The Five-Eyed Bookworm

Eclectic Reader. Lover of beautiful book covers.

Year In Review: 2013 | Part 2

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{Read Part 1 HERE}

Just a few more details of my reading year in 2013. I’ve listed some of my favorites, my most profound reads and most memorable characters, etc.:

year in review books reading

2013 : Year In Review | Part 2

I don’t really like surprises, but sometimes they are pleasant especially when it concerns books. Whenever I pick up a classic, I don’t usually read what it’s about. I know that may sound weird but whenever I check classic books lists and choose a book to read, my brain automatically tells me it’s something I should read no matter what. When I found “The Catcher in the Rye” in a secondhand book shop that my ex-colleague’s family owned, I bought it without even skimming it. I did love the minimal style of the Little Brown edition’s book cover. And when it comes to classics, I always assume minimal humor and lots of drama. Imagine my surprise then while I was reading the book. It was funny and insightful sometimes. I wasn’t expecting that!

I know this is book blasphemy but I never read any Neil Gaiman book before “The Ocean at the End of the Lane“. I did watch Coraline but I have not read the book. When I saw the book cover (this time, I’m glad I judged the book by it’s cover) I was smitten. I got it after reading what it’s about (which I interpreted wrongly, thus the ‘surprise’ factor). Did I expect monsters, supernatural powers and an ocean literally at the end of the lane? No, no, no! Neil Gaiman surely got me on that one. I didn’t know much about the author at the time and his other books. Do I smell a re-read and more Neil Gaiman books soon?

The Shining“, “The Book Thief” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” are books that have been with me for a long time but I took a long time to actually read them. These are great stories that I enjoyed reading this year. I wish I’d have read them earlier.

As for memorable characters, I’m a sucker for men who have a sense of humor, fictional or not. For this year, there are two professors. What can I say? Intelligence is attractive. As for the ladies, I am drawn to women who are strong, intelligent and insightful. Flavia, a young girl who is incredibly intelligent. Naoko, despite her frailty at times, is insightful and beautiful (I’ve watched the Norwegian Wood movie starring Rinko Kikuchi of Pacific Rim fame). Aomame, the heroine of Mr. Murakami’s 1Q84, whose stealthy moves and precise knowledge of the human body leaves you in awe.

I would normally expect endings to be open to interpretation when it comes to Mr. Murakami’s books but I didn’t really like the ending in “Sputnik Sweetheart“. It seemed rushed, I guess? This goes with “The Sound of Things Falling” as well. I hate being ‘rushed’ (haha). As for “The Great Gatsby” I just couldn’t believe the ending. I just couldn’t. Make me believe!

Book cover… Book cover… Book cover… Why does thy beauty grab my heart? I have this habit of picking books because of book covers. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. This year, I was lucky. My copy of “1Q84” is the 3 Volume Boxed Set and it doesn’t disappoint. The three books are beautiful to touch and look at. A feast for senses, as they say. The cover for “Doctor Sleep” is great too. I find it appropriate and I’m a sucker for red – red clothes, red shoes, and yes, even red book covers. If there’s one book I really liked this year, it was “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats“. It is a beautiful story (coupled with a really great cover). I love how detailed the book cover is.

I know I’m in the minority in this one. I did not find “The Fault In Our Stars” and “Love & Misadventure” too ‘satisfying’. It’s not the author or poet’s fault though. It must be me because after reading the rave reviews, I was expecting so much from these books. Then again, I must be getting old (gasp).

Ah yes, this year’s longest read. My edition of “1Q84” is 1157 pages long. I thought I had it with Doctor Sleep but I was wrong. This is the first time in my life that I’ve read something so heavy and so long. Will I be able to top that this year?

I love books that make me think. I love books that make me laugh even more. So for this year, my favorite laugh-out-loud reads are “The Humans” and “The Rosie Project“. “The Rosie Project” was most excellent. No book has ever made me laugh that way before. Seriously. “The Humans” made me laugh too, but it was also insightful. I love that book.

Profound reads abound this year and I loved it. I do like taking notes of passages from the book, especially those that touch me and make me think. For all the books I listed, they allowed me to think about life and issues that plague modern society. I love those kind of books and I do hope I’ll have the chance to read more of these books this 2014.

So there you have it… Goodbye 2013. Here I come 2014!

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Author: 5eyedbookworm

Eclectic reader. Lover of beautiful book covers and stories of lasting interest.

4 thoughts on “Year In Review: 2013 | Part 2

  1. Based on what you’ve said, I just might pick up THE HUMANS. Matt Haig Right?

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  2. The Rosie Project and The Humans were two of my favorites this year. They both just made me so, so happy — and were a nice change from the many dismal and dark books that I read! I’m so glad you discovered Neil Gaiman! I thought The Ocean at the End of the Lane was brilliant. I reread The Shining before reading Doctor Sleep, and loved them both. A Tale For the Time Being is one of my “what am I waiting for?” books — I have a copy, and just haven’t had the time or been in the right mood) to settle down with it yet. (Ruth Ozeki’s 1st novel, My Year of Meats, is permanently on my favorites shelf!) What a great reading year you had!

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    • Exactly, Lisa! The Humans and The Rosie Project were a joy to read! I’m glad you liked them too. I think I’ve been living under a rock for quite some time now. I should tell you I wasn’t really into discovering new authors until lately and boy was I missing out on a lot. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was really a surprise! I’m thinking of re-reading it. I also read The Shining before reading Doctor Sleep. I wonder what would have been my thoughts if I decided to read Doctor Sleep first… Oh, I should check out My Year of Meats. I saw it in her site but I never really got down to checking everything out. Have a great reading year, Lisa! :)

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