It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Or so I say because little known fact: reading is sexy. And if this be the case, then call me Cara Timberlake once again because I’m bringing sexy BACK!
We do a lot of reading around here. Stacks of books adorn various rooms of the house like glitzy red and green Christmas decorations. There’s always a book in my purse, at the gym or in my ears (via Audible) while folding the laundry. And in the midst of this, opinions are formed and knowledge is had and life, in those fringe hours, is lived.
So, how exactly did all this reading happen in 2013? What books were actually read (and completed)? And what top twenty books would I then beg you to read?
Number of books read: 102
Mode of reading: Audible (28), hardback (14), Kindle (26), paperback (34)
Worst book read: To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf, 1927). It’s a classic. I’m supposed to like it. I’m supposed to get sucked into fog-filled England in the early twentieth century and never come back. But no. Ick. Bleh. Meh. I couldn’t stand it and wouldn’t have finished it but for my commitment to the Sassy Ladies Book Club.
Best book read: A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving, 1990). In my first year or two of teaching, a student read this on her own time and declared it “The Best Book Ever, Miss Mac!” I remember looking the title and dismissing it with a wave, because Christian + fiction = Bad News Bears. Well, friends, I was wrong. While this book contains strong spiritual themes, it is not a Christian book; instead, you will laugh and cry, think and giggle, and likely remember Owen Meany for a long time to come.
Book genres: YA/children’s (18), Christian/spiritual (13), classic (7), fiction (23), humor (1), memoir & spiritual memoir (24), non-fiction/biography (14), poetry (2) – these can be broken down even more, but for your viewing pleasure, simplification is key.
2015 reading goals: Keep reading memoir …because I need to read what I want to write. Add more mystery to the fiction mix, and because there are some hilarious people out there, Give Me Funny!
Male/female authorship: 67 female, 35 male
52% of the books read were published in the last five years.
July boasted the most number of books read in one month (14), while November held the lowest number (4).
# of pages consumed in a year: 30,363!
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – in addition to A Prayer for Owen Meany, I beg you, I implore you to take a gander at the following 19 books. Not every book received a five-star rating, but all of them stayed with me for one reason or another …and that brings sexy back, man!
Best Not-Too-Brainless Beach Read: The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion, 2013)
Second Best Not-Too-Brainless Beach Read: Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty, 2014)
Piece of Fiction I’d Most Like to Live Within: Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner, 1987)
Favorite YA of the Year: Tell the Wolves I’m Home (Carol Rifka Brunt, 2012)
Best November Book of All Time: Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte, 1847)
Best Romance Novel I Didn’t Know was a Romance Novel: Outlander (Diana Gabaldon, 2005)
Best Fictional Narrative for Issues of Race: Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2013)
Most Fascinating Biography: Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson, 2011)
Best Celebrity Memoir (With Twelve Cheers for Adoption): Instant Mom (Nia Vardalos, 2013)
Most Important Book for Every ‘Vert to Read: Quiet (Susan Cain, 2012)
Funniest Book Evah: The Honest Toddler (Bunmi Laditan, 2013)
Best Read on (Memoir) Writing: Handling the Truth (Beth Kephart, 2013)
Favorite New-to-Me Storyteller: Kelly Corrigan, via Glitter and Glue (2014)
BEST NON-FICTION WITH SPIRITUAL AND/OR CHRISTIAN THEMES
Most Endearing Spiritual Memoir:Found (Micha Boyett, 2014)
Best Mix of Journalism and Memoir: Does Jesus Really Love Me? (Jeff Chu, 2013)
The Book Every Human Should Read: The Enneagram (Richard Rohr, 1989)
The Book Every Preacher Should Devour: The Preaching Life (Barbara Brown Taylor, 1993)
Spiritual Memoir Nearest to my Experience: Leaving Church (Barbara Brown Taylor, 2006)
Best Mix of Spirituality, Science and Storytelling: Learning to Walk in the Dark
(Barbara Brown Taylor, 2014)
Honorable Non-Fiction Mention: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
So, there you go. Here’s to another year of Bringing Sexy Back!
Otherwise, what was the best book you read this year? Worst book? Which of my top twenty list do you gravitate toward, and which ones produce a bit of mouth vomit? And if you’re here for the first or the 500th time, consider subscribing to email or “liking” my Facebook page today! Happy reading!
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