Friday ReadingToday’s Friday Reading is a special end-of-the year edition.

Several of these books have already been featured in previous Friday Readings. Others will be featured in a future Friday Reading post where I’ll have a chance to go into a bit more detail.

A few things I’d like to note:

  • These are books I enjoyed reading in 2013, not books released in 2013. Although there are a few recent works, the majority of these were published in previous years.
  • Favorite Books list: Those marked as favorites are ones that will stay with me for a long time.

    These works have deeply moved me (A Personal Matter) or have shown me something so extraordinary about the art of narrative that I could spend a lifetime thinking about it (Blood Meridian); books where the author’s voice was so original, so strong, that I found myself absorbed and thrilled at the way his words portrayed people and the world (A Drink Before the War) and which explored ideas and themes I also found fascinating as a writer (The Double).

  • Books I enjoyed list: Works that left an impression on me. Some because of the character arc, others because of the strength of world-building or the clarity of the author’s voice. Some had gorgeous prose, others had a remarkable sense of narrative structure.

Putting this list together was a bit of an eye-opener for me. I read 167 books in 2013 (not many compared to some of you out there), an eclectic collection of non-fiction research and fiction in a wide variety of genres.

Eighteen of those books were YA. Though I enjoyed them to some degree (I don’t read books I don’t enjoy – too little time to force myself to finish), I had enough reservations, usually relating to the heroine’s character and/or with a rushed (i.e. not believable) romance, that prevented me from including them on the list.

The exception was Eleanor and Park, which is a romance (and an intense, headlong one), but the excellent prose and construction of the protagonists are done well enough to believe the rush as a natural result of their ages and identities.

Favorites of 2013:

I also enjoyed:

  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Young Adult contemporary)
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop: Book 1 in The Others series. (Adult fantasy)
  • Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs: Book 3 in the Mercy Thompson series (Adult urban fantasy)
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher: Book 1 in the Dresden Files series (Adult urban fantasy)
  • Touch of the Demon by Diana Rowland: Book 5 in the Kara Gillian series. (Adult urban fantasy)
  • Omens by Kelley Armstrong: Book 1 in the Cainsville series. (Adult urban fantasy)
  • Abandon by Blake Crouch (Adult mystery/horror)
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Book 1 of trilogy (Young Adult Dystopian)
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Young Adult contemporary)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Adult Mystery/Thriller)
  • One winner will receive his/her choice of three e-books from any of the works listed above.
  • If you’re interested in a book from a series you haven’t read yet or haven’t caught up on (like Iron Kissed or Touch of the Demon), you can choose to receive the first book or an earlier work in that series.
  • This giveaway is also open to international readers.

To enter: Leave a comment below and tell me what book(s) was your favorite for 2013. Fill out the rafflecopter for more ways to gain entries.

Giveaway ends in a week. Have fun!

** Friday Reading is a bi-monthly feature. The next post will be on January 17, 2014.

** Another note: Don’t worry if your comment gets caught in the spam filter – just go ahead and indicate you left a comment on the Rafflecopter. I’ll release your comment from the spam cage as soon as I can.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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