2013 in Review

Well, I almost made it through the entire list for 2013! The only ones I missed? 

The 5000 Year Leap
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Divine Comedy
Jesus the Christ
The Killer Angels
The Majesty of God's Law
Orson Hyde

19 out of 26 isn't  too bad! Especially considering that I've been pregnant for half the year and working harder than ever before. I added in a few extras (or a bunch of extras) and started reading four of the unfinished books, too. Those will be my first to finish in 2014 and hopefully I can get to the other three, as well. I think my only failure is that I still haven't read my grandma's book, Orson Hyde! It needs to be on my nightstand in 2014! Maybe then I'll finally quit slacking. 

My favorites for the year? Dracula is definitely at the top. Along with The Book Thief and Mere Christianity. 

My least favorites? A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Period. How surprising that a Twain novel was my worst read for the year, but I guess reading, like life, is as full of surprises as anything else.

Here's to another great year of reading!
2014, here we come!


"East of Eden" by John Steinbeck

I am not a John Steinbeck fan. I have read several of his books and have always thought they were overrated. My sister, however, recommended East of Eden for my 2013 reading list. She assured me that she was pleasantly surprised by how different this novel is from Steinbeck's other works and thought I would feel the same way.

She was right. As always. East of Eden surprised me. Its characters are better than I expected and the storyline kept me interested, with the exception of a few inevitably boring parts, from start to finish. Lee is a new favorite character and my opinion of Steinbeck as an author has been flipped on its head. Does this make me want to go out and read or re-read the rest of his novels? No. But I am glad I read this one.

May I share my favorite passage from the novel? The end of Chapter 34, one of the rhetorical sections of the novel, reads:

"We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is."

How very true. And the novel addresses this very idea on so many levels. Lee is all virtue. Kate is all vice. But even within two completely opposite characters, Steinbeck reveals some vice in one and some virtue in the other. He does it well. And I'm not disappointed in my last 2013 book. I didn't finish the list, but I got pretty close! Thanks to my sweet husband, who bought me a Nook for Christmas, I just might have an easier time getting through the rest of the list and hopefully making it through my new (YAY!) list for 2014! Making books more readily accessible is a beautiful thing. Thanks, hubby!