TOP 10 TUESDAY: BOOKS I READ IN 2013

10 Inferno-Dan Brown. I must say I was disappointed in The Lost Symbol but found Inferno to be rather enjoyable.  While I wouldn’t say it reached the heights of Angels & Demons, I would definitely compare it to The Da Vinci Code.  No one seems to write historical fiction quite like Dan Brown and it was quite a fun little romp with The Divine Comedy serving as its backdrop.

9 Gun Machine-Warren Ellis. I really dug the premise behind Gun Machine.  A detective unwittingly stumbles across an apartment in NYC packed with guns that are all linked to previously unsolved murders.  I thought Ellis’ cast of characters were interesting and well fleshed out.  Although I find the ending to be a little lacking, it was a pretty good read with a great concept.

8 Chomp-Carl Hiaasen. My friend has been trying to turn me on to Carl Hiaasen for years and I finally took the bite this year with Bad Monkey and loved it.  I proceed to grab all his kid’s books and absolutely loved this book.  The cast of characters were great and believable and you can’t help but laugh at the series of events that unfold during the course of the book.  I have found one of my new favorite authors.

7 The Cuckoo’s Calling-Robert Galbraith. So the cat came out the bag that Mr. Galbraith was actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling and I love me some Harry Potter so I had to read this.  The characters and world oozed with the charm and detail she is known for and it was a good murder mystery and I’d love to see Cormoran Strike turned into a regular series.

6 Packing for Mars-Mary Roach. Another book I had interest in due to the FEAB podcast as well as a strong recommendation from my friend.  She’s an excellent author who makes scientific topics easily accessible and fun. Growing up I wanted to be an astronaut (who didn’t?) and this book really hammers home just how much work space travel has been and the wonderful things NASA and the Russians have brought us in their quest for space. 

5 Joyland-Stephen King. ­Stephen King is my favorite author and I finished this book the same day I started it; I just couldn’t put it down.  While he unfairly gets pigeonholed as being a great horror author, Mr. King is a master of the human element and captures love and heartbreak beautifully in this story with a little bit of mystery thrown in for good measure.

4 Casual Vacancy-JK Rowling. I was highly anticipating her first post-Harry Potter adult novel and the Casual Vacancy did not disappoint.  Leave it to JK to make a novel about the vacancy of a parish council seat in a small English town interesting.  I thought the cast of characters and town of Pagford were beautifully written and fleshed out in a way that is distinctly JK Rowling.  I didn’t want my time to end with the despicable residents of Pagford and could’ve easily digested another 150 pages if she had chosen to write them.

3 Cloud Atlas-David Mitchell. Wow, I don’t even know what to say about this book as it’s tough to describe what it’s about.  It’s definitely something that should be experienced by anyone with even a passing interest in reading.  I truly cannot recommend this book enough, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. 

2 NOS4A2-Joe Hill. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Joe Hill’s novel ranks right up there with anything daddy has written.  This book sucked me in and held me, demanding I read on but at the same terrified me of what was lurking around the corner and made me hesitant to turn the page.  A great cast of characters along with one of the coolest premises ever in a bike that can find lost things made this one of 2013’s best novels for me and I cannot wait for his next works.

1 The Ocean at the End of the Lane-Neil Gaiman.  I often find myself wondering if Neil Gaiman is even a human being due to his inhuman storytelling ability and the ease of which he can tap into every possible emotion a human being can feel.  His stories transport me back to being a child, innocent and full of awe and wonder.  The whole world full of infinite possibility with nothing off limits.  This man has the most amazing imagination on the face of the planet and the Hempstock women were utterly fascinating in a story dealing with the supernatural, childhood, adulthood, and the disconnect between the two.