Books of 2013, Last Half

Jan 1, 2014

Somehow I ended up reading the exact same number of books (34) in the second half of 2013 as I read in the first half. I guess I'm nothing if not consistent. If you'd like to see a summary of the books I read from January through June, click here.

(Click on the title to go to the full review.)

1. Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls by Leonard Sax, AUDIO, 8/10
This book made me glad I'm raising boys instead of girls. Not that boys don't have plenty of challenges themselves, but girls are dealing with some pretty scary things.

2. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 10/10
This might be my very favorite Narnia story.

3. Beyond the Wood by Michael J. Roueche, 7/10
The ending was frustrating, but I liked the rest of this Civil War story.

4. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, 4/10
I was expecting better from the illustrator of The Story of Ferdinand. Really a bit tedious for my kids and me.

5. The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens, 9/10
I always intended to write a review of this book, but every time I thought about doing it, I felt overwhelmed. I learned so many good things. I guess I'll just have to read it again and then write a review.

6. Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, 8/10
First foray into the world of graphic novels. Very enjoyable.

7. Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, 9/10
If I were going to spend all my time reading fluffy romances, I'd wish for them all to be like this one.

8. Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon, 6/10
This book had a lot of useful and practical ideas . . . whether you're interested in homeschooling or not.

9. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, AUDIO, 5/10
It wasn't that I disagreed with the information in this book. Not at all. It was just that it felt so incredibly long and repetitive. Thank goodness for double-speed audio.

10. Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale, 8/10
I didn't like it quite as much as Rapunzel's Revenge, but almost.

11. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, AUDIO, 10/10
I adored everything about this book, especially Early Auden, one of my favorite characters of all time.

12. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel, 8/10
I wish I could make my childhood of growing up in small town sound as interesting and funny as Haven Kimmel makes hers.

13. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, 8/10
Pathetic female lead, chivalrous male lead, fun fairy-tale retelling.

14. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George, 7/10
Clever retelling of Cinderella, but the ending felt rushed.

15. Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, 10/10, Steve Sheinkin
If all nonfiction could be written like this, I think every child would be interested in history.

16. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace, 8/10
Loved sharing this much-beloved story from my childhood with my boys.

17. The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore, 6/10
Not an unenjoyable book per se, but the writing wasn't my favorite and the ending was not at all satisfying.

18. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, 10/10
Yes. YES. This is what all children's literature should be like.

19. Calm and Compassionate Children by Susan Usha Dermond, 7/10
Ever since reading this book, I have used music to both motivate my children and also calm them down. Definitely a worthwhile read if only for that one change.

20. East of Eden by John Steinbeck, AUDIO, 10/10
I don't think it's possible to sum up this book in one sentence. How about one word? Amazing.

21. Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, 7/10
Out of the three books in this trilogy, I liked the characters in this book best. But sadly, the ending was a total copy of the first book.

22. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, 9/10
One of the best mysteries I've ever read but also disturbing and creepy.

23. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes, 8/10
Billy Miller reminded us of Henry Huggins, which made us all fall in love with him instantly.

24. Pumpkin Roll by Josi S. Kilpack, 8/10
Finally! A mystery involving Sadie Hoffmiller where I didn't hate the ending.

25. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, AUDIO, 8/10
Suspenseful and thrilling, but the climax seemed to happen too early. Marian Halcombe was added to my list of all-time favorite characters.

26. Homer Price by Robert McCloskey, 7/10
Any book involving a doughnut-making machine was sure to be a success with this family.

27. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, AUDIO, 8/10
A fitting end to this wonderful series.

28. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu, 8/10
I liked this magical story, but it was the writing that really made me love this book.

29. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, AUDIO, 8/10
I was not expecting the ending to be so tragic, but I still thought this was a great book.

30. A Winter Dream by Richard Paul Evans, 7/10
Predictable but not in a disappointing way.

31. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, AUDIO, 6/10
Loved the mystery itself, but the middle section was so strange.

32. The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox, 9/10
So glad to have read this book. Deepened my understanding and love for the Savior's priceless gift.

33. The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck, AUDIO, 8/10
I was expecting only mediocre things from this book, but I quite enjoyed it.

34. The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford, 8/10
A perfect read for Christmas and also for the end of the year. Loved learning more about Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol.

Combined with my first half, that makes for a total of 68 books, 17,571 pages, and a lot of good reading.


  1. That's quite an impressive list. I've added Navigating Early to my to-read list, you make it sound so interesting.

  2. I love seeing what you're reading!


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