My Book Crushes: Best Books of 2013

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It's no secret that I'm a devoted reader and unapologetic book geek. A day without at least a little time to curl up with a good book seems gray and somehow empty. It's been that way since I was old enough to hold up a book on my own and sound out the words on the page. As a lover of lists, a few years ago I started keeping track of what I was reading in my journal and sometimes (although not as regularly as I would like) on Goodreads. Last year I included a list of the best books I'd read with my annual review post. However, it seems like the round-up deserves a post of its own.

So voila! Here's my round-up of great books from this year plus a few bonus bookish goodies for you to explore.

Non-Fiction

Martha Beck's Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck (This is hands down the most powerful book I read this year - it set a whole series of positive changes in motion for me, including signing up for life coach training with Martha. Classes begin in January and I can't wait!)

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Greatest Strength by Laurie Helgoe

Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...and How You Can Too by Shauna James Ahern

Women's Comfort Book: A Self-Nurturing Guide for Restoring Balance in Your Life by Jennifer Louden

The Minimalists: Essential Essays by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

Creative Thursdays: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice by Marisa Anne Cummings

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink

How to Write Short: Work Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark

The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life by Margaret Lobenstein

Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities by Alexandra Lange

Cookbooks

True Food by Andrew Weil

True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure by Andrew Weil, Sam Fox, and Michael Stebner (the  miso-glazed black cod recipe alone was worth buying the book, but there are tons of other delicious recipes in this beautiful book)

Learning to Bake Allergen-Free by Collette Martin (Grant picked this up this summer when we discovered I was gluten-intolerant and it's been our go-to cookbook ever since)

Fiction

Modern Witch

A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Absolutely my favorite novels I read in 2013. I'm breathlessly awaiting the final book in the trilogy, but no news yet on its release. Sigh. Being patient sucks sometimes.)

The Modern Witch Series by Debora Geary (This a series of Kindle books I discovered this summer when I was going through the worst of my stomach problems and was frankly too ill to do much of anything but read and rest when I wasn't working. They were just what the doctor ordered: quirky, positive, and magical with delightful characters you love to revisit. I highly recommend everything Debora writes.)

The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag

S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst (I'm reading this now and am absolutely loving it!)

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles DeLint, illustrated by my favorite children's book illustrator, Charles Vess. DeLint is my favorite YA author (just wish he'd come out with another book in his Newford series - I miss the gang.)

Other Fun Round-ups of Best Books in 2013

Courtney Carver's 2013 Ultimate Book List Simplified

Tammy Strobel's The Best Books of 2013

Brain Picking's Best of Book Lists for 2013

And just for fun, check out the Top 2013 Blogs for Book Lovers by Story Cartel

On My "Can't Wait to Read List"

The Minimalists bookcover

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. Both Courtney and Tammy said in their posts that this was an insanely good book. I just ordered it and can't wait to dive in. Thanks for the heads up, ladies!

The Hare with Amber Eyes: a Hidden Inheritance (Illustrated Edition) by Edmund de Waal. I bought a copy of this gorgeous book for my brother, Pier, and have been lusting after a copy myself ever since. Must. Read. Soon!

Everything That Remains by the Minimalists (another recommendation from Courtney. I adore everything Joshua and Ryan write, so am looking forward to digging into their newest release).

Just Joined

The Happiness Book Club by Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project and Happier at Home (both are excellent reads). Her book club sounds absolutely delightful:

"Happiness is…a good book. Sign up, and each month, I’ll suggest three excellent books: one happiness book, one children’s book, one eccentric pick."

I'm gleefully awaiting my first email with her reading suggestions. Yay! To sign up, just follow the link; you'll find the sign up box about half way down her blog's sidebar.

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