Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Andi's Favorite Fiction in 2013 (Top Ten Tuesday)


It was a beastly task to pare down this year's fiction reading to 10 favorites. This has truly been a stellar year of reading. I took a page out of River City Reading's book and decided to share snippets from some of my favorite bloggers and their thoughts on my picks this year (whenever they happened to read them). Don't forget to check out their blogs!


The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

If you're one of those people (as I was) who swear they'll never read any science fiction, don't be too quick to dismiss this remarkable book. The writing is both captivating and provocative, not to mention quite funny here and there. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't love it. --Prairie Horizons

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

If you're looking for a book that you can sink your teeth into, a book of epic proportions that will make you laugh and cry, a book that you will continue to carry with you in your heart--I very much recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany. --Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Something about Jordan’s writing, the profundity and cruel sincerity she brings to the story make this novel entirely worthwhile.  No matter how many stories you’ve read concerning the South, this one will find a way to make you see things anew.  --The Blog of Litwits

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Todd and Viola grow and change so much and I love that. I love seeing the ways they react to what’s happening to them, being surprised by how they react to what’s happening to them, cheering them on and hoping for the best. --Capricious Reader

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This is a must-read book. Not only is Shirley Jackson a literary icon in her own right, but the book is fantastic. Let me repeat that. The book is fantastic. --The Book Wheel

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

There is absolutely no boring chapter in this entire book! I loved it. I let each gorgeous phrase soak in, and though I adored it and wanted to know what happened, I took my sweet time turning the pages. --Chels and a Book

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

These two feature heartbreaking stories and incredible illustrations. I'm definitely going to read more by Yang...and I can't wait. --The Relentless Reader

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Though at times I struggled to reconcile one Jane with the other each phase lead us to the happy Jane we encounter at the end of Jane Eyre, which makes me love those difficult sections just a little bit more having finished. --Entomology of a Bookworm

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Oh Francie! I love this girl. She loves to read, and it’s her escape from the mean streets of Brooklyn. She loves her father in spite of his alcoholism. She is met with disappointment after disappointment in her life and comes through it all to make a life for herself. I just want to hug her. --Words for Worms

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
His most recent novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is a slip of a book, barely longer than a novella. But packed within its pages is a story of true monsters. --S. Krishna's Books


STOP THE PRESSES!!! 

Errr, publish button. 

It happened. This fabled situation CAME TRUE! The last book read in 2013 is one of the best and deserves a place on this list. I'm adding it here because I didn't want to redo the graphic up top and switch out The Ask and the Answer for this baby... 



A full review is coming, but in the meantime, Jenny from Reading the End has something to say about Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness.  "Ness basically nails everything. There is not a false note in this whole damn book."

^^^Yep! What she said!





75 comments:

  1. I really should read Patrick Ness. I have a few of the books and with two of them in this list it tells me enough. Thanks for sharing your list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The series was really good. I love everything Ness has written, including A Monster Calls. That's a good place to start if you don't want to commit to a series right off.

      Delete
  2. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to give this Patrick Ness guy a try in the new year. Just maybe.

    Naturally, I agree with A Prayer for Owen Meany and I love that you used another one of my favorite bloggers' review there :)...and a fellow Texan to you, to boot (pun intended ;)).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's amazing. Do it!

      LOL, re: to boot. Yes, we have great taste, what can I say? ;)

      Delete
  3. Patrick Ness is one of my favorite new authors from 2013! I can't wait to read the trilogy. Tree Grows in Brooklyn almost made my list and I loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 2013 was a good reading year. Happy 2014!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's really fantastic and I don't think he gets enough attention. I'm just always gobsmacked by this ability to complete emotionally involve me. A very good year! I'm glad it was for you, too. :)

      Delete
  4. I have all the warm and fuzzies. You had such a great reading year!!! Now, I have to go figure out my own list. Quite the daunting task.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Can't wait to salivate over your list.

      Delete
  5. The Sparrow was the book that saved my sanity. I had been very ill and thought I would never think clearly again and then suddenly a section in that novel spoke to me as nothing had for over a year and the breakthrough was made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's amazing! Thank you for sharing that with me. It's an incredibly powerful story. Can't wait to read Children of God and others by Russell.

      Delete
  6. I've read 4 of your faves and 2 of them are on my all-time favorite list (Sparrow and Jane Eyre). I love looking at everyone's final lists :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yippeee! Lists are so much fun, and they feed my TBR. lol

      Delete
  7. Of all those books, Owen Meany is the only one I've read. I read it at Vance's insistence when he was in high school and I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really such a great book. I'm determined to read more Irving this year because while his books are plodding at times, it's so worth it to get to know the characters. Garp is up next for me.

      Delete
  8. I have not read any of these books, but I really hope to finally get to Jane Eyre and Rebecca in 2014! I've really been wanting to read both of these for so long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were both amazing! I hope you can get around to them and that you adore them as much as I did!

      Delete
  9. Love how you did this, Andi. Style-en.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Deb! I thought it was more fun than recapping my own words. :)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for mentioning me, dearie! Your list is SO. GOOD. I just bought myself Boxers and Saints so I'm glad to see it made your final cut. And I need to finish reading the Walking Chaos trilogy ASAP, obviously. Happy New Years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are SO welcome! I am thrilled that you're gonna read Boxers and Saints. It's gotten so much LESS hype than it should've.

      Delete
  11. I wish I could make a pretty graphic like yours! How do you do it?

    I want to read Boxers & Saints! It sounds fantastic.

    Also, I too adore Francie - what a great book that was. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welp, I already emailed you about the picmonkey graphic, so addressing your other comments here. lol Boxers and Saints is not to be missed and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and We Have Always Lived in the Castle are just so damn good.

      Delete
  12. I love your graphic! :-) I've only read one of the books you've picked. Your enthusiasm for Monsters of Men reminds me that I need to pick the series back up again. I hope 2014 is another fantastic reading year for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! You totally do because I want to know what you think of it! lol

      Delete
  13. I have read two books these past few days that could have made my list, but I had already written up the post and no reviews to be had...yet. So, they will be featured next year.

    I loved loved loved Rebecca, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Owen Meany. Such a great list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I want to know what the last minute faves were! And thank you. I just hope my 2014 reading is this darn good.

      Delete
  14. I've only read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (love it!) from your list, but a bunch of them are on my TBR list. Haha I love how you added your last book. I had my best of list ready a few days before I actually posted it; I had to wait until I finished reading The Goldfinch to make it official!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean! I'd had this post drafted, but I was waiting to see if anything jumped on. This is the first year I've actually had something make the list at the very very last minute!

      Delete
  15. Three of my all time favorite books are on this list: Jane Eyre, A Prayer For Owen Meany, and Rebecca - so naturally I think you have fabulous reading taste. I can't believe I haven't picked up Gaiman's Ocean yet, for shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We both do! We share a reading brain, too, apparently. I love finding "reading twins." :) I hope you love Ocean when you get to it!

      Delete
  16. Awesome list! I haven't read all but some of your books are certainly favorites of mine. Here's to a wonderful reading year in 2014!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Iliana! I hope 2014 kicks a lot of tail!

      Delete
  17. Rebecca made my list too, what a wonderful book. And I really enjoyed Ocean at the End of the Lane too.
    I'm halfway through Night Film - if I had managed to finish it by today, it would definitely have been a stop press situation for me too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to reading Night Film one of these days. I discovered this weekend that my library has the ebook available so I may go that route and buy it in paperback if I like it. :)

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Me too! Such a perfect book!

      Delete
  19. This was such a neat idea!! I blushed a little at my quote :). But there are tons of bloggers on this list that I have never heard of! So not only do I have books to add to the TBR but also new peeps to check out :)!
    Rebecca is on my top reads too.. reading it with you was so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks Chels! I thought your words summed up my feelings about Rebecca perfectly. :) Enjoy finding new bloggy peeps!

      Delete
  20. I've read and loved 3 of the books on your list, and am so intrigued by others like the Patrick Ness titles! I can't believe that you found a best book in the last hours of the year ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Patrick Ness can do no wrong to my mind. Such a powerful, insightful writer.

      Delete
  21. Oh, you read some fabulous books this year! I am kind of impressed with myself that there are only two on your list I have never read before. When does that happen! And, I loved them, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! We share lots of the same reading tastes, then, which is pretty awesome. :)

      Delete
  22. Since The Knife of Never Letting Go is on my list I suppose I need to make the rest of the series a priority! Happy reading in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  23. And I have read exactly none of these! Well, I read Jane Eyre in college but really need to re-read it. One of these years I will read classics. If I say it, eventually it will happen, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack! Yes ma'am. That's my philosophy...say it til it happens. lol

      Delete
  24. Added so many of these books to my TBR thanks to you, including anything by Ness. The Sparrow is calling at me to read it soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woohoo! I hope you read and love The Sparrow, and then we'll gush together!

      Delete
  25. Looking at your list, I'm realizing how many great recommendations I've gotten from you. Thanks for all the great reading experiences you've shared with me this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes my heart happy, Shannon! You're one of my faves, so to give you any kind of recommendation is a pleasure. :)

      Delete
  26. You have SO many of my favorite books on your list: We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Sparrow, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I'm hoping to add Boxers & Saints to my list next year. I also LOVE the way you and River City Reading organized these posts. So awesome! Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely hope you read Boxers and Saints. It deserves accolades out the wahoo and lots and lots of bloggy attention. And this post was SOOOO much fun! I think I'll add more quotes from fave bloggers to future posts...reviews and whatnot. :D

      Delete
  27. Very cool method of blurbing your choices! I dig it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think I'll do it more often now. :)

      Delete
  28. Wow, that's a pretty good recommendation, to be the last book of the year and added in at last minute! Can't wait to see that review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I was shocked and thrilled!

      Delete
  29. I admire your blog and your reading choices, and guess what? I've not read any of these books!!! Well a couple from earlier years, but wow....you have great taste, and I've got books to add to my list. Like I need more books on my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Anita! I hope you enjoy any books you add to your TBR from this list. So many goodies.

      Delete
  30. Oh my gosh--I've read and loved half half the books on your list! That never happens--I'm never so in sync with the cool kids! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yayyy! This cool kid is allllll about the books on my TBR and far less about what's new and swingin'. lol

      Delete
    2. And I'm really not very cool. lol

      Delete
  31. Oh Patrick, how do you always manage to nail everything so perfectly?! I'm going to make 2014 the year for reading this trilogy. You have such an amazing list here and I love the way you have written this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right??? He's just amazing. He makes me think about emotions and perception is some new and stunning ways. Thank you! This post was incredibly fun to write.

      Delete
  32. Seriously? I love this (and thank you). I JUST downloaded the audio for Ocean at the End of the Lane...just need to figure out when to listen to it. Such a great list...and so many backlist titles. #makesmehappy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! And I'm so excited you're going to listen to Ocean! Neil is one of the few authors who can read his own stuff really well. Girl, I am ALL about backlist! I have a post coming up about that, as a matter of fact.

      Delete
  33. Oh my goodness, I've been quoted! Eeep! I do want to hug Francie. And I do want to read The Sparrow. And We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And... You're constantly expanding my TBR and I love you for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LMAO! Yes, you have! And it probably won't be the last time. Awww, I love enabling you, dear. You do the same for me! #bookfriends #awesome

      Delete
  34. Out of the books on your list, I've only read the classics. Hopefully I'll make it to some of them next year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, too! Mudbound and The Sparrow really feel classic. Just timeless themes.

      Delete
  35. Four of the books on here are favorites of mine! Rebecca, Jane Eyre, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. What a fabulous year you had to put them all in one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Amanda! I don't know if 2014 can live up to the awesome of 2013. We'll see!

      Delete
  36. I enjoyed Jane Eyre and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, too. Looking forward to reading Rebecca in a few months; that was the book I nominated for my book club, which is on hiatus at the moment. Great list, and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I know we both know this but I LOVE WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. It was just so good.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You read so many of my favorites!!! The Sparrow, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, We Have Always, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, Ocean at the End of the Lane, Owen Meany, LOVE those books.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm re-reading Rebecca this year, definitely! A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a must read for me this year as well.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. "No reply" bloggers will automatically receive a response here. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!