On My Bookshelf

books to read in 2013

I have a confession to make, and it’s quite a source of embarrassment for me. (Trust me, I would rather admit to something to effect of shoplifting or picking and ingesting one’s boogers than what I’m about to tell you.)

Breathe, Sarah.

I only read 5 books last year, and three of them were the Fifty Shades trilogy.





I’m mortified.

Listen, I’m not calling YOU a dipshit if you didn’t read many books last year. D does not enjoy reading at all, and probably hasn’t read one book since college, yet, not a dipshit. I get it – it’s just not his thing, but me? I LOVE to read. I live to read. I have been a voracious reader my entire life. I started reading at three years old. I can speed read with ease. There is nothing in this world that excites and/or terrifies me more than becoming completely engrossed in a novel. Do you get me? I AM READER, HEAR ME ROAR.

So what happened? Random Internet Surfing happened, that’s what. (R.I.S. is a disease and must be taken seriously. See your doctor.) If I would have opened a book instead of opening my laptop during my free time, my book count would have been drastically different.

Let’s summarize. I only read 5 books last year, and three of them were poorly-written mommy porn. (The other two were Gone Girl and Mockingjay, if you were wondering.) My unnecessary internet surfing is to blame. This kind of pathetic behavior must not be repeated. Ever again. You know where this is leading, don’t you?


Here are some books I want to read this year.

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

2. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (I have never read this. I KNOW.)

4. The Passage – Justin Cronin (Books like this freak me out…will I want to build an underground shelter and never come out?)

5. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

6. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

7. Columbine – Dave Cullen

8. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain

9. The Dream: A Memoir – Harry Bernstein

10. Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

11. The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

12. The Invisible Bridge – Julie Orringer

What else? What should I add to the list? What’s the best book you read last year? What are you reading right now? Do tell.  (p.s. – I also have a Good Reads account which I opened in 2007 and just visited yesterday for the first time in several years. Let’s connect over there.)

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  • Jenny

    February 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

    My favorite book of all time (that I’ve reread in whole or just parts at least once a year for probably the last 15 years) is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

    I recently read The Happiness Project which I’m a little torn on – I can’t tell if it’s inspiring or just completely annoying. I know. I make no sense. (Read it and I want to know what you think!!)

    And I have to throw something fun in — for a quick, make-you-laugh-out-loud read, try Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)”. I read it in one day and it made me cry-laugh more than once.

    • Erica

      February 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I was just as torn about the Happiness Project.

      • Jenny

        February 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

        I am so glad I’m not the only one! I made this comment to someone else who recently read the book and they looked at me like I was a monster for even suggesting it could be anything other than totally inspiring. (Which it still was!) (But also kind of annoying.) (In an inspiring way!?)

  • Jen

    February 6, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Gone Girl was good, but I HATED the ending!
    Cutting for Stone is the best book I’ve read in the last year-should be at the top of the list. I also loved the Solace of Leaving Early.

    • ChrisB

      February 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I totally agree with you on both Gone Girl and Cutting for Stone, Jen!

    • Jessica

      February 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      I second Cutting for Stone! It’s slow in the beginning but it becomes one of those books you never want to end.

      • Sarah G.

        February 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        Yet another vote for Cutting for Stone as my favorite read of last year. One of my all-time favorite books is Time of our Singing…. so deeply touching and riveting on many levels: Spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual. I haven’t read it since becoming a mother four years ago. I am heading to Amazon now…

  • Emily

    February 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

    My favorite book I read last year was WILD by Cheryl Strays. So so good. I cried.

    Columbine was interesting but so depressing, as you can imagine.

  • Renee K

    February 6, 2013 at 7:59 am

    The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith. Best book I read in 2012, hands down. A gorgeous memoir, but be prepared for some cathartic cries!

  • Catherine

    February 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Read The Dog Stars (which might make you cry, but only for a bit) and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore (which will make you smile). Both are wonderful, especially the latter.

  • Alisha

    February 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I am reading The Passage right now and I love it. It is definitely one of those books that I read with the lights on. I am only about 300 pages in but some nights it is hard to put it down.

  • Kristin

    February 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I read a bunch of junk literature in the latter part of 2013 – so although I read almost 50 books, half of them were one-day trashy reads :) Entertaining? Yes Cerebral? No
    The Light Between Oceans was meh for me – very gray.
    I enjoyed Secret Daughter by Shilipi Somaya Gowda as well as Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (which, despite it’s title, has NOTHING to do with lip biting or blindfolds).
    Gone Girl was frustrating – the ending had me hating them both! Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling was ok, the beginning was slow and boring but the ending was redeeming. If you’re looking for a grown-ups Twlight, check out A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova was a good read too.

    • Emily

      February 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I ADORE A Discovery of Witches! I have the second one on my nightstand waiting to be read. My feelings were the same about the Casual Vacancy – it was pretty slow and there were SO. many. characters.

      I’d also definitely add The Night Circus to your list! It was my favorite book of last year.

      • Kristin

        February 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

        Thanks for the recommendation! Also, have to clarify that Left Neglected is not Twilightish at all – I am just ADD in my responses.

  • Angela (@Aferg22)

    February 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I would swap out Dark Places and read Sharp Objects instead. Both by the same author, but I had a hard time with Dark Places because the characters were so strange. Sharp Objects has strange characters as well, but I was able to get into that book much quicker.

    Also, I love A Discovery of Witches and the sequel, Shadow of Night.

  • Abby

    February 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I’d recommend first that you start with a fast, light read. I love to read too, and actually fall into otherwise unexplainable funks when I go through reading dry spells. Whenever that happens, if I try to start up again and it’s a more challenging read, I get frustrated and stop and then I’m even more depressed. I know it’s sad that so much of my mood depends on this, but… that’s the life of a reader!

    So I’d say to go with something like the Mindy Kaling book that Jenny’s recommending, or if you want fiction, I’d go with Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. It’s also about a woman who disappears, but unlike Gone Girl, it’s a bit breezier in tone with a sharp satirical bite.

    Last thing: I started reading WAY more when I got a Kindle, but (sadly) I almost never pick up my actual Kindle any more. Instead, I have the Kindle app on my phone, iPad, and (this is key for me) computer. So sometimes when I wander over to my laptop for a bit of light reading, instead of going straight to my browser, I flip over to the Kindle for Mac app and keep reading whatever book I’m on. Especially when it’s a gripping story, that’s been a lifesaver for me to keep the reading going!

  • Janssen

    February 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I LOVED Quiet (in fact, it was my choice for bookclub this year – I’m so excited to read it again). And I’m a mega fan of The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin is just my kind of Type A reader/writer/history buff. I think you’ll love it.

    I also absolutely loved Room by Emma Donaghue. The summary sounds insanely depressing, but it is really really great.

    • whoorl

      February 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

      I was waiting for you to comment, Janssen! :)

  • Melissa

    February 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

    My favorite book last year was The Rules of Civility…so good!

  • Hillary

    February 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I just finished reading ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ for my book club (http://www.amazon.com/Guernsey-Literary-Potato-Peel-Society/dp/0385341008/) and I highly recommend it! It’s a pretty quick read, but a really lovely story, written entirely in letters just after World War II.

    • Sarah G.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Yes! A fabulous book!

  • meaghan

    February 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I just finished Quiet, and it was great!

    Favorite books from last year were The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Night Circus.

  • rachel

    February 6, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I had the same thought after reading Gone Girl, but Dark Places was seriously so gross, disturbing and not okay, with such awful, unlikeable characters with a lack of redemption, that I actually regret reading it. And I’m saying that as someone who reads ~100 books a year, a large majority being in the murder-mystery/mystery family.

    From last year, I recommend Broken Harbor–Same recession-based, broken down American Dream landscape as Gone Girl (even down to being set in a waterfront community, albeit in Ireland), but a completely different story. Much darker. The whole Dublin Murder Squad series is actually amazing, if I do say so myself, so if you wanted to read the whole thing, I would begin with In The Woods. Love, love, love Tana French.

  • Jen

    February 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I’m actually reading “The Paris Wife” right now and can give it a thumbs up. Before this book, however, I read “Moloka’i” by Brennert. I expected an interesting, fairly easy read, but I was surprised by the way this story has stayed with me. It’s historical fiction set in late 19th-early 20th century Hawaii and takes a look at the leprosy issue. I KNOW. It sounds cliche and whatnot, but it was good. Characterization, relationships, terribly hard decisions and circumstances but an underlying spirit of love and hope. And redemption! It’s not entirely depressing.

    Also, “Quiet” = yes. Very good. And “Cutting for Stone” is a masterpiece.

    One of my all time favorites is DuMarier’s “Rebecca.” Just fabulous. And if you need a great laugh of all time, you must read Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country.” There are no words to fully describe Bryson. Just read it. (If you’ve already read it, try “A Walk in the Woods,” unless, of course, you’ve already read that too.)

  • Megan @ Mama Bub

    February 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Cutting for Stone is EXCELLENT. One of my favorite books of the last few years. I also loved Columbine so much.

  • Susannah

    February 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

    This topic is like crack for me… I lurk like nobody’s business until we start talking about books and then suddenly I CAN’T. SHUT. UP. So here are the books that have kept me up WAY past a decent hour because I couldn’t put them down…

    The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
    The Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister (SEQUEL!)
    Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister (yes… I love her)
    The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate
    The Night Circus by Erica Morgenstern (someone already mentioned it, it’s delicious)
    Anything Joshilyn Jackson has ever felt like putting on paper is absolutely wonderful but I’d start with Between, Georgia or Backseat Saints
    The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
    If you liked The Hunger Games, the Divergent books are really good and I can’t wait till the third one comes out. Should be later this year. Those are by Victoria Roth.
    Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane
    The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell


  • Amelia

    February 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I was inspired to de-lurk by the fact that you’ve got Dark Places on your list – like others, I’d warn you to be *very* wary of it. Gone Girl was, in some ways, a serious departure into far lighter material for Flynn (yes, really). I thought Dark Objects was fantastic and compelling, but in an incredibly desolate, disturbing, unsettling way – you can feel hope just leaking out of you as you read it. I’ll second Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad books as being AMAZING, well-written detective fiction – definitely start with In The Woods, but oh man, I think The Likeness might still be my favorite.

    Also amazing, and probably things you’d like based on this list: The Fault in Our Stars (Green), Tell the Wolves I’m Home (Brunt), Delicacy (Foenkinos). All of those made me feel all of the feelings.

    And another second to The Discovery of Witches (Harkness) books for fun romance-y stuff.

  • Heather

    February 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Ooo, I see someone already mentioned Room. I read it about four weeks post-partum, when the baby was sleeping on me all the time. So good, but devastating. Possible spoiler: the child does not suffer direct violence, which is the only thing that made me able to keep going at some points. I also re-read all of the Dorothy Sayers mysteries last year; while I enjoy the actual mysteries, I love that each time I pick up more detail and nuance about what the inter-war years were like in England. Since the baby was born I’ve been using iBooks and the Kindle app on my phone a lot. So convenient to get in a few minutes of reading here and there throughout the day. There’s an edition of Pride and Prejudice available for free on iBooks.

  • Staci Magnolia

    February 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Please get your hands on The Absolutist by John Boyne asap.

  • Ginger

    February 6, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Ooh, one of my favorite topics. Quiet is a great read. For crime fiction I strongly recommend Henning Mankell and Camilla Lackberg books. All of them.

  • Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

    February 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I read the Happiness Project last year and it’s a great book with lots of useful tips for making your life better.

  • Christy

    February 6, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Pride and Prejudice is on my book list. I haven’t read it either, and I’m a reader. Crazy. Two books I would highly recommend – The Help (so good) and Sarah’s Key (this had me in tears at one point).

    • Kristin

      February 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Sarah’s Key was wonderful!

    • Sarah G.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Yep! The Help!! Definitely. Sarah’s Key… still makes my guts churn. I burst into uncontrollable hysterical sobs at one point… Not sure if that’s something I recommend to others.

  • rachel

    February 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Checking back because I am super curious to see what everyone else is reading/has enjoyed!

    I agree with Ginger–Camilla Lackberg all the way! The Ice Princess and The Preacher are fantastic, and the characters carry the rest of the series.

    And if you’re going to go Scandinavian: Jo Nesbo.

    Discovery of Witches/Shadow of Night are entertaining enough but at the end of the day are a slightly improved upon adult version of Twilight. Nothing wrong with that! Just saying. Super light, easy reads.

    I also just noticed you have Columbine up there, in which case We Need to Talk About Kevin might appeal to you. This essentially negates what I said about Dark Places, because it is perhaps more disturbing than the latter and while I can’t say I “enjoyed” reading it in the conventional sense of the word, I do feel I got something very significant out of it.

    In a completely different genre (Gothic Mystery I guess): The Forgotten Garden.

  • Allison Hasel

    February 6, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Oooh, the best book I read last year was The Book Thief. Someone chose it for my book club and on the first page I was like, “Huh?!” But I gave it a bit and then loved it. It is a young adult book, but don’t let that deter you! It is devastatingly wonderful.

    I also really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, which is pretty much the polar opposite. It is a fun vampire/witch read, much more adult than Twilight and fun for a history buff.

    Happy reading!

    • Staci Magnolia

      February 6, 2013 at 11:51 am

      LOVED The Book Thief!! Tried his other one (The Messenger) and didn’t even get through it all.

    • Lynne

      February 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      I agree! I loved The Book Thief.

  • Erica

    February 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    My favorite topic! I read the Happiness Project and as mentioned earlier was torn. I don’t recommend it to anyone. The whole book felt a little self indulgent to me. There are good points to think about, but you have to be able to deal with the tone.

    The Blind Assassin is one of my all time favorite books. You won’t be disappointed. I am a big Margaret Atwood fan.
    Cutting for Stone is good, but very long. It is a beautiful book. At some points you wish they would speed it up a bit, but it is amazing.

    Books that are not on your list that should be (most of which were mentioned above):
    Night Circus – One of the best books I read in a long time. Loved every minute of it.
    The Fault in Our Stars – It is a young adult book. I will take you 6 hours to get through. Really good.
    Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies – If you are into Henry VIII history at all, this trilogy is fascinating. Wolf Hall is really hard to read at points mostly because the voice that she uses in the book. Bring up the Bodies is much easier to read and an amazing sequel.
    Deborah Harkness’ Discovery of Witches and then Shadow of Night – Discovery of Witches moves much quicker than Shadow of Night. As previously mentioned it is a “grown up” twilight. Worth the investment.
    The Marriage Plot – I enjoyed this one a lot, but you will want to talk about it with someone.

  • Joy

    February 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I read Quiet last year and it made me so, so happy. As a quiet introvert, this book had me saying, Yes! That’s me! over and over.

    I read The Happiness Project and thought it was “eh” but I’m currently reading Happier at Home (her follow up book) and am finding that I like it better than The Happiness Project.

    If you haven’t ever read it, I highly recommend The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is amazing. And if a YA book might make you happy, the best one I read last year was Ask the Passengers by A.S. King. A seriously beautiful book about accepting yourself and dealing with, well, life.

    • whoorl

      February 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      I really enjoyed The Glass Castle!

      • Lynne

        February 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

        Jeannette Walls 2nd book, Half Broke Horses, was also very good! I highly recommend.

  • Kristen Howerton

    February 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    If only you had some external pressure to read books. Like, I don’t know, a friend who keeps relentlessly inviting you to join a book club or something. :)

    But seriously – tomorrow I’m going to give you some of my favorites. And I just ordered that Quiet book on introverts – can’t wait to read it.

    • whoorl

      February 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      One day, one day….

      (So excited for some books tomorrow!)

    • Roxanna

      February 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Kristen, I just finished Quiet and LOVED it. You will too. Sarah, that’s another one for you.

  • Kristen Howerton

    February 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Also: Cutting for Stone and The Passage were amazing reads!

  • Margot

    February 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Just finished The Buddha In The Attic by Julie Otsuka. It is a gorgeous read, and easy to get you back into reading as it is just over 100 pages long. My favourite book that I read last year was East Of Eden. I have just started Andrew Solomon’s new book, Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, it is fascinating! Happy reading!

  • Anna

    February 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    As soon as anyone starts talking about books, I lose all knowledge of social cues and go nuts. They are my jam and I could talk about them endlessly!

    I just finished the Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. It’s written by a former solider who served in Iraq who then got an MFA in poetry. It was exceptional, one of the best books I read last year. It’s beautifully written and such a touching story. I’d highly recommend All That I Am by Anna Funder and The Remains of the Day too. I also enjoyed The Art of Fielding (though it’s long). The Light Between Oceans has been on my to-read list for ages. I might have to finally order it…

  • angie

    February 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    my book club also loved cutting for stone – def a good one…but i won’t lie – it’s a slow start. so slow that i started it two years ago on my own and only finished cause my book club picked it a few months ago! once i got into it i was so happy and so sad when it was over (the sign of a good book for me!).

    agree with another commenter though – my book club’s favorite read of 2012 was rules of civility by amor towles. seriously so great and i think you’d really like it. please add it to your list. it’s a winner. all 10 of us loved that book and that might be the only time we were all in complete agreement.

    i’m dying to read wild. just finished the 19th wife and it’s a faciniating read. i might be the only one to have not read the grey series…but i also read gone girl and the twilight series last year! our book this month is loving frank – supposed to be amazing.

    and just to pull out some oldies but goodies – my number one favorite book is time traveler’s wife. i still cry just thinking about the love in that book! memoirs of a geisha and water for elephants also in my top five. i also enjoyed all the books by wally lamb (although i can’t think of the titles at the moment!).

    can’t wait to hear what you decide to tackle!

    • whoorl

      February 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      I’ll definitely put Rules of Civility on the list, because I loved Time Traveler’s Wife, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Water for Elephants. Looks like we have similar taste in books!

  • Lynn

    February 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The Fault in Our Stars was awesome. Sad, funny, lovely.
    This Is Where I Leave You is another great one I read about two years ago and LOVED. Laugh out loud funny, family drama.
    I’ve got Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, My Beloved World, and Daring Greatly all waiting to come in at the local library and have heard good things about all.
    Happy Reading!

  • Amti'b

    February 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Happiness project on my side table, i am on page 2.

  • Julie / Bound

    February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Ok, can every post be about books, please? I get unreasonably excited when I see these suggestions (and similarly grossed out by myself when I have a dry period). You’ve got so many stellar suggestions already, so I’ll just go ahead and say move The Happiness Project and Cutting For Stone to the top of the list. Amazing works, the both of them.

    Also…Audible.com is something you might want to check out. All those hours in the car can be converted into “reading time.” Just saying. Changed my life.

  • Amanda @ Ramblings of an Empty Mind

    February 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    RIS is a true affliction…one that I suffer from myself. :) So easy to get sucked in.
    I would definitely say add Insurgent and Divergent to your list…and by November you will be able to read the as yet named final instalment. Similar to Hunger Games, only better, IMO.
    As luck would have it…my last post, we a list of the books I read last year.

    • MichelleLG

      March 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      the Divergent series is totally better than the Hunger Games. Your opinion is right. :) :)

  • Emily

    February 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I had this EXACT same conversation with myself at the beginning of this year. I have planned to read AT LEAST one book per month. At least. I’ve been successful thus far, fingers crossed I keep it up!

  • Roxanna

    February 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    You MUST read “Wonder” — a quick, easy read but very powerful. (Yes, it’s about 5th graders, but trust.) I also really loved “The Namesake”

    • Kimberly

      February 7, 2013 at 4:33 am

      WONDER is great read! I dare you to read it without shedding a tear. :)

  • elz

    February 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    You’ll really like “The Paris Wife.” I read mostly when I travel, now that I travel quite a bit for work, my reading has increased exponentially. The last best book I read was “Unbroken,” an amazing true story. It’s gripping. Another of my recent favorites from a couple years ago is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” REALLY interesting. I read a lot of fiction too, but those two non-fiction books are A-mazing.

    • whoorl

      February 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      I have The Immortal Life on my Kindle! Reading it soon…

    • Kristin

      February 6, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Oh yes! I second the Unbroken suggestion. Great read.

  • Mia

    February 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I have the opposite problem; the amount of money I spend on books is obscene! Anyway, 2 standouts from 2012: The Light Between Oceans and The Rules of Civility. Soooo good. Start there. Oh. And after reading Gone Girl, I read her other 2 and loved them just as much/more!

  • Mia

    February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Omg. Can’t believe I forgot to include Wild! I felt that book in my bones for weeks after I’d finished

  • Shannon

    February 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    “Wild” & “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed are absolutely stunningly good. The kind of writing that changes your life. Not kidding!

  • Kristin

    February 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I read a lot, and I have read several of the books on your list and many of them are very interesting. The best book that I read last year was also the LAST book that I read in 2012 (why did I have to wait so long to find a good one?). I saw someone else mentioned it–The Fault in Our Stars. I felt like it was the ultimate perfect reading experience.

  • Andrea

    February 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Ditto all the recs for Night Circus, Fault in Our Stars and books by Tana French in lieu of Gillian Flynn! ALSO, since you love Downton, I highly recommend The Luxe by Anna Godbersen – it’s like Downton, Sense and Sensibility and Titanic all rolled into one :)

  • Marianne

    February 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Just going to throw this out there since no one has mentioned it – anything by David Sedaris. Hilarious.

  • Joy

    February 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    You are absolutely cracking me up right now! 5 books and 3 were the Shades?! (heehee) I love your genuineness in sharing that.
    Last thing I read was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It was truly fascinating and part of my son’s AP Biology reading requirement, so all the kids are talking about it.
    Just started Divergent yesterday, so far so good.
    You have Pride and Prejudice on your list, what about Little Women? I think you would really love it.

  • Tracy

    February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Check out everything by Tana French

  • Kimberly

    February 7, 2013 at 4:32 am

    The Light Between Oceans is one of the best books I have read in pretty much forever. L-O-V-E, LOVE IT. I am currently reading The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis and it’s also phenomenal. Happy reading!

  • Tiera

    February 7, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I am so happy to see Margaret Atwood on your list. Of all of her books this is the one I would recommend most as some of her subject matter can be a bit out there and I think can deter some people.
    Another Canadian to try is Anne Marie MacDonald, I really enjoyed The Way The Crow Flies.

  • Allison

    February 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

    When you are in the mood for light reading, the Divergent trilogy, the Matched trilogy, and the Maze Runner trilogy are really fun. They are really similar to Hunger Games (dystopian societies) and are easy, compelling reads.

  • Lynne

    February 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I love book posts, the comment section always gives me such great ideas. Thanks everyone!

    The Passage is fantastic. I’m a big wimp and could handle it. There was a night or 2 of leaving the light on but so worth it.

    Unbroken is the best book I’ve read in a long time.

    Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French are enthralling.

    I just looked at Goodreads and realized I spent at lot of 2012 reading Game of Thrones. Wow, who knew?

  • kawai

    February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Where’d you go Bernadette is a quick, clever read: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12611253-where-d-you-go-bernadette

    Language of the Flowers is SUCH a sweet story. Giving/receiving flowers will never be the same: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10032672-the-language-of-flowers

  • Est

    February 8, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Me before you by JoJo Moyes, it is a brilliant powerful novel. It was one of the five books I read last year. I think it has just come out over there. Sure it will get made into a movie.

  • Susannah

    February 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I thought of a couple more than I meant to have on my list!!

    The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
    Steps and Exes by Laura Kalapakian
    Gatsby’s Girl by Caroline Preston

  • Kate

    February 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Move Blind Assassin right on up to the top of your list, and don’t leave out Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

  • Alexis

    February 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Wild by Cheryl Strayed

    The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith

    The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

    Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

    I could go on and on, but will spare you. I’ll look for you on Goodreads.

  • Elizabeth

    February 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I, for one, did not like the Blind Assasin at all, but would recommend Atwood’s Cat’s Eye as one of my favorite books of all time. I would also highly recommend Little Bee by Chris Cleave and Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. I don’t know a thing about British history and still I loved this book.

  • melanie

    February 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I second ( or whatever) Bernadette – it was awesome. Also loved The Age of Miracles and The Kitchen Daughter…. and if you haven’t readThe Night Circus, please do. SO good. I think we’re goodreads friends already so I’m happy to see you back! I am an obsessive reader myself.

  • Bonnie C

    February 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hey! Long time stalker, first time poster! I actually skipped all the comments because I had to let you know you *MUST* read “Columbine”. It’s insane in its raw intensity. It should be required reading, end of story. /soapboxrant ;p

  • Home Sweet Sarah

    February 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I am familiar with R.I.S and I too was a total dipshit in 2011 (which is INSANE, because I was on maternity leave for three months, which should have meant I had a ton of time to read, but alas.) Anyway, this is why I set out to read 12 books last year (made it to 11 1/2.) Twelve is also my goal for this year (not going stellar, but it’s only February.)

    ANYWAY, I have tried to read Pride & Prejudice (in 2011, natch) and failed. It is a tough book. My high-school English teacher BFF suggested I watch the movie first (either the Firth or Kiera versions), that way I wouldn’t be so consumed with the language and getting through that and could just focus on the story. It did work (except I didn’t finish the book, so…maybe not?) and that’s what I’d recommend.

    My goal is to get a frigging library card and read more Gillian Flynn this year.

  • Sarah

    February 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    RIS is REAL and DEADLY!!! I finally got my act together this year…I’m totally intrigued by The Passage now, and will be checking it out ASAP! YOU SHOULD DO AN ONLINE BOOK CLUB!!!!

  • Dandy

    February 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home- loved that book :)

  • Book Update (+ More Books) | whoorl

    February 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    […] Can’t wait. (If you all are looking for a new book to read, please check out the comments on this post. Great […]

  • Amanda

    February 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I recently read Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn; I liked them both, but I enjoyed Sharp Objects more. Gone Girl is on my list!

    I think the two best books I read last year (at least the two that stick out) were The Night Circus (which I see on Goodreads you’re reading right now! I hope you like it!) and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I think my favourite books I’ve read so far this year are The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.