My Favorite Books I Read in 2013

Looking back into 2013, as I mentioned in a previous post I read a lot. But, did I have favorites ? Of course I did! While I found that majority of the books I read during the 2013 were amazing and good, I decided to list out my favorite five from 2013. Just to note, they are not in order of most favorite of favorites.

By Alan Brennert

By Alan Brennert

Moloka’i: this book was part of our book club list. This became one of the five favorites for the simple reasons, it was a beautiful story written very well. It was a part of the history of Hawaii I knew so little of. This fictional story not only informed me of what happened, but I felt I was experiencing the girl’s life.

Editor: Hallie Lord

Editor: Hallie Lord

Style, Sex, & Substance: what happens when you get a group of Catholic women writers/bloggers, and ask them to write something….a great compilation of reflections that truly reflect, I think Catholic women on issues that inflict us in this modern time. I never knew this book existed until I saw it in a Catholic Bookstore in Charleston, SC (where I was stationed at this past year). I knew of all of the writers because I follow their blogs or have met them once in my life.

By: Lynn Sheene

By: Lynn Sheene

The Last Time I Saw Paris: I cannot help but promote this book, I love this book! I was never one to read about the French Resistance during WWII for I felt it was over-played and I do not know it never struck me as interesting to read. That changed with this book! (Or it just could be that this book was really good!) The twists, the spying, and writing, I actually re-read it after I finished it.

By: Bob Thomas

By: Bob Thomas

An American Original: Walt Disney : I have always loved Walt Disney, but I did not know much about his life or some of the myths that were a part of Walt. After reading this book, I found myself respecting Walt Disney even more than I did before. This biography makes Walt, well human not an idol or god, which from what I know of Disney then and now he never was something he wasn’t. Sometimes, what made him an idol of how he wished things to be done or how things seem to just come out of no where. If you want to know Walt, I suggest reading this book.

By: Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI

By: Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI

Jesus of Nazareth, Book II: With this being in my list it proves something for me, I am a woman for Holy Week and the Sorrowful Mysteries. (I have mentioned this to Em and even my own husband.) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s trilogy was one of my favorite series of last year or really all time, but my favorite was book two. The way he approached parts of the Holy Week helped me reflect more on the Crucifixion and the Resurrection more.

What were your favorite books of 2013? Comment below with either the list or even your blog entry link. We would love to know!

Happy Reading,



And classics…

Well, most of them I’ve listed in my list under the “recommendations” tab at the top of the page. But to recap: (prose only, here)

  • All of Jane. Non-negotiable
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Some of Thomas Hardy. I really like Far From The Madding Crowds and Tess is interesting.
  • Wuthering Heights. Trust me.
  • Virginia Woolf! Esp. Mrs. Dalloway: “Life, London, this moment of June…”
  • Edith Wharton: Age of Innocence, etc.
  • Dracula and Frankenstein. Very different, but both very good. The critical debates surrounding Dracula are so funny.
  • The Scarlet Letter. Again, this grew on me. Hated it when I read it in high school. But…now, not so bad.
  • Orwell: Animal Farm, 1984
  • Rebecca…ooooh creepy. 🙂

More Poetry!


To respond to the below post: I have quite a few favorite poets.

I love, love W.H. Auden. “Lay your sleeping head, my love” is quite possibly the perfect poem.

Also love Elizabeth Browning (“Sonnets from the Portuguese”, which has “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” in it), and Alfred, Lord Tennyson–who doesn’t love “The Lady of Shalott”? (And Anne Shirley’s recitation of it?) He was also Queen Victoria’s poet laureate, and dedicated his “Idylls of the King” to her husband, Prince Albert.

Am a big fan of Dante, as I am re-reading the Commedia right now. It grows on you.

And I can’t forget Oscar Wilde–his “Ballad of Reading Gaol” slays me every time. Many of his poems have a Catholic sensibility that I enjoy.

Finally, Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments!) and Good Ol’ Chaucer. Just think how long The canterbury Tales would’ve been if he’d finished it!

Wait–I said finally. I lied. There’s more!

Christina Rossetti–Goblin Market! In the Bleak Midwinter!

John Donne--A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

JOHN MILTON! Paradise Lost! Oh, man, that slays me, especially the last lines:

Some natural tears they dropp’d, but dried them soon/

the world was all before them where to choose their place of rest and providence their guide/

they, hand in hand, with wander steps and slow/

through Eden took their solitary way.

And the Russian, Pushkin, for the fantastic Eugene Onegin, which Tchaikovsky turned into a gorgeous opera.

Author spotlight: J. Maarten Troost

One genre I really enjoy reading is travel lit–books where people talk about places they’ve been and the experiences they had. One of my favorites is Getting Stoned With Savages, by J. Maarten Troost. He and his wife, Sylvia, end up living in Fiji/Vanuatu (Of Survivor fame) as his wife works to improve the lives of islanders. Troost investigates cannibalism, huge centipedes, and local intoxicants. Oh, and then Sylvia gets pregnant…

His books are laugh-out-loud affairs and (temporarily) squash any desire I have to leave Ohio winter for 100 degrees on the equator. (I said temporarily!) He’s also written The Sex Lives of Cannibals and Lost on Planet China.

While his titles are a bit unorthodox, the books themselves are well-written, full of humor and less-than-idyllic island living. A good thing to read during the winter.