Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke & The Bookish featuring a different theme each week. This week the year is almost half over (how did that happen already?!) and the topic is:
Top 10 Books Read So Far In 2013
1. The Firebird, by Susanna Kearsley. I think this book would definitely rank as my #1 read for 2013 (although the rest of the books I’m going to mention are in no particular order). I love this author and this is my favourite of all her books so far. I never thought the ability to see someone else’s thoughts would be so amazingly hot! And the beautiful setting, going from London to Scotland to Russia and travelling back in time to visit past Russia as well, is just fabulous.
2. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. This book made me laugh all the way through it – the story of Don Tillman, professor of genetics and his determination to find a wife through The Wife Project. Don is a little socially unusual, so his methods of finding a partner are not necessarily the conventional normal. Instead he meets Rosie, utterly unsuited to The Wife Project, but compelling nonetheless and Rosie has a project of her own to undertake, one that Don can help her with.
3. Love With A Chance Of Drowning, by Torre De Roche. I really enjoyed this memoir about a woman who is frightened of the ocean who throws caution to the wind and sails from the US down to Mexico and then across the Pacific to French Polynesia. From there they island hopped their way around, going where they chose. As someone who has never left my home country, I am fascinated by people who undertake such big adventures. I’m also incredibly admiring of the fact that she and her boyfriend lived in such close proximity to each other on a boat for so long and came out unscathed! I’m not sure I could say the same of my husband and I!
4. The Wild Girl, by Kate Forsyth. I was a huge fan of Kate’s last book, Bitter Greens and I was so excited to read this, a telling of the Brothers Grimm and the girl who loved one of them. It’s rich with old folk tales, a forbidden romance that leaves you praying for a happy ending and just beautiful writing. The 500+ pages pass like they’re nothing.
5. The People Smuggler, by Robin De Crespigny. No one is more surprised than me that 2 non-fiction titles have made it onto this list today. I hardly ever read non-fiction! Anyway this is the story of Ali Al Jenabi, known as the ‘Oskar Schindler’ of Asia. He fled a war torn Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s regime and made his way through a myriad of countries to Indonesia. To make money to bring his family out and hopefully get them all to Australia, he began to run a “people smuggling” business, getting refugees from Indonesia to Australia by boat. The “boat people” are a huge political issue here in Australia and this was a deeply fascinating and moving version of “the other side” of the story. A brilliant book.
6. Life In Outer Space, by Melissa Keil. One of the most enjoyable contemporary YA titles I’ve read in a long time! Sam is a bit of a geek at his high school but he’s happy with his WoW games, his close friends, etc. Then Camilla shows up at his school and she’s wonderfully different, could easily slot into any group she chooses, but she picks Sam’s. I loved everything about this one, the dialogue, the characters, it’s just a great story. It’s Australian, but it’s being pubbed in the US by Peachtree Publishers in August of this year. Highly recommended for YA fans!
7. My Notorious Life by Madame X, by Kate Manning. I just read this relatively recently and I could not put it down. It’s the story of Axie Muldoon, an orphan who went on to offer midwifery services to women in the 1860’s – a wide range of midwifery services including help with avoiding contraception and also help in delicate situations where a termination was desired. It’s a fascinating story and a very interesting portrayal of just how little power women had over their bodies and how much say men thought they had. And the scary thing is, some things haven’t changed today.
8. And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini. This was my first Hosseini book and such a great introduction. A gorgeous, sweeping narrative that takes in 1950’s Afghanistan, Paris and modern-day America. It’s such a great story, something you can sink into and just revel in the awesome writing.
9. Lick, by Kylie Scott. I did just finish reading this one, so it is fresh in my mind but I absolutely loved it. Evelyn is 21 and decides to celebrate in Vegas and go a bit wild. She didn’t expect to go wild enough to get plastered on tequila shots and find herself waking up married to David Ferris, guitarist and composer for rock band Stage Dive. At first annulment is the only option but the more time David and Evelyn spend together, the less they want that. Plenty of sexy times, angst and just a lot of fun, this one is out July 1 in digital format. And it’s the first in a series!
10. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent. I had to include this one because of the amazing setting – Iceland in 1829. I’d never read a book set there before and that timeframe came to life so vividly in Kent’s writing, it was amazing. And the way in which this story was woven and I came to feel such sympathy for a character and such sadness as well, was just masterful. A great story and a setting that was unique to me.
I’m surprised and a little pleased that so many of my choices are Australian books by Australian authors. I do try to read as much local stuff as I can but I also do read a lot of books from overseas publishers. It’s nice to see that what I’ve read from my country has stuck in my mind.