Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Reads of 2013

This is one of my favorite times of the year!  There is just something about reading over everyone's best of lists and then reading through all of the 2014 goals' posts.  I love it!  It motivates me, distracts me, and basically makes me want to READ ALL OF THE BOOKS!  I have been putting books on hold at the library left and right thanks to all of your lists.  Taking a (almost) two week blogging break has my bloggy mojo going strong, and I'm looking forward to sharing about my favorites books of the year with all of you.  Maybe I can also motivate myself to get some of these outstanding book reviews written (there are a ton) AND write a goals post for myself.  Maybe join a few challenges?  I've got plans!  But onto the books.  This year was a very solid reading year for me as I read 76 books.  That means I somehow managed to surpass my Goodread's goal of 75 so I'm pretty proud of myself.  I don't think that I would have made it if it weren't for audiobooks but I'm okay with that.  2013 was the year of rereads for me and I've reread/relistened to more books this year then any other year since I've started blogging.  I'm hoping to continue this trend in 2014.  But maybe with more of a focus on the books that are on my own shelves.  That's for a different post though.  Let's move on to my favorite books of 2013!

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon was one of my favorite thrillers for the year.  It was also one of those books that made me an instant fan of the author, which means I will eventually read ALL of her books.  This is one of those rare cases where two storylines come together perfectly and I didn't prefer one over the other.  Plus, I loved the ending!  I'm super excited to have another of this author's books to look forward to in 2014!

Blackout by Mira Grant is by far MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR!  I've adored this zombie trilogy from the very beginning with Feed so it was almost a given that Blackout would make this list.  Almost, because there was that possibility that the book could have fallen short for me (and thankfully it didn't).  I reread both Feed and Deadline before moving on to Blackout which made my reading experience even better.  I just cannot even convey how much I loved all of these books (but it does explain my love for The Walking Dead)!  I'm just sad that it is all over now.  Thank you Mira Grant for pushing the boundaries with each of these books and for making me love these characters.  BEST ZOMBIE BOOKS EVER!

Nightfall by Ellen Connor was one of those books that sucked me in and then just wouldn't let me go.  Out of all of the romances I read this year (and I feel like I read a lot) this one was definitely the best.  And the funny thing is that there were times when I was completely frustrated with the book/main characters but in the end I just could not get enough.  Considering that I read this one pretty early on in the year and it has still stuck with me says a lot!  I cannot wait to read the next book in this trilogy and will definitely be doing just that in 2014!

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb wins the prize for me kicking myself for waiting so long to read it!  I have had this book on my TBR list for years, and I am so glad that I finally took the time to read it.  A creepy house, ghostly encounters, and all kinds of other gothic elements made this one a surefire winner in my book.  It left me very anxious to read more by this author and thankfully I have two other of her books to look forward to.  Webb is yet another author that I found this year that will go on my automatically to be read list. 

Joyland by Stephen King was my last read of 2013 but one of the best.  It also wins the award for best cover because seriously, how can you not love it?  I haven't taken the time to read (and finish) a book by King in years and this one showed me that I've been missing out.  I loved the carny feel to this book, and King is AMAZING when it comes to really making the reader feel like they are in the pages of the story.  2014 will be a year with me reading more by King!

Lost by S.J. Bolton was a book that took my high expectations and shattered them!  I love how each book in this series seems to get better and better!  And I just cannot imagine how Bolton is going to top this one.  This was yet another book that I couldn't put down and kept trying to read as fast as I could.  I just cannot wait for the next book in this series to release!  2014 shall be an amazing year in books!  And Bolton gets added as one of my very favorite authors!  I love her books!

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson is hands down my favorite urban fantasy read for the year.  And oh my goodness but that ending...I cannot believe that I've held off on reading the second book.  I definitely won't be resisting in 2014!  This one was action packed and tense with a potential romance that knocked my socks off.  I NEED to see what is going to happen next!  This is definitely an author that I will be reading more of! 

Stranger in the Room by Amanda Kyle Williams makes this the second time this author has graced my best of lists.  This is the follow up to The Stranger You Seek which easily made my best of 2013 list.  This one was even better!  I couldn't get enough of this book and stayed up way too late reading.  I'm sensing a trend of authors here where I will basically read anything that they write (and this author is definitely on that list!).  I cannot recommend this series highly enough! 


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn wins the award for most unlikeable characters while STILL being one of those books that you just cannot put down!  (I seem to be on a random awards kick this year, don't I?)  I'm not sure how Flynn does it but she writes some of the most compelling books even when you don't want to actually be reading them.  As much as I hated the characters I loved the book and this one easily made my top reads of 2013 list.  I will continue to adore this author even if I cringe when thinking about what she comes up with next.

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons takes the final spot on my top ten reads for 2013.  This book was easily the creepiest one that I read this year without being over the top.  Instead I found myself immersed within the pages even knowing that there might not be a happy ending.  I cannot wait to find out what else this author has written.  Thank goodness that I snatched this one up on a visit to my local used bookstore.  I loved this one and highly recommend it!

Honorable mentions this year go to a variety of other books that should have/could have made this list including:

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (so cute!)
How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman (a great debut from this new author)
Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre (fantastic series debut)
The Black Dudley Murder by Margery Allingham (I loved this one too!)
and so many more!

I didn't even bother including books that I've already read and reread this year because I just couldn't.  I cannot wait to see what 2014 will be like!  I can tell you that I've got lots of reading plans and goals...maybe I should get to working on that post :)  If you feel like sharing then tell me which book is your favorite read of 2013.  I'm working my library holds list like crazy thanks to this time of year.  And I can always use a few more recommendations!

I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year and a FANTASTIC reading year in 2014! Thank you for taking the time to visit me here, to comment, or to just share in my love of books.  I can't tell you guys enough how much I love the friendships that I have made thanks to blogging :)


  1. It looks like you had a great reading year in 2013. :) I hope 2014 is awesome for you. Happy New Year!

  2. Heartbreak hotel by Anne rivers Siddons is in my top five of all time. I just made a short list of these to find a source for.

  3. Happy New Year Sam!! I agree that there's something so energizing about this time of year and the fresh start. Hope your 2014 is fantastic!! And the only book I've read from your list is Gone Girl and I totally agree. Worst characters but still so compelling!!

  4. I have Joyland in my library loot pile. I had hoped to read it in 2013 but I guess I'll have to wait til 2014.

  5. SJ Bolton has been on my TBR list for so long I must try in 2014. Happy New Year

  6. I feel the same way about all of the end of year lists - makes me want to read all the books! :)
    I hope to read the Margery Allingham book for one of my challenges this year. And, I'm really curious about the Anne Rivers Siddon. I've seen it on a couple of lists and she's a writer I've heard of but have not really been interested in reading - until now. And, all thanks to my book blogging buddies! Happy Reading ahead!

  7. Fantastic list Sam. You are the blogger who has made me want to read those Mira Grant books. I need to buy the set. You had a wonderful reading year! Happy New Year!

  8. This is a great list, Samantha (I don't know why I don't just call you Sam. I love your name. I think that's why. :-)). Several of those titles are ones on my to read list. I really liked Gone Girl too.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year!


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