Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best Books I’ve Read in 2013

You can find links to the other blogs taking part in this event at Fiktshun.

Trying to get this list down to only ten was very difficult, so I have cheated a little bit by counting a few series as single titles. Please note that some of my favorites were debuts and so I have not included them here, but you will find them in my post on Wednesday. Here they are, in no particular order:

A Wheel of Time Series by Richard Jordan is a mammoth, fourteen-book adventure that I am tackling as a Read Along. Whilst a little more traditional than George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, it is similar in its strong use of a character-driven story and a cast of flawed, but touchingly real, protagonists. We have just finished reading the sixth volume, but I am somewhat behind with my reviews, so I have only reviewed The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt.

The Tiffany Aching Series by Terry Pratchett is one small part of his excellent Discworld series and one that is supposedly YA. However, it is a very entertaining read and yet another series that I undertook as a Read Along. It follows the adventures of a young Witch as she discovers her powers by fighting some of the evils in her world. It also involves the Mac Nac Feegles, one of the funniest Fantasy creations ever . . . so far I have reviewed The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky.

Midsummer Night and Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington are the last two volumes in her Aetherial Tales Series, which began with Elfland. These titles are more Fantasy based than the first in the series, and so I found them much more enjoyable. They offer delightfully gray characters and a richly drawn world that is parallel to, but intersects with, ours.

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch was possibly my most anticipated title of 2013 and did not disappoint. Again, you can find links to the Read Along posts and I have already reviewed the first two titles in his Gentleman Bastard series The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies. I am very happy to report that Mr Lynch has announced that Book 4 in his series will be published next year . . . I cannot wait!

A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a relatively old title, but one that I believe should be compulsory reading in all schools. It uses a dystopian setting to explore gender roles and presents a shockingly resonant view of a misogynistic patriarchal society that is still very relevant today.

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells is the first title in her Books of the Raksura series and was a book that I have been trying to read for at least a year. It certainly rewarded my persistence and provides a delightfully well-realized Fantasy setting.

A Season For The Dead by David Hewson is the first in the Nic Costa series: crime thrillers set in modern Rome. Although this title has some rather gruesome aspects it is very satisfying, not only for its accurate portrayal of the Eternal City but also for the characters it presents. It is the details and character work that make this a very rewarding read. (Please note that this review is posted on Veni, Vidi, Legi, the blog I use to post about Rome).

Stardust by Neil Gaiman is yet another of his excellent stand-alone titles. It seems that I am hopelessly addicted to Mr Gaiman’s writing, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed this title immensely. I completed it as part of a Read Along and also wrote a post comparing it to the film version.

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin is another title that I have been trying to read for quite some time. The first in her Dreamblood series creates a world very reminiscent to Ancient Egypt but with a unique magic system based upon dreams. As is becoming a bit of a theme here, it is wonderfully character-driven and does not duck away from uncomfortable plot twists.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is a stand-alone title that was actually written before her bestseller, Gone Girl. Personally, I found this title much more satisfying because the main character is someone who becomes more sympathetic as the plot unfolds. In Gone Girl, the two protagonists were gradually revealed to be totally unpleasant people, which I felt was a little dissatisfying.


  1. Awesome list! Thanks so much for taking part in the Top 10 of 2013! Looking forward to seeing the rest of your Top 10’s :D
    Jaime @ Two Chicks On Books

    1. Thanks,

      Unfortunately the ice storm is making it difficult, but I will hopefully get all my posts up this week! :D


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