Best of 2013 – A Year of Book Reviews

In lieu of an actual book review this week, (yes, I know I’m already a day behind), I’m going to do one of those best of 2013 things.  Instead of doing the top 10, however, we’re going to do the top 10 percent.  Here they are, the top six books I read in 2013.

nightcircus6.  This book was recommended to me by my supervisor since she knew I was doing book reviews on the side, so I ultimately decided to at least give it a chance.  Not the type of book I normally read, but I was intrigued enough by her enthusiasm.  The Night Circus is a vividly beautiful book that transports you to a world where magic is real.  There’s also a special circus that only goes on at night, which is actually the setting of an ancient feud between two magicians who constantly pit their protegees against each other in demonstrations of skill and talent until one or both participants exhaust themselves to death.  While the story can get convoluted, this book is worth the read for Erin Morgenstern’s compelling descriptions alone.

prideandprejudice 5.  Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is a fun, sexy romp through Jane Austin’s classic tale.  This was one of the books I picked up in my epic quest for Bingley/Darcy sex, and it does not disappoint, in that regard or any other type of sex you could possibly want to find in a book.  For the entertainment value alone, this book made number five on the top books of the year.

Full review here.

judeconnor4.  A free book from Netgalley that I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing but that is in no way indicative of how I felt about this book.  I just haven’t been able to properly express how much this book moved me in anything other than short blurb format yet.  This book is about a young gay Christian man and the struggles he faces trying to deal with both his faith and coming to terms with his sexuality.  It’s incredibly powerful, and definitely worth the read for anyone interested in the subject matter.

eondragoneyereborn3. Shiny!  A young adult novel made the list this year!  I was pleasantly surprised, actually, by the number of good young adult novels I read over the year, even if this was the only one that made the top ten percent.  This book follows a young woman disguised as a boy who gets thrown into a position of power that shouldn’t be granted to her in the terms of their patriarchal society.  This book deals heavily in terms of gender identity, not only through the protagonist, but a transsexual woman and an eunuch as well.

Read my full review here.

psychguidetocrimefighting2.  Psych may be my favorite show of all time, so it’s no surprise that any book Psych related would have made this list.  Although I remain intensely curious as to actually wrote the book.  I’ve been unable to find this information, and it’s just one of those things I have to know.   Was it James Roday and Dule Hill?  Was it some incredibly lucky ghost writer working under the direct supervision of James Roday and Dule Hill in what I can only assume was a dream job?  Was it one of the show writers?  Does Shawn Spencer actually exist and James Roday just plays him on tv?

Most likely not, but, regardless, Psych’s Guide to Crime Fighting is definitely one for any die-hard Psych fans out there.  Just, be warned, there isn’t a lot of practical information on crime fighting, so please don’t pick this book up on the assumption it will make you the world’s most awesome detective.

Full review here.

Dragonkeeper1. This book was one of the last I read in 2013, and, as such, isn’t even slated for review yet.  Cut me some slack, I had books I read back in the spring that haven’t made the review list yet.  Still, it’s worth mentioning that this was the best book I read in 2013.   Robin Hobb has always been a hit or miss with me, and this book was a home run.  Beautifully crafted characters, deep themes you don’t normally see in fantasy novels, and dragons.  Lots and lots of dragons.  Also, I’m rather emotionally invested in when Alise is going to figure out that her husband is gay.  I solved that one from the moment he was introduced, and by the end of the first book, she’s blissfully unaware of his real sexual preferences.  Well, maybe in book two.  Also, I’m really hoping Sedric gets some sort of redemption arc here shortly, because I think it would be rather amazing.

There they are, the top ten percent of 2013.  May the new year bring me many new books to read, and hopefully enough good ones that next year’s  best of recap will be a bit more of a challenge.

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