Recommended Reading: What I’ve read in 2013

Reading is Sexy.jpg

(Obligatory Pro-Reading Picture to, uh, encourage you)

No matter how busy I am, I ALWAYS find the time to read. When I was in grade school I used to hide a book behind the toilet (thinking back now, yes, that seems pretty grody) and feign stomach discomfort after dinner. This “white lie” was doubly effective since it gave me time to read AND got me out of dish duty.

Just for fun, I’d like to see how many books I read in a year, so on this page I’ll just list everything I read with a short description.

Here’s what I have so far:

Gone Girl: A Novel — 5 stars. Fabulously suspenseful bestseller with a crazy-shocking ending.

The Secret Keeper: A Novel – 4 stars. Slightly less enchanting than some of Morton’s earlier novels, but nonetheless compelling and surprising.

Lone Wolf: A Novel — 4 stars. Lone Wolf weaves heavily researched information about wolf behavior with a heartrending family story.

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table  — 3 stars. Using the same premise of Nickled and Dimed, McMillon gets her hands dirty in her quest to figure out how food gets on America’s tables and the fate of those who put it there.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America – 3 stars. This true tale of The Chicago World’s Fair has been out for years, but I’ve only now gotten around to reading it.

No One is Here Except All of Us — 3 stars. This is a novel that feels like poetry. No One is Here Except All of Us, about a tiny eastern European town in the time of World War II, explores themes of story, self, and survival.

Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir — 4 Stars. If you watched every.single Little House on the Prairie episode like I did, you may remember the character Cassandra. The woman who played her, Melissa Francis, talks about growing up a child actorin Hollywood and the terrifyingly real stage mother who pushed her at every turn.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel — 5 stars.  I love a good soul-searching journey , and Harold’s story is full of both prose and poetry.  Completely unsentimental, and completely charming.

Burnt Mountain – 1 star. This book was confoundingly awful. It’s like the author had two mediocre book ideas and couldn’t stretch either into a complete novel so she just slapped them together. You’ll find more entertaining reading with the Amazon reviews of this book.

Dark Places: A Novel – 5 stars. I literally could not put this book down and read it in two (really unproductive) days. The story is allusive to In Cold Blood (unexplained murders in a Kansas Farmhouse), but the deeply unlikeable narrator is strangely compelling and makes this a must read.

Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady – 3.5 Stars. If I have a signature genre, this is it. Victorian Gentlewoman in a repressive marriage seeks outlet for her natural passions. Ends badly.

Rich Food Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System (GPS) – 5 Stars. Made this grocery-store-aholic think about her grocery list in a completely different way.

Brother Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel – 3.5 stars. This is beach reading.

The House of Velvet and Glass – 4.5 stars. I know the whole Titanic premise is old, but this seems fresh. Howe’s first book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was also pretty good.

You can also follow my Reading is Sexy board on Pinterest. :)

What are you reading? What should I read next?


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  1. Three great books to recommend- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, The Volunteer by Barbara Taylor Sissel, and Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody. They were all fantastic!

  2. I just now finished reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Did you read that one already? I lovvvved it. Secret Keeper is next on my list. I liked Gone Girl, and agree it was a page-turner, but the ending totally ruined it for me.

  3. Gail Grooms says:

    The Light Between the Oceans was a good one

  4. A friend of mine wrote, When Lucy Washed Ashore, which I thought was great. She also has another novel out recently, The Impression of Jack Sullivan. I am saving this one for my trip in April. She’s a new writer, but receiving great reviews! check her out!

  5. Just a suggestion. Goodreads, is a LOT of fun. It is easy to keep track of what you read and they have COOL widgets that you can add to your blog. There is even a Reading Challenge each year and you can set your own goal and try to reach it. My goal for 2013 is 55 books. You can do reviews and everything. It is great. If you decide to join you can find me @ … send me a friend request! Oh and they have stars for you to rate your books :-)

    Thanks for the book suggestions.