Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Favorites

We each chose up to four of our favorite books from 2013 to feature here. We can definitely tell you that it was very hard to choose. So many great novels written this year. Can't wait to see what's in store for 2014!


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I have never read a book like Me Before You. It's an amazing story all around. I can't explain it but I've never thought I can experience such emotions from a novel. I know this might sound odd, but it's the most wonderful heartbreaking story I've ever read.

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler (Reviewed here)
Never in a million years would I have thought Calling me Home was Julie's debut. If someone handed me the book without a finalized cover or no author information, I would definitely have thought that Julie had written a few previous novels. It was extremely refreshing to read a fiction story that covers race issues.

Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany (Reviewed here)
I love how Amy Hatvany writes about women's relationships with each other. Her stories are always mixed with heart wrenching emotions...some sad and some happy. As I said in my review "Amy has an extraordinary way of capturing her audience and really grasping the souls of each character."

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams (Reviewed here)
Because Overseas, Beatriz's debut, blew me away, it wasn't surprising that A Hundred Summers did too. It's filled with romance, drama and a little bit of mystery. Because the story goes back and forth between two time periods, it's almost as if I was being pulled through a time portal. What makes this book even more special was that I had the pleasure of seeing Beatriz again (already met her last spring) in June. She's just wonderful.

Melissa A:

The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate (Reviewed here)
Outstanding debut novel; a treat for all foodies and anyone who likes a creative chick lit story. The fact that it takes place in DC helped to seal the deal, as well.

Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr (Reviewed here)
Meredith shows how she totally gets what it's like to be a book blogger and attaches a story to it that's easy to fall in love with! The characters are so much fun and Kimberly is easy to root for!

Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink  by Kim Gruenenfelder
Sometimes I just need ultimate perfection in a chick lit novel and this one has it all: Girlfriends, gay best friends, travel to exotic places, romance....and cake!

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café by Mary Simses (Reviewed here)
Beautifully descriptive and a wonderful story about love and family. Perfect story to cozy up to on a cold day or bring to the beach in the summer.

Melissa P:

My favorite was Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand. I always love her books and this one was no different. She draws you in and makes you feel as though you really know the characters and you live the story. I especially loved how she made it seem as though the mother of the bride, who is deceased, was as much alive as the rest of the characters.


Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster (Reviewed here)
The relatable characters and made the story believable. Clever twists and turns in the story with a great overall message.

May I Be Happy by Cyndi Lee (Reviewed here)
To quote my review of the book, "Reading Cyndi's story was like having coffee with a friend discussing some deeply intimate thoughts about our bodies and exploring why we feel the way we do." And it gave me so many ideas to ponder not only at that moment, but also at a later date, as well. Lastly, this memoir is written in an interesting structure that keeps the mind engaged.


Frisky Business by Clodagh Murphy (Reviewed here)
This was a laugh-out-loud book with intrigue and friskiness throughout, it was a book I didn't want to put down. It was my introduction to an author I'll be keeping an eye out for in future.

The Valentine's Card by Juliet Ashton
A fantastic debut novel. As a reader you are instantly drawn into Orla, the main character's heartache when her boyfriend dies and the unfolding story which questions whether Orla ever knew him at all. So cleverly written, some great twists, very moving and had me gripped throughout.


Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
Pure hilarity, with interesting, complex characters and a situation that maybe some of us wish we could be in. I loved this book!

Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews (Reviewed here)
I devoured this book. The characters were interesting, and the descriptions were so well illustrated that I felt like I was right there the whole way through.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax (Reviewed here)
I was hesitant to start this one, but I found that not only did it suck me in and make me want to read ALL of Wendy Wax's other books, but it made me want to start watching Downton Abbey as well. An excellent book.


Helen Wan’s compelling debut novel The Partner Track (reviewed here), a first person look at the daily slights endured by a brilliant, hard-working (and single without children) Asian-American female lawyer.

The Promise of Stardust, Priscille Sibley’s novel about a neurosurgeon torn between his brain-dead wife’s desire not to be kept alive by machines, and the fetus she carries.

These are two completely different stories, but they both take current, somewhat controversial issues – do minorities need help getting ahead in the corporate world? Does a brain-dead woman’s desire to die outweigh her child’s right to life? -- and use them to create captivating characters who have no easy answers.


About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk
Fantastically funny and a breath of fresh air. Her characters are relateable and the story is well written. She has become one of my favourite new authors.


Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
It reminded me of what chick lit is supposed to be: hilarious, but also witty and incisively intelligent. In a lot of ways, Helen Fielding is the matriarch of the genre, and she still does it better than anyone else.

The Heart Whisperer by Ella Griffin (Reviewed here)
Full of emotion, tragedy, and occasional doses of humor, the book is a compelling tale that gradually reveals itself, bit by bit, as the mystery around a woman’s death comes to light.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
It's an unique romance I can't imagine not reading and everyone I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience.

The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd
A widow deals with her grief by purchasing a brownstone and dabbling into the private lives of the tenants she personally selects. It's been called a "literary peep show."

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I fell in love with reading after being introduced to Charles Dickens, Great Expectations. The Goldfinch is being called Dickensian in scope, and having read it, I concur. It's broader than your average chick-lit, but certainly contains all the elements of a great story; a vast landscape, interesting, memorable characters, intrigue, suspenseful storyline. But the best part is, at it's core, it's about how art can ultimately right all wrongs, rise above all evils. Art offers hope.

1 comment:

Marilyn Brant said...

Wonderful book choices, ladies!! I loved reading your 2013 faves ;).
Happy New Year!