Books from 2013 | The Life of K: Books from 2013

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Books from 2013

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It used to be that I read the books my mom read. She would buy books, lots of books, read them, and then I'd borrow them. That worked for many years until I got a little tired of the same kind of book over and over, and I discovered the library.

Rediscovered I should say. We went to the library at least once a week when I was younger. On my green library card I was able to take out 3 books. My brother, never a big reader, would always let me have one of his books so I could have 4. My mom, with her gray adult card, was allowed 6, but never let me have any.

The library is perfect for me. I don't like to own books. They take up space and I have a bad memory so I never remember what I've read. I'll pick up a book, not even recognizing it from the synopsis, get into it and have a feeling of deja view the whole time because I've read it before but don't remember it well. It's awful. That is partly why I joined Goodreads - so I wouldn't read the same book twice.

What also changed, and why the library is awesome, is that I hear about books I would have never read before because they weren't what my mom read. I hear about them from friends or bloggers and my interest is piqued. I quickly pull up the library app and put the title on hold. Days or weeks (and sometimes months) later I get an email saying the book is ready to pick up. It's perfect.

All that to say that I read a lot of books in 2013. I challenged myself to read 25 and I read over 40. I'll list them all but first I want to share my top 10. In no particular order:

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield was my favourite book of the year. It was smart and funny and full of quirky things from space. A lot of it I could relate to pregnancy and childbirth, but that's just a testament to where my mind is. It's a good book.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman was a close second. It was such a great story, but heartbreaking and sad. You get lost in Tom and Isabel's story and ask yourself some hard questions along the way.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a story about two teenagers who fall for each other. It takes place over a year and made me relive my awkward teenage relationships and cringe through theirs. It was a nice quick read and a good story, but deep down I wanted a differeny ending.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick was made into a movie that I'd love to see. The main character Pat suffers from memory loss and doesn't remember what happened between him and his wife. His view on the world is so distorted and his actions so strange that I didn't know what to think. Pat keeps looking for his silver lining and along the way we learn to look for ours.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is another book being made into a movie. I'd like to read more from John Green because I liked his style. This book is all about two kids with cancer who find each other.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was a love story enveloped in tragedy. We read about Julia's life as the world is completely changed by a natural disaster, the Earth spinning slows and changes everything. What doesn't change is her teenage life and all the ups and downs that come with it. It is a really good read and had me thinking quite a bit about the fleeting nature of our lives.

The Truth About Luck by Iain Reid is set in Ottawa and Kingston so that's why it made the list. Nothing really happens while the main characters, an almost-30 author and his grandmother, spend a week together, but it makes you think about life and aging and what makes a person lucky. It was a good read that has stayed with me.

The Cube People and Cube Squared by Christian McPherson is set in the federal government in Ottawa and the author has a way of communicating exactly what it's like to work there: the characters, the hopelessness, the colours, the sameness... If you work in an office setting you should read this book and the sequel.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson was a book I randomly picked up. It was quirky and crazy but so interesting following a very old man on his adventures.

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan was an interesting look at life of two sisters in France. One joins the ballet and the other does what she can to provide for her family. The poverty is what struck me most.

These are the other books I read:

Pregnancy/ Childbirth/ Breastfeeding

I'm always looking for recommendations so if you've read something really great recently let me know!

* I used affiliate linking but feel free to Google the books you're interested in instead of clicking the links.


  1. The Fault in our Stars is next on my list! And I want to read the Gluten in my Bitch one.

  2. That was a busy book year! I miss those. I think I made it through 5 books this year. And one was a collection of essays from women who chose not to have kids called "No Kidding." I guess I like reading about the road not taken... Maybe when the kids are older ;)

    I remember almost picking up the Midwife's Tale at one point. I've also read most of the Emily Giffin stuff - good light fun.

    Best - Louise