The Books I Read in 2013

I’ve never taken stock of the books I’ve read in a calendar year before, but I was inspired to do so recently by other people posting about their 2013 in reading. While I don’t keep a list of the books I read, I almost always mention what book I’m currently reading in my journal, so I was able to figure out what books I read last year by skimming my 2013 journals. It’s possible (but, I think, unlikely) that I read a book without recording its title in my journal, and it’s also possible I skimmed the journals too fast and missed a book, but I think this list is pretty accurate.

Apparently I read 119 books in 2013. My guess is that this is an unusually high annual total for me in recent years. I suspect 2012 was also unusually high. This is because one has more time to read for pleasure as a volunteer than as a student (especially when one is a volunteer with an almost two-hour round trip bus commute every day). The vast majority of the books I read were borrowed from the library, so I hereby express my appreciation for the Rondo Community Outreach Library, the Edina and Southdale Libraries, and the Westwood Branch Library.

Without further ado, here are the books I read in 2013, in chronological order (titles in bold indicate books I was rereading):

I Am The Messenger Markus Zusak
Climbing the Stairs Padma Venkatraman
Traversée de la mangrove Maryse Condé
Come August, Come Freedom Gigi Amateau
Why We Broke Up Daniel Handler
Winter Wood Steve Augarde
Istanbul: Memories and the City Orhan Pamuk
Adaptation Malinda Lo
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith
Contes du vent et de la nuit Anatole Le Braz
Eona Alison Goodman
Victoire, les saveurs et les mots Maryse Condé
The Singer of All Songs Kate Constable
The Waterless Sea Kate Constable
The Tenth Power Kate Constable
The FitzOsbornes in Exile Michelle Cooper
A Ring of Endless Light Madeleine L’Engle
Troubling a Star Madeleine L’Engle
Boy21 Matthew Quick
The Water Mirror Kai Meyer
A Good Fall Ha Jin
Mona in the Promised Land Gish Jen
Unspoken Sarah Rees Brennan
The FitzOsbornes at War Michelle Cooper
Grave Mercy Robin LaFevers
The Madness Underneath Maureen Johnson
Anahita’s Woven Riddle Meghan Nuttall Sayres
Night Letter Meghan Nuttall Sayres
Mind Games Kiersten White
Sorcery and Cecelia Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
The Grand Tour Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
The Mislaid Magician Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
The Stone Light Kai Meyer
The Glass Word Kai Meyer
Silhouette of a Sparrow Beth Griffin
Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise Dai Sijie
Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta
Railsea China Miéville
Trapped Michael Northrop
One Came Home Amy Timberlake
L’enfant qui tuait le temps Pierre Magnan
Vessel Sarah Beth Durst
Tiger Lily Jodi Lynn Anderson
Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein
The Feverbird’s Claw Jane Kurtz
M is for Magic Neil Gaiman
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis José Saramago
Cain José Saramago
Midwinterblood Marcus Sedgwick
The Last Speakers K. David Harrison
Grimm Tales Philip Pullman
Yellowcake Margo Lanagan
Everything Asian Sung J. Woo
Finnikin of the Rock Melina Marchetta
Froi of the Exiles Melina Marchetta
Quintana of Charyn Melina Marchetta
Suite française Irène Némirovsky
The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston
I Am J Cris Beam
Pagan’s Crusade Catherine Jinks
Pagan in Exile Catherine Jinks
Pagan’s Vows Catherine Jinks
Pagan’s Scribe Catherine Jinks
Embassytown China Miéville
Perdido Street Station China Miéville
Prodigy Marie Lu
Prophecy Ellen Oh
The Difference Between You and Me Madeleine George
Incident at Badamya Dorothy Gilman
A Northern Light Jennifer Donnelly
47 Walter Mosley
My Name Is Not Easy Debby Dahl Edwardson
The Book of Heroes Miyuki Miyabe
Where Things Come Back John Corey Whaley
When You Reach Me Rebecca Stead
Blood Red Road Moira Young
The Snowstorm Beryl Netherclift
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling Maryrose Wood
If I Ever Get Out of Here Eric Gansworth
Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare Blake
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery Maryrose Wood
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness
Liar & Spy Rebecca Stead
Shadow and Bone Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm Leigh Bardugo
Seraphina Rachel Hartman
Lettres de mon moulin Alphonse Daudet
The Raven Boys Maggie Stiefvater
The Dream Thieves Maggie Stiefvater
This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales
A Great and Terrible Beauty Libba Bray
Rebel Angels Libba Bray
The Sweet Far Thing Libba Bray
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest Maryrose Wood
Sugar Jewell Parker Rhodes
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aiken
The Curse of the Wendigo Rick Yancey
The Isle of Blood Rick Yancey
Mansfield Park Jane Austen
Podium Finish Beth Pond
Under Wildwood Colin Meloy
The Thief  Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia Megan Whalen Turner
The King of Attolia Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings Megan Whalen Turner
Freakboy Kristin Elizabeth Clark
White Crow Marcus Sedgwick
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Twistrose Key Tone Almhjell
If You Could Be Mine Sara Farizan
Tending the Garden Van Anderson
Cinder Marissa Meyer
Violins of Autumn Amy McAuley
Shadows on the Moon Zoë Marriott
The Thing About Luck Cynthia Kadohata
Boxers & Saints Gene Luen Yang
If You Find Me Emily Murdoch
Champion Marie Lu

You might notice I read (and, in particular, reread) quite a few series in 2013. Mostly this happened because I would notice all the books in a given series were available to be checked out at once at the library, so I would get them all in order to read them all in a row. And in the case of series I already loved and felt tempted to reread, I would think to myself, If not now, when?

Here are a few extra numbers, for fun:

  • Total books read: 119
  • Books in French: 7 (6%)
  • Books that were not novels: 10 (8%) (Non-fiction: 1; Short story collection: 6; Poetry: 1; Memoir: 2; also, Boxers & Saints, which I’m counting as one “book,” are graphic novels)
  • Books read in translation: 7 (6%) (Turkish: 1; German: 3; Portuguese: 2; Japanese: 1)
  • Books read for the first time: 95 (80%)
  • Books read not for the first time: 24 (20%)
  • Books by female authors: 82 (69%)
  • Books by male authors: 37 (31%)

My Top 13 New Books/Series of 2013* (roughly in chronological order):

  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
  • The Montmaray Journals (Michelle Cooper)
  • Jellicoe Road
  • Railsea
  • Code Name Verity
  • The Difference Between You and Me
  • Where Things Come Back
  • When You Reach Me
  • Blood Red Road
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
  • The Dream Thieves
  • Under Wildwood
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

*I limited myself to books I read for the first time in 2013 because it is generally, though not universally, true that the books I reread are already among my favorites (that’s why I reread them). However, if this list were open to books/series I had read before, it would have to include The Pagan Quartet (Catherine Jinks), A Northern Light, Seraphina, The Raven Boys, and The Queen’s Thief (Megan Whalen Turner).

8 thoughts on “The Books I Read in 2013

  1. I LOVE that you keep statistics on the books you’ve read! This is an awesome list and I think I’ll try to find some of your favorites at the library 😉 Hey a fun one I read recently was “The Book of Salt” by Monique Truong. I think you’d like it!

  2. This is astounding for two reasons. The first is the sheer number of books you’ve read. The second is that I’ve never heard of 96% of them! And I’ve only read just one — I bet you can guess which one. I’m impressed and embarrassed, but not surprised. You’re a novelist; of course you read tons of novels!

    • Boxers & Saints? Unless there’s something else I’m forgetting?

      Haha, thanks… I do think 2012 and 2013 were a bit anomalous in the number of books I read. I remember in college once reading one novel for a whole month or so… And I highly doubt I will reach these heights in 2014. Also, most of the books on this list are children’s or YA books, so while of course I don’t mean to discount them, they tend to be on the shorter side.

  3. If you’re interested in continuing to keep track of your book reading I use a great site called – it gives you fun book statistics and is a fun and easy way to track all the books you own, have read, are currently reading and plan to read in the future! Amazing list Eleanor!

      • I’ve never used Goodreads but from what I’ve heard it is similar. Shelfari was bought out by amazon a few years ago so the sites are very nicely connected 🙂 I enjoy it as a nice way to track my reading.

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