2013 in books

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I’ve always loved reading, but since buying my Kindle Paperwhite around this time last year I’ve found myself reading more and more often. During 2013 I’ve managed to crunch through 18 19 books. Not especially prolific I concede, but considering there’s a couple of monsters in my completed list I’m fairly proud of the achievement.

Of these books only one of them was a re-read – The Lord of the Rings. I’m glad to have broadened my horizons and experienced several new authors, even if I wasn’t particularly adventurous with the genres. In that regard I stuck mostly to my favourites; Dystopia, Cyberpunk (High tech, low life), Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy. This is certainly something I’m hoping to expand upon in 2014.

Books I read in 2013

Highlights

The first Highlight has to be Charles Dickens. I’m embarrassed to say it’s taken me 26 years to read a Dickens novel, but it was worth the wait. Reading Dickens gives you a wholesome feeling that is difficult to describe – other people can explain that far better than I. One thing’s for sure though, I’ll be reading more in 2014. David Copperfield and The Old Curiosity Shop were both wonderful stories with colourful characters. I’ll never forget Daniel Quilp eating boiled eggs – “shell and all” and gigantic prawns with the “heads and tails still on”! Whew!

Secondly I have to mention The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde is better known for poetry and I feel that is well demonstrated in the melodic language in this book. As a fan of Horror & the supernatural, the macabre theme really appealed to me & for a book written in the 19th century it was an incredibly easy (and enthralling) read.

My final highlight is Ready Player One. I absolutely flew through this novel. It’s packed with so many fun references to 80s & 90s music/movie/video game culture that it totally satisfied my inner nerd. But alongside that there’s a compelling story that proves to be a real page turner. If you were born before / in the 80s and enjoy Sci-Fi you must read this book.

Lowlights

There weren’t many. The only book I really struggled through was Neal Stephensons ‘Snow Crash’. I don’t particularly know why, but I found the story difficult to get in to and none of the characters really appealed to me. It’s a shame because it’s put me off reading some of Stephensons other acclaimed books on my ‘to read’ list such as Cryptonomicon and Reamde. We’ll see how that goes.

Looking to 2014

I’m currently reading Consider Phlebas the first novel in Iain M. Banks ‘Culture’ series of Sci-Fi novels. How that turns out will likely impact the look of my list of books to read in 2014 as it’s quite a large series!

Overall though I’d like to read more Dickens (recommendations welcome) and perhaps try some poetry and other genres outside of my comfort zone.

Finally I must say, if you enjoy reading, do yourself a favour and buy yourself a Kindle for Christmas :-)

6 thoughts on “2013 in books

  1. Congrats on finishing 18 books! I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite too. I agree, Snow Crash, wasn’t my favorite either this year. I found it funny how the book isn’t that old, but some of the tech has already been accomplished in real life. The pace was odd. The slow philosophical bits weighed the book down. Daniel is bugging me to read Reamde and Cryptonomicon.

    I love Ready Player One! There is a movie in development. It could be a great film if done well.

    I also read LoTR this year. It was my first time and I loved getting to visit Middle Earth every day. I was sad when it was over.

    I’m currently working through The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a bit of a chunker at 815 pages, but totally random and witty fun.

    I love books, so thanks for posting your list! Now you have inspired me to pick up Dickens again. I have always wanted to revisit A Tale of Two Cities.

    • Hehe, he’s bugging me to read those two as well. I’ve had recommendations from loads of folks to read Cryptonomicon. Not really sure why I started with Snow Crash…

      LoTR is my go-to book whenever I lose the reading bug. It inspires me every time. I think I’ve read it 6 or 7 times already :-D

      Holy moly… I only just realised there are more books in the Hitchhikers Guide series…! I read The first one a couple years ago and somehow missed that… More books added to my 2014 list!

      I liked both the Dickens I read this year and would recommend both. DC is a marathon but such a wonderful read if you can get past the desperately sad first couple of chapters.

  2. And I was going to suggest Stephen King’s 11/22/63 if you like King and time travel. It’s a great read! I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t like the book.

  3. Hey James, glad to see a post like this. I got a Kindle about a year ago and managed to crush about 24+ books over the past year. I always loved reading, and sort of shunned the idea of not being able to smell/feel/touch the book itself. But now that I have the Kindle, I can carry a library in my bag. Plus there are so many great deals that it’s always easy to find something new. Seems like you read a lot of fiction, which I have been getting back into. In particular, I think the most memorable book I read this year was “The Gollum and the Ginni” which had an amazing storyline that ventured outside my usual zone. You piqued my interest in Dorian Gray, which is one of those books that’s been on my list for years…

    • Yeah you miss out on all the tactile nuances with a Kindle, but imo it’s well worth it. There’s no way I’d read so much if it wasn’t for my Kindle – it’s without doubt the best gadget I’ve bought in a long time.

      The synopsis of ‘The Golem and the Jinni’ got me interested – I’ve added it to my to-read list :-)

      You should definitely give Dorian Gray a go, even if it’s just to experience the writing style which I found to be really evocative. Plus it’s free for Kindle ;-)

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