Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 Books

For the last two years I've participated in the Goodreads Book challenge.  Both years I've reached my goal of 25 books read in that calendar year.  This year I was cutting it close with my last book.  I actually finished the last 30 pages on January 1, but I'm calling it for 2013! ;)  I've said this before - I read several books at once.  If one doesn't peak my interest fairly early, I move on to another book.  I may or may not go back to the other book - it just depends on my mood.  This year I started more than 25 books, but I only finished 25.  I thought I'd blog about some of the books I read in case you are looking for a new book!
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin.  I read this book in the hospital and really liked it.  It's based on the life of Charles Lindbergh and other than the first transatlantic flight and the baby kidnapping, I didn't really know much about him.  While some of the interactions/emotions are fictional, the overall story is true.  It was a good, quick read.  Especially when you have all the time in the world to lay in a hospital bed! ;)
Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple.  A friend of mine read this book and blogged about how much she liked it, so I gave it a try too.  It was also a great book and I couldn't put it down!  I think I finished it in less than 48 hours.

The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory.  In the early part of the year I was a little obsessed with historical fiction - specifically British queens and kings.  These books were pretty good and again, because I didn't know much about Henry VIII, I was very intrigued.  I have a book on my nightstand to read about Queen Elizabeth the first, so the obsession continues into this year.

The British historical fiction continued with The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham.  This one is about King Edward IV and his surprise wedding.  I liked this book, but it wasn't as good as the ones above.
A tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith was my first read for 2013.  I'll be honest, it was just OK.  I checked it out at the library because I thought, "hey, this is a classic - I should read it."  I guess some classics just aren't for me. :/

I picked up Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan at a book store when Brandon and I had a rare date night this summer.  I finished it in 24-36 hours and instantly bought the second one in digital format.  Both were good, but the first one was the best.  They follow a lady that comes to America to work to support her husband back in Ireland in the early 1900's.  Again, historical fiction is definitely a genre I love.   I think the third one comes out later this year and I'm pretty sure I'll be buying it.

The Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger.  So, I'd ave to say these two books are some of my favorites from this year.  They are young adult fiction, so they are quick reads and I read each one in about a 24 hour time period.  The are set in early 1900's alternate English world - they have vampires, werewolves, robots and balloon aircraft.  The main character is in a finishing school, so it kind of reminds me of the Harry Potter Series and I can't wait to read the other two or three books as they come out over the next year or two.

I bought/downloaded this book on a whim and really liked it!  I had no idea how much Phil Robertson has gone through in his lifetime. I knew some of the basics, but not the details of his struggles with alcohol and how he became a Christian and member of the church of Christ.  I have to hand it to Kay for staying with him and both of them working to keep their marriage together.

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini was another great book.  To me a good "based on a true story" book makes the reader want to know more about the main character and this book did just that.  I wanted to read even more articles and books about the Lincolns - a family I didn't know much about before reading the book.  It also made me want to read one of my all time favorites - Gone with the Wind!  I  may have to read this has been a few years since I last read it. :)
I love the movie Mary Poppins.  And to be honest, I didn't even know it started as a book (or series of books) until the new movie "Saving Mr. Banks" was advertised.  Once I found out, I knew I needed to buy the book and read it.  I think for the first time in my life I actually like the movie better than the book!  In the book, Mary Poppins is not very nice, so for me it doesn't make it as enjoyable.  Not to mention there are no catchy tunes to sing along to.  Despite her meanness, I started reading the sequel and is next on my "to finish" list.
With the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination this year, there was a plethora of books & documentaries to read/see.  Other than the TV shows watched, I chose only one book to read about the Kennedys - Mrs. Kennedy and me by Clint Hill.  Clint Hill was Mrs. Kennedy's body guard while she was the first lady and he is the one you see climbing on the car after JFK was shot.  I loved the extra insight into their lives as President and First Lady.  I had never thought about how much secret service men and women sacrifice with regards to family and friends since they are always traveling with those they are protecting.  Great book if you are interested in the Kennedy family.

Like I said, these are just some of the books I read.  For my complete list check out my list at goodreads.  I'm halfway through my first book right now, but I'm also still in the beginning or middle of books I started last year.  My goal this year is to finish all the books I started last year, so we'll see.

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