Gosh, what a year! 2013 was a great year for me: there were travelling, new friendships, love, success in studies, and of course, the re-discovery of reading! I think what eventually got me back to reading was finishing Charles Dickens’ Bleak House (4/5) which all in all took me 1.5 years to read. It made me look for other books to read and also gave me the sense of enjoyment over finishing a long but good book. Soon after that I joined Goodreads and likewise finally finished Gone With the Wind (4/5) which had been standing on my shelf, half-read.
Joining Goodreads and keeping track of my reading inspired me to read more and to look for new authors. Previously my reading was narrowed to authors I knew and had enjoyed. The recommendation feature was also handy because getting back to reading I wasn’t sure who to ask for recommendations. However, reading can be lonely if you have no-one to share your thoughts with. I eventually started to read more book blogs, follow a few booktubers, and finally in August, started my own blog. At the time I was intrigued by Tumblr – let me tell you, it’s addictive – so the Dawn of Books (version 1) started over there. However, after a couple of months I felt that the amount and speed of content was just too much for me, so in the beginning of October I switched over to WordPress and I’ve been here ever since.
At the end of April, I set my reading goal low, 15 books in 8 months, in order to keep reading a fun hobby and not to overwork myself. However, I reached my goal already in September (with E.M. Forster’s A Room with A View being my 15th book). Now, on 30th of December, the number of books I’ve read this year stands at 36 (probably will be 37 if I finish And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer tonight). WOW! I could not have believed that I could read that much in less than a year. For next year, I might actually set my goal to 50 books, just to see if it’s possible for me to read that much.
I’d like to thank all of my followers for making me smile and feel blessed. To all of you who have commented or liked my posts, thank you so much. You’ve made me feel like I’m not alone with these thoughts and that maybe I’ve managed to share my love for these books with you. I hope that 2014 will be an amazing year with lots of adventures both on the pages of books and in the real world.
To end this post, I’ve decided to shortly list some of my best and worst of 2013.
Top 5 Books Read in 2013
A classic tale of a group of rabbits setting out to the big world outside their warren. Beautiful and imaginative description of the rabbit world and their surroundings, the bravery and humanity. In a nutshell: it’s not just about rabbits.
The first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, this book daunts with its size but stuns with the fluentness with which it creates the world and the characters before you. A fantasy of epic size and detail, it deserves all the hype it has already received. Recommended read for the first day of Autumn.
Reading can be dangerous. A fun and witty short story of the Queen of England discovering the secret world of books. Alan Bennett is a genius and the book keeps you laughing from start to finish.
Second to last book of 2013, The Book Thief quickly jumped to the Top 5 books of the year. A touching story of a girl’s struggle in Nazi Germany, but not without lighter and heartwarming moments.
Book that was adapted to my favourite childhood animation movie of the same name, The Wind in the Willows has everything a good children’s book needs: excitement, friendship, magic, and absolutely beautiful writing.
Least Liked Book in 2013
There were three books in 2013 that got 2/5 rating for me: Eat, Pray, Love; Silent Playgrounds; and Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers. Out of these, I think the one that I was most disappointed by was Eat, Pray, Love by Elisabeth Gilbert. It was an experiment for me, but in the end I just didn’t connect at all with the thoughts of the main character and thus the writer. Reading is such a personal experience that I would not completely warn you off, but for me, this was not the book.
Best Movie in 2013
2013 was also a year of movies: either in theaters or at home, curled up on a sofa. I did not keep a diary of watched movies, but based on few markings in journals and a couple ticket stubs, I’d say that the best movie I saw in 2013 was The Intouchables (2011). The movie was so touching and for me, so original, that I just loved it. The friendship of the two characters, the gentleness and the roughness, and of course, the language. Loved it!
Worst Movie in 2013
This category is a bit unambiguous as me and my friends have this tradition of watching really bad movies together. We almost compete with each other in finding the worst movies for our movie nights. Watching these movies alone might be awful and boring, but with a bunch of friends it is often incredibly hilarious. I believe the worst movie that I watched this year was Hercules in New York (1969). The movie is awful, the plot is almost nonexistent and the entire movie is built around Arnold Schwarzenegger.