Wednesday, January 01, 2014


I only read 111 books in 2013, my lowest ever since 2005 when I read 110. I averaged 2 books a week instead of 3 or 4, averaged 110 pages a day instead of 140. Those higher averages are from 2010 when I read 160 books. 

Looking back over this past year I see that I was distracted by personal troubles and turned to the internet and (most shameful of all) playing Solitaire on my iPad, when I could not settle down to reading. On the positive side, I wrote more including progress on my memoir and on my novel. I also wrote 18 professional reviews. Some of that time on the internet was spent on research for my writing but I can't deny that way too many hours went by while I jumped around here and there. 

That is the trap I guess. I think I could maintain my focus better when I used to research in libraries using books. It is so easy for one thing to lead to another on the web but I also think it is a matter of finding the best way to use it as a resource. The internet is an amazing invention and like all new inventions there are benefits as well as drawbacks. 

Enough! I need to get reading!!

I still managed to read many great books last year and as usual had fun winnowing my list of favorites down to 25. Except for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (only found on BookBrowse) and On Such a Full Sea (releasing next week and not posted yet), my reviews of all the rest of the books can be found here on my blog. Not all of these books were published this year and the order is alphabetical by title, not most favorite to least. I loved all of these books for many different reasons.


The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
The Accursed, Joyce Carol Oates
The Bone People, Keri Hulme
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra
Five Star Billionaire, Tash Aw
Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
Hild, Nicola Griffith
The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood
May We Be Forgiven, A M Homes
My Education, Susan Choi
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
On Such a Full Sea, Chang-rae Lee
The Round House, Louise Erdrich
The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Gary Shteyngart
Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
South of the Angels, Jessamyn West
Thinner Than Skin, Uzma Aslam Khan
To the End of the Land, David Grossman
Transatlantic, Colum McCann
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler
Woke Up Lonely, Fiona Maazel
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anto Di Sclafani


  1. Happy New Year to you Judy! Thanks for visiting my site always and leaving comments. I am a fan of your site and your writing style as you know so it's always a pleasure to see you pass by.

  2. You could be choosing the Tournament of Books' competitors. Will you be following along with the competition? I'd love to see your thoughts as the match ups start.

    1. Yes I will be following TOB! Despite all my current reading last year, I still had 12 to read for the final list. Yikes. Finished The Luminaries the other day. Anyway, you will see my thoughts on the books as I read them. I don't usually get into the fray of comments on the site though I do comment on some of the discussions at Goodreads. How about you?