Monday, January 6, 2014

Books Read in 2013

2013 was an AMAZING year for reading, maybe the best ever for me!!!  In general my goal is to read at least 2 books each month/24 for the year. Some years I smoke that goal and other years I don't come close. Even though I didn't read a single page between May 1st and July 30th, I still managed to read 29 books in 2013.  I've listed them below and you can also see my Pinterest board here.  Before Pinterest, I wrote the books down on a slip of paper that I kept in my calendar.  This is SO MUCH easier!


(Amazon links for each book.  Asterisks indicate my favorites!)

1. The Nature Principle by Richard Louv
2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
3. About Alice by Calvin Trillin
4. BOMB by Steve Sheinkin *****

I think I read this book in one day.  It was that riveting.  At least two other books on the list were inspired by this book and my need to learn more about the Manhattan Project.  I didn't think I'd like this book because I'm really not that interested in bombs/war/etc but oh how wrong I was.  If there were books like this around when I was young, I certainly didn't know about them.  I wish I did.  This book has a ton of awards and deserves every single one!

5. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
6. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ****
7. Overdressed, The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline

I think this is a really important read.  It's impacted how I think and feel about shopping and cheaply-made clothing/accessories/etc.  It's made me more aware when I hear of news like this and makes me celebrate companies such as this one.

8. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn **
10. Clara's War by Clara Kramer
11. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein **
12. Wonder by R. J. Palacio ****
13. With or Without You by Domenica Ruta
14. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
15. The Hurried Child by David Elkind ***
16. The Soul of Living Creatures by Vint Virga
17. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer *****

I put off reading this for years because I felt like I'd read almost everything on this subject.  I guess I felt I wouldn't learn anything new.  I always say that my favorite thing about myself is that I'm vegetarian.  That one choice says a lot about me.  This book made me celebrate that choice even more than I already do.  I think everyone should be required to read this.....

18. The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

One of the books inspired by BOMB.  I am endlessly fascinated with Oak Ridge, TN.  To read all about the women who moved and worked there was TOO COOL.  And this cover is my second favorite from the year.

19. The Housekeeper's Diary by Wendy Berry
20. Oil and Honey by Bill McKibben
21. Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
22. The Green Boat by Mary Pipher
23. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt ***
24. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
25. Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Deen Moore ****

This book is the most "ME".  I renewed this book as many times as I'm allowed at my library.  Then I paid at least a week worth of fines.  I didn't want to return it.  It inspired endless notes/quotes/etc in my journal and one of my favorite Instagram photos this year.  AND, as you may have guessed, this was my favorite cover of the year.  So beautiful!

26. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton **
27. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton **
28. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand ****

If you've not yet read about Louis Zamperini's story, get thee to a bookstore or library PRONTO.  You will not be able to put this book down.  I finished this book a few months ago and I still think of Louis all the time.  Truly amazing story.

29. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan *****

This book made me think long and hard about the history that's taught in our schools (or at least what was taught in my school).  I really knew next to nothing about the Dust Bowl.  I am endlessly fascinated now that I've read this book.  The Dust Bowl is something that would have really captured my imagination as a youngster.  Like BOMB, this book also sent me on searches for other books, etc on the subject.  I'm also hoping to read more Timothy Egan in 2014.


The book I most look forward to reading in 2014 is The Highly Sensitive Person.  I don't have to read the book to know that I'm an HSP but I can't wait to see what the author has to say about people like me!

If you're still reading and haven't fallen asleep, please share your favorite books from 2013.  What captured your imagination?  Did anyone read any of these books?  What are you looking forward to reading in 2014? I'd LOVE to hear!

See here for 2012 and 2011 lists.


  1. Great list, Audrey!
    I remember when you posted your list last year! I had great intentions, but I didn't get them all written down. I loved "The Green Glass Sea" which I found in a bargain bookcase in a book store in Albuquerque, New Mexico some years ago.

    The talking heads on CNBC were going on and on all year about why retail clothing was doing so poorly ~ and I kept yelling at them (so effective I know), "Have you seen the junk in the stores? No real person is going to by it!"

    I've bookmarked this page, so I can read some of your books this year. Right now I am rereading Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos series. This is at least my fourth time through this phenomenal sci fi series. I finished the four books in the series right around New Year's and I turned right around and started again. It's a challenge because each book is about 450 pages long. But I'm really having fun digging into these complex books. I did get "Voluntary Simplicity" from Amazon and am enjoying it as well!
    Happy reading in 2014!
    Happy reading for the girls too! One of the books I read aloud to my second and third graders almost every year was "The Prince of the Pond"aka as De Fawg Pin by Donna Jo Napoli. There is one reference to mating, but I could always work around that when reading it aloud. It is very funny, poignant, and profound! Maybe you can get a chance to check it out and share it with Sophie and Claire! Take care!

    1. about why was retail clothing ...

    2. Thanks for your awesome comment, Louise! I still remember you commenting on last year's post as you were the only one. I'm so thankful for you! I am SO, SO, SO happy you ordered Voluntary Simplicity. I reread it every year and I just finished it last week. It always inspires me to start off the year with a mindset to simplify my life even further. And it's funny...I don't EVER regret it! I hope you like it as much as I do. I will have to check out the Hyperion Cantos series....I'm not familiar with it. And I'll also check out The Prince of the Pond. Sounds right up my alley. The girls received some phenomenal books for the holidays so I'm LOVING my reading time with them at the moment. And Sophie and I started reading the 1st Harry -Potter!!! AAAHHHH! I'm sure I'm more excited than she is! :-) Happy Reading in 2014, Louise!!! Thanks again for your thoughtful comment!

    3. Hi Audrey! POP is so funny!!!! And it's hysterical to read out loud! Your tongue is doing gymnastics! I was spinning around in bed last night trying to remember all the books I read last year. I actually got up once to start a list. Then got up again to add to it. LOL! Have a happy Sunday. I loved the Harry Potter series. I was so mad when one principal said we couldn't read them aloud to our kiddos, that I immediately read The Hobbit and The Witch, the Lion, and the Wardrobe to them. Now why did I get away with those and not Harry Potter? This world is filled with absurdities! Speaking as a teacher, reading aloud is just about the most important thing a parent can do for her children! Speaking for me ~ sharing a love of nature is a close second! Obviously, you are an awesome mom! Take care!


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