Best books of 2013

by Andrea Cooley

book lover


I love a good list, especially if it's a list of books! This time of year there are lots of "best-of" lists, but my favorite are the best books lists. (Here are a few of my favorites here, here, and here.) Confession: sometimes I read these lists and almost get overwhelmed by all the books I want to read, is that my Type A personality? My mom always says, "so many books, so little time." That's definitely how I feel this time of year!

Several of the blogs I read regularly share what they're reading and I always love getting book recommendations that way. I have a GoodReads account, but I don't use it. So, I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite books with you! If reading isn't your thing I'll try not to hold it against you and you're welcome to skip over these posts, but I think they're going to be some of my favorites.

My family has a tradition of sharing our favorite book that we've read during the year over Christmas dinner. It's one of my favorite things! So I thought I'd share the best books I read this year with you! And hopefully you'll let me know what you're reading too. I guess you could kind of call it a virtual book club.

Favorite Books of 2013

Gold I mentioned this book when I finished it this summer, but it's worth mentioning again. All of Chris Cleave's books have some kind of outrageous plot twist and this one is also about the Olympics, which you know I love!

Fall of Giants This is by far the longest book I read this year. I actually had to put it down and come back to it twice, but it was worth it! I've read a couple other books by Ken Folliet (I highly recommend The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End). Fall of Giants is the first of a trilogy about five families during the 20th Century. It's historical fiction and I learned a lot about World War I and what led up to it.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette Hands down, the funniest book I read all year. If you're looking for a quick read that will make you laugh out loud, this is it. It's hard to explain the premise of the story, but it's definitely worth reading.

The Language of Flowers My mom gave me this for my birthday and it is wonderful. It's a unique story about a girl who ages out of the foster system and communicates with people through her floral arrangements. Sounds strange, but it's good!

And the Mountains Echoed I loved The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary) but I didn't like A Thousand Splendid Suns as much, so I didn't know what to expect with the latest by Khaled Hosseini, but it's wonderful! Probably the best book I read all year. It's about a family and commitment and sacrifice and how your choices affect future generations.

The Fault in Our Stars This is young adult fiction, and I hear it's being made into a movie, but it's worth reading before you see it. It's a tragic high school love story that starts at a support group for teen cancer patients. It will make you cry, but it's a good cry!

And that's it! I told Adam I definitely didn't read as much this year as I used to, probably only 20 books, but even with a busy toddler, I'll always make time to read!

I read mostly fiction, but I'm going to challenge myself to read at least one non-fiction book this year. Unbroken and Behind the Beautiful Forevers are on my list. Any other non-fiction recommendations?

Any other book lovers out there? There's something so wonderful about picking out a big thick novel to squirrel away with in January! One year I read Anna Karenina. It was dense, but wonderful! A great winter read. Jane Eyre and Sophie's Choice are other books I remember reading in the winter.

I'm sure there are several books waiting for me under the tree. I can't wait to start them!

* Some links are affiliate links. That means if you happen to buy the books from the link, we will get a small percentage of the sale.

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Andrea Cooley

  1. I read a lot of books year – including "And the Mountains Echoed." I'm always looking for the next interesting read, especially since my bookclub broke up about 2 years ago (sad). One of my favorite "light" reads was "Calling Me Home." I also read "The Goldfinch" and "The Signature of All Things" I wasn't completely enamored with either (especially since "The Goldfinch was one brick of a book at 800 pages) but they were interesting. I usually use GoodReads as a source for what the rest of the world liked :) Are you in a bookclub?

    • I’ve been hearing so much about Goldfinch, but hesitate to start something that long and The Signature of All Things is also on my list. I’ll let you know if I read either. I do have a book club, but we’re pretty informal.

  2. The Language of Flowers has shown up in sooo many favorites lists! I'm taking the hint and adding it to my list. 

    Unbroken is wonderful. (So is Seabiscuit, Hillenbrand's previous book. I didn't think I was interested  in the topic but I started it because I liked Unbroken so much, and I was hooked from about page 3.)

    Thanks for sharing your favorites!

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