2013’s Awesome Reads

2013’s Awesome Reads
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I have spent a rather large amount of my year reading: 36,646 pages and 116 books to tell the truth. This year I have focused on reading for pleasure, so if you’re looking for some life-improving, brain-engaging reads this is not the list for you. This is cotton candy for your soul.

It’s what I love.

Reading is my favorite. It’s my way of practicing self care. The books I read provide nothing for me but enjoyment and still, I make time for them. That’s what self care is all about, making time for the stuff that serves no other purpose than to make you feel good.

Ready Player One

“It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.”

Why I loved this book: Ready Player One was a great read, especially if you love 80s pop culture as there are tons of references. It combines two of my favorite things a dystopian society and online gaming. The main character was super lovable and so were his friends!

In Total Surrender

I love a good romance novel!

“Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power…and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace.

Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her.”
Why I loved this book: This was my all-time favorite romance novel of the year, which is saying a lot because that’s basically all I read! The hero of In Total Surrender was one of a kind and so was the story-telling. The first 100 pages are told entirely from the Hero’s point of view which really worked for the story and gave it a layer of depth that few novels can compare to. A lot of the time romance novel plots and characters blend together but this one will always stick out.

The Hunger Games

 “Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.”

Why I loved this book: I generally go against the grain when it comes to popular books, just to be difficult. I resisted Harry Potter until almost the 6th book. I was so happy I gave into the societal pressure to love the Hunger Games because it’s a fantastic series! The characters had a lot more depth than I expected and I loved the last book in the series. It wasn’t what I expected it to be and I loved it in its chaos and messiness.

When You Give A Duke A Diamond

“He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide.”

Why I loved this book: When You Give a Duke a Diamond actually made me cry with its sweetness. It’s a lovely story about being woken up by love. I loved the build up between the main characters and the romance was so beautifully done. The subtle changes of the hero totally make you fall in love. Did I mention how sweet it is? Totally a guilty pleasure book.

Ender’s Game

 “Once Again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens.
But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions?”

Why I loved this book: The thing about scifi is suspending your belief and not trying to fit it into the world you live in. If you can do that then you’ll like Ender’s Game. I originally only read it so that I could see the movie afterward but it was a great story in its own right. It dragged on at times for me but the good parts were really good and made up for it.

What was your favorite book in 2013 and why? Want to see more of what I’m reading? Clicky here!


  1. Avatar
    Bethwyn Walker
    December 29, 2013 / 8:56 am

    I love having plenty of romance books on my kindle for when I need to chill out, and reading is just like breathing to me. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Avatar
    Tabetha Smelser
    December 29, 2013 / 2:16 pm

    Ender's Game is probably my favorite book of all time. I've read it like 12 times now. I'm so glad to see it on your list.

  3. Avatar
    December 30, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    You're very welcome! It was a great year for romance readin'! Rarely a day goes by where I don't spend at least 15 minutes reading a book. It *is* like breathing some days.

  4. Avatar
    December 30, 2013 / 5:08 pm

    I really liked it and even though I read it in preparation of seeing the movie I *still* haven't watched it yet! Did you see it? What did you think? Also, have you read the other books in the series?

  5. Avatar
    Tabetha Smelser
    December 30, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    I saw the movie, and while I don't think it completely captured the book, it was still good. The story flowed well, and graphically it was beautiful. There are parts of the book that I wish it had, and parts that just didn't really do it for me, but I walked into the movie telling myself that it was not going to be the book so I was able to be entertained. :) My ex hated it and my boyfriend loved it, so whenever you do see it, go into it with an open mind.

    I have read the second book in the Ender Quartet, Speaker for the Dead, and I loved it! I actually want to re-read it so that I can finish reading the rest of the series.

    There is also an Ender's Shadow series, if you didn't know. I've read the first two books in that series as well and they are just as incredible. I feel like those books get a little more political, but I very, very much enjoyed them.

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