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Old 12-27-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
treadlightly
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What were your 5-star reads of 2013?

We had this thread last year and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing what everyone had read and liked best. What were your 5-star reads of 2013?

Mine were:
-The latter part of the Outlander and Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon
-GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire
-The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
-The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist
-Connie Willis's Oxford Time Travel series
-Devon Monk's new releases Hell Bent and Cold Copper
-Mary Russell series by Laurie King
-Replay by Ken Grimwood
-Ender's Game by OSC
-Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance
-Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
-The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
-The Passage by Justin Cronin
-Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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In the order I read them, my 5-star books ("Favourites") of 2013 were:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
As Man Thinketh by James Allen
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Ulysses by James Joyce

Since I may be stricter than most with my rankings, I'll also include in order read my 4-star books ("Excellent") from 2013:

Chess by Stefan Zweig
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories by Frank O'Connor, 1963 version

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Old 12-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #3
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I'm not including rereads, just books I read for the first time in 2013:

- Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale.
- Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
- C. J. Cherryh, Faery Moon.
- Ted Chiang, The Lifecycle of Software Objects.
- C. S. Friedman, In Conquest Born.
- Nancy Kress, Beggars in Spain.
- Charles Sheffield, Georgia on My Mind and Other Places.
- Karen Traviss, City of Pearl.
- Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky.
- Gene Wolfe, The Fifth Head of Cerberus.
- Gene Wolfe, The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories.

And although I didn't rate any of the individual books in this series at five stars, the series as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts:

- Maj Sj÷wall and Per Wahl÷÷, The Martin Beck series (10 books).

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Only one 5-star this year.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:02 PM   #5
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- Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
- Chinua Achebe, Anthills Of The Savannah
- Kazuo Ishiguro, A Pale View Of Hills
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
- Steven Erikson, Zeroville
- George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener
- Edwidge Danticat, Claire Of The Sea Light
- Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado
- Mukoma wa Ngugi, Nairobi Heat
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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5 -Star Reads of 2013

Chobits: Omnibus, Vol. 1 by CLAMP
Books #s 2 & 4 through 7 of the Fantasy Heights erotica series by Meg Silver
The Hunger Games (Book #1) by Suzanne Collins
Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama

and my absolute favorites were:

Among Others by Jo Walton and Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
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List does not include rereads. To be rated a 5, i put it as 'one of the best I've read this year AND something I would likely reread again in future. Yep, kind of a long list, but I read a lot of winners this year as a result of joining some new book clubs.

Steel World - B V Larson (science fiction)
Little Fuzzy - H Beam Piper (science fiction)
Shards of Honour - Lois McMaster Bujold (Science fiction)
Hour Game - David Baldacci (crime/thriller)
The Heist - Evanovich & Goldberg (crime/thriller)
Never Somewhere Else - Alex Gray (crime/thriller)
The 9th Girl - Tami Hoag (crime/thriller)
Reanimation of Edward Schuett - Derek Goodman (horror)
Mr Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan (Fantasy)
Cop Hater - Ed McBain (detective)
Morgue Drawer Four - Jutta Profijt (mystery)
A Man Lay Dead - Ngaio Marsh (mystery)
They Found Him Dead - Georgette Heyer (mystery)
McNally's Secret - Lawrence Sanders (mystery)
Catering to Nobody - Diane Mott Davidson (mystery cozy)
The Quiche of Death - M C Beaton (mystery cozy)
I Could Pee On This - some long italian name (for cat lovers-humor)

Last edited by Tarana; 12-28-2013 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:44 PM   #8
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Non-fiction: Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Fiction: John P. Marquand, The Late George Apley

And neither one available as a proofread eBook!
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fbone View Post
Only one 5-star this year.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Do you really need sny more given how fine a book that is?

Two for me this year:
Deliverance - James Dickey
The Woman Who Walked into Doors - Roddy Doyle
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:57 AM   #10
BelleZora
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This year I read 125 books, but gave 5 stars on Goodreads to only 4 books:

The Best of Frank O'Connor (one of my best finds ever, thanks to Fantasyfan at the MR Literary Book Club.)
Thus Was Adonis Murdered - Sarah Caudwell (brilliant, hilarious mystery)
The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse (I'm surprised I gave that 5 stars, but I won't alter it now)
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln - Doris Kearns Goodwin

Last year I gave 5 stars to:

Cannery Row - John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:37 AM   #11
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Out of the 134 books/stories I've read in 2013 so far, and without counting re-reads, I've given five stars on Goodreads to eight books/stories.

"Objectively" (or as close as I can get when trying to rate books), they're not necessarily the best books I read this year (of course The Luminaries is more "worthy" than a flippant and funny Doctor Who short story), but they're the ones I loved, the ones that made me laugh or cry (sometimes both in the same book), and the ones that stayed with me even after I was done with them.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men - Derek Landy
Tanith Low in the Maleficent Seven - Derek Landy
Doctor Who: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage - Derek Landy
The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King
Justice Hall - Laurie R. King
Unsouled - Neal Shusterman
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness

In addition, I've given four stars to 60 books (and I expect the one I'm currently reading will end up there as well), so all in all, it's been a very good reading year for me - I've rated more books highly than in the last two years, and I don't think it's because I've got less discerning - if anything, it's the opposite - but because I've got better in picking books I have a reasonable expectation of enjoying.

General highlights of the year include, well, anything by Derek Landy, but also my this year's new big favourite "find" - the Mary Russell series (all the ones I didn't rate as five star books got four stars), Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Great North Road by Peter Hamilton, Earth Girl and Earth Star by Janet Edwards, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong, One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire ... and I should probably stop here before mentioning all the other four star reads too.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fbone View Post
Only one 5-star this year.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
I reread it a couple of times this year.

Mine:

MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #13
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The books I enjoyed most this year:

The Redeemer - Jo Nesbo
The Man Who Smiled - Henning Mankell
Without Fail - Lee Child
Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan

Also, special mention to a couple of free books from Amazon, neither perfect but both really enjoyable:

The Year We Finally Solved Everything - Rudolf Kerkhoven
Ascension Day - John Matthews
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #14
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I have finished Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles this year (I think I started in Nov. 2012). (Recommended if you like Dumas)
Andy Weir's The Martian was a pleasant surprise at science-fiction.
A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
Jo Walton's Among Others
Adding 23 Years on Fire by Joel Shepherd is a little bit unfair. It is the first part of a trilogy and stands less well on its own than the other Kresnov novels. - I should keep my final judgement until it is finished.

The Speed of Darb by Elisabeth Moon was good, but I probably will not re-read it.

Top-reads for guilty-pleasure were:
Tom Wood's Victor the Assassin series
Stephen Hunter's The 47th Samurai
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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Five-star reads:

The Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming
A Tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, Wade Davis

High four-star reads:

The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale, Joseph Conrad
The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain
The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw
I Served the King of England, Bohumil Hrabal
The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War, Lynn H. Nicholas
A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire, John Biggins
Sardinian Brigade, Rmilio Lussu
Wilson, A. Scott Berg
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