My year in books

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 1.18.02 PMI once met a girl in high school who kept track of all the books she'd read in a tiny, fat spiral-bound notebook, and I've never forgotten her. (That's a lie, of course; I have no idea her name or how I met her.) Since then, each December I've caught myself remembering some vague promise to keep track of the books I'd read that year. "Oh, that?" I'd think. "Yeah, I was supposed to do that. Oh well."

Oh well indeed. Because guess what, folks? I finally did it. Take that, past self! In January I started a spreadsheet and dutifully tracked every book I read, with two exceptions.*

Pre-2013, I made an effort to read more adult novels this year (for many reasons, none of which anyone else cares about); and I think it shows, especially compared to last year. In total, I read 20 children's books (Young Adult and Middle Grade) and 14 adult, for a grand total of 34 books (again, see exceptions below). I'm pretty proud of that number.

I always like to know what other people read, so if you're interested, here's my list (it's even in order!).

The Princesses of Iowa, M. Molly Backes
Ask the Passengers, AS King
Beautiful Creatures, Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia
I Hunt Killers (re-read), Barry Lyga
Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple
Stay with Me, Paul Griffin
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty
Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
17 & Gone, Nova Ren Suma
Going Vintage, Lindsay Leavitt
Gallagher Girls series, #1-4, Ally Carter
Someday, Someday Maybe, Lauren Graham
September Girls Bennett Madison
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Matthew Quick
Family Tree #1, Ann Martin
Game, Barry Lyga
The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg
Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton DiSclafani
The Engagements, J Courtney Sullivan
A Hundred Summers, Beatriz Williams
The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer
The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty
Austenland, Shannon Hale
Night Film, Marisha Pessl
The Silent Wife, ASA Harrison
Debutante Hill, Lois Duncan
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, Lynn Weingarten

And because we are a world of rankings, here are mine:

  • My favorite adult reads of the year: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls; A Hundred Summers; The Goldfinch; Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
  • My favorite YA: A Corner of White; Eleanor & Park; Game; Stay With Me.
  • My favorite MG: Ann M. Martin, whose new series, Family Tree, is just darling.

I'm in the middle of a couple of books already, but they'll count for the 2014 list. (Including another non-fiction title!! It's like I don't even know myself anymore.) I'll definitely keep going with this list -- it made book recommending this year so much easier, and it's super interesting to look back and remember what I've read.

If you've got any recommendations for me, please do leave them here!

*I didn't list all The Baby-sitters Club books I read. This is because a. that's embarrassing and b. they're so short I don't really count them. The other exception is various works-in-progress from my husband and my writing group. (One of which is a massive, thousand-page tome, so please note that if this list looks sparse, it's because I spent all of June immersed in that.)

**In general, please remember I work in children's publishing, but these opinions are my own.

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