Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Top Ten Best Reads for 2013

This idea came from Honey de Peralta and I am a week late but, as the saying goes, better late than never. The guidelines of the meme are as follows:

Any book you include in the list…
  • should be something you finished reading from Jan. 1, 2013 up to Dec. 15, 2013 (just so there's a cut-off)
  • should be a new book read, not a re-read
  • doesn't have to be a book that was published in 2013
  • can be any book, written by any author, published by any publishing house, company, or person

And so, here are my ten best reads for 2013:

Graphic Novels:
 1. Sandman Vol. 1: Prelude and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman appears to simply write a good story but he takes me to the realm of the subconscious. Very Freudian. And I like Freud.
2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: Yang reminds me of the relevance of folk stories and how the teachings and philosophical beliefs embedded in these stories make up our moral fiber.

3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This is Harry Potter for adults. I did not enjoy it as much as the HP books, but it sure showed me another side of magic. If anything, Grossman has invited me to let go out of the HP universe. It's time to level up.
4. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hr. Bookstore by Robin Sloan: A delightful read. I read this after The Magicians so it restored my faith back to good old romantic fantasy.

Books (print)
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: Some books bring you back to childhood. This book made me recall what magical things and beings I met as a child. Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
6. The Hobbit & Philosophy by Bassam, Bronson & Irwin: Learned loads from Father Tolkien and modern philosophers. Play is important to adult and child; Walk and know the lay of the land; Take courage when you're offered an adventure and seize it with both arms for the rewards are beyond gold and jewels; There are life experiences that will change your view of the world once you made the choice of taking that open road; Not all who wander are lost!
7. The Shallows and What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr - The human brain NEEDS print! Enough said.
8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Ah... this is the definitive young adult novel. How can Rowell make reading so intimate?
9. Every Day by David Levithan - The main character is named A, as in absurd. But. The concept is so cool. Despite the many lacunas, the concept works because the reader wonders and ponders and thinks. A good book, despite its flaws can do that - challenge you, the reader to think about logic and how it can be defied through fantastic storytelling. My 16 year old son is loving it at the moment, and to think that he could not finish a thick book anymore!
10. The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven - A very Filipino family drama that I wish to see on TV or in a movie house! Should this happen, I hope the scriptwriter retains the smart humor and the delicious descriptions of conflict that Soliven provided her characters with.

Here's to another productive year of reading in 2014!

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