June 30, 2013

The 10 Best Books I've Read So Far in 2013

Have you noticed that 2013 is already halfway over? How did that happen?! Like last year, I want to round up the best 10 books that I've read so far this year - superlative style. 

Last year I was picking 10 out of 86, this year 10 out of 61; so it was slightly easier. But still, I always have a hard time narrowing things down - because I tend to be picky about what I read in the first place, I mostly read really good books!

Without further ado; my final selection:

Best Kate Morton: The Distant Hours
The Distant Hours haunted me. It took me weeks to get it out of my head, so I give this one the nod, even though it was more tragic than the other Mortons I've read. I didn't like the modern part of the tale as well in this one; but the story of The Mud Man was unforgettable.

Most Surprising Pick: Grand Ambition
As I mentioned in my full review, I was really surprised by how much I liked this one. On the surface a book about a yacht sounds so boring; but I really enjoyed it.

Best Use of Kenya: The Ashford Affair
I called this book, "Kate Morton lite", but it's still a fantastic piece of fiction. Unraveling Granny Addie's story along with Clemmie makes for a great read.

Best History: The Borgias: The Hidden History
All you ever wanted to know about the Borgias. And then some. Long; but fascinating - and really good on audio.

Best Use of Time Travel: 11/22/63
I was astonished by King's writing in this book - he really evoked the era of the late 50s / early 60s. I've always avoided him because I'm not a horror fan, but I'm planning to read more of his books because I liked this one so much.

Most Romantic: Dawn's Early Light
Bring out the tissues for this one, sniffle. The beginning of Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg series is unmissable. And, the historical depiction of the Revolutionary War is superb.

Best Series Entry: What Darkness Brings
C.S. Harris's books just keep getting better and better; which is not something I often say about a series! She brings the dark side of Regency London to life so well, and I adore the tension in the Kat - Sebastian - Hero love triangle.

Most Soviet: The Twelfth Department
William Ryan has done it again - this latest Captain Alexei Korolev novel is irresistible. And oh how glad I am that I didn't live in 1930s Moscow. 

Cleverest Detective: A Red Herring Without Mustard
Flavia de Luce is a brilliant chemist, wicked logician, and master poisoner. And, she's 11. This series is pure fun. The mysteries aren't that mysterious, but it's about watching Flavia solve them, not about being surprised.

Best YA: The Raven Boys
Don't take "Best YA" lightly - 11 of the 62 books I've finished this year have been YA (I blame this on pregnancy brain!). I almost gave the nod to Code Name Verity, because I adored that one, but since The Raven Boys is book 1 in a series that I have high hopes for, I'm picking it. If you're looking for some mystical / magical YA, look no further than The Raven Boys.

What's the best book you've read in 2013?

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