The 2013 Round-Up!

I love this time of year!  Holiday decorations, cookies, the potential of snow, and best-of lists.  I decided to put together a list of my own, in addition to a best books guide that looks at the year’s award-winners and heavy-hitters.

I’d also like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to one of my favorite writers.  Barbara Mertz (a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters & Barbara Michaels) passed away this year and was best known for her Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss mystery series.  I don’t know where I’d be today without Amelia Peabody wielding her parasol and lovingly drugging her family with laudanum. Mertz’s final words written for her website were,

“At 85, Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels) is enjoying her cats, her garden, lots of chocolate, and not nearly enough gin.”

You will be deeply missed!

But now to quote another Mertz (Ethel), “But enough of the sentiment, on with the show.”

Books Rekindled Best of 2013

These are the best books I read this year. Most, thought not all, came out or saw their paperback release in 2013.  Here they are, in no particular order–except for Flora & Ulysses; I think that was my very favorite.

Best Books


  • Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Children’s, Adventure)   Review   Buy
  • Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby (Children’s/YA, Adventure)   Review   Buy
  • Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones (Children’s/YA, Mystery)   Review   Buy
  • Reality Boy by A.S. King   (YA)   Review   Buy
  • Scowler by Daniel Kraus   (YA, Horror)   Review   Buy
  •  A Wilderness of Error by Errol Morris (Adult Nonfiction, Criminal Justice)  Review   Buy

Honorable Mentions


  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Adult Fiction, Dark Fairytale)   Review   Buy
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (YA, Dystopian)  Buy
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (Adult Nonfiction, Humor Essays) Review   Buy
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Adult Fiction, Mystery/Adventure)   Review   Buy

Lists Upon Lists!

I’ve gathered up a number of lists going around if you need to dig a little deeper (or broader) in your quest for new books.  Some adult fiction titles that I’ve seen appearing on many of them, and that I’m itching to get my hands on, include:


  • MaddAddam (Oryx & Crake) by Margaret Atwood

Still Haven’t Had Enough?! You’re On Your Own Now

Adult (Mostly)

Children’s & Young Adult




2 thoughts on “The 2013 Round-Up!

  1. Julia- I love your list 🙂 And also loved Barbara Peters’ Elizabeth Peabody series too! I didn’t know you read them= she will be much missed. But also, just in case you missed them, or need more to read – my two favorite books I read in 2013 were Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (I think it actually came out in 2012) and Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum, set right here in Chicago about disabled teens living in a youth home in Englewood. Check them out! I hope all is going great with you. I would love to get together and talk about books sometime! xxoo Bronwyn

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