Books Read in 2013

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

So as you’ve already heard: I can read quite quickly and I tend to read a lot. Since 2004 I’ve made an effort to track my reading! I’ve slowed a bit owing to having a small child, but eBooks are the saving grace that keep my book count up!

Again, this list covers only books I’ve read, and can be sorted by number, year, and title (click the column headings to re-sort). Let’s go!

Click on the table headers to sort!




January 13

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
Oh, sheer delight. Julia Child has this beautiful charmed life in postwar Paris, created through her warm, open nature and her dogged pursuit of language, friends, and good food.


January 15

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
No, it's not that Black Swan: it's the book about unexpected, enormous, rare events that upend life as we know it in many different areas. I found it was one of those books that really does a number with how you think of the world, presenting a conceptual framework that totally works to explain much of observed human life. Now, hopefully I can apply what I've learned rather than denying its existence, lest I make Nassim wring his hands over the fate of the world again.


January 17

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua


January 20

The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
Oh, this is a book you can just walk into and live in, just as Christopher Isherwood said about I Capture the Castle. And mostly, this is because this reads like a spiritual twin to I Capture the Castle, with a similarly aristocratic, bohemian family engaged in 1930s shenanigans. This is a singular achievement on its own, truly. Also, I should mention that this is the second book in the FitzOsborne trilogy, but for various reasons I wound up reading it first. No regrets!


January 21

The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
The delightful third part of the FitzOsbornes trilogy, where the family finds itself caught up in London in World War II. Meticulously researched, sumptuous in scope, luminously written.


January 22

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
Loved this, of course.


January 24

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller


January 25

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman


January 26

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Ahhh! Spectacular. Adventures of an American girl in 1950s Cold War England: sweeping, exciting, clearly written, and with heart!


January 27

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
Quite liked this. The children of a Norse royal family are holed up in a remote castle to wait out a war --- but treachery may be within! The heroine is the second, overlooked daughter Solveig --- worry not, she comes into her own.


January 29

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
Evie's vacation to Palm Beach is dark, claustrophobic, gripping, and good.


January 29

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wien


January 31

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell


February 1

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Clear eyed, hilarious, enormously moving. Loved every word.


February 2

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
So much fun! I can't wait to read the sequel.


February 2

Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell


February 3

Every Day by David Levithan
Quantum Leap combined with a teen romance!


February 5

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick


February 6

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Generally delightful! This book is WALL-TO-WALL fairy tale references, centred on a sprawling family whose names I kept getting mixed up, with a really good central storyline.


February 7

The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors


February 7

This is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Teen angst plus zombie apocalypse makes for a terrific combo.


February 8

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen


February 8

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl


February 8

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Reread! An excellent palate cleanser after so much intense YA.


February 10

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher


February 11

Girl Walks into a Bar: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch
Rachel Dratch's adventures in life, love, and comedy. Enjoyable!


March 2

How Should A Person Be by Sheila Heti
Recommended: it's unlike anything you've ever read.


March 8

Blue Nights by Joan Didion
This was stark and bleak, but what were you expecting from a book about a mother mourning her daughter's death? Joan Didion's prose is beautiful as always, though.


March 8

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


March 9

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly


March 9

The Season by Sarah MacLean
Spunky YA romance set in Jane Austen's times. A lot of fun!


March 10

Back When You Were Easier To Love by Emily Wing Smith
A girl takes a road trip to go after the boy who left her behind when he went to college... you kind of know what'll happen, but it's a great ride getting there.


March 12

Damn Good Advice by George Lois


March 14

Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin


March 15

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
A book focusing on the expendable redshirts of science fiction, and how they invert (subvert?) their inevitable demise. Truly delightful.


March 24

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan


March 27

Trapped by Michael Northrup


March 28

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson


March 29

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva
Overachieving Kate has too much work to do... so when a clone pops out of her computer, she starts to get the clone to help her rather than freak out about the nature of individuality and the space time continuum. It's a nice, light read that's a lot of fun to breeze through.


March 29

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross


March 30

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski


April 1

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Love love loved this: the engrossing adventures of the three Sullivan sisters, members of a sprawling quirky Baltimore family.


April 2

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The adventures of Cimorene, the clever, headstrong princess who runs off to live with dragons after she's forced into an engagement. Perfectly delightful!


April 4

Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
This was delightful. Adventures of an awkward half-Asian Seattle girl who goes to Stanford math camp, learns about her family, and has a great time!


April 6

Amanda Miranda by Richard Peck


April 8

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg


April 11

The Daughters by Joanna Philbin


April 14

Echoes by Maeve Binchy
Crap, Maeve Binchy books are addictive. And long! And mildly depressing, albeit warm and wonderful and engrossing. This is no different.


April 17

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy
Another long Maeve read---this one's heavy on the darkness, though of course it's a killer read.


April 26

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
All about a group of "interestings" who meet as teens at an art summer camp and grow up with their lives intertwined. A lovely rumination on the concepts of growing up, feeling special, and handling the successes of your friends.


May 13

My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
Russell Brand's book is that of an erudite, considerate gentleman politely observing the grotesque antics of a mentally unstable junkie, who also happens to be himself. It's a crazy good read.


May 15

Booky Wook 2: This Time It’s Personal by Russell Brand
The sequel to Russell Brand's first book: this was just as surprisingly illuminating, erudite, and hilarious as the first.


May 18

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski


May 21

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Totally engrossing. Pat Peoples has an utterly distinct voice and Tiffany makes much more sense in this book than she does in the movie.


May 23

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan


May 24

The Selection by Kiera Cass


May 28

Give and Take by Adam Grant
Interesting nonfiction book about how a giving attitude actually adds up to success in business and life, written by a wunderkind professor. Whether or not you believe the premise, I did completely agree that givers are the type who create energy in the world and send it out forward, rather than the takers who are black holes in any energy map.


May 30

One.Four (1.4) by Mike Lancaster
Definitely enjoyed this. This is the second book in Mike Lancaster's terrific sci-fi YA series: a boy in the future discovers the world around him isn't what it seems, which sounds cliche, but trust me, it isn't.


June 2

Zero.Four (0.4) by Mike Lancaster
The first book in Mike Lancaster's gripping series. It's a sci-fi YA based in an English village---a few people are hypnotized at the village talent show, and when they wake up, things are totally different.


June 16

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
This has long been recommended to me and I finally found it at the local library. It's just as good as everyone says it is! Ruby Oliver has a list of boyfriends that she discusses with her therapist through this book---it's a lovely rumination on growing up and learning about friends and love.


June 17

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart
The sequel to the Boyfriend List. Just as pleasant a read.


June 17

The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart
Third book in the Ruby Oliver/Boyfriend List series. Just as fun to read.


June 18

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart
Fourth book in the Boyfriend List series. Ruby finds love... but of course it's complicated.


June 21

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Good Lord, this was a wonderful book.


June 29

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle


June 30

Zombies vs Unicorns by Edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier


July 1

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde


July 3

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell


July 5

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
So much fun! This is a sprawling, frothy, fabulous novel set in the epic world of the super rich, captured with a huge sense of warmth and a lot of humour.


July 7

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


July 9

A Day at el Bulli: An Insight into the Ideas, Methods and Creativity of Ferran Adria by Ferran Adria, Albert Adria, Juli Soler
A fascinating look at creativity in the food world. It's basically art.


July 10

The Art of Explanation by Lee LeFever
Insightful and rich for those who want to communicate well.


July 14

Erasing Time by CJ Hill


July 16

The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler


July 22

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Just phenomenal. Mary Roach is frank, funny, and a spirited adventurer into the hilarious minutia of space travel.


July 28

The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales


July 30

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
Mary Roach is such a joyously nosy person. I love reading about how she uncovers all sorts of wacky things about the digestive system and the human endeavours to figure that system out. Recommended!


July 30

The Joy Diet by Martha Beck


July 31

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This was one of the sweetest books I've read all year.


August 3

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
Mary Roach is a true gem.


August 3

Money Road by Garth Turner


August 4

Toilet Training Without Tantrums by John Rosemond


August 6

Spook by Mary Roach


August 6

Claudia Silver to the Rescue by Kathy Ebel


August 13

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran


August 15

How to Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran


August 16

Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe
This book was actually a great read!


August 23

At Home by Bill Bryson


August 31

IV by Chuck Klosterman


September 1

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) by Chuck Klosterman
Like reading thoughtful essays from a trusted friend on the concepts of good and evil.


September 7

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker


September 8

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich


September 11

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Solidly built and written with care. I quite enjoyed this.


September 14

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Oh, this was just beautiful. One of the best rom-coms I've read in a long time.


September 16

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell


September 18

This is What Happy Feels Like by Jennifer E. Smith


September 19

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Just loved this. It's warm and bighearted and oh so real.


October 5

Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
These books are such a pleasure: so straightforward and funny and imaginative.


October 6

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella


October 7

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Loved this! So much fun.


October 13

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Loved this. All about growing up and being friends with someone who doesn't love you the same way. Natalie Standiford writes such hilarious, real characters.


October 14

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
Good! And that's the first YA romance set in Leningrad I've ever read.


October 21

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
After she won the Nobel, I felt guilty I had never read any Alice Munro. No longer - and it was a beautiful book.


October 21

Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart


October 21

Dramarama by E. Lockhart


October 22

The View from Saturday by E.L Konigsburg
This was golden. Part fable, part real, all brilliant.


October 22

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert


October 22

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick


October 23

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Tamora Pierce's first book from the 1980s. Really solid!


October 24

In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
Second book in the Lioness Rampant series. A solid read.


October 25

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
Third Lioness book. Just as solid.


October 26

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
Last book in the series. Also good.


October 27

Getting Results the Agile Way by J.D. Meier
Another productivity system. I like the focus on outcomes.


November 3

Measuring the Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine
Really fantastic read on social media measurement for the nonprofit space.


November 5

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Loved this premise: and there's a good human story within the sci-fi.


November 9

Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart
I'm a sucker for 90s celebrities, and this memoir was a lot of fun. MJH is a journeyman actor, and sounds levelheaded and down to earth despite a lot of crazy celebrity hijinks.


November 10

S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
This is spooky, but also fascinating: like the Jolly Postman for adults who like mysteries. It's especially a treat for those who really love books, as it takes into account the familiar physical experience reading a book and making familiar but serendipitious discoveries as you read through it.


November 10

Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Sci-fi YA comedy-adventure: loved every minute!


November 11

How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir by Amber Dawn
This was a tremendously good read: a beautiful book that talks about sex work in a way that's frank and real, openhearted and clear-minded. It's also about more than that: love, life, and finding the courage to speak with your own voice. And it's poetry mixed with essays!


November 13

A Stranger Thing by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Sequel to Mothership: also sci-fi YA comedy-adventure. Whipped through this so fast I almost didn't realize I'd finished it. An intensely fun read!


November 16

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
O joyous Meg Cabot, writing romance comedies with the deftest touch!


November 17

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
I'd really liked Kenneth Oppel's This Dark Endeavour, so I picked this up at the library on a whim—and good Christ, it was fantastic! Epic adventure, comedy, romance—and pirates!


November 18

Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Once I'd read the first book in the Airborn series I had to keep going. Skybreaker was just as fantastic as the original.


November 19

Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel
Third book in the Airborn series, and just as wonderful as the rest. (Also, I'm especially glad that each book hangs as its own episode and doesn't stretch plot over more than one novel!)


November 22

Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel
Second book in the young Victor Frankenstein series. Kenneth Oppel is such an amazing storyteller.


November 23

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
Warning: read this if you want to bawl your face off. It's a story of a boy, his parents' experimental monkey, and growing up, and it's so emotionally resonant and real.


November 26

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Lovely snippets of life in France.


December 1

The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz
Deeply insightful and entertaining interviews with Wes Anderson about his films, his vision, and the craft of turning ideas into finished products.


December 4

How to (Not) Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine


December 7

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Fun light read about girl spies on adventures!


December 7

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
The next installment about the Gallagher Girls' spy network. A bit darker, but still a fun read.


December 10

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen
An unexpected delight: I picked it up and couldn't put it down. It's funny and moving and set in Vancouver, which made it even more unputdownable.


December 12

United We Spy by Ally Carter
Last Gallagher Girls book.


December 12

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen
An awkward Vancouver kid becomes a Scrabble champ and a neighbourhood hero. So great!


December 13

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen
A feisty Vancouver girl tries to find the perfect guy for her mom while dealing with her parents' divorce. A wonderful story on love, loss, and doing the right thing.


December 23

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


December 24

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
A fun ride through historic Paris.


December 26

Flora and Ulysses by Kate diCamillo
Lovely middle grade book.


December 27

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher


December 28

Across A Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund


December 29

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Like True Grit for middle grades! Such a great read.


December 29

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Oh, this was gorgeous.


December 30

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
This was dark. But decent.


December 30

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Adventures in psychokinetic alterna-Russia. A lot of fun!


December 31

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
A light YA romance with figure skating and cupcakes.