5 Favourite Books of 2013

15 January 2014

Everyone loves a good list of books, so here is my list of the most enjoyable reads of 2013.

Disclaimer: I'm no literary blogger so please don't expect a comprehensive review or any in depth analysis. Or even better, don't expect anything but a list of 5 books I liked reading. 

1. Island Beneath the Sea, Isabelle Allende 

 If you've read anything by Allende and like her style you won't be disappointed. This is a story of a girl from Senegal, who works as a slave in the island of Sainte-Domingue, known as today's Haiti. It is graphic at times so not for the faint-hearted, but also full of magical realism.  (3.5 stars)

2. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter

I read this book on a train from Rome to Naples and then on a terrace overlooking the shores of Capri island, so that might have clouded my judgement, but I loved it. A story of a young ambitious Italian who falls in love with an American actress holidaying in Cinque Terre in the golden times of Hollywood films. The writing style reminded me of Marquez. A perfect holiday read. (5 stars)

3. Where did you go Bernadette?, Maria Semple

I am Bernadette. It's shameful to admit how many times when reading this book I thought "I am so her". This isn't easy to admit, which you will understand why once you've read the book. Needles to say, I am now obsessed with going to Antarctica and read a lot about the case study houses from California. If for no other reason, read this book for heath purposes, as it will almost give you a six-pack it's so funny. (5/5 - can you tell I am an easy to please reader?)

4. Call of the wild, Guy Grieve

A thirty something Scottish man, a husband and a dad of two, feels restless in his office job at the Scotsman. He dreams about the wilderness and one day makes his dream a reality when he decides to live through the winter in one of the harshest places on earth -  the Interior of Alaska. From details on how to prepare yourself for an encounter with a grizzly bear to a recipe for beaver stew, this book makes for a very entertaining and fast-paced read. Warning: don't read it of you don't love your job as it will leave you daydreaming about wilderness and building your own log cabin. (5/5 - I loved it. I'm moving to Spitsbergen in case you didn't know). 

5. Trains and Lovers, Alexander McCall Smith

A collection of short stories about unrelated people who meet on a train from Edinburgh to London. 
"Imagine you’re on a train. Think about all the other people on the train with you, what their lives are or have been, the different experiences you’ve all had. But there is one thing that you undoubtedly all share: you have all been in love at one time or another." 
A very enjoyable short read. Especially if you're a commuter. (4.5/5)

So there you go. I'm always curious to hear what other people are reading. Tell me, which books have you enjoyed reading in 2013?

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