the year in books / 2013

eleven readingSo it’s that time of year again: the time of year that I reveal to you the list I’ve spent all year working on. You may not want to see it. You may not care at all. But I am going to post it anyway because my OCD won’t let me not post it. Or perhaps you’re not here to see my list of the 151 books I read this year, you just want some book recommendations. Maybe you don’t follow me on Twitter, or read my reviews over at Cannonball Read. In that case, the following post is perfect for you.

I also feel compelled to note that this is the latest I have ever published this list. In previous years, it’s been on January 1st. It is now January 28th. The reason for my posting it so late is that I am an awful, lazy, useless person, and last weekend I ate an entire gallon of ice cream all by myself. That last bit is only tangentially related to this post. It’s more of a character reference to put the rest of it in perspective.

So on to the books.

The content of this post consists of the following: 1) my favorite books I read in 2013, 2) other books I really enjoyed, 3) my least favorite books of 2013, and 4) the entire list of books I read in 2013. For documenting purposes, I have noted when a book was over 500 pages, when I was re-reading, and at the very bottom is the total number of pages contained in all the books I read. If I wasn’t feeling so aggressively apathetic right now (which: how is that mood even possible?) I would totally use an exclamation point in the following sentence, but no. Instead I shall only say: happy reading in 2014.

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The Best Books I Read in 2013

sanderson-kingsThe Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
Originally published: August 31, 2010
Read in: January 2013

From my review“After finishing, I think I can safely say that I haven’t read a piece of fantasy literature this ambitious since The Lord of the Rings. Not that The Way of Kings is anything like Tolkien — it’s nothing like Tolkien, actually, other than in Sanderson’s complete dedication to worldbuilding. Both authors are/were obsessed with creating vast histories and cultures to populate their stories, but in terms of the kinds of stories Sanderson is interested in telling? Not so much with the similarities. A lot of people cite these sorts of books as derivative Tolkien copies. I’m not sure I’m one of those people, but so much of epic fantasy is just a re-working of the classic hero quest, which is fine because they can be super fun if done well . . . I can’t really judge Wheel of Time or Shannara as derivative, as I haven’t read them yet, but I have read The Sword of Truth and can attest to its not-dissimilar Tolkien-esque plots. All three of those series are the ones people usually name as the standard-bearers of the epic fantasy series that not only has SUPER long books, but traditionally have 10+ volumes of door-stoppers to get through.

Brandon Sanderson belongs in this category by default — The Way of Kings is the first book of an eventual ten in The Stormlight Archive (second book to be published late 2013), and it will be a series full of 1,000+ page books set in a fantastical world full of baddies and goodies and magic like those others I mentioned above, yes. But what’s Sanderson’s done with The Way of Kings is essentially attempt to reinvent the epic fantasy series as a genre. I suppose one could argue that George R.R. Martin has already done this with A Song of Ice and Fire, but I would disagree. ASoIaF is certainly a long fantasy series full of long books that each turn traditional fantasy tropes on their heads, but I actually think that what Martin’s doing is so different that he’s essentially created his own genre, one that the likes of Joe Abercrombie and Daniel Abraham have followed in. Martin is working in opposition to the tropes and traditions of most epic fantasy series, while Sanderson is still working within the belly of the beast . . .

. . . It was a bit daunting at first trying to slip into this world, as dense as it is, but once I did, I was hooked. The world Sanderson has created is fresh and original (no, really), his characters are lovely, flawed people, and his plots walk the fine line of simultaneously appeasing your sensibilities and giving you that good old fantasy buzz that you crave, while still turning the traditional plots on their heads. You’ll be reading along and you think you know where it’s going, and then something happens, and you’re just like, well, shit! And then you keep reading because you need to know what happens. There’s also a palpable sense of mystery surrounding the whole story. Even as most of the main plots are resolved within this book, each resolution only serves to open up more story possibilities, and to reveal just how much planning and thought has gone into this series.”

What I say now: I read many of Sanderson’s books in 2013, including two newly published YA books that I quite enjoyed, and the Mistborn trilogy (which narrowly missed out being spotlighted in place of The Way of Kings). I ended up choosing The Way of Kings as one of my favorites because as great as I think the Mistborn trilogy was, and as fun as the two YA books were, The Way of Kings just impressed the hell out of me. The scope of the world he’s created, its mythology, is just incredibly vast, and yet the intensely personal nature of his characters doesn’t suffer. The end result, at least for me, was pure wonder.

Also read: Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages, The Rithmatist, Steelheart.

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attachments-rainbow-rowellAttachments, Rainbow Rowell
Originally published: April 14, 2011
Read in: January 2013

From my review: “Falling in love with a book is exactly like falling in love with a person. In both cases, most of the time you just can’t help yourself, and what happens during the falling is almost entirely out of your control. This is an especially appropriate metaphor to be making when talking about Rainbow Rowell’s delightful little book, Attachments, which is about a man falling in love in a very inappropriate way. This is what I wrote on Goodreads approximately one minute and thirty-one seconds after finishing the last page at 2 AM on Saturday night:

‘FUCKING HELL, MAN. Why is this so . . . GUH . . . and it’s the middle of the night and I’M SO ALONE.’

I believe that sentence and my five star rating should speak for itself, but I would like to elaborate anyway because when you fall in love with something you want to tell everybody about it as loudly and in as many ways as possible . . .

. . . This is probably not a book many other readers will give five stars to, but it hit all of my personal buttons in all the right ways. Like, to the point where I was all, Rainbow Rowell, either get out of my head or be my best friend. But even if you don’t fall crazy in love and over-identify with it like I did, it’s still worth checking out as the perfect example of this kind of romancey, character-driven novel. It’s well-written, funny, has great characters, and is overall a super-fun read. If you like good romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally and Love, Actually, just imagine that this is like a book version of that and you’ll have a pretty good idea. I am now eagerly anticipating the two (!) books Rainbow Rowell is publishing later this year.”

What I say now: It seems like everybody was reading Rainbow Rowell this year, especially after the publication of Eleanor & Park in the spring, and I’m so glad. After I finished reading Attachments, I was filled with this overwhelming sense of futility, both that I would never find a man as good as Lincoln, and that I would never write a book that anyone loved as much as I loved it. That is both a horrible and an excellent feeling to have. It also helps that you come out of a Rainbow book feeling like she is your new best friend in the whole world.

Also read: Fangirl, Eleanor & Park.

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changesChanges, Jim Butcher
Originally Published: April 6, 2010
Read in: May 2013

From my review: “Everybody give Jim Butcher a slow clap. He’s finally written a book that impressed me so much that I’m willing to give it five stars. (It only took him twelve tries to get there!) I’ve been waiting for something awe-inspiring in order to bust out the five star rating, and I’m pretty sure this book qualifies . . .

. . . If I hadn’t already read a couple of interviews with Butcher where he pretty much stated it outright, this book would have clued me in that Butcher is playing the long game with this series, and this book was clearly designed as the pivot point. The series was often unpredictable before Changes, but it followed a general formula, where certain things were always a given. Now, though. That’s pretty much all shot to hell, and the next eight books in the series will be very different than what’s come before. Because it was designed as a pivot point, a lot of previous storylines paid off here, and it was incredibly satisfying for that to happen after having spent twelve books with these characters.”

What I say now: I actually liked Ghost Story and Cold Days better on a personal level, but there’s no denying that Changes pushes Butcher’s series in a new and impressive direction, and I very much applaud him for it. For readers with patience, I’d highly recommend checking this series out. Even if you don’t love it at first, if you stick with it, I promise it’s worth it. It took me around four books to like it, and then another four or five to fall in love, and now I’m basically a crazy person where this series is concerned (perhaps moreso because I used to dislike it . . . man, our brains are weird). Also: if you can, go audiobook. James Marsters makes this series for me.

Also read: Turn Coat, Ghost Story, Cold Days.

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going clearGoing Clear, Lawrence Wright
Originally Published: January 17, 2013
Read in: March 2013

From my review: “Lawrence Wright won the Pulitzer prize for his 9/11 book, The Looming Tower, but Going Clear is the first piece of writing I’ve ever read by him. Judging by this book, he very much deserved that Pulitzer. Going Clear is an exhaustive long-form journalistic look at Scientology. Wright must have spent years and countless hours researching, writing, and fine-tuning this thing. It’s evident in every page, every carefully chosen word and phrase. Then again, if his own research is to be believed, he couldn’t afford not to be as careful as possible, given what has happened to journalists in the past who have dared to go up against Scientology (bad things, life ruining things) . . . What Wright has accomplished in this book is staggering, not just in the care and precision he took in writing it, but in the content of the story itself. I’m glad I read it, and I think you should, too.”

What I say now: I still think everyone should read this book. Everyone. It’s scary and interesting and horrible and so strange it’s almost unbelievable.

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oceanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Originally Published: June 18, 2013
Read in: July 2013

From my review: “There’s a pond in this book that contains an ocean. This is impossible. This pond is a small thing that secretly contains an infinity, most of which has been forgotten by someone, or everyone, or which is simply too big to hold in one place at the same time. It’s really hard to put into words. The bigger the feeling, the harder it is to express it with something as prosaic as language. But then again, that’s what the book is for, not this review. When I was finished with it, I immediately got up off my bed, put the book down on my bookshelf, and said, ‘Huh.’ I then burst into tears, for no outwardly explainable reason. I’m still not entirely sure of the exact reason, to be honest.

This is not a young adult book, so stop putting it on your YA shelves. This is not a book for a young person to appreciate. A young person would read this book and think, well, yeah, this is how the world works, because they haven’t forgotten anything yet. This is a book for adults who have forgotten, not what it was like to be a child, necessarily, but who’ve forgotten how to get back to that place in your head where ponds can be oceans and magic exists, and there’s something more beyond the horizon than your next day at work, the next slog of your increasingly sped up humdrum life.”

What I say now: Aside from the fact that Neil Gaiman retweeted my review (which means he read my review, something that made me squeal like an absolute lunatic and run around my house for a really long time), this is a really good book, and in terms of the payoff you get, it’s a pretty short investment of time. From reviews I’ve seen, this is a book that you will either love or not get at all, but if you do get it, it hits you right in the nads. Also, sometimes with books I love right away, that love fades into something manageable and sane over time. Not so with this book. It still makes me feel unhinged just thinking about it.

Also read: Don’t Panic, Nothing O’Clock, Make Good Art, Neverwhere.

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cuckooThe Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Originally Published: April 30, 2013
Read in: August 2013

From my review: “You thought you could keep this a secret, didn’t you, Jo? WELL TOO BAD.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, the latest novel by J.K. Rowling, originally written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, features private dick Cormoran Strike and his temporary secretary, Robin, as they become involved in investigating the supposed suicide of supermodel Lula Landry at the behest of her grieving brother, who doesn’t believe it possible Lula could have killed herself.

I am beyond glad that J.K. Rowling is writing genre again. She’s just so good at it. And sorry, Jo, I’m also beyond glad your lawyer’s wife leaked this to the public, because otherwise I never would have read it (or if I ever did, it would have been much farther down the road when you were like six or seven books in or something, as it seems the only time I ever hear about mystery books is if they last long enough to be notable to those who normally don’t read inside the genre). I know this probably makes me a bad friend fan admirer thingy whatever, and for that I apologize . . . but damn. I just love your words so much . . .

. . . The mystery in this was really good, really thorough, and Rowling does a nice job of setting up red herrings, but at the same time laying clues so it’s obvious in retrospect who the murderer is. (This is something we already knew she could do, as she did it so well in all the Potters.) Strike is very good at his job, and Robin finds she has a talent for it as well (much to her delight, as she confesses early on that she’s secretly always wanted to work in a PI office), so it’s fun to watch them work. Even though I really liked the mystery, there wasn’t really anything there that made me go YES. I do, however, love Strike and Robin as characters (Jo is so good at characters, you guys), and I can imagine myself easily re-reading this after future books in the series have been published and retroactively giving it five stars, once I know where the series is headed. It’s not love yet, just really, really like.”

What I say now: Pretty much the same. I’m super excited to see what Jo can do with these characters in the future. And I still really want Richard Armitage and Jenna Louise-Coleman to play Strike and Robin. Make this happen, universe.

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repiblic of thievesThe Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch
Originally Published: October 8, 2013
Read in: October 2013

From my review: “There’s always a moment of worry when you go to finally open up a book that you have eagerly anticipated, and that worry’s size correlates directly to how much you loved its sequels or its author’s previous works, and how long you’ve been waiting for its release. The Republic of Thieves isn’t my most anticipated book ever, or even the one I’ve waited the longest for, but I waited long enough for that worry to surface. What if it’s not as good? What if something really bad happens to these characters? What if everything I’ve waited for is a lie?

Glad to report that my worry was unfounded.

The Republic of Thieves (the third book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards sequence) picks up several weeks after Red Seas Under Red Skies. Locke has been poisoned, and there doesn’t seem to be a cure of any kind, magical or otherwise, though as Locke grows weaker, his best mate Jean’s efforts to find one for him grow even more desperate. Their only way out is with a deal sure to go wrong from the start, with the bondsmagi or Karthain. Said bondsmagi made Locke’s life a living hell in The Lies of Locke Lamora, so he is understandably reluctant to take the deal, but it’s either that or die. And, well, if the bondsmagi are planning to kill him after they’re done with him, what’s the difference, really, if he dies now or later?

But really that’s just the set-up. The real meat of the story is two-fold: First, the story of what the bondsmagi want Locke and Jean to do for them in exchange for curing Locke, and second, the parallel narrative of a con that went wrong back when the Gentleman Bastards were teenagers and still in training. How are these two narratives connected, exactly? Well, the first is that Locke and Jean are being paid to make sure that a particular side wins the most seats in an election in Karthain (the ‘election’ is too complicated for me to explain further) by almost any means necessary, and their political opposite (not by coincidence) just so happens to be one Sabetha Belacoros, she of the Gentleman Bastards and she of being loved by Locke Lamora for their entire lives. So the parallel story tells us the history of Locke and Sabetha, with a focus on the earlier mentioned con, which involves the GBs learning how to act while apprenticing in a theater company. All the while in the present narrative, Sabetha and Locke clash furiously over an election that neither one of them really care about. It is glorious.

I’m not going to go too far into detail about the plot because the twists and turns of the Gentleman Bastards’ plans are a large majority of the fun of these books (the other fun parts being the bromance between Locke and Jean, and the witty and profane dialogue). I will say that it is incredibly refreshing that each book in this series essentially tries out a new sub-genre (or two), instead of dragging the same old harried plots through the mud over and over again. The first book was essentially a long con, the second was a hybrid heist novel and swashbuckler, and this one tries on political games for size as well as being an ode to renaissance drama in the vein of Shakespeare and Marlowe. In this respect, my respect for Scott Lynch actually increased, which I didn’t know was possible. He really knows his shit when it comes to the theater, especially in regards to the play the Bastards perform (the titular Republic of Thieves), of which we actually get to see large bits of dialogue and action. Frankly, it’s unnerving how great he is at replicating the structure, the syntax, and mechanics of 16th/17th century drama. I had a total nerdgasm while reading those parts.”

What I say now: I basically just copied my entire review into the above space, so I will not say any more just now.

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mad aboutBridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding
Originally Published: October 15, 2013
Read in: November 2013

From my review: (SPOILERS) “When I say that I was sad about the news that Helen Fielding would be killing Mark Darcy in her third Bridget Jones book, I am practicing the rhetorical technique known as litotes, which is fancy asshole for “understatement.” The reason I am being a fancy asshole about it is that I have never in my life been more upset about the death of a fictional character than I was about Mark Darcy. ’Devastated’ would be an accurate word for my emotional state. Also ‘destroyed.’ And ‘demolished.’ I am laid waste to. The more astute of you will notice that I am now employing the opposite of litotes — hyperbole — which is one of my favorite and most used forms of expression. I am doing this because I am a fancy asshole, as stated previously, but also because I am putting off as long as possible having to write the rest of this review, which I am convinced will crumble me until I am nothing more than dusty remains of what used to be a person.

Because Fuckin’ A, Mark Darcy is dead.

Initially, I wasn’t even going to read the thing. I felt betrayed. I felt it was unnecessary and cruel. And I hadn’t even liked the second book all that much anyway SO THERE. But then I got curious. And a friend reviewed it positively. And I gave in.

I’m so glad I did. I loved this book. I loved it hard. I loved it against my will.

If the first two books were about Bridget coping with the life of a terminally single woman, and then learning to navigate the perils of adult relationships, and both of those things were now accomplished, then what is the point of having a third book? Well, it turns out that what Bridget is coping with this time around is how a person can live through their grief and come out the other side. Fielding is also clearly interested in examining through Bridget the process of coming to terms with aging, and what’s like to have to start over after you thought you were done. You had it in the bag. And I think it’s something she succeeds at handily . . .

. . . Because yes, this is a sad book. But is also a very, very funny one.”

What I say now: Same. And I really want to put it out into the world that ya’ll should read this book, despite your reservations.

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girl of fire and thornsThe Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
Originally Published: September 20, 2011
Read in: January 2013

From my review:The Girl of Fire and Thorns begins with our heroine, Elisa, the princess of a small kingdom in a vaguely jungle-like are of the world being married off to a man she’s never met before, the king of a nearby country. Elisa is smart but very unsure of herself, and very self-conscious about her weight and general sense of worth. Elisa was born special (because of course she was) — in Carson’s world, one person in a century is blessed with a jewel called the Godstone that lives in her navel (yes, lives) that supposedly connects directly to God. This person is called the Bearer and is destined to serve her people in some way, although the specifics aren’t clear. Elisa has been raised to know that her life is not her own, and her marriage to King Alejandro is a direct result of her being the Bearer. He believes the marriage will benefit his country and help him in the oncoming war with a savage nearby country.

But when Elisa reaches her new kingdom, her marriage is kept a secret, and her handsome husband is kind but aloof. On top of all that, she’s kidnapped by a group of rebels who believe her to be their savior, and that’s when the book gets really interesting.

Elisa’s journey as a character is really interesting. As the book goes on her self-confidence grows as does her role in the world she inhabits. In many ways this is a book about how a child grows into being a leader, but it’s also a sneaky study of religion and faith and love. I really appreciated Carson’s writing style as she doesn’t always do the expected thing or the safe thing (for instance, highlight to view spoiler:Elisa’s love interest, Humberto, is killed off by the end of the book, where any other YA book — cough Delirium cough — would have chickenshitted out and kept him alive.) Instead, she picks the brave thing, which also most often happens to be the interesting thing. The religion in the book is central, a sort of magical pseudo-Catholicism, and the world is populated by mixed cultures. Elisa herself I would describe as being Hispanic in inspiration. It was a huge relief to not read a YA world that was completely white-washed. It felt fresh.

What I say now: I sort of underplayed in my original review just how refreshing it was to a) read a book that was competently (even beautifully) written, and b) read a book that took chances with its narrative, playing against (even undermining) traditional tropes. Elisa is a fabulous character, and this book and its two sequels more than do her justice. If you, like me, are tired of idiot YA, this is the book for you. I can’t wait for Rae Carson to write more.

Also read: The Crown of Embers, The Bitter Kingdom.

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Other books I really enjoyed this year: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, Why Can’t I Be You by Allie Larkin, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke, Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley, The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, and the Trickster series by Tamora Pierce.

Books I most disliked:

  • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin: Reading this book was like listening to a violin play an extended note out of pitch for a very, very, very long time. I don’t get the love at all.
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon: Smart but inexperienced girl + greedy publishing company = mess of a book.
  • The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare: Too much to document in this space. Try HERE, HERE, and HERE instead.
  • The Elite by Kiera Cass: How did this book even get published? I’m asking a serious question here. HOW.
  • Requiem by Lauren Oliver: Lauren Oliver is not the author for me, but this book was unenjoyable even for her, not to mention an extremely underwhelming ending to the series. Journaled my thoughts HERE.

Most disappointing:

  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth: LOVED the first book in this series. Was really disappointed by book two last year, and the final book in the series unfortunately continued the downward quality slide.
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: Was excited to read my first Maureen Johnson book as I know and love her from Twitter, but I was really underwhelmed by this first book in a paranormal YA series. Will still try out her realistic YA fiction and hope it’s more to my taste.
  • You by Austin Grossman: Great concept, beautiful ideas and prose, awful characters, no plot, and horrible follow through. Sad. The world sorely needs more good nerd fiction.
  • Requiem by Ken Scholes: What are the odds that I would read two books named Requiem in the same year and be disappointed in them both? No idea. But it’s kind of weird so I thought I’d mention it.

For the full list of 151, scroll down:

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1. The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson ✓
2. Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex, John A. Long
3. The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson
4. The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson
5. The Crown of Embers, Rae Carson
6. Attachments, Rainbow Rowell
7. Sailor Twain, Mark Siegel
8. A Big Hand for the Doctor, Eoin Colfer
9. A Canticle For Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
10. White Night, Jim Butcher, narr. by James Marsters+
11. Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson✓
12. The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson✓
13. Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson✓
14. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
15. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye, Robert Kirkman*
16. The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us, Robert Kirkman*
17. The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars, Robert Kirkman*
18. The Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire, Robert Kirkman
19. The Nameless City, Michael Scott
20. The Walking Dead, Vol. 5: The Best Defense, Robert Kirkman
21. The Walking Dead, Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life, Robert Kirkman
22. Shades of Earth, Beth Revis
23. The Walking Dead, Vol. 7: The Calm Before, Robert Kirkman
24. The Walking Dead, Vol. 8: Made to Suffer, Robert Kirkman
25. Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff, narr. by Robin Miles+
26. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, Cassandra Rose Clarke
27. Scarlet, Marissa Meyer
28. Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain+
29. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright
30. The Spear of Destiny, Marcus Sedgwick
31. Prodigy, Marie Lu
32. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
33. Why Can’t I Be You, Allie Larkin
34. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
35. The Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord
36. Requiem, Lauren Oliver
37. The Different Girl, Gordon Dahlquist
38. Small Favor, Jim Butcher, narr. by James Marsters+
39. First Test, Tamora Pierce
40. Page, Tamora Pierce
41. Squire, Tamora Pierce
42. Lady Knight, Tamora Pierce
43. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, A.N. Roquelaure
44. Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin, narr. by ______+ ✓
45. Gun Machine, Warren Ellis
46. Assimilation 2, Vol. 1 (Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who #1), Scott Tipton
47. The Roots of Evil, Philip Reeve
48. Delirium Stories, Lauren Oliver
49. Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1, George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, Tommy Patterson
50. The Green Mile, Stephen King ✓
51. Turn Coat, Jim Butcher, narr. by James Marsters+
52. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, Lucy Knisley
53. Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion, Neil Gaiman
54. Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV, Warren Littlefield
55. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
56. You, Austin Grossman
57. The Stone Rose, Jacqueline Rayner
58. Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
59. Inferno, Dan Brown
60. Changes, Jim Butcher, narr. by James Marsters+
61. Gulp, Mary Roach
62. This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith
63. Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham
64. Side Jobs: Stories From The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher
65. Tip of the Tongue, Patrick Ness
66. Wanderlust, Ann Aguirre
67. Doubleblind, Ann Aguirre
68. The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson
69. The Host, Stephenie Meyer ✓
70. Something Borrowed, Richelle Mead
71. At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson+
72. Make Good Art, Neil Gaiman
73. The Elite, Kiera Cass
74. Killbox, Ann Aguirre
75. Aftermath, Ann Aguirre
76. Endgame, Ann Aguirre
77. The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, Alan Bradley, narr. by Jayne Entwistle+
78. The Ordinary Princess, M.M. Kaye*
79. Different Seasons, Stephen King✓
80. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
81. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2, George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, Tommy Patterson
82. The Ripple Effect, Malorie Blackman
83. The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain, Robert Kirkman
84. The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become, Robert Kirkman
85. Requiem, Ken Scholes
86. A Red Herring Without Mustard, Alan Bradley, narr. by Jane Entwistle+
87. The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith (alias J.K. Rowling)
88. Dear Girls Above Me, Charlie McDowell
89. Codex Born, Jim C. Hines
90. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Alan Bradley, narr. by Jane Entwistle+
91. City of Bones, Cassandra Clare
92. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, David Sedaris+
93. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
94. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling*
95. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling*
96. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling*
97. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling*✓
98. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling*✓
99. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling*✓
100. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling*✓
101. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, narr. by Simon Slater +✓
102. The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters, Robert Kirkman
103. The Walking Dead, Vol. 12: Life Among Them, Robert Kirkman
104. Under the Empyrean Sky, Chuck Wendig
105. Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
106. The Bitter Kingdom, Rae Carson
107. Ghost Story, Jim Butcher
108. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
109. Redshirts, John Scalzi, narr. by Wil Wheaton*+
110. Spore, Alex Scarrow
111. The Beast of Babylon, Charlie Higson
112. The Sagan Diary, John Scalzi+
113. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
114. City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare
115. City of Glass, Cassandra Clare ✓
116. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling*
117. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling*
118. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling*
119. The Pirates! In An Adventure With Napoleon, Gideon Defoe
120. The Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch ✓
121. The Walking Dead, Vol. 13: Too Far Gone, Robert Kirkman
122. The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out, Robert Kirkman
123. The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves, Robert Kirkman
124. The Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger World, Robert Kirkman
125. Kinslayer, Jay Kristoff
126. The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage, Derek Landy
127. Cold Days, Jim Butcher, narr. by James Marsters
128. Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson
129. Insurgent, Veronica Roth*✓
130. Allegiant, Veronica Roth ✓
131. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding
132. The Mark of Athena, Rick Riordan* ✓
133. The House of Hades, Rick Riordan ✓
134. Speaking From Among the Bones, Alan Bradley, narr. by Jane Entwistle+
135. Say You Love Me, Johanna Lindsey
136. Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
137. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon ✓
138. Nothing O’Clock, Neil Gaiman
139. Death Comes As the End, Agatha Christie
140. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Catherynne M. Valente
141. Fuzzy Nation, John Scalzi, narr. by Wil Wheaton*+
142. The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon
143. Night of Cake and Puppets, Laini Taylor
144. The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers
145. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield, narr. by Jill Tanner and Bianca Amato*+
146. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams*
147. Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams*
148. So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, Douglas Adams*
149. Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams*
150. Trickster’s Choice, Tamora Pierce
151. Trickster’s Queen, Tamora Pierce

✓ Over 500 pages, YEAH BUDDY

Page Count: 49,907   <—- This kills me, you guys. I was SO CLOSE to 50,000 pages.

11 responses

  1. I think you know me well enough to answer this:

    Would I like Girl of Fire and Thorns? It’s been on my radar for a while, but I’ve been hesitating.

  2. I googled my name, which lead me to this place because of the POA California trip. Good times! Didn’t realize I was on a famous blog! Hope all is well.

    • Hi Chris! Sorry I went through all my entries a couple of years ago to remove last names. Do you want me to do that for you? Also, hi! How’s it going?

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