Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top 10 Books of 2013

2013 was another great reading year for me.  I read 100 books in a year for the very first time (yay me!).  I rated a number of books at least 4 stars, with a few of them earning 4.5 or 5-star ratings.  Below are the ten books that stood for me (click on the title to read my review, where applicable):

Top 10 Books I Read in 2013

(1)  The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs (Historical Fiction).  The Golden Dice is a fabulous work of historical fiction set in ancient Etruria. 

(2) The Geneva Option by Adam Lebor (Contemporary Thriller).  This novel, the first in a planned series, is fast-paced, intriguing and features an awesome heroine, Yael Azoulay. 

(3) The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan (Fantasy).  The first novel in Sullivan's Riyria Chronicles, which focus on the early years of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn's (who readers of Sullivan's amazing Riyria Revelations will already be familiar with) partnership. 

(4) The Rose and The Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan (Fantasy).  This is the second novel in the Riyria Chronicles.  I can't wait for more novels in this series!

(5) The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn (Historical Fiction).   Beautifully written historical novel set just before, during and after World War I.

(6) The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway (Historical Fantasy).  This book is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of time travel, adventure and romance.

(7) Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole (Historical Fiction).  Spanning WWI and WWII, this beautifully written love story is told through a series of letters.  

(8) The Cartographer of No Man's Land by P.S. Duffy (Historical Fiction).  Alternating between a small village in coastal Nova Scotia and the front lines of France during WWI, this novel showcases the horrors of WWI and what life was life back home for the families of soldiers fighting in it. 

(9) The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson (Children's Fantasy). While written for children (9-12 year olds) I think any fan of young adult fantasy novels would find this novel enjoyable. 

(10) The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas (Historical Mystery).  This mystery is set in the Northern English city of York during the height of its siege by rebel forces during the English Civil War and features a midwife as the lead character. 

Honourable Mentions:

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden (Historical Fiction).  Set in what is now Canada during the 17th century, The Orenda is a powerful novel of one Aboriginal Nation (Huron) and early European settlement.  

A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift (Historical Fiction).  Set in England and Spain during the 17th century

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (Science Fiction).  I do not normally read Science Fiction, but this book was awesome and now I plan to read more in the genre. 

Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (Historical Fiction).  Great historical novel about Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and final wife.

Did any of these novels make your best of list? 

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  1. I've heard and read about your entire list though I have not read any myself. Such a nice list and so many to be added to my tbr list.

    1. I've been adding to my TBR by reading other lists too :-)

  2. I have The Last Summer on my kindle from your earlier recommendation -- hope to get to it soon!

  3. I have to read River of No Return next year, thanks to your recommendation.

  4. A 100! This was my initial goal but I made it nowhere near (64 books so far) - impressive :)

    I've been so curious about The River of No Return, but opinions on this book have been varying from good to meh... I'm too curious though and since you liked it, I'll be likely to give it a go!

    1. I'm shocked it hit 100 books read. I usually hit between 75 - 85 so I'm a good way above my average.

      Yes, I noticed the mixed reviews of River of No Return. I can see how certain aspects of it wouldn't work for every reader, but I loved it.

  5. Just wanted to stop by and mention how honored I am to have two books in your top 10. I'm so glad you found them an entertaining read. Thank you so very much.

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad to have discovered your novels -- they are such a treat to read and I recommend them to pretty much everyone I know who loves to read :-)

  6. Golden Dice and Letters from Skye were on my list too, and I have several others on the TBR. I'm going to be reading The Orenda sometime in the next month (it's out in the US in May).

    Congrats on making it to 100 books read!

  7. I didn't know Adam Lebor wrote fiction - I've read a really good non-fiction book by him about the UN and the way it responds to genocides. It was well written so I'm sure his fiction must be very good.

  8. None of these titles made my personal Best Of lists, but for some, I think that might be because I didn't have the time to read them last year. I saw a few titles on here that are books I definitely want to make the time to read!

  9. I STILL have to read Letters from Skye and The Orenda! Looks like you read a lot of great books last year :)