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Sunday, January 05, 2014

2013 Reading wrap up, and my favorites

2013 was a crazy reading year for me. It was my first year back at work since we moved to Pierre and I really didn't expect that I would get a lot read. As it turns out, I ended up reading MORE than any year since I had kids but my reading choices fit a very narrow pattern. While I was finding time to read, I just wasn't finding the energy to explore new things and I tended to default to tried and true authors that I knew would deliver.  I didn't hit many of my goals, but I did far exceed the number of books I hoped to read. I also did not sit down this year and break my reading out into categories and authors and publishers, as I have in the past.

I did keep track of the titles (full list to follow) and so can tell you the following:

I read 73 books.
Of those 56 were Romance novels, 11 were Young Adult/Juvenile fiction, 4 were non-fiction and 2 were general fiction.  I am not at all bothering by this as I feel like just reading anything was an accomplishment.

I read multiple books by the same author, including a handful of re-reads. The most popular authors were:
Nora Roberts at 8 titles, and 3 more written as JD Robb.
Tessa Dare with 6 titles.
Courtney Milan with 5 titles.
Jill Shavis with 5 titles.
Susan Mallery with 3 titles.

I discovered that while I do enjoy Shalvis' Lucky Harbor books and Mallery's Fool's Gold, that when I look over a years worth of books that none of them stand out. The titles are completely unmemorable and I can't remember if I even really loved them. I have to look up each one to remember then story, and then can tell you if it were great or not. This is great for in the moment, because I know I can pick one up and enjoy it, but not so great for the author overall, as I can't ever recommend an individual title. The same is true for the JD Robb In Death series.

I started reading almost exclusively e-books this year. I get two 15 minute breaks at work each day, and I look forward to those breaks more than is healthy. My job isn't hard or bad, but for those 15 minutes NO ONE AT ALL interrupts me and I can sit and read and it is lovely. I find that since I'm already carrying my iPad or Nook with me, I don't want the extra weight of a book too. Then when I get home I carry my phone or iPad around the house and just never seem to pick up paper books. I didn't purposely track this either, but my best estimate is that out of the 73 books, 17 of them were paper, and those were all read in the first half of the year.   I read a lot of books from NetGalley this year, which allowed me to stay somewhat current with my reading, and I loved it.

I didn't take the time to really sit and ponder a best of list, instead choosing to go with reading over the list and jotting down titles as they jumped out as memorable. I discovered several authors this year that I really enjoy and since I read their books back to back it's really hard to choose a favorite.  I can without reservation recommend Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare, and I really liked Anne Barton's book a lot, as well as the Carla Kelly ones I read.

After reviewing my reviews, I still can't pick a favorite so in no particular order but roughly the order I read them:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. (WHY have I not read the next in the series??)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (and really the second one as well)
Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly (Nearly perfect romance here.)
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
The Duchess War and The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan (TCC not yet reviewed, but soon.)
This Song Will Save your Life by Leila Sales
Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
The Conquest by Edith Layton
Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley

My reading goal for 2014 is once again to read 52 books (yes, I have hit this easily the last two years. I don't make a goal in an effort to read MORE, my goal is just to read steadily, a book a week.) I'd like to read more than a handful off this list, and finish reading The Great Gatsby. If I were to pick a classic for this year, it would be Rebecca.  I'd like to write at least a few sentence review of each book I read.

The complete list of books for 2013:
  1. The Other Side of Us by  Sarah Mayberry
  2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  4. Wild For the Sheriff by Kathleen O'Brien 
  5. Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor YA Graphic Novel
  6. Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliot 
  7. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  8. South Dakota Outlaws & Scofflaws by John Andrews, Bernie Hunhoff
  9. The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway 
  10. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  11. A Good American by Alex George
  12. All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey 
  13. Back to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicki Essex
  14. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  15. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  16. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  17. Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly
  18. The House on Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  19. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  20. Marrying the Captain by Carla Kelly
  21. The Surgeon's Wife by Carla Kelly 
  22. All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey 
  23. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson 
  24. A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare
  25. American Savage by Dan Savage 
  26. A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare
  27. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
  28. Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
  29. Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
  30. Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare
  31. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan
  32. The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
  33. A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
  34. The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Harnagrane
  35. Undone by Shannon Richard
  36. It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis
  37. The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan
  38. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  39. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols 
  40. Big Sky Christmas by C.J. Carmichael
  41. A Most Devilish Rogue by Ashlyn MacNamara
  42. Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts
  43. Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
  44. A Weaver Beginning by Allison Leigh
  45. Always on my Mind by Jill Shalvis
  46. What Happens Between Friends by Beth Andrews 
  47. His Christmas Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid
  48. Face the Fire by Nora Roberts
  49. Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper 
  50. Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis
  51. Vision in White by Nora Roberts
  52. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts 
  53. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
  54. Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts
  55. Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas
  56. Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi
  57. To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by Anne Barton 
  58. Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
  59. Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery
  60. A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery
  61. The Conquest by Edith Layton
  62. Treachery in Death by JD Robb
  63. New York to Dallas by JD Robb
  64. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
  65. Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery
  66. A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis, etc.
  67. Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
  68. His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley
  69. Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery
  70. The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
  71. Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis
  72. Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
  73. Celebrity in Death by JD Robb


  1. I keep hearing good things about This Song Will Save Your Life. Great year!

  2. Nice! I don't think it is a bad thing to stick with the comforts. Reading is supposed to be fun and I think we put too much pressure on ourselves.

  3. I get why many people love eBooks and can't figure out why I haven't adapted to them yet. I bet those 15 minute breaks of yours are wonderful escapes for you.

  4. I've got a bunch of your favorites sitting around in either book or Kindle form. I need to get reading! I need to sit down and figure out what categories I read last year.

  5. There's something to be said for comfort reading! I just recently read my first Shalvis book, the first in the Lucky Harbor series, and enjoyed it.

    I think you read more paper books than I did this year. E-books are so much more convenient--and for all the reasons you mention.

    Have a Happy New Year, Lisa!


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