It’s the first day of the new year! Can you believe it?
I intended to write this post before the year ends but family time devoured much of my time and I wasn’t able to luxuriously sit down in front of the computer and do some serious (bookish) reflecting. It’s still all good, though, because as I’ve said on Twitter a few months back, my blog can wait. Nothing beats spending time with family. 🙂
And now that I’ve (finally) got the time today, here is my obligatory Best Books of 2013 post: (in no particular order)
- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. 4/5 stars. “(H)olding people away from you, and denying yourself love, that doesn’t make you strong. If anything, it makes you weaker. Because you’re doing it out of fear.”
- A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. 4/5 stars. “I take her hand. It is smooth and cold. I know it is a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that it is a worse thing to let a promise break you.”
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. 5/5 stars. “Do you believe in love at first sight?”He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth.“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?”
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen. 5/5 stars. “One’s character is set at an early age, son. The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life.” He was quiet for a minute, then dropped the curtain and said, “I hate to see you swim out so far you can’t swim back.”
- Hunger by Knut Hamsun. 4/5 stars. “I began to hiccup from fury, and struggled with every bit of energy against my collapse, fought a really stout battle not to fall down. I didn’t want to fall, I wanted to die standing.”
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. 4/5 stars. “There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?”
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. 5/5 stars. “Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never would.”
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. 5/5 stars. “I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times.”
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. 5/5 stars. “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you on to another book, and another bit there will lead you on to a third book. It’s geometrically progressive — all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”
- A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin. 5/5 stars. “So many vows … they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or another.”
The past year was also the year when I started to read more local books, thanks to the blog tours I’ve signed up in during the year. My top 5 local books are the following, also in no particular order:
- The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao. 4/5 stars. Boy band love. Gezellig!
- All Is Fair In Blog And War by Chrissie Peria. 4/5 stars. Egg tarts!
- A Bottle of Storm Clouds: Stories by Eliza Victoria. 5/5 stars. Sugar Pi!
- Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano. 4/5 stars. Calamansi muffins!
- Don’t Forget The Soap by Marie Claire Lim Moore. 4/5 stars. Don’t forget the soap!
The past year had been an awesome reading year. I was able to read more than I intended to read ( increased my reading goal twice and still surpassed it), and most of them were really good reads. I am more than satisfied.
On to 2014! 🙂