Wednesday, 8 January 2014

What I Read in 2013

I've always been a lover of reading but a few years ago a combination of things happened that meant I lost my literary way. Things like studying in my spare time (reading was less pleasurable then) and getting a boyfriend who lived far away (no time for reading when you're chatting online most nights). But by far, the biggest thing that affected the amount I was reading was getting a smartphone. It's so easy to fritter away entire evenings on Twitter and Tumblr and a mighty tough habit to break.

According to a list tucked neatly into the back of my old Filofax, I read 21 books in 2009 and then after that it appears I stopped keeping track. In 2011 I joined a lovely book group in Glasgow and slowly started picking up reading again, but in 2012 I moved to London and my first year here flew by so quickly that I barely remember a thing about it.

Early 2013 I joined another book club after seeing two women on Twitter talking about setting one up. I went along to the first meeting and have been firing through books ever since.

So, here's what I read in 2013 (items in bold were London Book Club choices):

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn 5/5
Elliot Allagash – Simon Rich 4/5
Tigers In Red Weather – Liza Klaussman 5/5
The Red House – Mark Haddon 4/5
Heartburn – Nora Ephron 5/5
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis – Dave Eggers 3/5
So Much Pretty – Cara Hoffman 1/5
The Teleportation Accident – Ned Beauman 2/5
The Universe vs Alex Woods – Gavin Extence 5/5
The Fault in Our Stars – John Green 5/5
Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld 4/5
May We Be Forgiven – A M Holmes 4/5
The Fates Will Find Their Way – Hannah Pittard 4/5
After The Fall – Charity Norman 4/5
The Suicide Shop - Jean Teule 4/5
Bonjour Tristesse – Francoise Sagan 5/5
Kiss Me First – Lottie Moggach 4/5
The Solace of Open Spaces – Gretel Ehrlich 3/5
The Last Girlfriend on Earth – Simon Rich 4/5
The Yellow Birds – Kevin Powers 3/5
Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn 4/5
The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes 2/5
Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter 4/5
The Woman in Black – Susan Hill 3/5
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P – Adelle Waldman 4/5
Where’d You Go Bernadette? - Maria Semple – 5/5

The Silent Wife – A. S. A. Harrison 4/5

Overall I enjoyed pretty much everything I've read apart from one or two stinkers. Naturally there were a couple of books that I started but chose not to finish. My bookshelves are simply heaving with unread pages and I've decided now that if I can't get into a book in 100 pages and I actively dread picking it up that it's perfectly acceptable to leave it behind. Those books were Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.

2013 was also the first year I started reading digital versions on books, the first of those being Kiss Me First and since then I've tried to alternate between digital and paper copies. I've spent a lot of money on books this year, but I've also passed almost everything I've finished on which gives me a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies.

2014 is off to a great start as I've finished 5 books already so I think I'll make a monthly round-up a regular blog feature and share some more reviews. I've resolved to make very few plans in January and dedicate most of my evenings to eating well and reading lots. Early indications show that this will be a very good year indeed.

If you read any of the above books, I'd love to hear what you think!


  1. Persevere with Flight Behaviour. I just read it. 5/5. Utterly loved it.

  2. Oh I've not read any of those. Looks like a good list though. I went from reading paper copies, to digital, and back again. I like the feel of the book in my hand, seeing the bookmark's progress (although goodreads helps with that now), and also the accomplishment of feeling the weight of the book in my hands after I've finished it. I give away most books I read, and am trying to feel less guilt about abandoning a book when I am really not enjoying it. I do want to back to reading more this year as well. Lots of luck!