My Favorite Reads of 2013

After 18 years of trying to read roughly one book a week, I finally did it this year, at least in the aggregate. I’ve read, as of today 54 books in 2013. The reason I could do this, along with everything else I do, is because the vast majority of the books I’ve read have been audio book.

What follows is a list of my favorite reads in 2013. They are listed in the order I read them throughout the year. Orange-colored books are audio books, blue-colored books are e-books, black text is a regular paper book. Bold-faced titles indicate books that came out in 2013. A ^ after a title indicates a book that I have read before.

  • Impulse by Steven Gould
  • 11/22/63^ by Stephen King
  • Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
  • On Writing^ by Stephen King
  • From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
  • It^ by Stephen King
  • The Human Division by John Scalzi
  • Joyland by Stephen King
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  • The Dark Tower, Book 4: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
  • Starhawk by Jack McDevitt
  • Old Mars edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin

I read a lot of Stephen King this year. There are two reasons for this and one follows from the other: I find him to be a masterful story-teller, and because of that, I want to read everything he has written.

What were your favorite reads of 2013? Leave your recommendations in the comments.

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Reads of 2013

  1. Hey, JT,
    Have you read any Joe Hill yet?

    I read 22 books in 2013 and decided to divide them into Yay’s, Nay’s and Meh’s.

    Yay’s

    * The Breach (2009), Ghost Country (2010) and Deep Sky (2011) by Patrick Lee ~ Lee’s trilogy would fall firmly into Sci-Fi/Technothriller category. I don’t know what possessed me to buy the first book but I’m glad I took a chance. It’s popcorn but it’s really *good tasting* popcorn.

    * Pass/Fail (2012) by David Wellington ~ This was also a very interesting book. The premise sounded intriguing and the eBook price was good (99 cents?). Things didn’t play out like I expected *but* again another good out-of-the-blue purchase.

    * Horns (2010) by Joe Hill ~ This is my 2nd Joe Hill novel. He writes a little like his Dad but he also has his own distinctive bent to everything. I’m sort of looking forward to the movie but I have a feeling they won’t do it justice. I’m still waiting for his masterpiece.

    * Beat the Reaper (2009) by Josh Bazell ~ This is a crime thriller and this was a re-read. I was looking for something that I *knew* was good and this was on Kindle sale so I bought it and re-read it. Still good!

    * Origin (2009) by J.A Konrath ~ I know a lot of SF writers don’t like Konrath nee Kilborn. It probably has a lot to do with his abrasive personality but damn does the dude come up with promising concepts and executes them. His prose is fluid and plot driven. There’s always interesting surprises and his books just sort of pull you along.

    * Gridlinked (2003) by Neal Asher ~ Another re-read. I wanted to read this in preparation for the Line of Polity. I’ve not yet read the next book but this material is now fresh when I’m ready to dive back in.

    * The Monster in the Mist (2011) by Andrew Mayne ~ This was a really good alternate history, steampunk, mystery novel. Very readable.

    * Revelation Space (2000) by Alastair Reynolds ~ Re-read. Actually listened to it on audiobook. I know that John Lee is Reynolds reader of choice so I wanted to see if it was something I could see myself enjoying through all of his books. Lee is a good narrator and this book is still pretty incredible.

    * Arctic Rising (2012) by Tobias S. Buckell ~ This is my 2nd Buckell novel. Enjoyed it alot. Great near future, climate catastrophe, mystery and pseudo-cyberpunk stuff. I’m looking forward to the follow-up.

    * The Rook (2012) by Daniel O’Malley ~ This book caught me off guard. It sounded like a really interesting premise but the execution, writing and creativity were incredible. At the very minimum tied for my favorite book of the year.

    * Chasm City (2001) by Alastair Reynolds ~ This was also a re-read (listen). Since I had just listened to Revelation Space I immediately dove into Chasm City. CC is a stand-alone and probably my favorite RS universe book. It has mind-boggling amount of “good stuff” in it.

    * vN (2012) by Madeline Ashby ~ Great debut novel. Surprised it’s not getting more notice. Severe amount of near-futurism but in a good way.

    * Partials (2012) by Dan Wells ~ My 4th Dan Wells book. Basically dystopian, sf, thriller. Enjoyed it a lot. Would be reading the sequel right now if it wasn’t so darn pricey on the Kindle. Can’t wait to find out more.

    * Hyperion (1989) by Dan Simmons ~ I think this is my 3rd read of Hyperion. This was a listen. Ar first I hated the multiple readers but I got into it after while. The book is incredibly complex yet simple at its core. If you are fan of SF this is probably a must-read.

    * Pines (2012) and Wayward (2013) by Blake Crouch ~ I can see why they are making this into a TV series. Hopefully the series will last long enough to get to the big reveal. Can’t wait for the 3rd book. Definitely popcorn.

    * Gone Girl (2012) by Gillian Flynn ~ In a year of incredibly readable books this one probably took the cake. I would’ve liked a more satisfying ending but that still didn’t cancel out what came before. Probably tied with The Rook for my favorite read of the year.

    Nay’s

    * The Cellar (1980) by Richard Laymon ~ Richard Laymon is one demented person. I read this for my month of horror participation in /r/horrorlit. He’s a decent enough writer but man is his subject matter grotesque. I imagine many people don’t like him because his books end on such down notes. I think I may be one of those people.

    Meh’s

    * The Gods Themselves (1972) by Isaac Asimov ~ Because this book won so many major awards I was really prepared to be blown away. It was better than average but I expected more. I really liked the 2nd section with the fully-realized alien lifeforms. I’m glad I read it but don’t picture a re-read coming down the pike in this lifetime.

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