I’ve read almost 100 books this year – by the 31st, I expect to have reached that milestone, and it’s the highest number I’ve reached since starting to record what I read back in 2001.
As ever, there have been some highs and some lows, and I always enjoy this opportunity at the end of the year to look back over the year’s books. So, without further ado, here are my 2013 hits and misses.
I had two 10/10 reads this year, the first of which was this absolutely brilliant psychological thriller by Elizabeth Haynes. It was recommended to me by my friend Glynis, and it’s the first book I’ve paid full price for in a book shop for years. I started reading, and literally couldn’t put it down until I’d turned the last page. Absolutely brilliant.
My second 10/10 read was this beautifully written story about a female professor’s descent into Alzheimers. Depressing subject matter, but with some lovely uplifting moments as well, this one had me captivated from start to finish.
This was a review book I was sent, I think it was supposed to be ‘darkly humorous’, but I really didn’t like it, and I didn’t bother to finish it. One of those books that seems to meander on with little or no plot. Just boring.
Couldn’t make it to the end of this allegedly ‘fast moving thriller’ set during the London Olympics, either. So far fetched that it lacked any sort of thrill as far as I was concerned, I’m afraid.
Biggest Disappointment by an Author Previously Enjoyed
I’ve read a couple of Mike Gayle’s previous novels and enjoyed them, and I thought the premise of this book (two interconnecting stories starting from either end of the book and meeting in the middle) was really original and fun. Sadly, it was just a bit tedious, and I ended up just flicking through the second story after not having enjoyed the first very much at all.
I’ve loved all of Adele Parks many novels over the years, but found this one really disappointing and not up to her usual standard at all. Judging by some of the reviews on Amazon, I’m not alone in this, but every author’s allowed a disappointing book when they’ve been as prolific as Adele, so it won’t put me off reading the next one.
Just LOVED this story about Bob the Street Cat and his owner James – highly recommended for any cat lovers out there.
Best New-To-Me Author
I read two of Charity Norman’s books this year, and loved them both, but this was my favourite. I’ve had a Twitter chat with the author herself (so love it when authors take the time to engage with their readers), and I can’t wait for whatever she writes next.
It’s a measure of my enjoyment of this book that it kept me reading through some rather unpleasant turbulence on a flight home from Cyprus back in July, and I don’t quite know how I’ve not managed yet to read the next books in the series. I’m putting them on my ‘need to read very soon’ list right now.
Book I Didn’t Expect To Like But Did
A fantasy based book about an environmental disaster, I was surprised that I found this as captivating as I did. Really interesting read.
Lisa Jewell is one of the authors whose new books I try to read as soon as they come out, and it’s rare to find an author who just seems to get better with each book. I loved Before I Met You, her last book, and this one, The House We Grew Up In, was even better. Her writing has matured as she’s got older, which is not to say it’s any better or worse, but because of this, she’s an author who has managed to stay relevant to me as I’ve aged as well. Brilliant.
Here’s to another great reading year in 2104. So many books, so little time!