Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Year in Books

Hello, my darlings, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you had the most wonderful time, and wish you all a year filled with hope, love, laughter, and many, many books.
It's so good to be back from my short break. I needed it badly, but I need you guys even more. :)
Methinks it's the perfect time to look back at all I've accomplished, both in reading and blogging, and what could have been better. So here goes.

I read 253 books in 2013, somewhat less than in 2011 or 2012, but it's still a number I'm very happy with.
In this case, 253 books equal 76240 pages read, not counting the audiobooks, and there were many. When put like that, the number is staggering.
Only 8 of those books (around 3%) got a clean 5-star rating  and there were about 10 more with a 4.5 star-rating.

Here are my 5-star reads in 2013:

Bruised by Sarah Skilton
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Wrong Ways Down by Stacia Kane
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Don't be surprised by the absence of Horde or Bronze Gods by Ann Aguirre on my list. Neiher is included because I was lucky enough to beta read both as she was writing them in 2012. But they are PERFECT!

Here are some of the things I'd like to point out:

Favorite female characters: Josie Moraine (Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys) and Charley Davidson (Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones).

Favorite male characters: Richard Gansey III (The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater) and Terrible (Wrong Ways Down by Stacia Kane).

Book that made me cry the most: The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Favorite debut: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (Nominated for the William C. Morris award!)

What took me by surprise: Written in Red by Anne Bishop. Also, Bruised by Sarah Skilton.

Best book out of my comfort zone: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Disappointment of the year: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. 

Favorite quote:
“A secret is a strange thing.
There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.

And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it.

Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate.

All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.” 
Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

Tomorrow, I'll be posting my favorite covers in 2013, and after that, my favorite adult releases and my favorite YA books released in 2013. All posts will include international giveaways. I hope you'll stop by to check them out.

January 3rd:

January 4th:

January 6th:

All banners created by Le Non Design.

Again, happy new year, my lovelies. Please share your favorites in the comments.


  1. You know, I feel like I gave a decent number of 5 Star ratings last year, only because I was lucky enough to receive such great recs from bloggers like you, Maja!(: Gansey is one of my favorite male characters too - I just adored The Dream Thieves! - and Written in Red, which I just read, also pleasantly surprised me. I'm looking forward to its sequel, not to mention the next Aguirre novel (Silver Mirrors, is it?). Anyhow, great post, Maja, and fantastic job with your reading challenge! May 2014 be just as rewarding!(:

  2. I loved The Dream Thieves as well, Maja! Richard Gansey III is a worthy favorite fictional male for 2013. I just hope everything works out in the end! I still want to read Written and Red. Looking forward to your books covers! :)

  3. Awesome year :D I want some of those

  4. Happy New Year Maja!!
    I'm glad that your break was fantastic! Some time off really is very much needed on occasion!
    I agree with The Dream Thieves, it was such a fantastic book! I'll be re-reading it before the third one comes out!

  5. CRAZY how few 5-stars came out of all that reading. I've gotten to be a very picky reviewer and so few books get five stars. Written in Red was such a happy surprise and A Murder of Crows, the second in the series, keeps up the momentum.

  6. You're just like me Maja, you hold those 5 star ratings in a death grip and only hand them out on the rarest of occasions:) LOVE IT! I still need to read Bronze Gods (I KNOW!), but I'm sure it's just as amazing as all her other books. I can't wait to get caught up on Charley Davidson too. Looking forward to the next couple days of favorites from you!

  7. Congrats on reading so many books this past year (feels so weird to say that!), that is awesome!

    Here is to another year filled with fantastic books and lots of 5 star reviews. ;)

  8. Ahhh I forgot Bronze Gods!!

    I managed to read 167 books for 2013. I'm happy with that number because at the beginning of the year my goal was 60. I just stopped reading and wasn't sure I could ever get my enthusiasm back again. But I did of course - so that number is mostly from the second half of the year.

    I haven't read any of the books from your list :-( I like you you broke it down a little too. Great idea.

  9. I love favorites posts!
    A few of your favorite were mine as well, or very close. I'm listening to Written in Red and really loving it. The story is amazing so far (the audio narrator is only okay for me, but I think she's growing on me).
    I NEED The Bone Season because it's on so many favorites. Right now my goal is to get some of those books on my TBR knocked off so I can add to the pile (we'll see how THAT goes...). I'm really looking forward to more of your favorites!

  10. Oh, and wow, 253 is IMPRESSIVE! I did 203 but I read a lot of middle grade last year, which almost feels like I cheated. Oh well... It's because I started a business so I actually work for 6-8 hours a day instead of reading so much.

  11. 253 is awesome -- I couldn't manage that!
    I have Out of the Easy and am truly determined to read it in 2014. Share your love for In the Shadow of Blackbirds, If You Find Me and Dream Thieves..
    I enjoyed Coldest Girl, but having different opinions is what makes blogging so fun :)

    Jen @ YA Romantics

  12. Happy New Year, Maja! It sounds like you've had an amazing bookish year, 253 is amazing! I managed to read 106 and I'm quite proud of myself considering I had to take a long blogging break. It feels good to be back. :)

    I have Out of The Easy on my TBR pile so I need to get to it soon. I am so glad that I'm not the only one who was disappointed with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - I had to abandon it halfway through. I'm looking forward to the next Best of 2013 posts, they're such a good idea :D

  13. Happy New Year, lovely girl! I wish we could meet up and drink some coffee and chat. I read 218 books last year and I haven't gone back and counted the five stars but I am sure it is around a dozen. Loved Horde though. I am currently listening to Dream Thieves and loving it. I really liked In the Shadow of Blackbirds as well. Here is to some terrific reads in 2014! Hugs!

  14. Happy New Year! I wish you all te best for 2014 and I hope you'll have a lot of wonderful reads!

  15. I'm sorry...I'm stuck at you read 253 books! Whoa, that is so amazing :) I use to read a more books when I was younger, but the last few years have decreased a little bit. I read 113, I believe and I didn't have that 5 star ratings either, but I did like a lot of books :) Good luck in 2014!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  16. wow grats on reading so many books! I hope this year will be just as productive for you :) I wish I could have done more then my intended 150 but it is what it is :)
    Glad to see that Charley made your favorite female character!

  17. Awesome job and The Blackbirds book is on my wishlist!!

  18. Happy New Year, you read so many books! I hope you can read as much or even more books in this year. I can't wait to read In the shadow of blackbirds, so many people loved it.

  19. Happy New Year, Maja. Wow, you read so many amazing books- what a great year. I love your quote from The Dream Thieves- really one of the best reads I had this year too. Wonderful list. Looking forward to seeing what's up for The Nocturnal Library in 2014. Cheers :)

  20. I totally agree with the book that made you cry the most! My favourite debut of 2013 was also In the Shadow of the Blackbirds. I can't wait to read Cat's adult book and The Cure for Dreaming. I'm so glad to see Aristotle and Dante and The Dream Thieves make your 5-stars list. Those two were always 5-star reads for me. Out of the Easy and The Bone Season two other brilliant books. And I absolutely love your favourite quote, Maja. :)

  21. I need to read Bruised and several other of these books. I loved Out of the Easy, The Dream Thieves, Written in Red and The Bone Season. I like that you're breaking down your best of list into several posts. Makes it much more manageable!

  22. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was a major disappointment for me too this year. :( LOVE Holly Black but this was terrible, I couldn't even finish. If You Find Me is totally a book that'd be out of my comfort zone too but I think I should check it out, I've heard lovely things. You had a fantastic year in reading! 253 is crazy! I ALMOST made it to 250 this year but not quite so that's my goal for this year. :) Happy New Year!

  23. Happy belated new year! So glad you had a nice break. I took an extra long break to travel and spend time with family, but it's so nice to be back! I adore that quote from The Dream Thieves. And yay for the Gansey love! :-) Those banners are gorgeous, btw. Hope your 2014 is full of fab reads!


Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.