2013 Books: The Good

It’s that time of year again!! Time to give you The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of everything I’ve read in 2013! You’d think this list would be dramatically longer since I accomplished my goal of reading 200 books, but most things fell somewhere in the middle.

As always, I determined The Good by looking at everything I rated 5 stars when I added it to Goodreads. Here are the winners:

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

I think this one was my favorite, but it was a tough call. It’s a graphic novel about a boy who accidentally gets sent into death and the Ghostbusting team who follow to rescue him. It was a really fun version of the afterlife with beautiful illustrations. A quick read, but a good one.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I feel like this book was written specifically for me. It’s about a fanfiction writer and her sometimes-awkward start to college. The excerpts from her so-not-harry-potter-fanfic are amazing.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

AHHHHHHHH I was so excited for this book to come out!!! Allie Brosh’s comics/essays are amazing, and the book had a perfect mix of hilarity and truth.

The rest:

The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey

The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey

All about what life was like living in the Year 1000. A period of history I don’t know a lot about, so it was interesting, and a really unintimidating writing style.

Why Have Kids by Jessica Valenti

Why Have Kids by Jessica Valenti

This book was a really interesting exploration into modern parenthood, its fads, its realities, and its fringe groups. Valenti’s writing is engaging and hilarious, and I liked that she included a chapter on the people (like me) who have decided to nope on out of that whole scene and why that continues to be controversial.

You Are What You Speak by Robert Lane Greene

You Are What You Speak by Robert Lane Greene

Language sticklers: their history and psychology. As a part-time language stickler myself, I was interested.

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams goes on epic journeys to try to find endangered animals in the wild. As always, Douglas Adams’ writing style is the best, and the way he genuinely seems to hate travel makes it even more entertaining. I’m right there with you, guy.

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley

A history of different rooms of the house, with chapters on bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. Bathrooms was my fave!

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore

I will pretty much like anything written by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Sassy girl ghost whisperer solves a freaky magical mystery. You know.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

In a fantasy-renaissance world still scarred by war with dragons, Seraphina has to keep her half-dragon ancestry a secret. Which is more difficult when she goes to court and it’s full of DRAGON INTRIGUE. I know it sounds dumb, but it won me over

One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen

One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen

This guy quit his job, pulled his kids out of school, sold his house, and dragged his family around the world for a year. He’s pretty smug about it, but it’s still an interesting read

Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton

Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton

I think a lot of people’s idea of homosexuality in history probably goes “Ancient Greeks???–>Oscar Wilde–>Stonewall Riots” which is pretty ridiculous.

African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa's Royal Women by Joyce Hansen

African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa’s Royal Women by Joyce Hansen

I also decided this year that I didn’t know enough about African history at all, and this book was baller. These ladies kicked some serious ass, including:

Pharaoh Hatshepsut (1497-1457 BCE): started out as regent at 17/18, crowned self pharaoh because girl power
Amina of Zaria (1533-1610 CE): everyone wants to marry her but “I will never be subject to the control of a man,” becomes court official, than badass warrior, then queen at 40 for 34 years
Tata Ajache of Dahomey (1848-???): trained since childhood in an all-female soldier brigade, IS A TOTAL BADASS FOREVER (that’s all my notes say lol)

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Translating some forgotten letters from Latin leads to a cross-country treasure hunt and MURDER

Afterschool Charisma vols 2-5

Afterschool Charisma vols 2-5

Like Clone High, but manga and serious

Al Capone does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

So guards and their families used to live on Alcatraz. This is historical fiction about those kids

The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni

The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni

Historical fiction involving a love triangle, lost Civil War gold, and WAS MY MOTHER A WITCH AND WHO KILLED HER

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty is another author who I will probably always love no matter what, possibly because I heart epistolary novels. This one involves a strange correspondence between our world and a strange fantasy one where deadly color attacks can kill your family

Flora's Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce

Flora’s Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce

FLORA I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND ALWAYS WILL

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This memoir about Walls’ life growing up with self-destructive, itinerant parents was sometimes hard to get through, but worth it

Juno and Juliet by Julian Gough

Juno and Juliet by Julian Gough

Twin sisters! University! Scotland! Romance! MYSTERY

Maphead by Ken Jennings

Maphead by Ken Jennings

Maps and the people who love them

No Place for a Lady by Barbara Hodgson

No Place for a Lady by Barbara Hodgson

Intrepid lady travelers!

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Each chapter in this book is a separate essay on weirdness.

Library Wars vols 5-9

Library Wars vols 5-9

Library soldiers defend freedom to read WITH THEIR LIVES. Also they find love because it’s shojo

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation vol 1 by M. T. Anderson

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation vol 1 by M. T. Anderson

Octavian is a slave, but he doesn’t know it till he’s almost an adult. He’s been given a full classical education as part of an experiment on intelligence and race. Unfortunately for him, the financial backing falls into the hands of some men who want the experiment to have certain results, and also the Revolutionary War breaks out.

Next up:
2013 The Bad
2013 The Ugly
Bonus: 2013 The Pretty

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