My favorite books: 2013

I read a lot of books in 2013 and some were definitely better than others! Here are my favorite books I read this year (in no particular order):

Where’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple
A fun satire on Seattle, this book made me laugh, cringe, and want to keep on reading.

World War Z, by Max Brooks
A zombie book even for those of us who don’t really like zombie books. Documentary style, fast paced, and entirely convincing of my likely demise should a zombie apocalypse occur.

Zealot, by Raza Aslan
An insightful take on the historical Jesus of Nazareth before he became Jesus the Christ. Very interesting read, with some worthwhile theories.

Mary, by Lesley Hazleton
In the same vein as Zealot, this book put forth a well formed “autobiography” of Mary. Reading these  two books together really gave me some food for thought when it comes to how I think of the Jesus story.

The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent
A really great novel set during the Salem witch trials, this book personified the victims in a poignant, unforgettable way.

The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman
I read a number of books by Hoffman this year and this was my favorite. Using a string of interconnected short-stories, Hoffman tells the story of a small town as it grows up and then old.

Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson
Maybe the most frustrating book I read, this complex novel had a really clever idea that was executed well. Worth the effort.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman
A feel good book for sure, this one didn’t push any boundaries, but left me with a nice, fuzzy feeling when it was over.

The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier
Tracy Chevalier writes so eloquently and this novel was no exception. Well rendered characters and a compelling story set during the years of the Underground Railroad.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, audio edition read by Jim Dale
I loved this novel. It was so lyrical, it really felt like magic. Dale does a marvelous narration of this truly great book.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, by Jenny Wingfield
I thought this book was really touching. My sister recommended it and I definitely agree. The story went places I didn’t expect it to and the characters were all really compelling.

Dreamers of the Day, by Mary Doria Russell
If you haven’t ever read Mary Doria Russell, you should. She is a gifted writer with a knack for creating memorable characters. No exception here – a likable heroine is witness to a pivotal moment in history.

The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Necker
Hands down my favorite book of the year. I loved, loved, loved this book. The characters are so captivating, the story so unique, it’s just a really masterful piece of work.



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