June 25, 2013

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're revealing our top ten best books read so far in 2013. 



The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is literary fiction at its finest. I read with the sense that Diaz had everything meticulously planned out, from the tiniest details to the great overarching themes. It's a book that merits re-reading and, if possible, a discussion with others...Highly recommended for those who aren't afraid of crude language, who want a thought-provoking, lasting read that offers a glimpse into another culture and its history. " Read my full review!
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: "Wanderlove is a heartwarming story about a teen's journey, both physical and emotional, to find herself and regain a sense of purpose in her life.
Even if you have no desire to travel, are uninterested in art, or do not think this is the type of book you'd enjoy, I encourage you to give this book a shot anyway. See if you can read it without feeling a sense of wonder and contentment about the world around you." Read my full review!
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt: "Page after page of Keturah and Lord Death is full of ruminations on life and death, the great unknown. If the plot of the story itself does not convince you that Leavitt has written her own fairy tale, then the beautiful prose should do so. Deceivingly simple on a superficial level, the language is intricate, profound, and moving." Be sure to look out for my full review in a month!
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: "Reading The Sky is Everywhere is an experience that each reader should have. Heartbreakingly poignant, Nelson presents a haunting exploration of death and its aftermath, although one that is riddled with hope. For it is possible for sadness and happiness to coexist, just as grief and hope can." Be sure to look out for my full review in a few weeks!
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: "Between Shades of Gray is a difficult read. It's painful. It's tragic as only the truth can be. But it's important. It may be difficult to read stories like this, that really demonstrate how humanity has such a great proclivity to harm one another. But without evil, I suppose we also wouldn't have the capacity for great good. Through Lina's story, Sepetys has helped ensure that those who did suffer from similar circumstances will never be forgotten." Read my full review!


Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder: "Overall, I found myself very much impressed with Snyder's debut. Even if the romance was not my cup of tea, Snyder has created a readable and entertaining story, flipping certain Young Adult story tropes on their heads, which I always appreciate. There's no simple resolution or right answers in Poison Study, which contributed to its feel as a more mature novel." Read my full review!
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters: "I turned the final page of In the Shadow of Blackbirds feeling as though I had actually learned many things. Through this novel, Winters has done what historical fiction authors should always strive to do: place a historical event into a focused perspective with enough attention to details that readers can truly feel transported back to this time period. The little details are the ones that truly are the most effective: the household remedies, Mary Shelley's observations of the outside world, the black and white photographs." Read my full review!
Native Son
 by Richard Wright
: "Even with such a difficult protagonist, Wright brings up important issues that need to be discussed...A person may be more than simply the sum of his parts, but that doesn't mean that those individual parts cease to exist; instead they contribute to a fuller, more complex human. For, after all, how much can we really distance a person from his upbringing and circumstances?...I highly recommend that each person reads this book at least once. While not the easiest read in the world, it is an important one." Read my full review!
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I have not been able to formulate my thoughts on this book yet, but suffice it to say I was impressed with this post-apocalyptic take on an alien invasion. Be sure to look out for my full review in a few weeks!
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: "
Overall, though, I found myself to be quite impressed with my first experience reading Zarr. Her ability to create real, nuanced characters is impressive, as is the tight plot and strong writing. And I absolutely loved the fact that I was able to relate to her story on such a personal level." Be sure to look out for my full review in a month!

Let me know what are some of your top reads for the first half of 2013!
author image

Amanda

Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.

36 comments:

  1. I've heard absolutely marvelous things about IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS and KETURAH AND LORD DEATH. Can't wait until I have some time to read those for myself! Great list.

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    1. Thank you! And I hope you are able to get to them soon - they're both fantastic.

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  2. Fascinating to see Native Son on here. That's a unique pick. Reminds me that I need to be reading more classics. Haha. I've seriously let that slide, but I love them. Whoops!

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    1. haha yeah. I debated including it or not, but it really is one of my top reads this year so I figured why not lol. Same with me! I'm toying with the idea of reading a classic every two months or so. We'll see if I can manage that. :)

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  3. Oh, gosh. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, POISON STUDY, and HOW TO SAVE A LIFE are such great books. I loved each one.

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  4. Great list. The Sky is Everywhere is one of my all time favorite books. I keep taking Between Shades of Grey out of the library and not reading it because I'm afraid of how sad it's going to make me. I need to just read it!

    My TTT

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    1. I think it's become one of my all-time favorites as well, honestly. I borrowed a copy from the library but have decided I need to own it now. Between Shades of Gray has sadness, but it's actually not as overwhelming as you'd think. I hope you're able to read it soon!

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  5. I have a few of these on my TBR pile: Oscar Wao, Wanderlove, Between Shades of Gray, Poison Study - some others I've been curious about, like How to Save a Life. I've seen In the Shadow of Blackbirds on a few lists today and heard great things about it. But I haven't read any of these titles! I love that some of these are about important social etc. issues, and are thought-provoking and not just fun: nice variety!

    My TTT

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    1. Oh Shannon I'm pretty sure you'd love Oscar Wao, so I hope you can get to that soon! Obviously though I think all of them are pretty good. :)
      And my list is pretty eclectic for this week lol. I guess I do like some reading variety. Thanks!

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  6. Oh yes, I really like Poison study. I finished it about a week ago and I'm now reading Magic study. I can't wait to get started in The 5th wave :)!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Oh I'll be curious to read your thoughts on Magic Study. I thought the sequels weren't nearly as strong as Poison Study. I hope you like them though! And The 5th Wave is great. :)

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  7. been dying to read In The Shadow of Blackbirds!!!

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    1. Read it soon! You won't regret it! :)

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  8. I haven't read most of these, but it's a nice mix of genres and I loved Oscar Wao. Native Son is a book I need to read.

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    1. Yay for Oscar Wao fans! And Native Son is such a powerful read, I highly recommend it!

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  9. smashing list :) I've seen 5th Wave a few times now and am beginning to suspect I must read it! Thanks for sharing!!

    Sam @ Mad But Magic

    Our TTT: http://madbutmagicya.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks! And yes definitely give The 5th Wave a read.

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  10. How To Save a Life almost made my list—such a great book, and definitely one of my favorites. Keturah and Lord Death is a book I've heard NOTHING but good things about, so I'm really in need of picking it up.

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    1. Keturah and Lord Death is really a beautiful book, and a fast read. The only caveat I'd say is you should go into it understanding that it's following a well-known fairy tale/fable/mythology tradition so there are many parallels that can be made to other stories - but I didn't see that as a detriment at all. I hope you do read it, Renae!

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  11. Wow, the crazy thing is I think this is the first TTT post I've seen all day where I haven't read a single one of the books BUT every one of them is already on my TBR. And if I hadn't just picked up Keturah and Lord Death, your little snippet would certainly convince me too. I am listening to Yancey's Monstrumologist atm and am in love with it. I'll probably wait on 5th Wave until more books are out, but I know I'll dig it.

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    1. I do have a number of older and non-YA books listed lol. But yay I'm glad they're already on your TBR, because they all are worth reading. I'm most interested to read what you think of Keturah and Lord Death, Heidi!

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  12. I'm SO in love with Wanderlove and In the Shadow of Blackbirds is my favorite book this year, I think. I also just LOVE How to Save a Life and The Sky is Everywhere, not to mention Between Shades of Gray. Fantastic list, Amanda! Also, thrilled to see Native Son up there! I read it for school two years back and it blew me away. :)

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    1. Thanks, Keertana! We seem to have pretty similar tastes, so not surprised to hear you love most of these. :)

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  13. I love Junot Diaz! And I know I really should read Wanderlove and I had every intention of reading In the Shadow of Blackbirds...and we're reading Between Shades of Gray for teen book club next month! Great list--I love the mix of titles ;)

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    1. I so desperately need to read more of Diaz's works - and I heard he'll be doing a reading in a nearby city this fall. Ahh so excited. I hope you give all of those books a try. Between Shades of Gray can definitely promote a great discussion. Thanks, Molly!

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  14. The 5th Wave and ItSoB are two of my faves of the year so far as well! I also love the Study trilogy (which I now guess is a series since Snyder is under contract for 3 more books!) :D

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    1. Glad we seem to like similar books! And I know. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly since I didn't love books 2 and 3. I guess I'll see what other reviewers think!

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  15. Wanderlove made me want to strap on a backpack and head out into the world in the worst way. I loved the illustrations that were included. I still need to read the 5th Wave. I have it on my Kindle and plan to get to it this summer. Great list! Thanks for stopping by mine!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

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    1. haha I do know what you mean. If only I had no responsibilities or real-world obligations. At least we can read about trips like that! And I hope you end up enjoying The 5th Wave!

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  16. I've heard so many good things about How to Save a Life. Every time I see it, I'm reminded that I should probably read it sometime soon! My hubby is reading The 5th Wave right now and loving it! So have a lot of friends. Guess I should read that one too. :)

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    1. You should, especially if you're a contemp fan. And even if you're not really, haha. It's just a good book in general. Same goes for The 5th Wave - which I think has an even greater general appeal!

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  17. Look at you enjoying all these great contemporaries! I always think of you more of a fantasy girl so I like seeing them on your list. LOVE Wanderlove and The Sky is Everywhere. I really want to read How to Save a Life. I enjoyed The 5th Wave and Poison Study so much too!

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    1. I know, right?? I am not a contemp reader at all, but I've just managed to find some that really resonate with me recently. No complaints about that from me. Although now I'm starting to feel a bit of a desire to get back into some good high fantasies soon. :)

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