2013 In Review

I think I can easily consider 2013 to have been the year of the re-read. It’s not that I didn’t read a lot of things, it’s just that most of them were either things I had read before, or Library Science related journal articles. While interesting, I don’t think anyone would want to read about me dissecting the intricate details of virtual reference services. I did however read some very good (and very bad) things in 2013 so here’s the breakdown.

The Great:

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

The conclusion to Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, following Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, we rejoin the remaining humans and the Crakers. You get a lot of back-story when at the same time it progresses the “main” story. These books have been some of my favorites and I recommend them whenever I can to anyone who I think would like them. While I was really, really excited for MaddAddam to come out I knew it would be the final book in the series and as I was reading it, I didn’t want it to be over.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve put time and effort into other series only to be disappointed or disgusted with the endings (namely The Dark Tower) but I feel like Atwood gives the readers an ending they deserve. Not to say that the book is without criticisms, there are some characters whose changes I absolutely loathe. Overall thought I think that Atwood knows how to deliver an ending that gives the reader a sense of completion.

The Good:

Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff

A friend recommended the movie to me and I enjoyed it so much I decided I needed to read the book. This is not a happy book, but if you’ve read my blog or if you know me, you know I don’t tend to read happy books. This book touched on a family’s inner darkness while telling a beautifully heartbreaking story.

The Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth

I got sucked into the amazing PBS/BBC drama Call the Midwife. These three books follow young Jenny as she serves as nurse and midwife in post-WWII London’s East End. The stories are not only compelling they’re  interesting look at medicine during a time period that seems like forever ago.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

Ethiopian born, Swedish raised Samuelsson currently run The Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and can be seen on this season of The Taste on ABC.  It’s the story of Samuelsson’s adoption to Swedish parents and his eventual re-connection with his Ethiopian roots. It gets a little big headed at times but I think all memoirs about a rise to fame can be like that. Overall pretty good.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I got this as an audiobook and I’m glad I did. It’s narrated by Wil Wheaton, Wil freakin’ Wheaton! Do you like video games? Do you like Easter Eggs in video games? If you answered yes to either of those questions you should read this book. It’s full of nostalgic gaming. I think the audience is really people who are slightly older than me but I still thought it was great.

The Bad:

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis.

I didn’t hate Bud, Not Buddy, but this book made me seriously reconsider why I read a lot of children’s books. I know I like children’s books where the children are likable, but that is so not the case in this book. 

The Ugly:

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

It’s not so much that The Wind Through the Keyhole is horrible, it just has a lot of thing that I don’t like. The first is the assumption that if you haven’t read any of The Dark Tower books. I mean, you can, but it’s not going to make a lot of sense. It’s good world building. The second is the story within a story. It didn’t need to be  a story within the story of Roland Deschain’s ka-tet. It could have easily been listed as a Dark Tower Universe book and it would have been great.

Honorable Mentions:

Lilith’s Brood – By Octavia Butler

I am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced – Nujood Ali

Black Girl , White Girl – Joyce Carol Oates

Mom & Me & Mom – Maya Angelou

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