2013: My Year in Books

Ah, it’s New Year’s Eve, when all the cool kids sit at home putting together the lists of books they read during the previous year!

That is what the cool kids do, isn’t it?

My mom says I’m cool and my four-year-old agrees, and since I’m putting together a book list tonight, it follows that this must be what the cool kids do on New Year’s Eve.

Well, cool or not, here are the stats:

In 2013, I read 90 books, consisting of a total of 19,113 pages.

The average (mean) books read per month was 7.5, and the average (mean) per week was 1.73.

Of these, 18 were fiction (not counting children’s books), 3 were memoirs, 56 were children’s books, and the remaining  13 were other nonfiction.

I read 5 books from my Cavalcade of Classics list during 2013. I hope to average at least one classic per month in 2014, so I can get back on track to be finished with the 89 classics on my list by 2017.

My favorite books this year were Wolf Story by William McCleery, What Are People For? by Wendell Berry, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, and Watership Down by Richard Adams. I almost put Ulysses in this list, but there was a little too much struggle involved to make that a “favorite” read. It’s certainly my most challenging and ultimately most satisfying read, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites.

I am currently reading City of God by Saint Augustine and The Seminal Gospel by George Kimmich Beach. I had so hoped to finish City of God by December 31st, but Ulysses and Christmas conspired to keep me 200 pages short of my goal. After I finish City of God, I’ve got some great fiction lined up, including a review copy of Joshua Max Feldman’s The Book of Jonah, which I got through LibraryThing, and six library books my spouse checked out for me for Christmas. And of course whatever classic(s) I choose to read for January.

Below is the book list for 2013, by the month I finished (or gave up on) each book. Click on the month name for the “Bookends” for that month, which includes links to reviews and other information about my reading progress throughout the year. I also cross-post most of my reviews on Goodreads. If you’d like to just go straight to Goodreads to see my reviews there, here’s the link to my Goodreads profile. You can also go there to see the other 672 books I’ve read (and logged).

December (you can count this as my “Bookends” roundup for December):

Cover of "Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a ...

Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a Mountain by Deborah Kogan Ray (kids picture book)

Mythic Worlds, Modern Words by Joseph Campbell,

Ulysses by James Joyce

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Mossflower by Brian Jacques (kids audio)


The Black Stallion by Walter Farley (kids novel)

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (stopped reading ~100 pages in)

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron (stopped reading)

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (stopped reading)

The History of England, Volume V by David Hume (Cavalcade of Classics)

Redwall by Brian Jacques (kids audio)


Ellen Tebbits by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Ribsy by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Henry and the Clubhouse by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson (kids novel)

Cover of "The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate...

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (kids novel)

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Lumberjack by William Kurelek (kids picture book)

Watership Down by Richard Adams (kids novel)

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel 


Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (kids audio)

Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Estes (kids novel)

Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Oath Breaker by Michelle Paver (kids novel)

Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver (kids novel)


Soul Eater by Michelle Paver (kids novel)

Outcast by Michelle Paver (kids novel)

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary (kids audio)

Nine Inches: Stories by Tom Perrotta

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (kids novel)

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (kids novel)

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter (kids novel)

Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver (kids novel)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (kids audio)

Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy 


The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems (kids picture book)

Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (kids novel)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (kids audio)

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Moffats by EleanorEstes (kids novel)

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (kids audio)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (kids audio)


Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Cavalcade of Classics)

Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love by Cathe Olson


Seven-Day Magic by Edward Eager (kids novel)

Fluent in Faith: A Unitarian Universalist Embrace of Religious Language by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown,


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (Cavalcade of Classics)

Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America by Tanner Colby


The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo by Tom Feelings (picture book, supposedly for kids, but really intense)

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (kids novel in verse)

The Complete Book Of Dragons by E. Nesbit (kids short stories)

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (kids novel)

Stories: All-New Tales by Neil Gaiman (audio)

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Magic or Not? by Edward Eager (kids novel)

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan

Walking Home by Lucy and Susan Letcher


English: Engraving from The Pilgrim's Progress...
English: Engraving from The Pilgrim’s Progress, published in London, 1778. This is the frontispiece and title-page. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sís (kids picture book)

The Discovery of the Americas: From Prehistory Through the Age of Columbus by Betsy Maestro (kids picture book)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (Cavalcade of Classics)

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

The Time Garden by Edward Eager (kids novel)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain (kids picture book)

Beautiful Warrior by Emily Arnold McCully (kids picture book)

The Hunter: A Chinese Folktale by Mary Casanova (kids picture book)

The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen (kids picture book)

The Legend of the Persian Carpet by Tomie dePaola (kids picture book)

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer (kids picture book)

The Paper Dragon by Marguerite W.Davol (kids picture book)

Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman (kids picture book)

Wolf Story by William McCleery (kids novel)

Anna’s Wish by Bruno Hächler (kids picture book)

Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager (kids novel)

Fa Mulan: The Story of a Woman Warrior by Robert D. San Souci (kids picture book)

What Are People For? by Wendell Berry

Marco Polo by Demi (kids picture book)

Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power Milton Meltzer (kids picture book)

Magna Carta by C. Walter Hodges (kids picture book)


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