I didn’t read a lot of new books in 2013. Not at all. I did buy some but not as many as I had hoped. So to remember the books I really wanted in 2013 and inspired by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm, here are some of the books I wish I had bought and/or read.
- Robert Calbraith: The Cuckoo’s Calling. This was of course one of the important books of the year. It was interesting to see how this book got good reviews but didn’t sell – until it was revealed that it was actually written by J.K. Rowling. And then it ended the year on several ‘Best of 2013’ lists. If someone can get me to read crime novels, I think it’s J.K. Rowling. I’m at least willing to give this one a try.
- Dan Simmons: The Abominable. Ever since reading Drood, I’ve been wanting to read more by Dan Simmons. It’s about adventurers traveling to the summit of Mount Everest – or possibly running from something on Mount Everest. I’m sure it’s creepy!
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah. I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. Not just because of it’s compelling story, but because it taught me things I didn’t know. I think it will be the same with this one.
- Joe Hill: NOS4A2. This book is an example of a book where the title alone sells it! And I’ve heard nothing but good about it so I need to get this one.
- Hannah Kent: Burial Rites. This book about the last woman to be sentenced to death in Iceland, sounds amazing. It reminds me a bit about Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and I really want to read this one!
- Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries. The 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. It sounds intriguing and fascinating but with the way it’s written, it also runs the risk of being a bit gimmicky – so far, the reviewers seem to agree that it’s absolutely amazing.
- Cassandra Rose Clarke: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Cat’s tutor is a robot who is perfectly happy to just teach her. But then the government grants rights to the robot population and suddenly, Finn has to find his own place in the world. Another great sounding novel!
- Amish Tripathi: Immortals of Meluha (Shiva #1). This is the first book in the Shiva trilogy, a fantasy series about hindu gods. How cool does that sound?
- Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Watcher in the Shadows. I really liked The Shadow of the Wind and this book about a mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion surrounded by his magical beings sounds so amazing.
- Ma Jian: The Dark Road. The tagline of this novel reads ‘If a panda gets pregnant, the entire nation celebrates. But if a woman gets pregnant she’s treated like a criminal. What kind of country is this?’, how can I resist that?
- Matt Bell: In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods. A young couple is unable to have children so the husband takes it out on every animal living in the lake and the woods. The wife somehow learns to sing objects into being. It sounds like a fascinating book about what happens when you so badly want children but is unable to have them.
Stephen King: Joyland. King has two books coming out this year and this is the first one. It’s about amusement park serial killers and I don’t t need to say more because if you like King, you will get this!
- Douglas Lain: Billy Moon: A transcendent Novel reimagining the Life of Christopher Robin Milne. This is one of the books I’m probably the most excited about. I think it’s some kind of twisted look at Christopher Milne’s childhood and on the Winnie the Pooh stories and I can’t wait!
- Andrew Pyper: The Demonologist. This sounds like some kind of Da Vinci Codebook but taking Paradise Lost as it’s starting point. And that’s is it’s selling point to me.
- Warren Ellis: Gun Machine. A detective finds an apartment filled with guns. Each gun leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. This book sounds just so cool.
- Sonali Deraniyagala: Wave. This woman lost her husband and sons in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. This is a book about grief. I am sure it will be almost unbearable to read but still, I want to.
- Helen Wecker: The Golem and the Jinny. This seems to be a very interesting book which combine Jewish and Arab mythology. It’s about two supernatural creatures in New York – and of course they are drawn together.
It’s funny – some of these were on my list of books to watch out for in 2013 but for some reason or another, they have dropped completely from the radar – or at least from my radar. I heard a lot about the Warren Ellis book – but I don’t think I’ve read a single review… I know I’m not even close to listing all the books that I could be interested in reading but still, I think I will print this list and take it with me whenever I happen to be somewhere with a decent bookstore and hope to pick up some of these amazing sounding books!
A few on here I missed myself although they are working their way up my pile. I did read Burial Rites and am glad to see that you’re still keen to read it. It actually lives up to the hype! You’re quite right about the Alias Grace similarity.
I’m still kicking myself for not getting to Americanah and The Golem and the Jinni, too (even though I have a copy of The Golem!). If it makes you feel any better, I ended up DNF’ing The Luminaries after about 300 pages, I just couldn’t get through it.
Interesting list, Christina! I want to read Rowling’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ and Eleanor Catton’s ‘The Luminaries’. Hope you get to read some of the books on this list.
The only one of those that I can speak to is ‘The Cuckoo Calling’ which I was halfway through when it broke that it was by J K Rowling and not as I had thought the unknown Robert Galbraith. In someways it was a great relief because I was sure I had read this author before, but I would never have linked it with Rowling because of the genre and audience switch.
That must have been an interesting experience, to be reading the book while finding out the true author behind it.
I think The Cuckoo Calling is on special offer as an e book via Amazon at the moment. The Luminaries seems to have had mixed reviews.
The Abominable was a huge book and took me a long time to read it. I am glad I read it towards the end of the year when I had the time to enjoy it. Joyland was very good, but in a sleepy, lazy way. Not your typical King.
King is experimenting more these days, isn’t he? I haven’t seen the book for sake anywhere here – the one bookstore I asked in told me that they didn’t carry his pulp novels (!).
Definitely read The Luminaries…it’s an amazing book. I guess it could be seen as gimmicky, but I personally didn’t think so.
I’d forget about reading A Cuckoo’s Calling. A mediocre book at best that’s only popular because of the author.
I have read a few of those, but there are a bunch more on your list that I need to read in 2014, too!!!
Yeah there are some really good ones. And I forgot Five Days at Memorial and the book by Mahtob Mahmoody, the daughter from Not Without my Daughter. Has this book not been published in English? I have a hard time finding a title or any information about it except in French and Danish…
Ooooh 5 Days at Memorial. . . sooooo good.
Never heard of Mahtob Mahmoody. . .
Mahtob Mahmoody is the daughter of Betty Mahmoody. The woman who wrote Not Without My Daughter, the book behind the Sally Field movie.
If it is any consolation to you, I haven’t read these books either. It’s hard to keep up especially when there are so many unread older books to read.