Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Reads of 2013

The time has come to look back at the year that was. 2013 was a pretty good year as far as reading went, although near the end I struggled with a severe case of reviewer's block (it's like writer's block just entirely different). I took notes while reading, so hopefully once it passes I can get some reviews up, even if they are just quick thoughts on each book.

I managed to read 67 books (31,500 pages) in total, which is pretty good. Not as great as my personal best of 122 books a year, but after the great reading slump of 2012 where I managed only 40 I'm pretty happy with 67. My goal was 50 books and I easily surpassed that. I'd count that as a huge success.

Selecting my top reads of 2013 is tough. I had so many books I wanted to read and just didn't get to. Most of them were 2013 releases, so I really don't feel well-read enough to crown the top books of 2013. Instead I'll highlight 3 of the most memorable books amongst the 2013 releases I did manage to read.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

If I was forced to pick the best book I read this year then The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes would be at the top of the list.  It’s a brilliant mix between a thriller and horror novel with a dash of time travel thrown in. The brutal depiction of violence and creepy glimpse into the mind of a serial killer hits you where it hurts. The ending is mind-boggling in its implications and the story will haunt you for days afterward. Heck, I still find myself speculating on how the House works...

The Lowest Heaven edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin

Short stories often get overlooked in the hunt for that next big science fiction novel, which is a huge pity since science fiction in short form often has the most profound impact. The Lowest Heaven is a stunning anthology of astronomy themed SF short stories that span the entire spectrum of the genre and brings together a formidable line-up of authors. It's also a thing of beauty with a gorgeous Joey Hi-Fi cover and carefully selected pictures and illustrations tied to each story.  If you read only one SF anthology, make it this one.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

The Shining got me hooked on Stephen King's work. Since I read it for the first time, almost 12 years ago, Danny has haunted my imagination. I've always wondered what happened to that little boy after he survived such unspeakable horrors. What kind of man would he turn out to be? With Doctor Sleep I finally got to discover the answers to those questions and it was well worth the wait. While it doesn't have the same sense of claustrophobic terror The Shining had Doctor Sleep is a very fitting continuation of Danny's story. The best part is that Danny finally finds redemption, making peace with himself and his past. I couldn't ask for a better ending.

With that out of the way it's time for some stats.

This was the first year I've bought more ebooks than physical books. In total I bought 85 ebooks (135 if you count omnibus and collected editions as separate titles) and only 19 physical books. This is mostly due to some insane ebook deals from Kobo that were far too good to resist.

In total I read 67 books, 41 were paperbacks, 21 ebooks and 5 in hardcover. The split between genres were quite similar for science fiction (37%) and fantasy (39%) with a dash of horror (16%) and a bit of thrillers (5%) thrown in.

So that's 2013 all wrapped up. All that's left is to wish you all a Happy New Year! Let's hope 2014 brings many more splendid books.


  1. I like the sound of Lowest Heaven! Definitely my cup of [__]p

  2. Ill try that again but logged in properly...I like the sound of Lowest Heaven! Definitely my cup of tea!