chasing bawa’s 2013 picks

31 December, 2013

I’ve been rather lax this year. I’ve participated in some challenges but forgot the wrap-ups, I have a lot of reviews I still need to write about books I really loved – why are they the hardest to write? And I still have a lot of books I was planning to read this year which remain untouched. But, I did have a fabulous reading year filled with so many really good books and I can’t wait to share my thoughts even if it means I may post my reviews next year. Life, eh?

So my eleven picks of the year in alphabetical order are:

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Bellman & Black

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies

China Star by Bartle Bull
China Star

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser
Questions of Travel

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
The Rook

Silence by Shusaku Endo

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Snow Child

Under The Skin by Michel Faber
Under the Skin

The Valley of Unknowing by Philip Sington
Valley of Unknowing

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed

I’ll be writing about some of these in the next few months but do hope you’ll give them a try!

2013 was also a strong year for sequels. I really enjoyed Danielle Trussoni’s Angelopolis and Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight, two very original and compelling takes on angel lore and I can’t wait to read more.

And a special mention goes to Xu Xi’s History’s Fiction: Stories from the City of Hong Kong which was an unexpected find for me – a collection of beautiful, finely-tuned short stories.

So have you read any of these books? And what was your favourite read of the year?

18 Responses to “chasing bawa’s 2013 picks”

  1. Tony Says:

    Loved ‘Silence’ – I’ve just finished another Endo for ‘January in Japan’. Hope you have a great year in 2014 🙂

  2. I need to make sure I get to The Goldfinch next year. I should also read more Butler!

    Happy New Year, Sakura!

  3. Mystica Says:

    Making a note of several of them specially the Michelle de Kretser one. My favourite read was Alice Steinbach’s Without Reservations. It got me thinking!!!!

  4. aartichapati Says:

    Ok, in 2014, I SHALL READ DONNA TARTT. Perhaps not The Goldfinch, but at LEAST The Secret History.

  5. I need to get back to Bellman and Black. Love that cover you have pictured, hadn’t seen that one.

    Hillary Mantel is an author on my list to try (a list that is already enormous and 2014 hasn’t quite begun).

    Hope you have a wonderful reading year in 2014!

  6. Simon T Says:

    I love The Snow Child, it was on my shortlist of 13, but didn’t quite make the top ten!

    • sakura Says:

      As you can see, I couldn’t keep mine down to 10! Snow Child was just a beautifully written book and, although I wouldn’t have picked it up myself, I’m glad my book group did!

  7. Wasn’t Under the Skin fantastic? Such a weird read – I couldn’t put it down.

  8. TracyK Says:

    I have not read any of these. The Snow Child sounds good, based on your review (and definitely not the kind of book I normally would try). I too have a hard time reviewing a book I liked a lots. It feels like the reasons are nebulous when I like books that much.

    • sakura Says:

      Hahaha, I really struggle too because you want to put all your thoughts down and do it justice. I do hope you give The Snow Child a go – it really surprised and captivated me.

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