2014 is upon us and 2013 is in the past. Every year, I set a goal for the number of books I plan to read. In 2013, I chose thirty and kept track of them on Goodreads, where its members are invited to participate in their own book reading challenge. So, for me, it's like killing two birds with one stone. I managed to finish forty-four books last year and, for 2014, I've set my goal to thirty-five.
Of the forty-four I read, here are my favorites. That's not to say the other thirty-four I read weren't worth the time I spent on them. Rather, it means these ten had a major impact on me - as a writer, as a man, as a father, as an Asian-American, as a writer of Asian-American YA, whatever. Bear in mind that my list is of my favourite books, from the ones I read, in 2013. Some of them were published in 2012 or before so this isn't like a Top Ten of 2013. If you look at my list of 2012, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes made the list. Although it didn't make this list, H. G. Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau was one of the forty-four I read - and absolutely enjoyed - in 2013.
As for the list below, if you click on the title, you'll find my review, either a full write-up in my this blog or a slightly more brief commentary in Goodreads. If you've not read some of the books on my list, I hope my review will encourage you to pick it up. On the flip side, if you have any recommendations for me, please post a comment. I'd love to hear from you and, I believe, the best book recommendations do come from word of mouth.
So, without further ado, here are the ten favourite books I read in 2013, in order with my most favourite listed at number one.
1. The Collective by Don Lee (2012, W. W. Norton & Company)
2. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (2012, Atheneum Books for Young Readers; originally published in 2011)
3. Xander's Panda Party by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Mark Phelan (2013, Clarion Books)
4. Champion (Legend, #3) by Marie Lu (2013, Putnam Juvenile)
5. Proxy (Proxy, #1) by Alex London (2013, Philomel)
6. Bruised by Sarah Skilton (2013, Amulet/Abrams)
7. Fresh Off The Boat by Eddie Huang (2013, Random House Audio)
8. Zoo Breath (A Clavin Coconut book) by Graham Salisbury (2011, Yearling; first published in 2010)
9. Dumpling Days by Grace Lin (2013, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; originally published in 2012)
10. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (2012, Little, Brown & Company)
Guys Read: A Fistful of Feathers by David Yoo (2011, Walden Pond Press; originally published in 2010)
Are You Ready To Play Outside? (An Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems (2008, Disney-Hyperion). Winner of the 2009 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.