2013 highlights and favourite books

31 Dec

2013 has been a wonderful reading and blogging year again, so firstly, a huge ‘thank you’ to all the readers, authors and publishers who I’ve had so much fun discussing books with this year – it has been my best blogging year yet.

This year through blogging and reading I made an advert, met one of my all time favourite authors (the absolutely lovely Maggie O’Farrell), became part of the Romance Revolution and was quoted on a book for the first time! I read 113 books, novellas and short stories – according to Goodreads that’s 28,376 wonderful pages! It’s the most I’ve ever read in a single year. On top of that I published 279 blog posts.

As ever when I come to picking my favourite books of the year, I had trouble narrowing the list down so this year I have chosen 13 for ’13, listed in the order I read them. Do let me know what your favourites were.

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

Published by Simon and Schuster in January

Beautifully written, poignant and heart-breaking – a wonderful second novel from Ali Harris.

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell

Published by Tinder Press in February

Tinder’s debut title and another huge hit for Maggie O’Farrell – her books just get better and better!

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Published in February by Allison & Busby

This was the first book I read by Kate Forsyth and the combination of history, fairytale and romance blew me away. Kate’s second release of the year, The Wild Girl was also brilliant and highly recommended.

Wait for You by J.Lynn

Published by Harper in April

2013 has been the year that New Adult really took off and I’ve loved reading this new genre with Wait for You being my favourite New Adult title of 2013.

The Affair by Gill Paul

Published by Arrow in May

Gill Paul turns her attentions to 1960s Rome and the Taylor/Burton affair on the set of Cleopatra. I loved the glamour and behind the scenes detail of this novel.

My Notorious Life by Madame X by Kate Manning

Published by Bloomsbury in June

My absolute favourite book of the year – I can’t recommend it highly enough!

The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke

Published by Harper in May

A brilliantly gripping debut from Lucy Clarke – I couldn’t put it down.

The Life List by Lori Nelson-Spielman 

Published by Arrow in August

An excellent life-affirming debut.

Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books in September

This and the original Geek Girl (published in February) are credited with making me laugh the most this year. My favourite young adult book of 2013.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Published by Penguin in September

I’ve been a fan of Jane Green for many years and this book reminded me just how good she is at writing believable characters and complex relationships.

The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine

Published in October by Ebury

I haven’t had chance to review this yet but it’s my favourite paranormal of 2013

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman

Published by Quercus in November

A beautifully told story of  love, loss and adventure.

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

 Published by Penguin in November

The first time a non-fiction book has appeared in my end of year round up. The book that made me crave Toffos – a funny, sweet, brilliant, nostaligic read.


As I wish you all a happy New Year tonight I have only one book related resolution for 2014; to keep enjoying both reading and blogging. I’ll admit that there have been times this year when blogging and reading have felt more like a second full time job than my amazing hobby and I’ve felt quite stressed about what I have or haven’t read and posted. So 2014 is all about going back to basics for me and reading and blogging for the love of it and I hope you’ll all be there with me to share a love of both!

Happy New Year!!

4 Responses to “2013 highlights and favourite books”

  1. Catriona Merryweather 1st January 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Loved tempting fate, the life list & the geek girls too! Read first last kiss last year otherwise it would’ve been on mine too! Happy new year x

    • Amanda 1st January 2014 at 9:40 pm #

      Happy New Year Cat! here’s to a fab reading year in 2014

  2. Lori Nelson Spielman 1st January 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Congratulations on a very successful 2013. Thank you for providing such a great service for readers and writers. Wishing you continued success all the best in 2014!

    • Amanda 1st January 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      Thanks Lori and Happy New Year to you too. Looking forward to your next book already :-)

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