Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish list meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


As you may or may not have noticed, I have been in a rather deep reading slump for some time. Thus, I’ve read only 28 books so far in 2013. However, despite the slim numbers, I have read some really great books so far this year:

1. Arcadia, by Lauren Groff
2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
3. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
4. The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson

These four were all contenders in this year’s Tournament of Books, and they were all excellent. There is quite the range here: Arcadia deals with a hippie commune and a super-disease; Bernadette is a humorous tale of a half-crazy Seattle-ite; Achilles is a retelling of The Iliad, and Orphan Master is a (fictional) peek into North Korea. All of them are worthwhile reads.

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
This was a book club read, and I very much enjoyed it. It’s part science, part human interest, and all compelling. One of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time.

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling (Audio)
7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling (Audio)
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling (Audio)
I know it’s a little cheat-y to have three of my ten be Harry Potter books, but I forgot how genius they are. Seriously, if you haven’t reread these in a while, I highly recommend it.

9. Someday, Someday, Maybe, by Lauren Graham
I’m a big fan of Lauren Graham the actress, and I was very pleasantly surprised that I am a fan of Lauren Graham the writer. This debut is fun and peopled with lovable characters.

10. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin
Okay, so I haven’t technically finished this one, but at 4/5 of the way through, I am in love. This may just end up being the best book I read all year, and I’m okay with that. It’s really really really good.

I’m pleased that even with my small list of books read this year, I was able to pull out so many gems. What are your favorite books so far in 2013?

Categories: Memes & Miscellany


  • Jennifer

    This is a fantastic list! I’ve read all but #9 and #10. Of the first 8 I don’t think I could pick a favorite. I loved Bernadette, Arcadia, Orphan..all of them! Great picks :)

    • Jessica

      Thanks, Jennifer! Our reading tastes appear to overlap quite a bit. I love it! Do you follow the Tournament of Books, or did you read those first four just on your own?

      • Jennifer

        I chose them on my own :) I was happy to see them all on the Tournament of Books though. And I was super glad to see Orphan win the Pulitzer!

    • Jessica

      Now that I look at it, it is rather diverse. I didn’t really do that on purpose, but I am glad that there is a range here. I hope you enjoy HENRIETTA.

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    The first four books on your list are all on my TBR mountain, which makes me happy! I see The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on book blogs quite often and only ever hear great things about it, but am I right that it’s kind of a biography? I struggle with biographies – but your description is really selling it to me!

    My TTT

    • Jessica

      Those first four are all really great literary fiction reads. As for HENRIETTA, I would not characterize it as a biography, though it does touch on the life of Henrietta Lacks. The book is kind of narrative nonfiction told from the point of view of the author and is principally about her journey discovering both the scientific influence and history of the HeLa cells and the poverty and ignorance of Henrietta’s family. I would characterize it as a social science, human interest book with a scientific bent. It’s very readable and enjoyable. Let me know if you give it a try!

      • Shannon (Giraffe Days)

        “social science, human interest book with a scientific bent” – Oh I’m definitely going to have to get it now! I saw it on other lists today too; am thinking it’s sending me a message! ;)

        I noted you mentioned in the comments above that you wish Where’d You Go, Bernadette were more widely known – that’s funny, because it seems like all the book bloggers I know have read and loved it, I was thinking it was a hugely popular book! (I picked up a copy from Chapters recently, where it was very prominently displayed which is nice.)

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