This was a very hard year for me personally, but I’m happy to say it was a great reading year. Ever since graduating from university I’ve found more and more time to devote to reading and I feel so much better when books are a significant part of my laugh. I was hard to choose a favorites list from this year’s reads, but I tried. (Note: these are in no kind of order.)
If I had to pick a favorite book of 2013, After Dark would definitely be near the top, if not at the very top of the list. This was the last novel I read in my Murakami binge and it was such a unique and special experience. After Dark is not only different from any other novel I’ve read, but it’s very different from all of Murakami’s other novels.
Choosing two books by the same author seems biased but 2013 was very much a Year of Murakami for me as I read eight of his works in one year. I’ve chosen Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche because I almost never read nonfiction, but somehow this became one of my top three favorite Murakami works. Not only is the content interesting but the way Murakami organizes and tells the stories involved in the gas attack is interesting.
I “discovered” Mo Yan towards the end of 2013 and tackled Sandalwood Death as my first taste of his work. As the story was centered around a method of torture I was a little hesitant and I little excited to see how it’d turn out. I fell in love with Mo Yan’s style through this novel and have a stack of others waiting for me to read.
Another author I read a lot of this year was Ursula K. Le Guin. I was already a fan of her Earthsea cycle and decided to read all of the books in her Hainish cycle, which were more science fiction where Earthsea was fantasy. I enjoyed all of the books and short stories immensely, but The Left Hand of Darkness was definitely my favorite.
Why did I do this to myself? A friend told me about Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and he was so enthusiastic that I just had to try it out. Now I’m hooked and have fourteen massive fantasy novels to read (I should be excited, I know). I’ve already purchased the second and third book and hopefully next year I can finish both.