Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - The Year in Books

Yet again, I'm not posting a year in review, nor am I devoting any space to goals or aims or wishes for 2014. However, despite really struggling with reading this year (after a bumper year of more than 100 books in 2012!), I am going to once again post my year in books. If you're interested in previous years, here's 2012, 2011 and 2010's lists.

I don't know what it was this year, but I really had a hard time with reading for some reason. I started I don't know how many books, in some cases books I had been looking forward to reading for a long time and yet kept just, I don't know what, getting bored isn't quite right. I just didn't have the drive to read that I normally do. Even re-reading a few old favourites didn't really do much for me except make my list a bit longer than it otherwise would have been. Book club was mostly on a bit of a hiatus, too, although given my lack of enthusiasm for reading, I wasn't too cut up about that. Just to give you an idea, the list below is in chronological order and Strumpet City was our April book club book - so it took me till the end of April to read just five books! 

I'm not including the many books I started but never finished in this list, except for the two I'm reading at the moment and both of which I do expect to finish today or tomorrow. This post is also part of Clickclackgorilla's Year in Books bloghop. If you'd like to join in (doesn't have to be a list of books you read, can also be a post about your favourite book this year or any other book-related topic) click on over there and post a link to your post at the bottom of her post (and don't forget to link to her in your post either). Or if you just like reading lists of books other people have read, that's the place to find them.

I still haven't done anything much in the way of reviews or posts going into more detail of the books I've read but that's still on the agenda for some time. Maybe I'll find time and energy to do that this year. I read a few books on the topic of meat eating/factory farming this year and I'd especially like to go through them all again and do that.

(BC) = Book club books
(RR) = something I've re-read - there are some books, such as by Georgette Heyer, that I invariably read every year when the escapism of new fiction isn't enough and I want to escape into familiar stories that always make me laugh or cry.

  1. The Master and Margherita - Mikhail Bulgakov (BC)
  2. 1,227 QI Facts to Blow your Mind - compiled by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin
  3. A Memory of Light - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  4. Atonement - Ian McEwan (BC)
  5. Strumpet City - James Plunkett (BC - my choice)
  6. Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick
  7. Extinction Point - Paul Anthony Jones
  8. The Vegetarian Myth - Lierre Keith
  9. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
  10. A Girl of the Limberlost - Gene Stratton Porter
  11. The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  12. Cousin Kate - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  13. Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  14. To the Island - Meghan Delahunt
  15. Venetia - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  16. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (RR)
  17. Catch Me If You Can - Frank W. Abagnale 
  18. A Civil Contract - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  19. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (RR)
  20. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (RR)
  21. Transition - Iain M. Banks (BC)
  22. The Firework-Maker's Daughter - Philip Pullmann
  23. The Reluctant Widow - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  24. Frederica - Georgette Heyer (RR)
  25. The Shelbourne Ultimatum - Ross O'Carroll Kelly as told to Paul Howard
  26. 1984 - George Orwell (RR)
  27. The Godfather - Mario Puzo
  28. The 100-year-old who climbed out of a window and disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
  29. Planet Carnivore - Alex Renton
  30. Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer
  31. Fanny Hill, Memoirs of  a Woman of Pleasure - John Cleland


Sullivan McPig said...

I so need to get The 100-year-old who climbed out of the window and disappeared. I'm very curious about it. It sounds like something both my grandmothers would have done if they had the chance.

Moonwaves said...

I really enjoyed that - read it in just a couple of days, too. I'd heard a lot about it recently because of the film so when someone gave me Jonas Jonasson's second book (Die Analphabetin, die rechnen konnte) I decided I should just go ahead and get 100-year-old myself. It's quite simple really but very amusing. Another one of those books that made people on the train look at me funny as I struggled to keep my giggling (well, more like snorting really) under control.

click clack gorilla said...

Funny, we read Master and Margarita in my book club this year too. Had you read it before? And what did you think? It was already one of my favorite books. So weird.

And how was Banks' transition? That is sitting on my to-read shelf right now.

Glad to see your list again this year! Here's to a new year of reading. I sometimes have those reading funks where I just can't get into anything, though this year they never lasted long. Guess I needed the escape too much.

Maria said...

I've read 16 of them: 2,3,4,6,9,11,12,16,17,19,20,23,26,27,28,31.

And something odd? Now that I am elderly, I often find find myself reading a book that I've already read and only realizing it when I am about a third of the way through it. How silly is that? I will be reading and thinking that it all sounds so familiar...and suddenly it will hit me that I already know how it ends...UGH.

Moonwaves said...

Nikki: I did leave a comment on your post, not sure if it got deleted or not. Just so's you know I didn't just link and leave. :-)
I really loved The Master and Margarita - halfway through the second chapter I was wishing I was finished already just so that I could start it again. Such a rich, voluptuous use of language (not sure why I thought that word just now but since I did I'll leave it and hope that it's not just 'cos I've been reading Fanny Hill). Really wish I'd stuck with Russian so that I was able to read the original - I'd say that'd be an experience.
Transition was a bit weird but overall good. It certainly encouraged me to pick up some of his other stuff. The girl who picked it for book club said that he writes contemporary stuff as Iain Banks and sci-fi/fantasy as Iain M. Banks and that Transition was supposed to be his first cross-over between the two. I didn't really get that - for me it belonged firmly to the fantasy side. I did keep having to go back and forth though to figure out where the story was and I found that more difficult to do on the Kindle than with a paper book.

Moonwaves said...

Maria: is that supposed to only happen when one is elderly? Crap, I'm in trouble so. Fortunately my memory is so atrocious that even if I have glimmers of recognition I can almost always read to the end without actually remembering what's coming next. Plus side being that I can nearly as much enjoyment out of multiple readings of the same book as from the first.
I'd really recommend Strumpet City - it's a fantastic snapshot of what like was like during that turbulent time in Ireland. And somewhat distressing to realise how much of the same things are still happening or are happening again 100 years later (and 40-odd years after it was written).
How did you find Fanny Hill? I keep thinking to myself if only she didn't take so long to actually say anything, this book might be really getting me going - as it is her "balsamic injections" are more making me giggle than anything else.

tess said...

Bawdy books are fun in the winter, a good laugh is warming.