Five Best Books of 2013

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Gift Suggestions for the Holidays – or for Yourself

I am a huge book nerd. My husband and I have ten bookshelves in our small apartment – and frankly, that is not enough space. In case you were wondering, I do also enjoy using a Kindle. I now tend to buy more unique releases or classics in hardcover, while utilizing my Kindle for mass releases.

No matter how you choose to engage in reading, I firmly believe that a great book is the perfect gift this holiday season (or anytime) for your loved ones, or even yourself. Here is a list of some of my favorite reads (and imo the best books) from the past year. Enjoy!

1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
This is the sequel to The Shining. I must tell you that I was a huge skeptic about this novel. Do we really need to find out what happened to Danny Torrance? Apparently, yes! King really proved me wrong with this one. Yes, we get to see what life is like for a middle-aged Dan Torrance, but we also get to see the next generation of the shining (another spunky heroine) and be terrified by a creepy caravan of RVs filled by a clandestine group searching the country for children with the shining. This is a fantastic book that I could not put down. I believe that it could definitely stand on its own, but certainly is a must-read for any fan of the original.

2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
This is yet another fantastically original novel that I had the pleasure of reading this year. It is difficult to categorize, but I would call it a cross between sci-fi and crime thriller. It has time travel, a serial killer, and a scrappy heroine. I was very pleasantly surprised by this well-written book. It was a terrifying page turner.

3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This is a quirky and delightful gem of a novel. This book is also difficult to categorize. I would describe it as a bit of mystery and adventure. While it is a true love letter to books themselves, it is also about how a love of technology and books can co-exist. The story is an adventure that celebrates the marriage between the old and the new. The novel has secret societies, a love interest at the Google empire, riddles and puzzles, and a pure love of the written word. What more could you ask for?


4. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The secret has been out for a while, but in case you were unaware, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Despite this, Hill has his own unique writing style and a bevy of original ideas that are arguably far more terrifying than his father’s work. NOS4A2 is one of the best novels that I have read in some time. It has a deeply flawed anti-heroine who is tough as nails. The villain is a not-quite-of-this-world ghoul who preys on children and delights in entertaining at a terrifying little place called Christmasland. This book is legitimately scary and loads of fun.

5. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Book two of a trilogy, obviously, you should read the amazing first book in this series, The Passage. This book is so beloved to me (along with millions of others) that I was dubious at best that the sequel could even remotely compare. I am happy to report that it is fantastic. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world. There are certainly sci-fi elements, but even if this is not your cup of tea I highly recommend the series. The true heart of the books is found in the humanity of its characters. Cronin deftly explores how people begin again when faced with the end. This is a true classic.

So tell me, we heart this readers – what was your favorite book this year?

Kellie is a perpetual grad student, glamorous geek and writer. She hopes to one day soon add the title of history teacher to her repertoire. She resides in the frozen tundra of Northeast Ohio and is an avid consumer of books, tv, music, video games, beauty stuff, and accessories.
skin tone: NC15
skin type: oily and acne prone
favorite beauty product: lip products and face primers

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Written by Kellie


  1. Avatar of Kellie

    @mandabear I read The Shining years ago and of course have seen the movie many times. To prepare for Dr. Sleep I reread The Shining and re-watched the movie. I have always liked the movie but I can confirm that the book is way better, much more in depth, and actually much scarier. So give the original a shot. You won’t be sorry!

  2. Avatar of amity

    Oh, such a good list! I like Joe Hill a lot–you guys have to google a pic of him. He’s the spitting image of his pops. “The Shining Girls” did not knock my socks off as much as I thought it would, but it was interesting. And totally recommend the Cronin trilogy as well! Another book that was not perfect but a “stay up all night until you finish it” was Marisha Pessl’s “Night Film.” I read too many books to pick a favorite this year, but I enjoyed Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” “Tenth of December” by George Saunders, and “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson.
    –Signed, a total book nerd–

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