Top Ten Tuesday – Best Reads of 2013 So Far (June 25)

TTT3WTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is: ‘Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013’. I’ve read 40 books so far this year and have enjoyed most of them, some more than others, obviously. So, here are the ten that stick out a little bit more in my mind than the others:

11-22-631. 11/22/63 (Stephen King) – this is probably my favourite read of the year so far. It’s a big book, but well worth taking the time to read. The following questions are asked of the reader: ‘If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you? Would the consequences be what you hoped?’ The story goes in some interesting directions in order to answer these questions. As I got closer to the end, I thought I had it figured out, but in true Stephen King style, the story went places I never imagined it would. At some point I’ll have to read this one again.

what we talk about when we talk about god2. What We Talk About When We Talk About God (Rob Bell) – Rob Bell is one of a small number of writers who are on my have to buy and read list whenever he releases something new. I had wondered how he would follow on from the somewhat controversial Love Wins, but this one followed on well. It is a very thought-provoking book and leaves the reader with many interesting questions about the way that God is talked about in the 21st century. Even if you are not a big fan of Rob Bell, this one is worth looking at.

babettes feast3. Babette’s Feast (Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen) – Babette’s Feast is one of my favourite movies, but I had never taken the time to read the novella on which the movie is based. I’m not sure why, because it’s a fairly short read. I finally bought a copy of it for my Kobo earlier this year and spent a few hours one afternoon and read it straight through. I’m glad I did, because I wasn’t disappointed. It is a wonderful story of grace and redemption that really is worth taking the short time to read.

time keeper4. The Time Keeper (Mitch Albom) – a few years ago I picked up Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven for $0.50 at a local thrift store, curious to see if it was any good. I found that I really enjoyed his style and picked up a few of his other books, enjoying them as well. I put his latest one, The Time Keeper, on my Christmas wishlist last year and it as one of the ones I received. Albom is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and this book is one of my best reads of the year so far. It is a short fable about Father Time and how he intersects the lives of two very different people and brings their stories together. If you’ve enjoyed any of his other books, this one is for you.

before i go to sleep5. Before I Go To Sleep (S.J. Watson) – having heard so many good things about this book, when I found it for $0.50 at the local library book sale I was compelled to buy it. It definitely lives up to all the great things that have been written about. It’s a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to more from Watson. It’s another book that I thought I had worked out. In fact, I thought it was heading for a predictable ending, so I didn’t see the final twist coming until near the end. It’s a great story that really draws the reader in.

amped6. Amped (Daniel H. Wilson) – this was another book I received from my Christmas wishlist. The previous year I received, and really enjoyed, Wilson’s Robopocalypse. I hoped that this one would be as good and I wasn’t disappointed. The story is set in  a world where some humans have been ‘amplified’ by having implants inserted in their minds to help with some neurological issues. The ensuing story revolves around fear, mainly of the unknown, but also of people who are ‘different’. In one sense the story is one of the problems of racism, but it goes beyond that to looking at ethical questions in regards to implants and the human body. Outside of all this, it’s a very exciting read that is hard to put down.

black feathers7. Black Feathers (Joseph D’Lacey) – I picked up an ARC of this from NetGalley out of curiosity, seeing that it had been recommended by Stephen King. I have to admit that I’d never heard of D’Lacey before, but I liked the idea of this book. It’s volume one of The Black Dawn and I look forward to the other books in this series being released. It’s a modern fantasy, set in two different eras, telling the story of two young people who both play their part in saving the future of the planet. It wasn’t a fast-paced book, but it’s a very intriguing story.

clock of life8. The Clock of Life (Nancy Klann-Moren) – I just finished this book on the weekend and am glad I had the opportunity to read it. I won it in a recent giveaway, but was so intrigued by the premise of the book, along with some of the great things I’d read about it, that I felt I had to read it sooner rather than later. It’s a story told from the point of view of a boy growing up in the southern States in the shadow of both the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam Conflict, showing how his deceased father’s involvement in both of these things has affected and shaped his life. It’s a very harrowing and moving story that really draws you in and you know that you just have to keep on reading it.

stories from jonestown9. Stories From Jonestown (Leigh Fondakowski) – this is a book that records the lives and testimony of some of the people who survived the Jonestown massacre in 1978. I’m old enough to remember this happening, but too young to really understand what was going on at the time, so this book helped me to begin to understand what happened. I didn’t even realise that there were survivors. It is a compelling read that helps to answer many questions, but also gives rise to many others.

unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry10. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Rachel Joyce) – I did well with my Christmas wishlist last year, because this is another one that I received from it! This is another debut novel by a writer I look forward to reading more of. It tells the story of a man who walks almost the length of England after receiving a letter from someone from his past. The journey for him is one of discovery, both about himself and the country he lives in. It’s a very heartwarming and inspirational story.

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8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Best Reads of 2013 So Far (June 25)

    • I was surprised by how much I liked Before I Go To Sleep. I really enjoy Rob Bell’s style and approach to things.

    • Yeah, it’s not horror. It’s quite intense at parts, but it is such a good book. I hope you get a chance to read it soon. Thanks for visiting and happy reading.

  1. Nice list! I haven’t read any of the ones you’ve mentioned but I really want to pick up 11/22/63, The Time Keeper, Before I Go To Sleep, Black Feathers, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

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