2013 Book List

photo-155There is just something about a list, isn’t there? Orderly and somewhat soothing, like insurance against forgetfulness. This time last year I decided to share a list of books I had read the previous year. Keeping track of completed book titles is  simply a reference tool but fun in a listy-list sort of way.

Fueling this book habit of mine has been made easier by a few handy resources. First of all the library is always my first stop to acquiring a book.  FREE beats all else and now our library offers ebooks via the Blio app. You just have to read fast because in exactly 2 weeks the title disappears. One late night in December I just about threw my ipad across the room when Elizabeth Gilberts’s new novel vanished. From now on I’ll use this resource carefully when I know I have the time.

Secondly, I stumbled on our local Hastings used book sale last summer and got about 20 books for the price of one. Score!  Also, Amazon mysteriously runs kindle version sales every so often and I lucked out with quite a few titles for under $5. Used hard copy books you can buy on Amazon for around 5-6 bucks as well, which I utilize as much as possible.

Finally, last year I plugged into the internet more than ever and received either free advance copies of books (in exchange for reviews or a blog post) or ebooks (through a site called The Story Cartel).

Here are the books I enjoyed in 2013 with links to my favorites at the end:

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (audio)

Note To Self: Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn

Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young

Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry

Me: Stories of My Life by Katherine Hepburn

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit; Reflections on Creativity and Faith by Luci Shaw

Bread and Wine: Finding Community and Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist

More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger

Carry a Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of Theodore Roosevelt by George Grant

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg

One Thousand Gifts – Devotional by Ann Voskamp

Day After Night by Anita Diamant

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days by Frederick Buechner

The Cove by Ron Rash

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris

Carry On Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton

Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God by Paul David Tripp

So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon by Sophie Hudson

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

If by Amy Carmichael

The Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

Undaunted: Daring to do What God Calls You to do by Christine Caine

Awake: Discover the Power of Your Story by Joel N. Clark

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue

Loves God: Loves Girls: A Memoir by Sally Gary

Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by Macrina Wiederkehr

Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems edited by Caryn Miriam-Goldberg

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve

Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations by Frederick Buechner

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Terkeurst

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room by Matt Appling

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Illusion by Frank Peretti

Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel so Bad About Feeling Good by Gary Thomas

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Filling the Void: Growing and Deepening Relationships Through Conflict by Allen Tappe

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman

Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers and Reflections by Macrina Wiederkehr

Where’d You Go Bernadette? By Maria Semple

Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner

Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary by Macrina Wiederkehr

Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’Brown

The Lost Husband: A Novel by Katherine Center

As You Wish: Finding True Strength in Surrender to God by Mercy Lokulutu

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

I discovered a few things after this list was typed.  For the first time, there were more non-fiction and memoirs than fiction in a year.  Perhaps I needed a year of learning or maybe there just weren’t that many novels on my radar.  For certain, I discovered some authors  that taught me much: John O’Donohue, Macrina Wiederkehr and Luci Shaw to name three and all poets at their core.

Here are a few favorites and noteworthy:

Best FictionWonder by RJ Palacio
Best Non-FictionA Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman and you can read why here
Best MemoirBread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and you can read why here
Most Hilarious (tie between) Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple and   A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson
WorstSwamplandia! by Karen Russell
Most Challenging/ProfoundOrthodoxy by GK Chesterton

One of the best fiction writers I read this year is Ann Patchett. She is an absolutely gifted storyteller and plan to read all her novels. The website Goodreads is my online book collecting place. It’s the go-to resource for reviews, quotes and  recommendations. The site allows you to create book shelves that organize them into categories: to read, currently-reading and read books. It’s an efficient method of keeping track and staying motivated in the quest to discover new stories.

I’d be delighted to hear some of your favorites of 2013. Some of the best books read are those recommended by a friend!

4 thoughts on “2013 Book List

  1. Impressive list! If I didn’t know better I would think all you did in 2013 was read;) This is wonderful resource for me.

  2. I love book lists. Added a few to my list from yours. I also thought Swamplandia was not good (but had high hopes from the description and cover).

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