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2013 in Books. Let’s Start with #15

1st January 2014
by Michael

2013 in Books. Let’s Start with #15

posted in 2013, Books, Year-end lists |

As has become an annual tradition, I will be counting down my top books read in 2013.  I didn’t do quite as well as last year in the number of books read:  only 24 in 2013.  I am particularly appalled because a couple of my friends have reported reading over 200 books in 2013.  What?  How does that even happen?  That’s an average of a book every day and 3/4!  I suspect there’s some skimming going on.  Anyway, despite only having read 24 books in 2013, I’ve still got a very health Top 15 to report on.  That’s right, fifteen books I would definitely recommend.

My Beautiful FailureOf the also rans, I will mention The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, which is definitely worth checking out when it is released in early 2014, and is beautifully written, but didn’t quite make the cut.  My Beautiful Failure, Janet Ruth Young’s third novel for teens is a terrific sequel of sorts to her outstanding debut novel, The Opposite of Music.  (Janet’s previous novel, The Babysitter Murders, was my #12 book read in 2011.)  Marta Acosta’s The She-Hulk Diaries was lots of fun for a novel based on a comic book character.  Sadly, despite a couple of great stories, overall I didn’t really enjoy Tom Perotta’s latest collection, Nine Inches.  And my biggest disappointment of the year was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, which I enjoyed, but not as much as I was hoping I would.  And now for #15…

The Death of Bees#15 – The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Marnie and Nelly are sisters whose parents are neglectful drug addicts. But that’s all over now. As the book begins, Marnie and Nelly are burying their parents whose self-destructive tendencies have brought them to the end of their lives. The girls face nearly insurmountable odds just to grow up, but with the help of next-door neighbor Lennie, and a couple of other surprising sources, they will struggle to endure with surprising results. Lisa O’Donnell has crafted a dark coming-of-age story that shows the strength of siblings beaten down by the harsh cruelties of life and created a couple of unique voices in fiction.

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