Over the past year my reading habits have been pretty sporadic. What with the new job(s), the massive amount of TV catch up I decided to take on, and the general lack of that subway time I'd always had in Boston, I didn't get to nearly the amount of books I'd like to this year. (Plus the first 5 game of thrones books took me a good 3 months to complete. sigh.) I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a bit shy of my 30 books in 2013 goal, but of those I did read,there have been some really great ones that were definitely worth sharing. Here they are:
a feast for crows // In book 4 of Martin's Songs of Ice and Fire series we've had a chance to slow down and really focus on only about half of the characters we've all grown to know and love. By far my least favorite of the first 5...but that's kinda like saying you have a least favorite kind of chocolate. It's all pretty awesome.
god, no! // I've been a pretty huge fan of Pen & Teller since their first few episodes of Bullshit on Showtime aired as they turned their often critical, more often hilarious eye to a range of issues from aliens to diet fads to religion. God, No is Jillette's (an out atheist,) reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments. His books aren't for the faint of heart, the man is open about EVERYTHING, but it'll make you laugh out loud, and most of all, make you think.
the partly cloudy patriot // Do you love history? Do you love NPR's This American Life? Then Sarah Vowell's books are definitely made for you. Vowell is a self proclaimed history nerd, and through her humor filled essays covers a range of historical topics, most that you think you know...but you definitely didn't know nearly that much about.
a dance with dragons // If you found yourself angry throughout the fourth GOT book about the dirty of Tyrion Lanniser, never fear, he's back. (He's the best character in the series and I will fight you if you try to deny it.) This book made the many many MANY hours of reading worth it, by far my favorite of the series thus far. (Though I might kill Martin if he doesn't speed up his writing process and get me book 6.)
inferno // Robert Langdon is back, this time intwined in a crime centered on the literary Dante's Inferno. I know that Dan Brown has a lot of critics, but I've always really enjoyed his historical thrillers, oftentimes because they take you through so much history, art, and symbology. (History nerd in me I guess.) Not his best book, but definitely a fun read.
whiskey beach // Duh, you know that you're going to see some Nora on my lists, because, come on, I love her. I love that Nora's books have become a little more detective/thriller-y (and still full of romance and girl shit,) throughout the years. Whiskey Beach doesn't fail to disappoint, this time following a lawyer trying to solve his ex-wife's murder (and clear his name in the scrutiny surrounding her death.)
assassination vacation // By far my favorite Vowell book so far, assassination vacation covers the first three presidential assassinations of McKinley, Garfield, and Lincoln through a travelogue-style road trip. I kept finding myself telling people so many facts and stories that I learned from this book, (like did you know that Lincoln's son was present for all three of the presidential assassinations? Hello bad luck charm. This book is a must read.
american savage // Savage Love listeners unite! In his most recent memoir, Savage takes on a myriad of hot topics of the day, from bisexuality, to open marriages, universal healthcare, to dealing with his mothers death, all with the same wit humor, and humanity that we all know and love. I cry every time I read (or hear, as the essay was also featured on This American Life,) about his mother's death and his struggle with his lack of religion. Easily the best book I read all year.
adulting // While I wasn't expecting an actual list of steps, I was delighted to read Kelly Williams Browns' suggestions for how to become a moderately functioning adult. So many times I was like, oh god I totally still do that. It's a funny, easy read, and definitely a great gift for any 20-something or college graduate.
don't worry it gets worse // Alida Nugent is another 20-something blogger writing about her struggles with becoming an adult (can you tell the place I was in this past year,) but managed to do it with such a strong, hilarious voice. I couldn't put this book down.
reconstructing amelia // A single mother struggles to piece together the days before her teenage daughter's death through email, texts, and social media. A story of how far a mother will go to know the truth about the child she felt she knew so well, this book was basically begging to become a movie. (Starring Nicole Kidman sometime next year.) This book was a fun, engaging thriller that you won't be able to put down.
dark witch // If I actually told you how many Nora books I've read this year I would be embarrassed (hint, it's more than 12 and less than 14,) but I was de-stress reading them for second and third times so I didn't feel like they counted. Anyways. Roberts seems to really thrive in her trilogies (and her one quadrogy,) especially when they include Ireland and magic. Book 1 of the Dark Witch trilogy didn't fail to disappoint me, with love, magic, and of course evil in the form of a terrible man/wolf/beast thingy. Nora, you just keep writing girl.
every day is an atheist holiday // More of a memoir style of book this time, Jillette ties together his personal beliefs, (he's an atheist and libertarian,) with stories throughout his career, of meeting Penn, of why he thinks that Siegfriend and Roy are classy and tacky at the same time, of raising kids to think outside the box, and much more.
the fault in our stars // The love story of a terminally ill teenage girl... I literally can't tell y'all enough. read. this. book. You will sob like a child. But it it such a lovely, wonderful read that you'll read it in one sitting with puffy eyes and tearstained pages.
lets pretend this never happened // This was the year of the blogger book... and this was the best one. Jenny Lewis is weird. And hilarious. And had a strange dead animal filled childhood. And should probably be my best friend. The only way you can make this book better for yourself is to listen to the audiobook instead...because he storytelling comes ALIVE when she's narrating herself. (Also she sings the chapter titles.) It's a true gem.
allegiant // The trilogy has been pretty great the whole way through, (Think dystpoian YA novel of the Hunger Games flavor. But without the dumb love triangle that ever teen book feels the need to include.) This book was good, but was by far my least favorite of the three. Mostly because the ending just pissed me off. That being said, you should probably still go out and read them all, then come back here and tell me how wrong I was about the final installment. Or even better, agree with me.
how to be a woman // This book was a little hit or miss with me. Moran is definitely a talented and often funny storyteller, but while there are some really excellent chapters, (the abortion and not having kids chapters were great,) but the overall reading experience felt a little choppy.
apathy and other small victories // I started this book because a friend told me that it was his favorite book ever. Kinda a way more twisted office space meets Chuck Palahniuk. I'd definitely recommend it if you enjoy the more twisted parts of literature.
lets explore diabetes with owls // I downloaded this book as an audiobook because like Sarah Vowell, he just has such a great voice to listen to. My friend and I listened the whole way from Nashville in the car and were in stitches the whole time. Really David Sedaris wins at everything he does.