Reading Recommendations of 2013


Based on the books I read this year, I’ve created a brief list of recommendations for select situations. And for your convenience, I’ve added an estimated reading time for the average passionate reader. (link to book details provided at the end of this list)

Let’s do it!

If you think kid’s literature can’t sensitively and intelligently handle tough issues, you should read:
Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt (3-5 days)

Heart of a Shepherd
, by Rosanne Parry
(2-3 days)

If you think all fairy tales are trivial, you should read:
The Night Fairy, by Laura Schlitz (1 day)

If you’ve never read anything about the soldiers who went to Iraq, and you haven’t the foggiest idea what actually happened there, you need to read:
The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel (1 week)

immediately followed by: Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel (1 week)

If you’ve never known a person who set out to fix the world’s problems, you should read:
The Heart and the Fist: the education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal, by Eric Greitens (1 week)

If you think Michael Crichton can’t write anything crappy, you should read: Micro, by Michael Crichton (3 sad days)

If there was ever a moment in your childhood when you felt like your friends intentionally excluded you, then you’ll cry when you read:
Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper (2 days)

If you’ve EVER wondered how technology and social media will be integrated in our future lives, and really want a believable story about it, you will LOVE:
Existence, by David Brin (1 week)

If you ever struggle with memories of a loved one, life-after-death, reincarnation or other questions around death, you may be profoundly touched by:
The Returned, by Jason Mott (2-3 days)

If big, sweeping, majestic stories make your heart thump with happiness, you must read:
The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende (1 week)

If you just feel like shit with despair and weariness, you will be glad to read:
Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan (2 days)

If you’re wound too tightly about the Target credit card breech and Netflix dumping some viewing selections, you need to read:
The World is a Carpet: Four Season in an Afghan Village, by Anna Badkhen (1 week)

If you get fired up about the things you read online, or if you tend to click on breathless headlines that promise details about rage-inciting stories, you should read:
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, by Ryan Holiday (3-4 days)

If you love zombie stories but really crave realistic, in-depth tales, you’ll enjoy:
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks (3-4 days)

If you think you know childhood poverty, you should read:
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls (3-4 days)

If you want to discover a very clever, intelligent and funny writer, you should read:
I was told there’d be cake, by Sloane Crosley (3-4 days)

If you think people in advertising are so cool and everything about the ad business is so sexy and happens exactly like they show you in movies, then you’ll probably enjoy the flaming bullshit that is:
Syrup, by Max Barry (whatever you want to waste)

If you’ve never paused to think about the challenges, responsibilities, and exquisite beauty of parenthood;
If you’ve ever struggled with establishing an identity that seems so different from that of your family;
If you’ve never read a book that hurt so much that you had to set it down and put it away for one or two days;
If you’ve ever looked at a family with a differently-abled child and felt pity;
you will benefit from reading:
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon (3-4 weeks)

Got to my Goodreads page for full reading list and links to book details.

2 thoughts on “Reading Recommendations of 2013

  1. Actually, re: Michael Crichton — I think a majority of what he wrote in his later years was largely Luddite, fear-mongering crap. He kind of crapped the bed somewhere along the way.

    I already have these ones in my reading list:
    Thank You for Your Service
    The Heart and the Fist

    This was the first year in which I didn’t keep close tabs on what I’d read, largely because a lot of what I did was re-reading (unemployed, after all).

    Are you on Goodreads?

  2. Yes, I am on Goodreads! You recommended “The Things They Carried” to me, which I also really, really appreciated. Have you read the three you listed or are they on your ‘to read’?

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