Favorite Reads of 2013

I read a lot of wonderful books in 2013, so here without further ado I give you a list of my favorites, not counting re-reads. I’m including three books I read that aren’t published yet, written by people I know. When those books are published, I’m going to be the first in line to buy them.

TOP 15 BOOKS READ IN 2013


1. Paper Crowns (Unpublished)Mirriam Neal

Yes, my favorite book of the entire year was an unpublished story. Was it really that good? The answer is YES. ABSOLUTELY YES. It was perfection in awesome fairytale form. Publish it soon, Mirri, so that it can sit in a place of honor on my bookshelf and so I can send multiple copies to all of my friends. ❀


2. The Court of the Stone Children – Eleanor Cameron

This was a truly amazing book, a delightful mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, ghost story… I’ve never read anything like it before. Plus it’s by one of my five favorite authors. I’m going to be rereading this again soon I think…


3. Searching for Dragons – Patricia C. Wrede

I loved this book! Second in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and even better than “Dealing with Dragons”, the first one–even though I thought the series couldn’t get better. I loved all the fairytale things hidden throughout, and the whole thing was epic and witty.


4. The Kingdom of the Starlit Valley (Unpublished)the Princess of Dol Amroth

Hilarious humor and fun and adventure, plus one of the very coolest characters EVER made this book wonderful!


5. The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall

Considering the fact that this is a modern story, which is not my thing, it just shows how amazing of a book this was that it made it this high on my list! It totally felt like a really classic older book and I was amazed to notice it was only published in the last ten years. The fun adventures of four sisters, I really enjoyed it.


6. Princess of the Midnight Ball – Jessica Day George

Okay, so Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairytale, and this was a MARVELOUS version of it. Add in the fact that it was set during a musket time-period, and it reaches near perfection for me…


7. Secrets of Camelot (Unpublished)Lauriloth

I had the great privilege of getting to beta-read this for my friend (still working on the notes, Lauri!) and let me just say… I. Was. Blown. Away. The story mixes together King Arthur legends and Robin Hood legends, and add in some dragons in there and just… whoa. Does it get any better than that? The answer is no! This was SO epic!


8. The Fairest Beauty – Melanie Dickerson

This was an AWESOME book! You may be noticing by now that I’m a big fan of fairytale re-tellings, and this was an incredible version of Snow White. I really loved it and want to try more things by the author!


9. The Naming – Alison Croggon

This was recommended to me by a friend, and though a bit thick to wade through I was extremely glad that I did! Though it seemed to borrow heavily from The Lord of the Rings for a few things, it was a great fantasy story and I’m looking forward to finishing reading the series!

10. Facets of FantasySarah Scheele

This was a collection of five novellas, and each one of them was something special in itself! Awesome adventure stories, Sci fi, and Fantasy, and also one of the most hilarious stories I’ve ever read. The author is currently serializing a rewrite of one of the stories in this collection, on her blog–an incredible and original Cinderella retelling that I am LOVING, so be sure to check it out! I can’t wait for the conclusion!


11. The Amaranth Enchantment – Julie Berry

This was a great fairytale-ish fantasy story–it even had an element of Cinderalla that was fun! Very vivid and original, I quite enjoyed it.


12. The Boggart – Susan Cooper

This is possibly the oddest thing on my list of favorites this year… But Scotland! I listened to the audio version which was awesome. Very funny and cool and unique!


13. Castle in the Air – Diana Wynne Jones

Sequel(ish) to “Howl’s Moving Castle”… enough said! This was extremely fun.


14. Tears of a Dragon – Bryan Davis

Fascinating conclusion to the “Dragons in Our Midst” series, it was extremely engaging and fun!


15. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Going on my slowly-growing pile of books I’ve read by Jane Austen (all right, I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice besides this) I enjoyed this story immensely! It’s interesting how much I “got” it, despite it having been written so very long ago.

FAVORITE NONFICTION:


Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit – Corey Olsen

Fantastic look at The Hobbit, and really showed me some good things to think about when re-reading it! Highly recommended!

(If you’re a fan of Tolkien, check out Corey Olsen’s AMAZING downloadable MP3 college lecture series on Tolkien’s works–they are the most fascinating thoughts on Tolkien I’ve ever found; not to mention extremely fun and informative!)


The Four Loves – C. S. Lewis

Lewis always has great things to say, and this year I branched out from his fiction into some of his non-fiction. I was very glad that I did! This was my favorite I read in 2013 and had a lot of interesting and inspirational thoughts.

FAVORITE SHORT STORIES:

Wintermoon Wish – Sharon Shinn (from “Firebirds Rising”)

This story. I just… I can’t. It’s a WONDERFUL short story. Which is extreme for me to say because I’ve been finding that short stories are usually not my thing. It’s basically a Christmas story, or like what a Christmas might be in a fantasy land that doesn’t have Christmas. It was wonderful. It was also basically the only story in the entire collection it was in that I liked…

The Apprentice Thief – Seumas MacManus (from “In Chimney Corners: Irish Folk-Tales”)

I loved this story about an apprentice thief doing seemingly impossible things–it was awesome!

Westwoods – Eleanor Farjeon (from “The Little Book-Room“)

And this one, about a king who’s looking for someone to marry, was just SO delightful! In fact, many of the stories in the book it’s collected in are great!

***

So there’s my year in books! Have you read any of those? What did you think? And what were your favorite reads of 2013?

 

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11 thoughts on “Favorite Reads of 2013

  1. Books! πŸ˜€

    You got to read Paper Crowns by Mirriam? Jelly! I’ve been stalking her blog and dying to read that thing. She needs to get it published! It seems Howl’s Moving Castle-ish, the style I mean. I’m already in love with it and I’ve only seen snippets here and there. The second it’s published I’m snatching it up.

    *clutches heart* Is that…is that MY book?? On your list of favorite books of 2013? O__O Surely not! I…I…I have no words. I’ve actually been regretting sending that thing to people. It just needs so much work. But..but…THANK YOU. *dies*

    Now I need to go add some of these to my “to reads” on GoodReads. Looks like some delightful books! Princess of the Midnight Ball is on my to read VERY soon list because I got it for Christmas. I can’t wait!

    My favorite read of 2013? I’d have to say The Blood of Kings Trilogy, definitely. THANK YOU for introducing me to that fabulous series!

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    • Paper Crowns, yes! I got to beta-read it as she was writing it, and the style is similar to Howl’s Moving Castle! I love fairytale-esque things like that. πŸ™‚

      AND YES. YOURS. Of COURSE it’s on there — I mean come on, it’s AWESOMENESS ITSELF. πŸ˜€ Donovan and Arthur and just — SECRETS OF CAMELOT and your writing and just all the thiiings!! ❀ Do not regret sending it, noooo! After the teeniest bit of polishing it will be BEYOND perfection! I love it — thank you for letting me read it! ^_^

      Oh yes, Midnight Ball — you must read it and tell me if you like it! (I kind of want to read it again… o.o)

      You're WELCOME! I'm so glad you liked them! Blood of Kings is an EPIC trilogy! πŸ˜€

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  2. The Court of the Stone Children and The Princess of the Midnight Ball are two of the most amazing books _ever_. πŸ˜€ You must have had such fun reading them, and all the rest of these! And how can one even begin on C.S. Lewis…

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  3. These are such intriguing titles. And some lovely cover art too! Kingdom of Starlit Valley does have a VERY attractive character in it. πŸ™‚
    But you already know I love fairy tale retellings. πŸ™‚

    Like

  4. Pingback: Favorite Reads of 2014! | The Road of a Writer

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