What I Read in 2013

Photo by KJohansson.
Photo by KJohansson.

A few years ago my dad asked me how many books I’ve read in my lifetime. I laughed and told him it was impossible to say for sure.  Words are like oxygen to me.

“Well, can you make a guess?” he asked.


A pause in the conversation.

“Would you write down every book you read for the next year?”


Just like that a family tradition was born. At the end of every year I email the list of books I read to my parents. Once or twice they’ve shared their lists with me as well. Sometimes they’ve recognized stuff they also read that year, but most years I seem to find authors that they aren’t that familiar with.

This year dad had an additional request:

“Blog about what you read!”

He wanted me to add Amazon links to every single book in this post so that I’d make a little money if anyone decides to purchase one of them through my affiliate links. Instead I’ve decided to only provide links to the stories I really loved.  For privacy reasons I am not including the books I read for the site I write reviews for. If you were to add them to this list it would be about twice as long.

Longterm readers may notice similarities between this list and what I recommend every week Suggestion Saturday.


Mary Oliver “A Thousand Mornings” (poetry)
Etta James “Rage to Survive” (biography)
Sharyn McCrumb “The Ballad of Tom Dooley” (fiction)
Peter Heller “The Dog Stars” (fiction)
Rio Yours “Westlake Soul” (science fiction)
Siobahn Down “Bog Child” (fiction)
Toni Morrison “Home” (fiction)
Joseph Bruchac “Hidden Roots” (fiction)
Ninni Holmqvist “The Unit” (science fiction)
Chris Howard “Rootless” (science fiction)
Perri Klass “Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician’s Training” (memoir)
Ransom Riggs “Talking Pictures” (photography)
Mary E. Pearson “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” (science fiction)
David Suzuki “Tree: A Life Story” (biology)
Ayana Mathis “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” (fiction)
Sonya Hartnett “Surrender” (fiction)
Liz Coley “Pretty Girl-13” (young adult)
Nia Vardaloss “Instant Mom” (memoir)
Christian Baker Klein “Orphan Train” (young adult)
Abraham Morgentaler “Why Men Fake It” (science/sociology)
James M. Deem “Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America” (anthropology)
Emily Rapp “The Still Point of the Turning World” (memoir)
Arthur Phillips “Angelica: A Novel” (gothic fiction)
John H. Willoughby “Ellen: The Story of the Orphan Whose Adoption by Pierce and Rachael MacNeill of Cavendish Was the Inspiration for ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by L.M. Montgomery” (biography)
Richard Sala “Delphine” (graphic novel)
Brian Moreland “The Witching House” (horror)
Susan Wicklung “This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor” (biography)
Annalee Newitz “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction” ( science)
Marily Levinson “Getting Back to Normal” (young adult)
Berkeley Breathed “Red Ranger Came Calling” (young adult)
Mark Reid “100 Days That Changed Canada” (history/photography)
Barbara Helen Berger “Gwinna” (young adult/fantasy)
Aaron Hartzler “Rapture Practice” (biography)
Marlene Zuk “Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live” (science)
Sharon Creech “The Boy on the Porch” (young adult)
Cheryl T. Cohen-Greene “An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner” (biography)
Elizabeth Tova Bailey “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” (biology)
Eve Ensler “In the Body of the World” (biography)
Caroline Paul “Lost Cat” (humour/pets)
Kathryn Lasky “Chasing Orion” (young adult)
Susan Hill “The Small Hand: A Ghost Story” (paranormal)
Patricia Skidmore “Marjorie Too Afraid to Cry” (biography)
Wes Moore “The Other Wes Moore” (biography)
Naoki Higashida “The Reason I Jump” (biography)
Jessica Heimstra “How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting” (biography)

Christine Lim “Who Saw the Deep” (science fiction)
Pearl S Buck “The Child Who Never Grew” (biography)

Elizabeth Partridge “Dorothea Lange” (biography)
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