Year in Review BEST OF BESTs 2013

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I awarded more 5 slice-o’-pie books this year than ever. Typically and statistically, I give ~13% of the books I read each year this highest rating. However, this crazy 2013, I honored 13 books or 22% of the 59 books read with the FIVER. I hereby attempt to list for you the 13 titles in order of how I liked them – no easy task and would likely change if I did it tomorrow. Ready?  Remember, the last book listed will be the top toppest of my favorites. Also, keep in mind that my ratings reflect how I feel at the time of reading. I don’t want to give any impression that these titles are ‘great books’ or literary masterpieces. They just worked out for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

13. Stories I Only Tell My Friends – Audio – NF – Rob Lowe – Jan

12. The Orchardist – Hardcover – Amanda Coplin – July

11. Alias Grace – Tradeback – Margaret Atwood – July

10. The Great Gatsby – Audio – F.Scott Fitzgerald – Jan

9. Beloved – Tradeback – Long-Awaited Reads – Toni Morrison –  Jan

8. The Song of Achilles – Tradeback Readalong – Madeline Miller – March

7. The Orphan Master’s Son – Tradeback – Adam Johnson – Aug

6. Up the Down Staircase – eBook  – Personal Challenge – Bel Kaufman – June

5. Maman’s Homesick Pie – Hardback – NF – PIE! – Donna Bijan – Sept

4. Making Piece – PIE! – Hardback – NF – Beth Howard – Jan

3. Doctor Sleep – Audio – Stephen King – Dec

2. Life After Life – eBook – Kate Atkinson – May

1. Beautiful Ruins – Audio – Jess Walter – June


Four of these I read in January;  a great month of reading! Two are PIE-centric and pie-riffic. Four were audiobooks. One title here might have to suggest that Stephen King is a favorite writer. I believe he has moved into my most-read-author slot. (Which would be 9 times I have read a King book. I better get back to reading more Kidder! I did manage one this year (nope! it was 2012!!) and I also got in more Atwood…)

Would I re-rate them differently if you asked me today? Maybe. Which is why I tend to let my ratings stay because I think they reflect or capture how I felt at the time I finished the book. Do some stay with me longer than others? Sure. Would I look at my FOUR slicers and think some are better than this list? Maybe.


Statistics and other boring observations coming up in my next post…


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26 Responses to “Year in Review BEST OF BESTs 2013”

  1. 1 Heather December 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I loved Dr. Sleep, and Iove everything that Toni Morrison has written. I’ll be reading Life After Life next month, and I’m really looking forward to it.

    • 2 Care December 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      You may notice that I didn’t actually move Infinite Jest to my DNF pile. I always think of you when I remember I need to revisit it… sigh.

      • 3 Heather December 31, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        Heh. I’m honored that your mind associates me with DFW and one of my favorite books. You’ll get into it one of these days…or not, and that’s okay, too.

        Happy New Year, Care!

  2. 4 Sheila (Book Journey) December 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Loved Stories I Told My Friends so glad you did that one in audio too! I have yet to read Life After Life but I have heard good things.

  3. 6 BermudaOnion December 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I’ve read several of those but a few of them were read years and years ago. I love all these lists but my wish list is becoming incredibly long.

  4. 8 Laurie C December 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve only read #10, #9, and #3. Beloved was in print a few years ago, and I did like it, but don’t remember it well now. The Great Gatsby and Doctor Sleep were both on audio and favorites for me, as well. Several others on your list, I’ve been meaning to read and still need to get to.

  5. 10 Kailana December 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t rate books any more because I always reconsider later. I think too much, I guess. I have to get around to figuring out my best of list for this year!

  6. 12 litandlife December 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I really liked Beautiful Ruins when I read it last year but it really seems to be one that people either love or are meh about. The Orchardist was one of my favs this year, too.

    • 13 Care December 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      I was very impressed with the author’s ability to create a sense of place in The Orchardist. It was right there with Light Between Oceans so maybe that should have been a 5 star, too. OR this one only a four? aw, whatever…

  7. 14 stacybuckeye December 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Two of these were on my favorites list last year (Stories I Only Tell My Friends and Beloved). We have good taste :) Life After Life is up early on my reading pile in 2014.

  8. 16 aartichapati December 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Ohmigosh, I have hardly read ANY OF THESE, and this is upsetting to me.

    Is Beautiful Ruins THAT GOOD? Clearly, I need to get on that bandwagon.

  9. 18 iliana December 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Beautiful Ruins is on my list to read. I have read some of these but it’s been a while. Alias Grace is a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing your list!

  10. 20 Trish December 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Yay! So glad to see Maman’s homesick Pie on the list! And Alias Grace is one that I’ve been meaning to read for years. You had a great year, especially with how busy you were. Hope 2014 is magical for you. :)

    • 21 Care December 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I loaned it to a friend who convinced her book club to read it – they are going to have a foodie discussion. I’m trying to get myself invited. And she kept the book so she could use the recipes. Which is why I want it back, LOL!

  11. 22 Jenny @ Reading the End December 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Oh Life After Life. I liked that one so much more than I expected to. Looks like a good reading year for you!

  12. 24 Melissa December 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I loved Song of Achilles! Doctor Sleep and Life After Life are high on my list for 2014.

  13. 26 Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) January 2, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Glad to see Life After Life made your “best of” list, too. Happy new year!

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