Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013

This was kind of a tough week for me as I’ve read a string of YA books recently that were just not as good as I wanted them to be. But still! I’ve managed to put together a (rather dark and murdery) list of the top 10 books I’ve read so far this year:
(Original feature courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish)

1.       The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
If you’re a Greek mythology nerd like me, you’ll love this beautiful take on Homer’s Iliad told from the perspective of Achilles’ lifelong companion Patroclus. It’s an intimate look at the boys’ relationship both before and during the Trojan War. Miller’s prose is lush and gorgeous, too. Definitely the best book I have read this year!

2.      The Diviners by Libba Bray
Even though I already reviewed it a few weeks ago, The Diviners definitely deserves to make my top ten list for 2013. A series of supernatural murders in 1920s NYC? Yes, please!

3.      Terrier (Beka Cooper #1) by Tamora Pierce
It is obligatory that I will read everything Tamora Pierce writes, ever. I think she authors some of the best YA fantasy with female protagonists, and Terrier was no different. Main character Beka is like a tough, smart cop/detective, only in the medieval-ish realm of Tortall.

4.      The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin
This is another series we’re obsessed with at Mad but Magic (The Unbecoming made Sam’s TBR list last week). I didn’t think it was possible, but The Evolution manages to be even scarier than the first one. Maybe try not to read this one alone, at night…

5.      Maurice by E.M. Forster
In this lesser-known novel by the guy who wrote the super-romantic A Room with a View, E.M. Forster explores a same-sex pairing. The author himself was gay, and I thought this book was really interesting since it was written in early 20th century Britain – so main character Maurice doesn’t even know how to talk about his sexual orientation and at one point tries to get a doctor to cure him. Even more unusual for the time it was written: Forster insisted it have a happy ending!

6.      The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Hugely different from what I expected as Rowling’s first follow-up to HP, but not in a bad way. Told from a series of different character perspectives, it’s a pretty dark look at what happens behind closed doors in a small English village.

7.     A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
This was given to me by my boyfriend for Christmas, and I adored it… I think. It’s the story of Ignatius J. Reilly, who I loved to hate: he’s a lazy, paranoid, out of touch man-child who lives with his mother but considers himself a persecuted genius. Hilarious in the style of The Office in that it made me laugh but also physically cringe from awkwardness.

8.     Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I’m stealing a line from Kate’s review of this book: “At last a book about something other than ‘I love him/but we can't be together/I'll be moody for 300 pages.’” Right?? Katsa is a strong-willed, independent woman much more focused on her work in political intrigue than her love life. How refreshing!

9.      The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This one already made my last TTT for books that feature travel, but it deserves to be here, too, okay! Maybe I’ll include it on EVERY TTT -- wanna fight about it?

10.   Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald
In spite of what I think is a silly title, I really enjoyed this smart and sweet modern-day adaptation of Sense and Sensibility set in Los Angeles. My favorite thing about it: Hallie and Grace (Marianne and Elinor, respectively) are mixed-race and that is actually depicted on the cover! I also found that McDonald’s interpretation of Colonel Brandon as an Iraq War veteran worked particularly well for me.

What about you - have you read any of these? What books make YOUR top 10 for 2013?



  1. I am so sad- I own The Fault in Our Stars.... But I forgot to take it with me this summer ;-;

    I cannot WAIT to read it though, I've heard so many great things!

    1. It is really moving. I've read some other John Green (how about you??) but TFiOS is, I think, his best book yet! Hope you get to read it soon!

  2. The Song of Achilles sounds really awesome :) I'm a Greek Mythology nut as well, so I should check it out sometime. I'm glad you enjoyed The Casual Vacancy! It's another book I'm determined to read this summer. I've heard really great things about The Diviners as well. I haven't read anything by Libba Bray yet.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!
    Savindi @ The Streetlight Reader

    1. I can't recommend The Song of Achilles enough! Plus, if you love Greek myths, Madeline Miller is working on an adaptation of the Odyssey as a sequel. :D Although Song of Achilles took her 10 years to write... here's hoping her next book won't take that long.

  3. YAY, The Diviners! Love that book. And TFiOS, obviously, I'm a huge John Green fan. I really need to read the Mara Dyer books though, they sound so good. Great picks this week!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT :)

    1. You should definitely check out Mara Dyer this summer so that you can obsess over the last one with us when it comes out this fall!

  4. TFIOS made my list, too, and I'm already cursing that I haven't read The Diviners or the Mara Dyer books yet since I've seen them on a couple of lists today.

    I had the opposite problem - I've read soooo many good books this year, I had trouble narrowing my list down; in fact, I'm stunned I forgot to put Dare You To by Katie McGarry on it!

    Great list!
    Erin @ YA Book Crush

    1. Haha that's definitely how I know I need to read a book ASAP... when it starts showing up on multiple blogs that I follow. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, I adored your list, too!

  5. I really liked the Diviners, too. I was a little scared of the size, but it went relatively quickly. I have Jane Austen goes to Hollywood on my Kindle, but haven't read it yet. I'll have to get on it. Great list! Thanks for stopping by mine!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

    1. Jane Austen goes to Hollywood is definitely a great summer read - makes you want to be in Cali by the pool with them!

  6. I really want to read The Diviners, Graceling, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood, and The Song of Achilles. The Fault in Our Stars is fabulous and I have put it on too many TTT lists to count since I read it. Great list!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! We can both continue to be stubborn and include The Fault in Our Stars on ALL the Top Ten lists!! By the way, love your blog! And also your cats. ;)

  7. I can't believe I haven't heard of Song of Achilles before. I read Terrier a while ago and maybe I just wasn't in the mood for Tamora Pierce (as if that was ever a possibility, so I don't know what it was going on), but I thought it was just ok. Maybe I'll reread it as it got on your favourites list. You of course have heard my repeated obsession with Graceling (as well as Diviners and Evolution of Mara Dyer). Surprisingly all the rest are on my TBR. Everyone on this blog is my book soul mate!

    1. The hardest thing for me about Terrier (and the sequels) was actually getting used to the lingo, cause there is a LOT of it. Once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed the book a lot more and I actually found it kind of hard to break out of that mindset! P.S. I LOVE being book soul mates because I get the best recommendations from your blog. :)


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