With the end of 2013 rapidly approaching and with best book lists appearing everywhere I thought it was high time I jumped on the bandwagon and listed my favourites. I've actually read over 60 books in 2013 so to help me narrow the choice down I've only included new books. Perhaps I'll make another list of books I loved this year that were published before 2013 soon? As it is my list contains a nice round number of eleven books!
Anyway in no particular order here are they are;
The Humans by Matt Haig
Those of you who know me won't be at all surprised to see The Humans listed here. A book about an alien turned out to be one of the most moving, thoughtful and life-affirming books I've ever read. If you're still putting off reading it because you think it's sci-fi and you don't like sci-fi then put that preconception aside and pick up this wonderful book.
Road to Rouen by Ben Hatch
One of Amazon's best books of 2013 and easily one of mine too. If you've ever travelled in a car with children, or indeed been a child travelling in a car you will love this. Funny, poignant and honest, it made me laugh and cry (and gave me some useful tips for smuggling food into theme parks!)
*relentlessly me - a memoir of an extraordinary friendship* by David H with Tim M
This was a deeply intense and personal book for me to read dealing as it does with the suicide of David Hurst's best friend Tim. Having lost my brother to suicide there was so much I could identify with. Heart-breaking, honest and raw but also funny and heart-warming. It's a book about the worst of life but also the best too. I felt better for reading it.
Life Knocks by Craig Stone
The story of Colossus Sosloss who ends up living with a reclusive and racist Muslim landlord. With a narrative that switches from past to present, I loved this hilarious, tear jerking yet uplifting rollercoaster read, it's quirky gem of a book by an indie author with a particularly unique line in unusual metaphors.
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Let nobody tell you books for young adults are less complex or involving than books for adults. More Than This is quite simply a stunning work of literature that deserves every plaudit that will surely come its way. Dark, disturbing, thought-provoking, uplifting...there are so many adjectives I could choose to describe More Than This but ultimately what I want to say is a straightforward "read it".
The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
Another book by Patrick Ness, I loved The Crane Wife. Based on a Japanese folk story with a lyrical and timeless quality it drew me in and made me want to slow my reading down so I could really savour every beautifully written word. A gorgeous treat of a book.
The Many Lives of Samuel Beauchamp (a demon's story) by Michael Siemsen
This is actually the sequel to A Warm Place Called Home which I haven't read but is now definitely on my to read list. However, I don't feel it's necessary to have read the first to enjoy this scary yet thoughtful book. It's more of a psychological thriller than a shock horror with complex characters and a well written and involving plot. To tempt you further you can watch a Cinematic Book Trailer here.
Dead Set by Will Carver
This is the third book in a series but as yet the first I have read. Whilst I would recommend you read the books in the correct order, I still thoroughly enjoyed this enthralling read. An intelligent, unpredictable and chilling thriller, the first two books are on my list of must reads for 2014.
Terra by Mitch Benn
A story about aliens that is also a classic fish out of water story, the familiarity in Terra though never feels stale. Tense and dark but also charming and moving, this tale about aliens is actually very human.
Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain by George Mahood
The perfect antidote to those cynical "Broken Britain" newspaper articles. This is a journey through Britain that is much more than a travelogue. A laugh out loud book that is also a timely reminder of the decency of people.
Kicking The Sky by Anthony De Sa
This isn't actually published in the UK until March 2014 but I read an advance copy and have included it here because I hope I can persuade some of you to add it to your tbr lists. Set against the abduction, rape and murder of the Shoeshine Boy in Toronto in 1977, this raw and shocking book isn't an easy read but it is powerful and honest.
How many of my choices have you read? What were your favourite new books of 2013?