Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 Reading Review

At the end of 2012 I promised myself that I was going to try to read more books in 2013, and write more reviews.

I did manage to read a few more more books than in 2012 (according to Goodreads I read 25 books total, with A Memory of the Light being the longest) but I failed miserably at writing more reviews.

That's an issue that I find myself wrestling with, and ultimately is the reason I haven't written as many this last year.  I feel like I'm not really "qualified' to "review" books.  I don't know why though.  What makes one "qualified" to write a review?  Further, does what I actually write about a book qualify AS a review?  I don't know how to answer these questions, and I kind of fell off the wagon, so to speak, and didn't even try.  But I do enjoy talking about books, so this year I'm going to TRY to try harder.

And If that doesn't say commitment, folks, I don't know what does!

But you know what I mean, I'm sure.  So - on to the books!!

In 2013 I read 25 books in total.  Somehow, this year became the "Accidental Young Adult Year," because 13 of those books, or 52%, were YA.  (I think?  Again the definition is somewhat nebulous to me).  And while I have been somewhat indifferent to YA in general, after reading so many this year, I believe I'm beginning to understand why they are so popular among "Adult Adults."

I've always had the impression that YA books are always written from the POV of females, usually teen girls - like The Hunger Games or Divergent.  And while there's nothing wrong with that and I applaud the fact that there are so many books for, by, and about girls and young women, I have to admit that I found it very refreshing to find YA books with a male POV (like Beautiful Creatures), or a POV that shifted between the male and female POV (like the Sky Chasers series), providing what to me feels like a more balanced approach to storytelling.  But without a doubt, my eyes have been opened and I no longer feel that YA books are somehow "less than" Adult novels.

I've noticed a lot of bloggers talking about their reading plans and goals for 2104.  I think that's a great idea from a blogging viewpoint, but not so much fun from a reading viewpoint.  I don't want reading to feel like a chore.  Ever.

But having said that, of course, here's my reading plans for 2014:
1.  Read whatever the heck I want.
2.  Revisit some of my old favorites.
3.  Continue reading what I like.

The last few years I've noticed that I've gotten super caught up in trying to stay current with what's being published.  Unfortunately, I just don't have that much time, and as a result I've neglected some of my faithful friends that I like to pull out and reread every few years.  In fact, I've already started!

I've started rereading Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn, one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels, and while I'm not going to treat it like an actual "Read and React" feature, I am going to try to put the book down every couple of chapters and talk about it here on the blog as I work my way through it.  If anyone would like to join me in discussing it I think that would be fantastic and I would welcome your thoughts and comments!  But more about that later; let's get on with what I read in 2013 before this becomes the never ending blog post!

So, here's my list of books read in 2013:

Title Author My Rating Date Read

The Kingdom of Gods  
(The Inheritance Trilogy, #3)
Jemisin, N.K.
4 of 5 stars
  Jan 26, 2013

A Memory of Light  
(Wheel of Time, #14)
Jordan, Rober
5 of 5 star
  Mar 27, 2013

Notorious Nineteen  
(Stephanie Plum, #19)
Evanovich, Janet
3 of 5 stars
  Apr 05, 2013

(Gone, #1)
Grant, Michael
3 of 5 stars
  Apr 22, 2013

(Gone, #2)
Grant, Michael
3 of 5 stars
  May 09, 2013

The Emperor's Soul
Sanderson, Brandon
4 of 5 stars
  May 14, 2013

And Then There Were None
Christie, Agath
4 of 5 stars
  May 21, 2013

Allanon's Quest  
(Paladins of Shannara, #1)
Brooks, Terry
3 of 5 stars
  May 22, 2013

The Weapons Master's Choice
(Paladins of Shannara, #2)
Brooks, Terry
3 of 5 stars
  May 24, 2013

Perfect Shadow  
(Night Angel, #0.5)
Weeks, Brent
3 of 5 stars
  May 26, 2013
Sanderson, Brandon
3 of 5 stars
  May 30, 2013

Theft of Swords  
(The Riyria Revelations, #1-2)
Sullivan, Michael J.
4 of 5 stars
  Jul 2013

City of Bones
(The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Clare, Cassandra
4 of 5 stars
  Jul 17, 2013

(Divergent, #1)
Roth, Veronica
4 of 5 stars
  Jul 21, 2013

Rise of Empire  
(The Riyria Revelations, #3-4)
Sullivan, Michael J.
4 of 5 stars
  Aug 26, 2013

(Divergent, #2)
Roth, Veronica
3 of 5 stars
  Sep 15, 2013

Lady of Ashes
Trent, Christine
3 of 5 stars
  Oct 03, 2013

The Black Irix
(Paladins of Shannara #3)
Brooks, Terry
3 of 5 stars
  Oct 05, 2013

Beautiful Creatures  
(Caster Chronicles, #1)
Garcia, Kami
4 of 5 stars
  Oct 28, 2013

(Born, #1)
Brown, Tara
3 of 5 stars
  Nov 06, 2013

(Reckoners, #1)
Sanderson, Brandon
4 of 5 stars
  Nov 20, 2013

Catching Fire
 (The Hunger Games, #2)
Collins, Suzanne
4 of 5 stars
  Nov 29, 2013

World War Z: An Oral History
of the Zombie War
Brooks, Max
3 of 5 stars
  Dec 18, 2013

(Sky Chasers, #1)
Ryan, Amy Kathleen
3 of 5 stars
  Dec 27, 2013

(Sky Chasers, #2) 
Ryan, Amy Kathleen
3 of 5 stars
  Dec 31, 2013  
Did you read any of these books this year?  Do you have a favorite among them?  What are your thoughts about the whole "qualified to review" issue, and what a "review" should actually be?  Let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear all y'all's thoughts!  And stay tuned for the first look at Dragon Prince - coming soon!


  1. I actually have the same problem! Even if I've read a book, I don't know how to review it because what gives me the right to judge whether it's good or bad? And I've just given up on staying current, mainly because I love classics! I love the idea of a 'Read and React' post, might have to steal that of you ;)
    Good luck with all your reading!

    1. Thanks Juli!! I did a "Read and React" feature a year or two ago for "Dead Until Dark," by Charlaine Harris. It was loads of fun! I think for my "ReReads" I want something a little less formal and less structured. I guess more like a neighborhood book club, of something. I guess we'll see how it works.
      I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with the "review" issue - thank you for letting me know I'm not alone!!