I took up the end-of-year book survey in 2011, missed it in 2012, and thought it would be a good idea to do it again in 2013. It is fun to do the meme, and a great way to remember and reflect on the books you have read throughout the year gone by.
So, here we go.
1. Best book you read in 2013?
Marlena de Blasi’s The Lady In The Palazzo. It is such a beautifully written book, one after my own heart.
I would have said The Book Thief, but I still haven’t finished it.
2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen. I had wanted to read this book for so very long, thanks to its very interesting storyline. I really thought I would fall in love with this book, but I didn’t. I ended up utterly disappointed, sadly.
A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka would be a close second in this category.
3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Michelle Moran’s Nefertiti. I read quite a bit of historical fiction this year, by my standards. Nefertiti was one of the first historical fiction books I read, expecting it to be complex and something I might not be able to relate to. I was very pleasantly surprised!
Paul Torday’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is another book that would fall into this category, for me. I wanted to read it, but was afraid I wouldn’t understand it at all. The book turned out so simply written and delightful that I hogged all of it.
4. Book you recommended to people most in 2013?
Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. I think every single person should read this book. Really.
5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
I read the first book out of only one series in 2013 – Alexander McCall Smith’s The Sunday Philosophy Club. I can’t say it was the best series I discovered in 2013, but it wasn’t all bad.
6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2013?
Masha Hamilton (The Camel Bookmobile), Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen), Michelle Moran (Madame Tussaud and Nefertiti), Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)- I don’t know why I never read anything by them before 2013. Now, I can’t wait to read the other books these writers have penned.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Will Schwalbe’s The End Of Your Life Book Club. This was a difficult read for me on two levels – One, I am still not entirely comfortable with reading non-fiction, except for travel books. Second, it was not a great book to pick up soon after having a family member pass away from cancer. I persisted, though, and loved the book.
8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
The Lady In The Palazzo, my best book for 2013.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
That of Michelle Moran’s Nefertiti. The lady on the cover looked so mysterious, so powerful, so beautiful, I felt myself drawn to the cover several times over as I read the book.
11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Helen McGill in Parnassus On Wheels. I loved her for showing me that an adventure is possible at any age, whenever you want to set out on one.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Miss Potter – A Novel by Richard Maltby, Jr. It is a beautiful and sensitive account about a beautiful person.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
The End Of Your Life Book Club. I realised that all of us, me included, are living on the edge every single moment of every single day. Life is short, and anything can happen at any minute. We should cherish every moment of the life we have now, instead of waiting for it to turn 100% perfect.
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
Indu Sundaresan’s Shadow Princess. This book was so much in the news a couple of years ago, and I even bought a copy of it then. For reasons unfathomable to me, I waited until 2013 to finally read it.
15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?
We discussed the Lahiri characters as though they were friends of ours, or even relatives. Why didn’t this one say this, or tell someone that, or let anyone know she or he was so unhappy, so lonely, so scared? Lahiri’s characters, just like people all around us, are constantly telling each other important things, but not necessarily in words.~ From Will Schwalbe’s The End Of Your Life Book Club
16. Book that you read in 2013 that you would be most likely to reread in 2014?
I don’t re-read books, usually, so I really don’t have an answer for this.
17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? ( an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
This happened with all the historical fiction books I read this year – Shadow Princess, Madame Tussaud, Nefertiti, Shakespeare’s Mistress, The Empress Of Ice Cream, and Miss Potter. I was dying to share with the OH the minute details of court life, the dresses that the characters wore and the scale of grandeur on which they lead their lives (in case they were royalty), every day by the time he returned from work.
The End Of Your Life Book Club also provoked many discussions about life and death, and the way I want to lead my life.
18. Shortest and longest book you read in 2013?
The shortest book would be David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary. For such a short book, it is immensely power-packed.
The longest one would be Michelle Moran’s Madame Tussaud.
19. Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc. )?
The relationship between Nefertiti’s sister, Mutnodjmet, and General Nakhtmin in Nefertiti. Theirs is a very beautiful romance, in spite of their circumstances. It couldn’t have been easy to fall in love with the sister of someone so dynamic, powerful and overbearing.
20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. I might not have picked this book up if it hadn’t come with a high recommendation from Mad Momma.
21. Genre you read the most from in 2013?
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
I don’t think any character captured my heart that way.
23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I didn’t read any debuts this year. All the books I read in 2013 were published at least a year before.
24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
The Lady In The Palazzo. I would love to see the world that the author lives in!
25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?
The End Of Your Life Book Club
27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?
Most books I read in 2013 would fall into this category, because I read very few bestsellers. To name a few, I think books like The Lady In The Palazzo, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and The End Of Your Life Book Club are under-rated. They are not as popular as they deserve to be.
This meme is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner. Do feel free to take it up, if it sounds interesting to you!