Books of 2013

December 7, 2013

January

Dave Cullen. Columbine.

Ken Jennings. Because I Said So.

Nate Silver. The Signal and the Noise.

Gavin deBecker. The Gift of Fear.

Kenneth Oppel. This Dark Endeavor

Ally Condie. Matched.

Nicholson Baker. The Anthologist.

Caitlin Moran. How to be a Woman.

John Boyne. The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket.

Dick Wolf. The Intercept.

Greg Malone. Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders.

The highlight from January was probably Nicholson Baker’s The Anthologist. Alongside all the teen books and non-fiction, the novel was fun and touching, and I like Baker’s creative fiction. The sequel, Traveling Sprinkler, came out in the second half of the year, and is also a lot of fun.

February

John Green. The Fault in our Stars.

Shirley Jackson. We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Kevin Powers. The Yellow Birds.

Richard Wagamese. Indian Horse.

Jan Andrews. When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew.

Eric Walters. Power Play.

David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview.

Bram Stoker. Dracula.

Highlights: Fault in Our Stars and Indian Horse. Ignore: Dracula. A friend called it a “slow-moving cheese wheel”, and that sums it up.

March

Franny Moyle. Constance (on Mrs. Oscar Wilde).

Stephen Hunter. The Third Bullet.

Paula Byrne. The Real Jane Austen.

Sarah Dessen. What Happened to Goodbye.

Charles Phillips. Illustrated History of the Kings and Queens of Britain.

March’s Third Bullet is when I realized I need to stop reading thrillers (mystery thrillers, not horror thrillers). I keep trying, but don’t like them anymore.

April

Sheldon Kennedy. Why I didn’t Say Anything.

Elsie Chapman. Dualed.

Michael Grant. Gone.

CS Lewis. Magician’s Nephew.

Sharon McKay. War Brothers: The Graphic Novel.

Paul Auster/JM Coetzee. Here and Now: Letters.

Allan Casey: Lakeland.

Mason Currey. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

David Sedaris. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.

More YA, more non-fiction, but it was mostly a lot of fun. Listen to David Sedaris’ books in audio…his delivery makes it. Lakeland will instill a love of Canada’s freshwater in anyone, environmentalist or not.

May

Brian K. Vaughan. Pride of Baghdad.

DFW. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.

Phil Robertson. Happy Happy Happy.

Georges St. Pierre. The Way of the Fight.

Corey Mintz. How to Host a Dinner Party.

Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot.

Attempted and abandoned: Aldous Huxley. Brave New World. Just wasn’t doing it for me.

A lot of variety this month, and they were mostly pretty good examples in their genre: graphic novels, non-fiction, the play…Oh, just noticed, no novels. Weird.

June

Morrison/Quitely. WE3.

James Martin. My Life With the Saints.

Andrew Sullivan. Love Undetectable.

Dan Savage. American Savage.

Lily Koppel. The Astronaut Wives Club.

Read the Martin and the Sullivan, whether you think they’ll have insight for your life or not. Ignore Dan Savage (lots of fun, but not a lot of insight) and the Koppel: read Wolfe’s Right Stuff instead.

July

George Packer. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.

Neil Gaiman. The Ocean At the End of the Lane.

Rick Riordan. The Lost Hero.

Khaled Husseini. And the Mountains Echoed.

Wesley King. The Feros.

Katherine Longshore. Tarnish.

George Packer’s book is long, worthwhile, and terrifying.

August

Anne Serling. As I Knew Him.

Don Gillmor. Stratford Behind the Scenes.

Vincent Bugliosi. Reclaiming History.

Reza Aslan. Zealot.

Anne Serling’s book is largely a content look back at the life and work of her father, Rod, but also considers what it’s like to lose a parent in your 20s. Vincent Bugliosi’s consideration of JFK assassination conspiracy theories doth protest too much sometimes, is overlong, and doesn’t hold to the standards of argument he thinks it does, but his very detailed outlines of the life and actions of Lee Harvey Oswald has me convinced over all the conspiracy theories.

September

JRR Tolkein. The Hobbit.

Meet The Press: 65 Years.

Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Gabler.

Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot.

Samantha Shannon. The Bone Season.

Gilpi. The Secret Daughter.

Jeff Lindsay. Dexter: Final Cut.

A lot of re-reads, but they were all worthwhile. Read Gilpi’s Secret Daughter, which was beautiful even if heavy-handed at times. Don’t bother with Shannon’s Bone Season, no matter what the hype.

October

Diane Setterfield. The Thirteenth Tale.

Ramsey Beyer. Little Fish.

Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl.

Nicholson Baker. Traveling Sprinkler.

Aidan Chambers. Dying to Know You.

Malcolm Gladwell. David and Goliath.

John Lewis et. al. March, Book 1.

David Levithan. Boy Meets Boy.

Si Robertson. Si-cology 101.

GREAT YA books here. Look at any of Beyer (graphic), Rowell, Chambers, or Levithan. And everyone alive should take the time to read the graphic retelling of the first portion of John Lewis’ experience in the civil rights movement.

November

Carol Shields. The Stone Diaries.

Brian Jay Jones. Jim Henson.

Stephen Jimenez. The Book of Matt.

Allie Brosh. Hyperbole and a Half.

Don DeLillo. Libra.

Jo Baker. Longbourn.

Pick up Jones’ biography of Henson and Jo Baker’s reimagined world from Austen. Jimenez’ investigation into the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard would have been better as a longform article…there’s too much he just hints at for a book of this length.

December

Earle Labor. Jack London: An American Life.

Kathleen Winter. Annabel.

JD Salinger. Catcher in the Rye.

Catcher is a re-read with my teen book club. The Jack London bio is fascinating. Annabel is the real gem. A beautiful, Canadian novel. If there’s time this month: CS Lewis’ A Grief Observed, and Seth’s illustrated volume of Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches.

Not a bad year in reading. The headstart I got at getting close to 100 books with YA and novels was all sucked up by huge books like the Packer and Bugliosi. Maybe I need to get back to fiction…

Happy Holidays!