Favorite Reads of 2013 (Part Two)

236609Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman

I’ve noticed a trend in my reading. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction by choice, but it seems  every year there is one lengthy tome that captures my interest enough to keep me going all the way to the end. A few years ago it was The Emperor of Maladies. This year it was this stellar biography of Joseph Smith. I was teaching LDS Chuch history to my Primary (Sunday School) class of nine year olds and found myself wanting to know more and more. So I gobbled up this well researched, unbiased account of the prophet’s life. I learned so much and the more I learned the more respect I gained for this fascinating man. Combined with our visit to Kirtland this year, It was a good year for learning about Church History. I think a biography of Emma Smith is due a reading next.

16030663Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

If you love fairy tales, you will probably love this book. Jeremy Johnson Johnson lives in a small down with his depressed, reclusive father and his best friend is the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm who compiled Grimm’s Fairy Tales. When Jeremy makes a new friend, Ginger, things start to happen. Jeremy soon finds himself in the middle of his own fairy tale, and just like the original Grimm tales, things are much darker and scarier than at first they seem. I loved every minute of this fantastic genre bending story and the narrative voice of Jacob Grimm, the ghost who tells us the story, is spot on.

17262290Journey by Aaron Becker

My favorite picture book of the year. I already blogged about it here. It is a fantastic book for all ages; everyone should check it out!

16052012Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

I also blogged about this one recently. A smart, clever girl with a unique vocabulary and a love of comics is always sure to win  my heart and Flora certainly did! Also, Kate DiCamillo was recently selected as the Ambassador of Children’s Literature!

7042434On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I listened to the audio version of this 2009 Printz winner and it has stuck with me maybe more than anything I read this year. This book was originally published in Australia. It is about a girl named Taylor Markham who attends a boarding school in the country called Jellicoe School. The Jellicoe students, Townies, and Cadets wage a territory war over the surrounding country. There is so much going on in this book a short summary will in no way do it justice. There are several intertwining plot lines and it all fits together so meticulously. The characters are so real I still can’t believe they exist only in the pages of this book. And the narrator Rebecca Macauley had the perfect Australian accent to go along with this story.

17347389The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Previously blogged about here. Gosh, that was a fantastic book.

So that wraps up my favorite 2013 books. What are yours? Do you have any recommendations for me? Even though my goodreads to-read pile is always 200 books long, I am still forever on the lookout for new books to add to it! Here’s to a 2014 with as much fun and fruitful reading as the year before!

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