2013: A Year in Reading

As 2014 draws closer and all of those “end-of-the-year” lists start making their appearance, I also have begun to review the events of my life from the past year. From both a personal and professional standpoint it was certainly a year of change and growth, but overall was a vast improvement over 2012. Despite all of the changes life has brought, I still have not lost my passion for reading. My reading tastes have changed over the years and the format in which I read has also changed, but my excitement at cracking the cover on a new book (or pressing play for the first time on an audiobook) has never waned.

Last year, I did a 2012 reading stats post and I thought it would be fun to repeat again this year. Compared to 2012, I read two more books this year but listened to 11 more audiobooks (than 2012). Clearly the active and busy schedule of graduate school has affected my reading habits!  It will be interesting to see if this trend (of listening to more books) continues in 2014.

Reading Stats for 2013:

Number of books read: 47

Number of paperback/hardcover: 17 (4,983 pages)

Number of e-books: 3 (2,556 e-book pages)

Number of audiobooks: 27 (479 hours and 20 minutes)

Number of fiction: 37

Number of non-fiction: 10

Average Rating (out of 5 points): 3.79

Most books read in one month: 6 books in January

Longest book read: A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin at 992 e-book pages (1216 paperback)

Longest audio book listened to: The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe at 31 parts

Number of books from BBC Challenge list: 3

Overall I’m pretty pleased with my 2013 stats. I wish I would have found more time to physically read a book (as opposed to listening) and to read more classic literature, but think I did pretty good overall considering my crazy grad school schedule.

Finally, as I did in 2012, I thought I’d list my favorite books of the year. As usual, I had a hard time picking an absolute favorite so I listed runner(s) up as well.

Best Fiction Book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


I loved this book from start to finish, and plan to try to read another Daphene Du Maurier in 2014!

Runners up: Persuasion by Jane Austen and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Best Non-Fiction Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


What to say about this awesome book that hasn’t already been said? It was sad, thought-provoking, and finally gives well-deserved recognition to the woman whose cells helped shape modern science.

Runner up: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

Best Audio Book: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson


This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 and it was well deserved in my opinion. Before listening to this fantastic audio book, I knew little about North Korea other than bits I’d read in the news headlines. This book opened up a window into this infamously secretive country, and I walked away with a much better understanding than I anticipated. In addition to gaining some understanding of the country, I really enjoyed the story of Jun Do. It was sad, sometimes funny, but most of all deeply interesting.  I also highly recommend the audio version of this book–it certainly enhanced my reading experience!

Runners up: Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, and Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky


What were your favorite reads from 2013?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Lo Paro
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 13:25:22

    47 books in grad school? Wow good for you! I also love Rebecca, and have been dying to read Trilby!


  2. Geoff W
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 10:39:46

    Boo for Persuasion not winning, but I haven’t read du Maurier yet. I loved Lacks when I read it and think it’s fascinating!


  3. exlibrisheather
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 11:09:54

    I loved Persuasion as well just not quite as much as Rebecca. It was the first du Maurier I’ve read where as Persuasion finished off all of the Austen novels for me…so maybe that had something to do with it.


  4. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 17.0 | Ex Libris
  5. Trackback: 2014: A Year in Reading | Ex Libris

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