Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Books

A few years ago, I began keeping track of all the books I read, not because I'm someone who feels that everything I do is worth recording and publicizing--it's not, on both accounts--but because I'm simultaneously obsessed with lists and completely distrustful of my own memory. And, not surprisingly, in compiling every book I read in 2013 into the list that follows, I discovered that quite a few of them were so insignificant that they'd already been flushed from my memory. (In the interest of being diplomatic, these specific titles shall remain unspoken.)

However, I was also given the chance to relive books that gave me joy, opened my eyes to new experiences, and angered me by detailing what was and no longer is. According to this list, I read 126 books in 2013, a number that is both impressive and sad--an indication that I have no life whatsoever outside of books, though that's far from a terrible place to be. (And in my defense, this was also the year I cut back my television-viewing habits to the barest of bare minimums, which left quite a lot of wonderful time to fill. Volume-wise, I don't expect a year like this to happen again in quite some time.)

Below is a list of books read in 2013--old, new, and repeats (*)--in as close to chronological order as I could get them, followed by a short list of the ones I especially (and subjectively) liked, in some particular order.
  1. The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)
  2. Call of the Wild (Jack London)
  3. A Tale of Sand (Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl; illustrated by Ramon K. Perez)
  4. Wolf Story (William McCleery; illustrated by Warren Chappell)
  5. Solitary:  Escape from Furnace 2 (Alexander Gordon Smith)
  6. Rabbit Hole (David Lindsay-Abaire)
  7. Death Sentence:  Escape from Furnace 3 (Alexander Gordon Smith)
  8. The End of Your Life Book Club (Will Schwalbe)
  9. Seed (Ahnia Ahlborn)
  10. *Moby Dick: The Graphic Novel (Herman Melville; adapted by Lance Stahlberg; illustrated by Lalit Kumar)
  11. *Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  12. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  13. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald; illustrated by Nicki Greenberg)
  14. My Brother's Book (Maurice Sendak)
  15. Give Me Everything You Have:  On Being Stalked (James Lasdun)
  16. So Long, See You Tomorrow (William Maxwell)
  17. My Friend Dahmer (Derf Backderf)
  18. Ike and Dick:  Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage (Jeffrey Frank)
  19. Team of Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
  20. Batman, Volume 1:  Court of Owls (Scott Snyder; illustrated by Greg Kapullo)
  21. The Dinner (Herman Koch)
  22. *Anthem (Ayn Rand)
  23. The Radioactive Boy Scout:  The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor (Ken Silverstein)
  24. City of Truth (James Morrow)
  25. The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Mathias Malzieu)
  26. Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone (Stefan Kiesbye)
  27. The Burn Journals (Brent Runyon)
  28. Let the People In:  The Life and Times of Ann Richards (Jan Reid)
  29. Flying Leap:  Stories (Judy Budnitz)
  30. Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala)
  31. Those Angry Days:  Roosevelt, Lindberg, and America's Fight Over WWII, 1939-1941 (Lynne Olson)
  32. Dead Run:  The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West (Dan Schultz)
  33. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)
  34. Iron West (Doug TenNapel)
  35. What's Wrong With Homosexuality (John Corvino)
  36. Fugitives:  Escape from Furnace 4 (Alexander Gordon Smith)
  37. Wonderstruck (Brian Selznick)
  38. A.D.:  New Orleans After the Deluge (Josh Neufeld)
  39. Execution:  Escape from Furnace 5 (Alexander Gordon Smith)
  40. Ten (Gretchen McNeil)
  41. *The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
  42. Bomb:  The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Steven Sheinkin)
  43. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates (Wes  Moore; eBook)
  44. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President (Candice Millard; eBook)
  45. The Silence of Our Friends (Mark Long and Jim Demonakos; illustrated by Nate Powell)
  46. The Long Walk:  A Story of War and the Life That Follows (Brian Castner)
  47. *Big Fish (Daniel Wallace)
  48. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 (edited by Dave Eggers; eBook)
  49. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (Erik Larson; eBook)
  50. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls (David Sedaris)
  51. The Murder Room:  The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases (Michael Capuzzo)
  52. Batman, Volume 2:  The City of Owls (Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo; illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque)
  53. American Savage:  Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics (Dan Savage)
  54. The Origin of Feces:  What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society (David Waltner-Toews)
  55. The Miracle of Father Kapaun:  Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero (Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying)
  56. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? (Edward Albee)
  57. Wise Blood (Flannery O'Connor)
  58. Million Dollar Baby:  Stories (F.X. Toole)
  59. The Lathe of Heaven (Ursula K. Le Guin)
  60. The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon; translated by Lucia Graves)
  61. Octopussy/The Living Daylights (Ian Fleming)
  62. When You Are Engulfed in Flames (David Sedaris; eBook)
  63. Time's Arrow (Martin Amis)
  64. The Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History(Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter; eBook)
  65. The Kings and Queens of Roam (Daniel Wallace)
  66. City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago (Gary Krist; eBook)
  67. The Ramayana (translated by R.K. Narayan)
  68. Fences (August Wilson)
  69. The Heart of a Dog (Mikhail Bulgakov; translated by Mirra Ginsburg)
  70. The Humans (Matt Haig)
  71. The Age of Miracles (Karen Thompson Walker; eBook)
  72. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
  73. *I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down:  Stories (William Gay)
  74. *Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
  75. The President and the Assassin:  McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century (Scott Miller; eBook)
  76. The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge (David McCullough)
  77. Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies: "No Retreat, No Surrender!" (Raef Esquith)
  78. Wintergirls (Laurie Halse Anderson)
  79. The Epic of Gilgamesh:  An English Version with an Introduction (Anonymous; translated by N.K. Sandars)
  80. Collision 2012:  Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America (Dan Balz)
  81. Snow Hunters (Paul Yoon)
  82. Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West (Cormac McCarthy)
  83. Zealot:  The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Reza Aslan)
  84. The Color Master:  Stories (Aimee Bender)
  85. Pink Sari Revolution:  A Tale of Women and Power in India (Amana Fontanella-Khan)
  86. Harris and Me (Gary Paulsen)
  87. The Car (Gary Paulsen)
  88. The Trap (John Smelcer)
  89. Love in the Time of Global Warming (Francesca Lia Block)
  90. Saturday Night Dirty (Will Weaver)
  91. 13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher)
  92. Empty Mansions:  The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune (Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.)
  93. I Wear the Black Hat:  Grappling with Villains Real and Imagined (Chuck Klosterman)
  94. *Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
  95. *Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
  96. The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)
  97. The Shining (Stephen King; eBook)
  98. One Summer:  America 1927 (Bill Bryson)
  99. Last of the Blue and Gray:  Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery That Outlived the Civil War (Richard A. Serrano)
  100. Five Billion Years of Solitude:  The Search for Life Among the Stars (Lee Billings)
  101. Eleanor and Park (Rainbow Rowell)
  102. The Inheritor's Powder:  A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science (Sandra Hempel)
  103. Unwind (Neal Shusterman)
  104. Chasing Lincoln's Killer (James L. Swanson)
  105. The Accidental Species:  Misunderstandings of Human Evolution (Henry Gee)
  106. Falling Upwards:  How We Took to the Air (Richard Holmes)
  107. Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
  108. The Reason I Jump:  The Inner Voice of a 13 Year-Old Boy With Autism (Naoki Higashida; David Mitchell and K.A. Yoshida, trans.)
  109. This Land That I Love:  Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and the Story of Two American Anthems (John Shaw)
  110. Aimless Love:  New and Selected Poems (Billy Collins)
  111. Hyperbole and a Half:  Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (Allie Brosh)
  112. Confessions of a Bad Teacher:  The Shocking Truth from the Front Lines of American Public Education (John Owens)
  113. The De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew ( Editors)
  114. A Prayer Journal (Flannery O'Connor)
  115. Anything That Moves:  Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture (Dana Goodyear)
  116. The Men Who United the States:  America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible (Simon Winchester)
  117. Roosevelt's Second Act:  The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War (Richard Moe; eBook)
  118. In the After (Demitria Lunetta; eBook)
  119. The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight (Winston Groom)
  120. Divergent (Veronica Roth)
  121. Humans of New York (Brandon Stanton)
  122. *A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
  123. The Bully Pulpit:  Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
  124. Someone Could Get Hurt:  A Memoir of Twenty-First Century Parenthood (Drew Magary)
  125. God Got a Dog (Cynthia Rylant; illustrations by Marla Frazee)
  126. Marie Antoinette's Head:  The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution (Will Bashor)

The (subjectively) best books I read this year, in some particular order, and not limited just to new releases, but excluding the repeats. In a sense, these are my Top 13 From '13:
  1. My Brother's Book by Maurice Sendak
  2. The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  3. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  6. The Long Walk by Brian Castner
  7. One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson
  8. Million Dollar Baby: Stories by F.X. Toole
  9. Flying Leap: Stories by Judy Budnitz
  10. Hyperbole & A Half by Allie Brosh
  11. I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman
  12. The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo
  13. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson