The Best and the Worst of 2013

The year 2013 ended with my 23rd book read, which missed my initial target of 25 books.  But that’s okay.  I read some pretty long books last year.  This year’s target is 30 books.

In the past year, I rated nine of them a full 5 stars.  Why so many?  Well, I think I chose some pretty good books to read.  Many of them are popular and highly rated.  On the other hand, I did read two that I rated 2 stars.

So, I thought that I’d show you my top 5 books of the year and the worst of the year.  Let’s start at the bottom.

Worst of the Year

moonrush#23 – MoonRush

This book was set to be a fun one to read.  I was expecting an adventure, and I did get one.  However, it was plagued with problems.  The characters were unrealistic and cliche.  The science in this science fiction was so incredibly wrong, I couldn’t suspend my disbelief.  They got basic things wrong, including how to create artificial gravity with a spinning space station.  The narration was filled with terrible puns and conversational language.  Some people like it, but it wasn’t for me.

Top 5 of 2013

dune#5 Dune

Although this was written in the 1960s, I found it to be just as incredible to read today as it must have been back then.  I enjoyed this thoroughly.  It showed a distant future with some great world-building, an evolved culture, new religions, and more.  It also showed what it would be like to live in a high tech society without computers.  It’s definitely one of my favourites of the year.  But there are 4 more!


thegreathunt#4 The Great Hunt

The first book of The Wheel of Time didn’t get a full 5 stars, but this one did.  It came out quickly with a thoroughly enjoyable story.  The first book started slowly and was quite predictable, but this one was quick and had plenty of twists.  I have a feeling that this will continue to be a great story in future parts.  I really look forward to that.



silmarillion#3 The Silmarillion

This isn’t really a novel.  J. R. R. Tolkien created this as a kind of way to keep his mythology straight in his mind while he wrote Lord of the Rings, but what he has here is great.  I absolutely loved it.  It reads like a combination of history book and mythology book, and was in a way a kind of religious book.  It was the basis for the history of Middle Earth.  It wasn’t dry at all, and was utterly fascinating.


aclashofkings#2 A Clash of Kings

Last year, my number one book was A Game of Thrones. This year, the second book exceeded the first.  I liked it more.  But it only gets #2.  Why?  Well, you’ll see soon.  However, this book was a great one to read.  More death, more drama, more realistic war and politics.  It had everything I liked in the first book and made it even better.  It’s a big book, but it was a joy to read all the way through.  Can’t wait for the next part.

And the Best Book of 2013 Is…

redmars#1 Red Mars

This is the book I’ve wanted to read all my life.  I love space travel, I love planetary science, I love realistic stories about colonising other planets.  It was incredible to read.  A lot of research went into writing this book, and it shows.  Robinson made a great novel here, and I would love to see it made into a movie.  I’m looking forward to the second and third installments.

So, do you agree or disagree with my choices?  Leave a comment.

6 thoughts on “The Best and the Worst of 2013”

  1. You don’t like terrible puns? And doesn’t the addition of the word ‘terrible’ make that an oxymoron? LOL! Sorry the last book you read for the year ended up being your least favorite.

    I read Dune for the first time a couple of years ago and I fully agree. I was so surprised at how relevant the novel remains and how, for the most part, it did not feel dated. It is one of those classics I will always recommend.

    The Silmarillion is one of my favs. It adds so much richness to the Lord of the Rings experience. One of these days I need to re-read it.

    I haven’t read Kim Stanley Robinson but I’ve read similar positive remarks from others who feel about it the way that you did.

    1. Actually, my worst book of the year was read early in the year. The #23 means that it’s the 23rd best book, or worst.

      I was quite surprised about how relevant Dune is today. With so much happening in the Middle East, the fact that Dune has a lot to do with Islam was quite interesting.

      I’m surprised how low The Silmarillion rates on Goodreads. Only 3.78, I believe. I was expecting something less than what I actually read. Very good surprise.

      I hope you’ll enjoy Red Mars if you read it. Very good stuff.

      1. I imagine that many people trying The Silmarillion are thinking they are getting more Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and rate the book accordingly. Which annoys me as I think a book should be rated on what it was meant to be, not on what it wasn’t.

        There are so many social, political and other things about Dune that surprised me in regards to relevancy. There were ecological/environmental ideas that seemed as if they were written in the midst of where our world is now.

        1. I agree about The Silmarillion. I’ve read that, too. It seems some people do review it as if they were expecting more of the same.

          I think we can say that Dune is relevant about so many things. I’m interested in seeing where the series goes now. I have several books to read.

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