Books of 2013, Mid-Year

Jul 1, 2013

Last year, I listed all the books I read in 2012 in one post at the end of December. This year, I decided to break up that list and share the first half of it at (where else?) the half-way point. All of the titles are linked to my full review, if you're interested.

1. Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, 8/10
I loved Princess Academy, but I think I liked this sequel even more. What a great book to kick off the year with.

2. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, 9/10
One of my all-time favorite books. This time, I read it to my boys.

3. After Hello by Lisa Mangum, 6/10
Fun chick-lit but nothing all that memorable.

4. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, 9/10
Perfect for January, I loved this retelling of an old Nordic legend

5. A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, 7/10
I gleaned a lot of good ideas from this one. The appendices were especially helpful.

6. The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth, 8/10
How could Aaron and Maxwell not love a book about a dinosaur hatching out of an egg in the 20th-century? Definitely a favorite.

7. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, AUDIO, 8/10
Part memoir, part parenting book--I love books like this one. (And I'm still watching my kids' snack intake.)

8. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald, 7/10
Not quite as funny as I was remembering it, but I liked it nonetheless.

9. The Evelyn-Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Stanley D. Frank, 7/10
I know the title sounds totally hokey and ridiculous (and not without reason), but this was actually a really beneficial book for me to read.

10. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, 9/10
Everything I loved about The Happiness Project, revisited and expanded. So great.

11. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 9/10
Contains some really amazing metaphors for life all wrapped up in a captivating story.

12. Learning All the Time by John Holt, 4/10
John Holt and I had a major personality clash.

13. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, AUDIO, 8/10
The language was rich, and the story was well-crafted.

14. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, 8/10
I don't think there are many characters out there as easy to love as Sophy Stanton-Lacy.

15. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, 8/10
Totally deserves its shiny gold sticker--a lot of story is packed into a few words.

16. Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery, 8/10
Temple Grandin is a woman worth being inspired by . . . and I was.

17. Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack, 7/10
I knew going into this one that the ending would frustrate me, but I liked reading the rest of it.

18. Safekeeping by Karen Hesse, 6/10
An unusual, vague story that bore almost no resemblance to my beloved Out of the Dust.

19. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, AUDIO, 7/10
One of those books that keeps on giving--the more I think about it, the more there is to think about.

20. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 8/10
I was afraid of this book, but my fears were unfounded. Loved it.

21. Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, AUDIO, 10/10
I'm pretty sure I've talked about this book to death, but that's because I found it so invaluable.

22. A Joyful Mother of Children by Linda J. Eyre, 6/10
I definitely liked the ideas in this book but not always the way those ideas were expressed.

23. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, 9.5/10
I'd have to recommend it with some reservations, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this has been one of my favorite reads so far this year.

24. Half Magic by Edward Eager, 7/10
This book was a little advanced for my boys, but we still enjoyed it. I think we'll like it even more when we read it again in a few years. (And yes, it is a classic!)

25. The Submission by Amy Waldman, AUDIO, 7/10
Fascinating ideas about acceptance and prejudice post-9/11. Well executed.

26. The Center of Everything by Linda Urban, 6/10
Totally neutral on this one.

27. Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash, 10/10
Yum. If you live and breathe reading, this is (maybe) the book for you.

28. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, 8/10
In spite of its heartbreaking (for me) ending, the boys and I adored this book.

29. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine, AUDIO, 8/10
Not your average story about a white boy and a black girl.

30. Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, 10/10
Ha! You thought you'd heard about this book for the last time! I loved it so much, I bought my own copy and I read it again.

31. The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne, 6/10
Inspiring and disappointing all at the same time.

32. Cody Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, AUDIO, 8/10
A slow first half followed by an amazing second half.

33. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith, AUDIO, 6/10
The characters were great, but some parts dragged mercilessly.

34. The BFG by Roald Dahl, AUDIO, 8/10
Delightful dialogue and, as usual, a one-of-a-kind story.

If the books of July-December are anything like the ones from January-June, it's going to be a great year! What has been your favorite book so far in 2013?


  1. I just started "What Alice Forgot," and I'm liking it so far. But my favorite read of 2013 so far is "Inferno" by Dan Brown. I don't know if you've read any of his other books, but I recommend them (at least "Angels and Demons" and "The DaVinci Code"). They're cliffhangers, but they're also fascinating and have taught me a lot about history and art.

  2. I think Code Name Verity has been the best written book I've read so far this year. American Wasteland and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle have been the most impactful, as I've made some changes to the way I eat and where I buy food.


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