Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read in 2013 (So Far)

Top 10 TuesdaySince 2013 is about halfway gone, it’s the perfect time for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. Unfortunately, I haven’t read any books this year that really blew me away; while I’ve had several good reads in 2013, I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Still, here are ten books I enjoyed reading this year, in the order in which I read them:

1. Anna Gavalda, Hunting and Gathering — A beautifully written novel set in contemporary Paris. I really liked the romance in this one, but I also loved the contemplative, philosophical tone of the novel. I also enjoyed the movie, “Ensemble, C’est Tout,” which stars Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet.

2. Gail Carriger, Etiquette & Espionage — The first book in Carriger’s new series about a finishing school that trains young ladies to be extremely well-mannered spies. It’s a lot of fun, and I love the steampunk elements of the setting. Plus, Carriger has a light, breezy, tongue-in-cheek style that’s very easy to read.

3. Jonathan Eig, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig — I don’t often read biographies, but this was a very well-written and well-researched look at one of baseball’s greatest legends. I really got a sense of Gehrig’s personality and felt the impact of his tragic death. The book also gives a lot of interesting background on the evolution of baseball in the early 20th century.

4. Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park — A poignant coming-of-age novel about two outsiders who fall in love. I tend to gush when talking about Rainbow Rowell, so I’ll just say that this book is totally swoonworthy and romantic! Loved the ’80s setting as well.

5. Jude Morgan, A Little Folly — A comedy of manners set in Regency England, reminiscent of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. While many authors attempt to imitate a 19th-century style, Morgan is one of the few who succeed.

6. Diana Wynne Jones, Fire and Hemlock — A retelling of the folk ballads “Thomas the Rhymer” and “Tam Lin,” with a really interesting twist: the heroine is a seemingly ordinary girl with two sets of memories. A couple aspects of the plot didn’t sit well with me, but overall I loved the writing style and was entranced by the magic of the story.

7. Robin LaFevers, Grave Mercy — First in a YA series featuring convent-trained assassins in medieval Brittany. I loved the world of this series, especially the historcial elements of political intrigue, and there’s a good romance too. Not great literature, but certainly a fun read!

8. Patricia Wynn, The Birth of Blue Satan — A mystery that basically combined everything I love in a novel: an interesting historical setting (Jacobite rebellions in the 1800s!), a dashing hero, a slow-building romance, and a murder mystery all rolled into one!

9. Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo — A classic story of revenge, but also a brilliant satire of Parisian society in the mid-19th century. This is a huge book that took me forever to read, but it was definitely worth it!

10. Ben Macintyre, Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory — An incredibly fascinating (and true!) account of a British intelligence operation that helped turn the tide of World War II. I can’t believe I have two nonfiction titles on this list, but this book is so interesting and easy to read! Definitely recommended for anyone at all interested in espionage or WWII.

As I said, none of these books will make my list of all-time favorites, but there are still some really good reads here! If you’re curious, reviews of all these books can be found on the “Review Index” page.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read in 2013 (So Far)

    • Christina says:

      The “His Fair Assassin” books are so addictive! Can’t wait until the third one comes out. And I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Rowell’s Fangirl with rabid excitement!

  1. Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:

    I knew your list would be really interesting and varied, and I was right! So glad you loved Eleanor & Park and The Count of Monte Cristo, seeing as I love them too – and super happy to see Operation Mincemeat here too as you know I’ve had it on my TBR pile for so long and have waiting for a chance to read it.

    I don’t think I’ve heard of Hunting and Gathering but it sounds like my kind of book. I’ll have to look it up.

    My TTT

    • Christina says:

      Thank you for the lovely compliment!

      I hope you’re able to get to Operation Mincemeat soon — it’s a quick read and doesn’t feel like nonfiction at all! Also, do check out Hunting and Gathering, as I think you’ll really like it. (The original French title is Ensemble, c’est tout.)

    • Christina says:

      YES, Rowell is excellent! I read Attachments first and fell in love with it, and Eleanor & Park is great too! They’re both very heartwarming and romantic.

  2. curlygeek04 says:

    You have a great list! I loved Eleanor & Park and Count of Monte Cristo, and you have a lot of books on this list I’d like to read. Diana Wynne Jones has been on my must-read list for a long time and I never know which book to start with.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I definitely recommend Diana Wynne Jones…haven’t actually read that much by her, but I’m trying to remedy that. Howl’s Moving Castle is probably my favorite of hers so far, but I’ve heard it’s not at all like the movie, so be warned!

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