Favorite Books of 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Some years I make goals to read lots of books including classics, biographies, non-fiction or a few fun things.  I love reading, but sometimes making goals about reading ends with me checking out lots of dull sounding books that sit on the shelf for three weeks until I have to take them back to the library and I feel guilty for not having read them, so this year, I really tried to check out things that looked interesting, and if something disappointed, I simply left it on the shelf until it was time to take it back.  It was quite liberating.  I ended up reading some really great things.  A few favorite books from 2013 include:



Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea:
Follows the story lines of 5 or 6 different people who lived in different places and different walks of life in North Korea during the Communist regime and have since escaped to South Korea. Extremely interesting and well written!  I didn't know very much about North Korea prior to reading this, and felt like this really opened my eyes to what has happened and what is happening there.  I also felt like the author was quite objective about the North Korean interviewees, occasionally adding her own insight (not always flattering) about how they have adjusted to life in South Korea.
The Happiness Project:
(I am cheating, because I am actually re-reading this but am finding it just as inspiring as the first time I read it 2+ years ago) Gretchen Rubin puts together a happiness project for herself for how to make her life a happier one in the day to day things.  She has some wonderful ideas about how to daily make your life happier.
Edenbrooke:
Marianne leaves Bath, to visit family friends who lives in another part of England.  On her way, a highway man attacks her coach, and after escaping him, she meets a handsome stranger at the inn where she and her party recover.  A delightfully romantic book.  I finished this book and then read my favorite parts (which was practically the entire thing)  over again about six times before I returned it to the library.  I absolutely loved it!  I would recommend it to any romantic out there!
Zero Home Waste:
One of the most inspiring books I have read in a while. Bea Johnson goes through and discusses her family's journey to reduce waste, and how that can help simplify your life. She also gives lots of ideas and tips for reducing waste in your own home.  I have already mentioned it here, but I just loved all the ideas and reasons for becoming a less wasteful person!  I think everyone could use a simpler life, and the earth could definitely use less waste.
The Secret Keeper:
Sixteen-year-old Laurel accidentally sees her mother commit a crime that changes her future.  The book follows a few characters in the past and the present as the crime and the people involved.   This book had me hooked from page 5.  I didn't get anything done the entire week I had it.  Totally engrossing and wonderful!  Kate Morton usually throws a curve ball or two, and I gasped out loud when the big one happened in this one!

Anyone read anything great this year that they would be willing to recommend?  I would love to start out the new year with a bang and read a few fabulous things.  

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