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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reading Recap for 2013!

I said I wasn't going to do it, but I went ahead and did it anyway. I set a stupidly lofty goal of reading 100 books this year. Yes, I completed it, (I actually read 103) but only because I rarely leave goals uncompleted. It's in my blood. Also, I should not that about a third of the books were on audio, but they were still full versions.

Last year I said I was going to set a better, more-realistic goal for myself for the year: To find 12 books I really love. Well, I completed that goal too! If you're looking for some fantastic books to read, check my sidebar (13 books actually made it to my 12 awesome books list - I couldn't decide.)

So I won't go over those, but I wanted to add a specialized list here, to give you a few more thoughts into the books I enjoyed and why I enjoyed them this year. Not all of these books were published in 2013, but they are all books I read during the year.

Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My KidsThe book that made me LOL the most: Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe
- If you have kids or have ever considered having kids, this is a great book for you. My husband was constantly asking me, "What? What are you laughing at?" followed by, "Oh, you're reading that book again."

The book that inspired me the most: It's Not Just Gymnastics; It's Life by Lance Ringnald
- I started this book feeling old and like I was generally losing interest in uncovering the strong and flexible person I used to be, but since March, since reading this book, I've been excited about working out again, trying new things physically, and even writing my own book concerning some of this stuff (more to come on that!) I love reading biographies of interesting people, and this book was definitely that.

The Book that I was the most conflicted about: Just One Year by Gayle Forman
- It's a little hard to go into why I was so conflicted about this book without giving spoilers. Let me just say that I LOVED the setting (Holland! India! Paris!) of this book, I LOVED the self-discovery, I LOVED the writing... but partway through, I started getting frustrated with the plot. I did something I NEVER do: I skipped ahead to the ending. It helped rid me of my frustration, and I was able to go back and enjoy the rest of the book, but I didn't love the ending, and had I not skipped ahead (which I still feel oddly guilty about) I think I would have found it a very frustrating read.

The most romantic book I read this year: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- I'm not sure what else to say about this, except I just wanted to hug this book over and over and over again.

The Lucy VariationsThe most artsy book I read this year: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
- (Followed closely by This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales). I love books where the main character is very skilled at an art of some kind, and this was such a book. It reminded me a little of Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez. Both books really inspire me to work harder at being me in my art.

If I had to pick a favorite book this year? I'd have to go with the Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)- Sorry, there's no way I could pick just one of these books. I loved them all, and I especially loved how they fit together. I listened to this series on audio, and actually listened to the whole series twice in a row, because I just didn't want these characters to stop being in my life.

So those are some of my favorites and whys...Now I'd love to hear yours!

If you want to see the full list of books I read this year, check out my GoodReads page.


  1. We read most of the same books, though there are a couple on the list I haven't read yet. 2014 must be a year of more reading for me. I signed up for a 100 book challenge at LibraryThing. 100 + used to be my norm. This year was a dismal 38. Books=writer fuel. ^_^

    1. Yeah, I know it can be hard to concentrate sometimes, and you've had a difficult year. So don't beat yourself up about it. Wishing you much enriching reading in 2014!

  2. I always love seeing other peoples' lists of fave books, so thanks for posting yours! I haven't read Jenny Han's books...will have to check them out. :)

    1. Yes, you MUST read Jenny Han's books, Shari. I highly recommend them on audio (they were available through my library). I also love reading other people's lists. I jotted a few down off of your list too.