don't you just love it when you can remember details from a book months after you read it?  The imagery from this book strongly resonated with me: the church basement where the group therapy is held, Isaac's crazy glasses, the back yard swing set, the flowers everywhere in Amsterdam.  What's more, I can remember conversations from the book, as if they were coming from my own life.  The guy who bought the swing set ("I just want them to go outside" he said of his kids) - I can remember a few more, but they contain spoilers!  This book is a wonderful story that will stay with you long after you finish it.  Here's the link.

I Capture the Castle - I loved getting lost in this book over the summer.  I loved Dodie Smith's writing, I loved our narrator Cassandra, I loved the quirky life she and her family lead.  Reading it felt like hanging out with a friend.  Here's the link.

Favorite kid books:  The Penderwicks
We discovered the Penderwick series this year, and had a blast reading the stories at bedtime.  We quickly worked our way through the first 3 books, and are anxiously awaiting the next installment.  This story of 4 young sisters was pure pleasure to read aloud: everyone laughed along with the story, our oldest DD found a character she could relate to (Skye), and we squirmed when a character got herself into a fix.  These are great books to be shared and read aloud.  Here's the link.

Honorable Mention: 

Howl's Moving Castle - this is only an HM because I didn't actually put it on Book Nook in 2013 (it showed up in 2012).  The funny thing is, when I first read it, I loved it so much that I wanted to re-read it right away (which, of course, I did)!  Earlier this year, I read it as a bedtime story to the Bachsters, and it quickly became one of their favorite books, and they also wanted to re-read it again right away (which, of course, we did)!  DD just got her own copy of the book, and she's been reading it again on her own.  This one is one of our absolute favorites.  Here's the link.

Harry Potter - this series has been a big part of our Fall this year.  We're currently on the third book, and I haven't decided if we'll just read them all now or wait until everyone gets a little older (they do get a bit dark later in the series).  Actually, as I write this, I already know the answer: read it now!  Our oldest is going through a big HP phase right now, and if it weren't for her new Howl's Moving Castle copy, she'd be re-reading one of the HP books.  This series is just pure fun to read aloud.  Here's the link.

What are some of your favorite books from 2013?



  1. Thanks for posting your "best of"! I somehow missed "The Fault in Our Stars", and will also have to get on "I Capture the Castle" and "Howl's Moving Castle" - my library requests never materialized, maybe another borrower lost them. Fortunately there is always the bookstore :)
    I read more this year than any time since PKE (pre-kids era). One of my favourites was the series of 4 by Patricia C. Wrede, about Cimorene. Utterly memorable for me.

    1. I think you had mentioned Patricia C. Wrede to me before - thanks for the reminder! After we finish the Harry Potter series, that'll be next on our list. Happy New Year!