Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

2013 is half over. Here is where I would normally lament how quickly time is passing, but you know what? It is passing at the same rate as it always does. Even though we have been busier than I thought was humanly possible this year, it has been a fairly good year so far, and I hope I can continue to enjoy the few calmer moments as well as the crazy ones.

Why do I think it has been a good year? Yes, we’ve been busier than ever, and yes, Connor has officially entered the brainless, attitude-filled teenage years, but I’ve been enjoying both the kids more than normal lately. They are just fun. We have great conversations, and they are tremendous helpers around the house. Watching them perform in their respective events is always a treat, and I am beginning to see the adults they are becoming. Perhaps it is all the alone time I have with them this year thanks to Jim’s travel schedule, but I really do think we are getting closer, even though they have both entered a phase where parents are just not cool. It is so exciting to watch.

Enough waxing poetic about my children. I suppose you want to know the good stuff, i.e. reading. So here’s the breakdown for the first six months of the year:

  • 101 total books read
  • 35 audiobooks
  • 29, 580 pages read
  • 13.2 days spent listening to audiobooks
  • 14 Young Adult, 83 Non-YA
  • Of the 101 books read, 39% were fiction, 24% were science fiction, and 17% were historical fiction.
  • 79% of the books read were review books.
  • 73% of the books read were published in 2013
  • 73 of the books were written by females
  • I’ve read works by 69 new-to-me authors so far.

That’s good stuff right there.

I’m on pace to make my goal of 200 books read this year, and I have already finished all of the bookish challenges for which I signed up at the beginning of the year. Bloggers Recommend has really shifted my focus on reading this year, but I am thoroughly enjoying the chance to read books in advance for once and helping generate buzz about them before their release date. 2013 might not be quite the “read my own books” year I was planning on having it be, but I have enjoyed the opportunity to broaden my horizons even more than I have in the past.

So, enough with all the stats, right? I’m sure you all want to know my favorite books so far this year. I’m chickening out on this one. I have read so many outstanding books this year that to choose one or two is nigh impossible. I can share with you the books I finished in June and my thoughts.

  1. The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses – Great summer read
  2. American Savage by Dan Savage – I love Dan Savage after this.
  3. The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold – My Bloggers Recommend selection for July
  4. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell – Brilliant ending
  5. The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian – More fantastic historical fiction
  6. The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan – Thought-provoking
  7. The Never List by Koethi Zan – Disappointing
  8. Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel – Haunting
  9. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger – Cute
  10. Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman – Intriguing look at Freud’s unusual family arrangement
  11. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley – Fantastic historical fiction
  12. The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster – I now have a girl crush on Jen.
  13. The Panopticon by Jenni Lagan – Dark and disturbing but compelling nonetheless
  14. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – Decent but not life-altering

I am quite pleased with where I am reading-wise so far this year. The second half of the year is already filled with books I cannot wait to read, so I’m envisioning yet another great second half of 2013. Considering the fall is already looking to be busier than last year, I say bring it on. I’m ready and willing!

How are you doing so far? What is your favorite read in 2013 to date?

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