Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review for 2013

2013 proved to be another good reading year for me. A couple years ago, one of the speech students challenged me to keep a list of books I read throughout the year. So I did. I knew that I read a lot, but I was really astonished to see just how many books I went through in a year's time. In 2012, I read 123 books. In 2013, I read 131 books. 

First Book in 2013: David Baldacci has been a favored author since I read his book Wish You Well. I have a tendency to download his books to my kindle as soon as they become available. My first read in 2013 was Baldacci's book The Forgotten, a mystery featuring Army Special Agent John Puller checking into the death/murder of his aunt. In true Baldacci-style, this was a hard to put down read.
Favorite Read of the Year/Biggest Surprise of the Year: I put off reading this book until the movie was almost upon us. Several of the speech and debate students recommended this book to me in the past, and I finally downloaded Ender's Game just a couple weeks before the movie was released. In this book, Ender Wiggin is the last hope for a futuristic Earth in fighting off and destroying a hostile alien race. I didn't really know what to expect going into this book and was pleasantly surprised with an interesting storyline development and my favorite read of 2013.
Most Anticipated Read: there were two books I couldn't wait to get my hands on this year! And they were written by the same two authors I anticipated last year!

Michael Connelly quickly became a favored author when I started reading  his Harry Bosch series. Harry is an old-day detective, that still writes reports with a pencil and paper. And I love a good detective story, having been a detective for many years myself. Even if you haven't read a Connelly book yourself, you've probably heard of the movie The Lincoln Lawyer, or maybe you've seen Connelly playing poker with Castle in that TV series. Connelly came out with a second book featuring the Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller called The Gods of Guilt. This book brought back a sideline character from the Lincoln Lawyer, killed her off, and left Haller to represent the defendent arrested for her murder. Great read! 

Dee Henderson is my all-time favorite Christian fiction writer. Dee had been off the radar for several years with some agent/publisher issues. She came out with a new book in 2012, and another in 2013. I pre-ordered it months before it was released. Unspoken did not disappoint. A kidnapping victim tries to put her life back together while keeping her identity secret, her purported kidnappers were identified and killed,  but along the way it becomes apparent that the true kidnapper is still out there and it isn't at all who you would suspect. An excellent read written in true Henderson style. Any of you law-enforcement types would appreciate Dee's realistic police writing.
Best Stumbled Across Read: I had read all of MaryLu Tyndall's books, even the ones written under the name M. L. Tyndall. I had not read anywhere that she had any new books out, so I was really pleasantly surprised to stumble across this book on amazon.com. And I have downloaded book #2 in the series to start on soon! A good seafaring adventure read.
Most Disappointing Reads: OK, I may anger a few people here by saying The Hobbitt was the most disappointing read I had in 2013, but it was. I loved both movies. A lot. And I tried to make myself read the book. Twice. I just could not get into the book at all. Thankfully the movies came out so I could enjoy the fun that is the Hobbitt, cause the book just did not do it for me.

Gilbert Morris used to be my favorite Christian fiction author. He and Janette Oke were the first Christian fiction writers I read. After reading about 20 or so of Morris' books, I realized they pretty much all had the same storyline, just with different names for the characters. And they are written at about a 7th grade reading level. I hadn't read anything by Morris in many years when I saw this new book of his come out. I thought I'd give him another chance and was disappointed to see that nothing had changed. He still used the same storyline, and the same characters, just with different names. I know there is an audience out there somewhere for Morris' writings, but I am not it. Enough said.
 Genres/Authors Read: My reading seemed to run with three main authors /genres this year. The first being law enforcement solving mysteries. Haha! I am a retired cop, so yes, I definitely like a good cop writer and Catherine Coulter does a pretty good job. (My favorite is still Dee Henderson, but we already talked about her.) I read every book in Coulter's FBI Series, featuring husband and wife team Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock. Each book also brought in another couple of law enforcement types from various agencies and worked them together with Savich/Sherlock on cases. Great reads all. I was disappointed when I ran out of Coulter's FBI books to read.
 
Catherine Coulter
Apparently I read a lot of pirate books as well, with my preferred author being Danelle Harmon. I think I read every book she's written. Harmon has a couple series, both were enjoyable reading.
Danelle Harmon
And I read cowboy/1800's stories, primarily written by Joan Johnston. She has written a lot of books, and they all revolve around three or four families, covering a couple generations. I enjoy reading about their hardships and how they overcame the obstacles they faced on a daily basis - and realizing they really aren't any different than we are today. 
Joan Johnston
Last Book Read in 2013: Sisters Found  was another Joan Johnston book. The storyline is about triplets and the men they end up with. Two sisters were raised as twins, while the third was put up for adoption. By a fluke, a friend finds the third sister and brings the three together. The story is about them building a shaky relationship, becoming a family, and culminates in a triple wedding. 

I didn't seem to read any tough books this year, no terrorist/war books like I read last year. I had a lot of issues going on in my personal life this year and I guess I just needed some easier reading, something less tragic and easier to read. 

To see a list of all  131 books I read this year, click here OR click on the My Reads link at the top of the page under my topper. Time to get started on 2014 and I already have my first book read :).
The Creator's Leaf

1 comment:

  1. So interesting - even as a bookseller I don't know many of these authors. I suppose having the Atlantic between us makes a difference. I enjoy historical mystery series - I've recently discovered some Celtic detective books which really got me excited - Peter Tremayne is the author. Currently I'm reading something non-fiction about Bible translations & how The King James differs from Modern ones.
    Paula (PEP)

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