Jan 11, 2014
Today's passionate and enthusiastic Top Ten list comes from Jessie J. of RCL - Roseville! Over to you, Jessie!
Jessie's Top Ten of Books Read in 2013
A list of my ten favorite books I've read this year, (not necessarily published this year,) and in no particular order. It was hard enough narrowing it down to ten, if I had to rank them - well that would be asking too too much! But here they are; the books that I loved so much I want everyone to read them too!
1. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Absafrackaloutely amazing! The geekiness, the coolness, the maddening terrifyingness! Mr. Hill, I adore you. I loved Horns, but this work is delightful and terrifying and quite simply, awesome. By far the best book I've read this year. I wish I could use words the way you do to craft this review into something worthy of your talent and brilliance. But instead I shall employ brevity and say only that I hope you have a long a fruitful career as an author so that our minds may continue to commune through the printed word.
There. Even Neil Gaiman didn't get such a flowery fan girl review (see number 3).
2. Written in Red by Anne Bishop
One of the most unique and fresh urban fantasies that I've had the pleasure of reading. Distinctly Anne Bishop's style it has all the charm and humor of her other books and plenty of suspense and dark corners to keep you on the edge of your seat. For those who enjoy Ms. Bishop's books this is like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in far too long. The familiarity of character roles is charming, delightful, and they are just dangerous enough to keep it entertaining.
3. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Magical and terrifying. Totally worth the hype. There is nothing more I can say about this wonderful book that started out as a short story for his wife but ended up slightly longer than a novella but on the smallish size for a novel. How very Gaiman to write a book in that manner.
4. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Clever, witty, charming, profoundly British. Need I say anything more? Well, in that case....
A book filled with fairy tales, witches, adventures, faerie queens, sheep, and Nac Mac Feegles. What's a Feegle? Well, you'll just have to find out now won't you?
5. Naamah's Kiss by Jaqueline Carey
After been away from the alternate history world of Terre d'Ange for too long reading this was like drinking a glass of cool water in summer. Characterized by sweeping romance, a delightful cast, and incredible globe-trotting Ms. Carey delivers again in the third.
Moirin is a child of the Maghuin Dohn and of Terre d'Ange and the book opens at the beginning of her tale with her childhood in Alba. But as she matures it is clear that more than one god has claimed her and the gods use their chosen hard. She sets off to seek her destiny and find her father, a D'Angeline, whom she has never known. But it soon becomes clear that this leg of her journey is only the first step and that she will cross many seas to far off Ch'in where civil war is eminent and a princess is in grave danger.
6. Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Atmospheric and filled with great characters. Like all of J. K. Rowling's work it's her characters that make each of her books so great. This latest pseudonymous installment lives up to expectations. Wonderfully English, Ms. Rowling draws you in as you follow Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott through the streets of London. It's a book I haven't been able to stop thinking about all year.
7.Looking for Alaska by John Green
Absolutely loved it and all its little anecdotes: The great perhaps, the last words, the burning question of 'how do we escape this labyrinth of suffering?' I loved all of it, the little pranks (and the highly elaborate) pranks. Just a fantastic teen novel. John Green is (in my humble opinion) one of the best YA authors on the market today.
8. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Set in the same world as the wildly exciting and inventive Parasol Protectorate serie, only 25 years earlier and intended for a slightly younger audience. That being said the Finishing School series doesn't sacrifice any of the trademark wit and elaborate world-building. Ms. Carriger does steampunk with grace, aplomb, and of course, excellent manners.
9. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
Because I love all things Irish. An idyllic and warmhearted story of the life of a new doctor in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. Every installment in the series gives me the warm fuzzies. Get ready to fall in love with the little town of Ballybucklebo. Oh, and Mrs. Kincaid's recipes in the back are worth an experiment or two. (Actually, you should plan on going to grocery store immediately after finishing this book).
10. The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell
Wyrd bið ful aræd. Fate is inexorable.
As always, the series delivers with incredible violence and the genial revelry among the pagans. It makes me want to string Thor's hammer around my neck, die with a sword in my hand, and fight and feast in Odin's warriors hall for eternity. Simply put; I love everything about this series.
There that's my top ten. I've culled only the best for you, dear reader, out of the 100+ titles I read this year (yes, I do keep track - goodreads is amazing for this). Happy 2014 to all, may you always have a good book to read in the year ahead!