It's always hard to do a post on books I've enjoyed cause as you may know, I won't finish a book I'm not completely and totally into so basically, if I read it, I thought it was pretty awesome. I don't suffer through books anymore--not even mediocre ones. There's simply not enough time. I read a lot of amazing books in 2013. I discovered Dennis Lehane whose books spoke to my soul. I read all of his Kenzie/Genarro series and cried when it was finished. His books are like drugs. All this time he's been out there, and I had no idea how mind-blowing his work was! I also discovered Chelsea Cain whose books I marathoned over a 5 day period during which I did not sleep. Naturally, me being me, I read Elizabeth Smart's book when it came out. It was extremely well-written and gripping--and of course terribly sad and disturbing. But it had a happy ending, and I think she is one of the most heroic people I've ever read about.
Two of my other favorite authors (and friends) released the second books in their series last year and I thoroughly enjoyed those and cannot wait for more! Carrie Butler's Courage and Dana Mason's Precious Embrace.
Also my friend, Michael Infinito released his second novel, 12:19, which is a thrill a minute and extremely fascinating.
I did not read Karin Slaughter's new book. Not because I didn't want to--you all know by now she is my favorite. I mean I nearly passed out when I met her--but out of protest of the price of the ebook. I don't mind spending $10 to $12 on a memoir like Elizabeth Smart's or the book I'm going to talk about. Given what these women went through, the least I can do is fork over $10-12 in support of them telling their stories. But for a regular old fiction ebook, I think it is absolutely appalling that a publisher would charge more than $7.99 for an ebook. I mean really. It's not like they have to produce it all over again every time someone orders it. Luckily, some of the Big 5 have caught on and heavily discounted some of their older titles which allowed me to discover Lehane and Cain. I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas so I will likely order Slaughter's new book in hardback which I can actually get cheaper than the ebook, unless the ebook comes down in price. And for the record, it is KILLING me not to be able to read it. It's not that I don't want to support my favorite author. I know she's not the one who sets the price, but I don't want to encourage all this $12.99-for-an-ebook nonsense. (Also, I've seen ebooks priced as high as $14.99. Yeah. Total B.S.) So yeah, as a reader, I'm going to stop bending over for the Big 5. That's just how it is. They can take their overpriced ebooks and shove them . . . okay well, you get the point. (By the way, I think more and more readers are going to turn to indie books for this same reason which I think is awesome. Hopefully the Big 5 will figure out a way to compete without alienating all their readers.)
But the book I read last year that was so good, so poignant, so riveting, so disturbing, and so well-written that it was life-changing was a memoir by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett called A House in the Sky. I didn't expect this book to be all that it was. If you don't know, Amanda Lindhout was a Canadian in her 20s who routinely traveled the world. She was somewhat of a professional traveler. After awhile she began dabbling in journalism. In 2008, she and her ex-boyfriend traveled to Somalia for a story and were abducted and held for ransom for 18 months. This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Period. I don't read a lot of memoirs. I don't read much outside of my genre anymore, actually, but I saw Amanda Lindhout on Dateline and the interview was so good, I simply had to read her book. I was not disappointed. It's not for everyone. As I said, there are parts that are deeply disturbing. But if you think you can handle it, you should definitely check it out.
What did you read last year that blew your mind?