bringing sexy back (via the top 20 books of 2013).


Little known fact: reading is sexy.  …And if this – indeed – be the case, then call me Cara Timberlake because I’m bringing sexy BACK!

So, how exactly did that happen in 2013?  What was actually read (as in, completed)?  And what top twenty books would I then beg you to read? 

Number of books read: 89

Mode of reading: paperback (27), hardback (23), Kindle (22), Audible (17)

Worst book readFifty Shades of Grey.  Yes, I read it all the way through.  Yes, I cringed and wondered not necessarily how people could be so enthralled with the subject matter but how such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad writer could populate the earth with a NY Times Bestseller.

Best book readPastrix.  Ugh.  Nadia Bolz-Weber gave me a boost of freedom to just be ME, the reminder to love the ugliest of sinners and the greatest of saints equally, and the grace to let my soul be embraced by the Jesus I love.

Book genres: Non-Fiction (21), Fiction (20), YA/Young Adult (10), Christian/spiritual memoir (20), Cookbooks/cooking memoir (12), Theology/academic (4), Poetry (1).

2014 reading goals: read more classics, more memoirs, and – in an effort to stay my young and perky ever-29 year-old self –  more YA!

I now beg you, I implore thee to read the following books (all with five word definitions)…

Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Fun.  Seattle.  Witty.  Charming.  Mystery.
What Alice Forgot – Delightful.  Australian.  Enthralling.  Real.  Captivating.
Bloodsucking Fiends – Hilarious.  Brilliant.  Witty.  Imaginative.  San Francisco.
Me Before You – Get out the tissue box.
The Fault in Our Stars – John Green is brilliant.  Truth.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Epic.  Well-written.  Essential read.
Eleanor & Park – Perfect teenage dialogue and exchange.
Unbroken – Be inspired.  Crazy true story.
And Baby Makes Three – The parenting experience given validation.
Carry On, Warrior – Funny.  Endearing.  Lovely.  Love her.
A Circle of Quiet – Madeleine L’Engle for President, please.
Spiritual memoir: 
Seven Sacred Pauses – Soul-capturing.  Heart-refreshing.  Breathe.
Jesus Feminist – Essential for today’s church population.
Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis – Dark night of the soul.
Pastrix – Ugh.  Amazing.  Grace-filled.  READ.
Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair – Anne Lamott, my hero.  Done.
Torn – Loving Jesus, being gay.  Possible.
Cooking memoir: 
Dinner: A Love Story – For anyone who eats dinner.
A Homemade Life – Love of story, of food.
Bread & Wine – Food.  Drink.  Jesus.  Storytelling.  Enveloping.

Oh friends, the list is long, but the books were GOOD.  Here’s to another year of bringing sexy back!

xo, c.

What was the best book and the worst book you read this year?  How do you read most of your books, and what genre do you find yourself reading most of the time?  

27 thoughts on “bringing sexy back (via the top 20 books of 2013).

    1. Thank you, my friend. 🙂 Who knows? Maybe this will turn into a quarterly endeavor …we shall see. 🙂 Cheers to reading in 2014!

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

  1. love, Love, LOVE! So excited to pretend to be the 2013 CaraMacMeredith, in 2014, by reading from this list, those that I have not already read. And, in the first two lines – Seattle and Australia?! DUH! You started off with two books JUST. FOR. ME. SO EXCITED! 🙂

    1. Yes! The writing in Fifty Shades killed me – I felt like she wrote the word “bad,” and then went to the thesaurus to find a bigger, better, “badder” word, while I’m just shaking my head in the meantime. I look forward to seeing your list!

  2. So many great books on this list! I’m reading Stitches right now. But there are several I haven’t read yet, either. Having a never-ending list of well-recommended books to read may be a small glimpse of heaven. Happy new year, friend!

    1. And you just saying, “Having a never-ending list of well-recommended books to read may be a small glimpse of heaven” could be my favorite sentence you’ve ever written!

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

    1. Well, SEP, I am so grateful for you for introducing Pastrix and Nadia Bolz-Weber to me. Thank you! (And miss you!) xo.

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

  3. I enjoyed a few books: A biography on Ulyssey Grant, “Why did you choose a Man Made Hell?” “The Mississippi I Love” … I am also the author of two books: “James Meredith: Warrior and the America that created him,” and “Odyssey.” I am the co-author of “Married to Sin,” and Casada al Pecado. I hope readers will try one of this titles this year. Cara the biography I wrote on you father-in-law mentions you son in Chapter 11.

  4. What a super reader! I will be reading some of those this year. My two faves this year – fiction The Known World and easy Christian read but very real, Not a Fan.

    1. Ha ha – thanks for the super-reader compliment, Crystal-friend. 🙂 I just put The Known World on my to-read list – it looks awesome!

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

  5. Ahh. I love it, friend.
    I also loved Pastrix, finished it just days ago. So many good friends on this list, and wonderful new ideas to add to the ever-growing list. Thank you, xoxo.

    1. Yay! Ugh. Pastrix – ever the fave, ever the fave. 🙂 I think as long as people can get past the first sentence, they’re good to go. Oh, those gracey Lutherans!!

      Cara Meredith

      be, mama. be.

      1. I’m finding that in this season of my life, I’m more gracious toward people who are messy. So there’s that. Ugh.

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