Caroline’s 2013 Book Awards

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.

Best Book


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.

Worst Book


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

Stag and Hen Weekend

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.

Best Auto/Biography


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.

Special Mention



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!


9 thoughts on “Caroline’s 2013 Book Awards

  1. 2I agree with all of these except for the Rosie Project which I loved and found very funny. The Guy in it has Aspergers and it just appealed to my sense of humour. Must try Now You See Me. And I would add the new Jo Jo zMoyles novel out in February to my best loved books list

  2. I no longer read James Patterson books…I just have a weird feeling about him working with a bevy of co-authors…the image in my mind is something like a writing sweatshop.

    I really liked Age of Miracles too…very different. And I just remembered that I have The House We Grew Up In around here somewhere…now where did I put it?

    • Oh, and speaking of cats…I saw a television program about the Kray twins awhile back, and the whole time it was on, I kept thinking, ‘Aren’t Ron and Reg the names of Caroline’s cats?’ Are they named for them?

      • Yes! We tried several famous brothers’ names (Romulus and Remus; Phil & Grant (famous brothers in a UK soap opera); but Ron & Reg was favourite by far.

  3. Fantastic number of books you’ve read, I am impressed. The only one we have in common is After the Fall which I thoroughly enjoyed, I will try some of your other likes next year, and hopefully increase my annual count to beyond 40.

  4. This is great Caroline! Really helpful to get some recommendations from such a voracious reader! You put me and my measly book tally to shame. I’m definitely going to try to read more in the New Year. Like the sound of the first one and A Street Cat Named Bob.
    Have a lovely Christmas! xx

  5. I’ve read a few this year too although nowhere near a hundred. Haven’t read any of these but just finished The Help which I loved and currently reading Ralph’s Party, one of Lisa Jewell’s earlier works. I also enjoy her writing and have previously read two more of her books but the titles escape me. What a beautiful cat Bob is, think I would enjoy that one too. Have a lovely Christmas Caroline. xxx

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