December 31, 2013

The Best (and Worst) of 2013

2013 was another great reading year for me: I discovered new authors to love, rekindled love for those who are already favorites, and spent time with many wonderful books that I would gladly recommend to anyone who may ask. So, by way of a year-end report - my first one, I think - here are the best (and worst) reads for 2013.

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Top Ten Best Reads (in no particular order):

  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri - Pulitzer-winning short story collection.
  • Stoner by John Williams - Quiet, heart-rending.
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - The blessing scene still brings tears to my eyes.
  • Hunger by Knut Hamsun - Desperation and despair.
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - Dry wit, sad ending.
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Not your usual YA romance, but with sufficient feels.
  • A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) by GRR Martin - Fire and blood!
  • The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster - Mind-bending and precise writing.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - UK's Book of the Year.
  • A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes - Words and definitions.

[For a slideshow of the covers of the foregoing books, please click on this link.]

Honorable Mentions: An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Drown by Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, The Passport by Herta Muller, Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Top Ten Best Filipiniana Reads (in no particular order):

  • Don't Forget the Soap by Marie Claire Lim Moore - Parenting 101. Home Tips 101.
  • Unseen Moon by Eliza Victoria - Deliciously creepy stories.
  • Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano - Beach love!
  • Woman In A Frame by Raissa Rivera Falgui - Historical fiction + Filipino culture.
  • Salingkit by Cyan Abad-Jugo - A girl and a country's coming-of-age stories.
  • Tall Story by Candy Gourlay - Sibling and family love + Filipino folklore.
  • Icon of the Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love, #3) by Mina V. Esguerra - Team Robbie!
  • All's Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria - Love in the time of (Macau) travel.
  • Guardians of Tradition: The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan by Mae Tobias - Filipino artists.
  • Astigirl by Tweet Sering - Witty, romantic, hilarious.

Finally, for the worst read, I only have one for this year (see, it was a good reading year!) and it's a locally published work: Voices in the Theater by A.S. Santos.

Until next year! Have a Blessed New Year, everyone! Stay safe!

8 comments:

Lynai said...

Thank you for introducing me to Eliza Victoria! I've been spreading the love around; gave out copies of her books as Christmas gifts. :D I'll be reading Unseen Moon this year. :)

Happy 2014, Monique! <3

angus25 said...

Wow, it feels like you've read Maladies years ago. I am glad you love it. I must reread it because I've read it eons ago, haha. Happy New Year!

Tin said...

I am going to add some of the books on your list to mine. I am particularly interested in Gilead and A Lover's Discourse. And of course, Fire and Blood! I hope to read ADWD this year. Happy New Year! :D

Monique said...

LYNAI: Yay for Eliza Victoria! Am currently reading her latest work, Project 17, and am enjoying it so far. :)

BUDDY: I know right? Hehe. Can't wait to read her The Lowland next.

TIN: Please do read those! I hope you enjoy them as well. Happy new year, Tin! :)

bennardfajardo said...

Because of your reviews, I'm going to add Maladies and Lover's Discourse to my TBR this year.:)

Happy New Year!

Louize Gonzales said...

Yay! 6 of those books are on my best list too! ♥

Monique said...

BENNY: YES, please. ;)

Happy new year again! :D

MOMMY LOUIZE: I saw! Cheers to more awesome books this 2014. :*

Peter S. said...

Woot woot! Stoner! I'm glad you liked it! I've been recommending it to different people, and, so far, every one of them liked it!