Saturday, 11 January 2014
Books I loved in 2013
Note: this photo does not contain nor represent ALL the books I read and loved in 2013. There were many, many others.
Reading is one of my favourite pleasures in life. When other girls go mad about shoe shops, I can spend hours in bookstores. My idea of paradise is a huge room full of books, a couch, a pot of coffee...and lots of free time. Going to the library is something I look forward to and I finish pretty much every day with a few pages of the book I'm currently reading - even if I don't get to bed until 2 am. So it's no surprise that I fall in love with books.
2013 was a great book year for me. Now, when I say 2013 I mean the books I personally read during that year, not books that came out in 2013. I think I only read a couple of books in 2013 that actually came out that year. But I discovered many books, some of them old, others new, that I wished would never end.
Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: ok, I admit it, I loved the movie first. But I'm so glad the movie (one of my favourites!) led me to the book. This very touching tale of mental illness is both very well-written and very capturing. I loved the way this author has worked on the characters: they're interesting and far from stereotypical. I love Tiffany and I think Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job capturing the essence of the character in the movie. Very well-deserved Oscar winner!
Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner: a true tale of three best friends travelling the world together! This book was given to me by my own best friend (the one to be my bridesmaid) who knew I'd enjoy it. I loved the fact that this is a true story, I loved following the girls on their journeys and reading their personal diaries. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves travel! It's also a great friendship story.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I'd never read this before and I read half of it before going to see the movie. That way, I knew the back story but didn't know the ending - perfect. The movie was really amazing (I stand by that opinion), but it was the book that made me discover Fitzgerald's fantastic writing - I can't wait to read more. One of the greatest writers of all time.
An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava: quirky language, a unique way of storytelling and, yes some wonderful weirdness. It's not as centered around the objects as I expected: it focuses on Stephanie and her first years in Paris. Read it if you're a sucker for adorkable.
Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger: entertaining, but far from OMG. Read my review here.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett: one of the best books I've ever read in my life. I found it at Greenwich Market for £3 - what an amazing find. I remembered loving the movie and the book didn't disappoint - amazing language, a gripping story and truly unputdownable. Just seeing it described as the "anti-Gone with the Wind" piqued my interest - I hate Gone with the Wind - in my opinion it's one of the most racist, anti-feminist, saccharine things that's ever been put on paper, whereas The Help is a beautiful, truthful and insightful story that will stay with you and make you think.
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw: a very original portrayal of modern-day Shanghai, featuring five people that each are trying to make it in the city. I especially identified with Phoebe, a young girl who moves to Shanghai from a small village and dreams of great things ahead. It reminded me of my first months in Milan. This is also extremely well-written.
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I just finished this and loved it. Her language was so fluid and beautiful and I loved this unique mix of fantasy and reality. Only one problem: some parts of the story didn't make sense to me. Why did other people know things that Henry didn't? Isn't he supposed to be the time traveller? The way I see it, he should know things that others don't. Or am I getting this all wrong? The ending will make you cry a bucket. If, like me, you're on a plane when reading it, be warned: the person next to you will turn around and shoot you "why are you seated next to me of all people, you bawling weirdo" looks.
Next up in 2014: the third Bridget Jones book and a Diana Vreeland biography. What are you reading? I'd love some tips!