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December 28, 2013

Top 13 Books of 2013

It is my literary duty to bring the top books read of this year to the forefront and highlight my favorites. Please note that my list is purely my opinion. It is not influenced by authors, other readers, other bloggers, or publishers that may have provided free or advance copies in exchange for an honest review. For your convenience, my original reviews of the Top 13 Books of 2013 are available by clicking the book title.



13. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

12. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

11. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

10. The Honest Toddler by Bunmi Laditan

9. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

8. Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn


7. Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

6. Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

5. Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

4. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

3. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


1. Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler


 See you next year, bookhearts!
 

December 27, 2013

Top 13 First Lines of 2013


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

13. "Honest Toddler. Not potty trained, not trying." ~ The Honest Toddler by Bunmi Laditan 

12. "I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man." ~ Six Years by Harlan Coben

11. "They found Seth Hubbard in the general area where he had promised to be, though not exactly in the condition expected. He was at the end of a rope, six feet off the ground and twisting slightly in the wind." ~ Sycamore Row by John Grisham

10. "Delicious political intrigue, shocking twists, oh-so-chic clothes, and the hottest White House affair since Marilyn sang for JFK—That's why viewers are electing Scandal their new TV (and Twitter) obsession." ~ Crazy in Love with Scandal in Entertainment Weekly

9. "Young people! With their hurrying and their worrying and their wanting all the answers now." ~ Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

8. "I acted hateful to Dorrie the first time we met, a decade or so ago. A person gets up in years and she forgets to use her filters. Or she's beyond caring." ~ Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

7. "The bedroom is strange. Unfamiliar. I don't know where I am, how I came to be here. I don't know how I'm going to get home." ~ Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

6. "Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue." ~ W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

5. "Billie's orgasm tore through her like a lightning bolt." ~ Destiny's Surrender by Beverly Jenkins

4. "Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death." ~ The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. "I held his lingam, suckled the part called the meatus. The glans. Licked his foreskin." ~ Decadence by Eric Jerome Dickey

2. "Well, I guess what the niggers is supposed to be doing is putting themselves in the path of that old sweet chariot and have it swing down and carry us home." ~ Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems by James Baldwin

1. "Frequently, I have been asked how I got to be this way. How did I, born black in a white country, poor in a society where wealth is adored and sought after at all costs, female in an environment where only large ships and some engines are described favorably by using the female pronoun—how did I get to be Maya Angelou?" ~ Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou 

 

December 26, 2013

2013 Reading Challenges

I participated in four (4) reading challenges in 2013.

2013 Reading Challenge
2013 Goodreads Challenge: Read 65 books.
Challenge Met: I read 74 books this year. (114% of goal)



2013 eBook Challenge: Read 50 eBooks.
Challenge Met: I read 63 eBooks this year. (126% of goal)



2013 Let Me Count The Ways Challenge: Read 10,001+ pages.
Challenge Met: I read 18,170 pages this year. (182% of goal)



Perpetual Kinsey Millhone Challenge: Read books in Kinsey Millhone alphabet series.
Challenge Met: I read books G-J and Kinsey and Me this year. (100% of goal)

 

December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays, Bookhearts


♫ I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas book tree ♫
 
♫ I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you ♫


 

December 23, 2013

December 22, 2013

Top 3 Series of 2013


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.  

Click the title for my previously published review.
  1. Destiny's Embrace: The Destiny Series by Beverly Jenkins
  2. Gone: Detective Michael Bennett Series by James Patterson 
  3. A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Soulja

 

December 21, 2013

Detroit: An American Autopsy

"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus: We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes." ~ City of Detroit Motto
 

"No one cared much about Detroit until the Dow collapsed in 2008, the economy melted down and the chief executives of the Big Three went to Washington, D.C., to grovel. Detroit became epic, historic, symbolic, hip even." ~ pg. 13 

Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation's poorest and recently filed for bankruptcy. To outsiders, Detroit is well known as Motown and The Motor City. Great musicians began careers here. Installment purchasing (car loans and leasing) was invented here in 1919 by General Motors. Now the foreclosure, unemployment and illiteracy rates are among the highest of big cities.

"Go ahead and laugh at Detroit. Because you are laughing at yourself." ~ pg. 15

After leaving the city two decades ago, journalist Charlie LeDuff returns home to research the city that he once knew through interviews with politicians, struggling homeowners, factory workers, homeless squatters and union heads. He doesn't simply report their answers but instead let the people tell of experiences by using their own words. LeDuff also shares his own experiences.

"At the end of the day, the Detroiter may be the most important American there is because no one knows better than he that we're all standing at the edge of the shaft." ~ pg. 16

As Charlie LeDuff writes in his Acknowledgements, "Corn does not grow alone. And books do not write themselves." I am Detroiter and thank LeDuff for writing this book of reportage about our proud city. He earned credibility in the first chapter when he correctly pronounced Gratiot "Gra-shit." I instantly thought, oh, this man knows his stuff. LeDuff is not some random author that wrote about a city he only read about in news. He actually lived here, reports the news here on Fox 2; Detroit is his home. He is not sugarcoating its history or its current status. Detroit: An American Autopsy is recommended to all: Detroiters, suburbanites, urban city residents, geography and history buffs. It is not a feel good, happy go lucky book. It tells the true unbiased story of a strong nation.

Detroit Flag Photo Credit: www.keystothecitydetroit.com
Watch the video below of a book reading by Charlie LeDuff earlier this year. Then borrow, buy or download the best nonfiction book of 2013.


Title: Detroit: An American Autopsy
Author: Charlie LeDuff
Published: February 2013
Pages: 252
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
 
 

December 20, 2013

First Lines Friday ~ TFiOS Movie Edition


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.
TFiOS First Movie Poster
 

December 18, 2013

Lit Tidbits



  • Lindsay Lohan wants to write a tell-all book. Her story has already been told in tabloids, media and an Oprah interview, so join me in rolling eyes.
  • Trayvon Martin's parents are shopping a book deal about the highly publicized death of their son.
  • Audiobooks.com is offering gift cards for subscriptions.
  • According to researchers at The New School in NYC, reading literary fiction can improve empathy.
  • Thank you, Archie Comics for donating more than $1 million worth of children's books to Toys for Tots.
  • Would you rather donate to charities for the holiday? Check out this list of 10 charities that encourage reading.
  • Maya Angelou wrote a tribute poem to honor Nelson Mandela titled "His Day Is Done." Watch the reading of the poem below.

 

December 17, 2013

US vs. UK


The UK is my hometown glory but I live in the US. The US vs. UK bookish meme compares book covers published in the two countries.

US
UK
Today's first comparison is The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. The US cover is too plain. It shows a red balloon floating in the clouds. The UK cover shows a manicured hand holding a jar. In the jar is a flying pink butterfly. There is no question as to which cover I like better: UK wins!

Total: US 22, UK 21

US
UK
Today's second comparison is The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. The US cover shows a woman facing a crowd, possibly paparazzi. There are cameras flashing. The title is scrawled across the cover in white cursive font. The UK cover shows a man in a trench coat walking across a bridge. The title is in white block font. It has a London mysterious look that is far more eye-catching. I am ending this year on a tie with the US vs. UK meme.

Total: US 22, UK 22

 

December 15, 2013

Series Sunday: Pure Sin

(Pure Sin Trilogy)


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is a new erotic romance series by Kyra Davis. The Deceptive Innocence (Pure Sin) trilogy will be released in 2014. I love the clever cover designs!

Title: Deceptive Innocence (Pure Sin #1-3)
Author: Kyra Davis
Published: 2014
Pages: 100 pages each
Edition: eBooks
Rating: To Be Determined

 

December 13, 2013

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"I pulled into the station, the needle riding on 'E.' It was a mistake. In Detroit, if possible, you don't get your gas on the east side, not even at high noon."

~ Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff