It’s hard to believe that 2013 is officially over and gone. 2014 is here and I, for one, am extremely excited about the upcoming months. I truly feel that 2014 will be a year of great stories, great writing, great publishing, and great journeys for us all. ūüôā As I’ve been reflecting on 2013, I’ve been trying to nail down my favorite reads. I had a goal of reading 36 books and ended up making it to 33. I’m sad that I didn’t meet my goal, but to be honest I had a great deal of “real life” situations going on that made it difficult to get that reading done. So, moving on into the new year! I think I’m going to keep my goal of 36 books again. Here are my favorite reads of 2013 (in no particular order):

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1// Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis 2// Forged in Blood I & II by Lindsay Buroker 3// Sabriel by Garth Nix 4// Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 5// Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris 6// The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom 7// Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis 8// Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Out of the 33 books that I read, these stuck with me the most. I’ll do a little mini-review of each one below.

Out of the Silent Planet

WOW. This book blew me away. It was so completely different from Lewis’¬†Narnia¬†novels that at first, it took a bit of adjustment to get used to. Still, once I got the hang of the slightly different writing style and the truly unique story, things took off! If you’re looking for a new science-fiction read, look no further than this first book of the¬†Space Trilogy.¬†You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to read the sequels,¬†Perelandra¬†and¬†That Hideous Strength.

Forged in Blood I & II 

This ending to the¬†Emperor’s Edge¬†series was INCREDIBLE. I know I’ve talked multiple times on the blog about my obsessive love for Buroker’s work so it shouldn’t surprise you that her EE opus is on my top reads for 2013 list. I devoured these books. They were so, so good and (to me) gave readers such a tremendously satisfying ending. I know she’s already hard at work on a continuance of the Emperor’s Edge¬† universe and I cannot WAIT to see what she comes up with next.

Sabriel 

I’ve read this book a few times now and my third (or was it my fourth…) read-through was just as magical as the others. I’m not decided on whether or not I’ll go on to read the sequels again right now. I’ve got quite a lot on my reading list for 2014 and I know I won’t be able to get to everything I’ve already got on there. ūüôā Still, the¬†Abhorsen¬†series by Garth Nix is truly magnificent. It’s a great young adult fantasy series and definitely worth anyone’s time.

Catching Fire 

Definitely my favorite of Suzanne Collin’s¬†Hunger Games¬†trilogy, this book had so much to love!! Action, romance, tension, twists…you name it and this book probably had it. I’ll confess that I haven’t finished the third book in this series, partly because I’m finding it so different from #1 and more importantly, #2 in the series. This book was nonstop goodness and I definitely look forward to reading it again someday.

Quotidian Mysteries

This isn’t a fiction book, but I felt it needed to make the list because of how powerfully its words impacted me. Kathleen Norris speaks volumes in this short little tome about daily living and how we can find joy, peace, and meaning in the quotidian (everyday) things in our lives. Such a fantastic read and gave me so much to think about.

The Hiding Place

It’s a little sad that I never read this book growing up. It’s a bit crazy that it got past me, since I grew up in a strong Christian community. Still, reading it as an adult probably meant so much more to me. Corrie Ten Boom’s story of faith, courage, and perseverance in the face of such great evil was one of the most inspiring reads of my life.

Kisses from Katie

I read this extremely early in 2013 and it is definitely a book that will always “be” with me. Katie’s work in Africa in the midst of extreme poverty is so completely awe-inspiring that I really feel it is impossible to read her story without being completely changed by it. For anyone looking to “think outside themselves” and to find inspiration to live selflessly, RUN to get this book immediately.

Son of the Shadows

Who knows how many times I’ve read this book. I’ve seriously lost count. Juliet Marillier’s¬†Sevenwaters trilogy is so important to me. I’m sure I will be reading her stories for the rest of my life. Over and over and over again. Liadan’s tale of hope in the midst of great darkness is impeccable. Read it. Read ALL her books. RIGHT NOW.

What are your favorite reads from 2013? I’d LOVE to hear! I’m always on the lookout for new stories. Happy 2014!

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Thanks for visiting my humble little web-home! If you’re new to the blog, I invite you to stay, hang out, and read awhile. If you’re interested in my books, give my first fantasy novel¬†Night Bells a shot. It’s free on the Kindle, ITunes, Kobo, Nook, and Smashwords.

Favorite Reads of 2013!
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