**Note: These are books that I read in 2013, not books that were published this year**
Since I read a ton and it is the end of the year, I thought I’d come out with an obligatory best of 2013 list of books that I’ve read. I’ve broken it up into fiction and nonfiction because I read way more fiction. The small descriptions don’t contain spoilers–just a few thoughts and reasons why I liked the book.
3. Finally Free by Michael Vick
Despite what you think about Michael Vick, I feel this is a good book for anyone to read. His autobiography maps how he lost everything, and the actions leading up to his fall. He talks about growing up in a bad part of town, football, prison, and so much more.
2. The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig
Chuck Wendig’s writing books are fantastic. If you’re a writer looking for a pat on the back, this isn’t for you. Wendig’s style is more of a kick you in the rear sort of thing. He uses humor to keep your attention, all while stuffing your brain with great writing knowledge.
1. Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer
If you’re a writer and you don’t have this book, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I only had to flip through a few pages to know that I’d get my money’s worth. Its diagrams and flowcharts are only the beginning to what the book has to offer. When you get into the text, you realize it is a book for the serious writer who is truly looking to tell a great story. The book serves as a large fountain of ideas to think about as you’re writing/editing your book.
7. Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
This is a fun book based on a simple but unique idea. The idea is that any human can pick a specific Deity as if it were an item at a department store. You get the benefits from having said deity, but it also comes with a cost.
6. Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
I went on a big Stephen King reading binge this year, and this book was one of my favorites. It’s actually a collection of novellas. I know what you’re thinking ‘Yeah Ben, I saw Hearts in Atlantis, and the movie was terrible’. Yes, the movie was terrible. The book, however, is very entertaining–especially if you’re familiar with The Dark Tower series.
5. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
I was surprised by how much I liked 11/22/63. It’s a book where the main character travels back into time to stop the Kennedy assassination. Life gets harder for him the closer it comes to 11/22/63. King does a great job in keeping with the feel that you’re really in the past.
4. The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker
Although I’ve yet to finish the series (it’s on my to-do list), The Emperor’s Edge was a pleasant surprise. It follows a young woman and her crew of misfits as they try to stop people from killing the Emperor. Best thing about this book: it’s free on Amazon as an ebook. Check it out…you won’t regret it.
3. The Long Walk by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
I love reading Stephen King novels, but they don’t scare me like they do other people. It’s not that I’m not afraid of anything, but his classic novels (IT, Carrie, Cujo, Salem’s Lot, etc.) deal with things that could never happen. That doesn’t scare me. However, this book does. Why? Because it’s a dystopian fiction novel centered around a very simple premise similar to The Hunger Games. Each year 100 kids are chosen to go on the long walk. When you can’t walk any longer, they shoot you. The walk goes on until only one person is left.
2. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
I heard of Wendig through his blog, and it was earlier this year when I decided to check out Blackbirds. This book is fantastic. It follows an unlikable yet compelling character Miriam as she struggles with her ‘gift’ of seeing how everyone she comes into contact with will die.
1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
This is my favorite book that I’ve read all year–one of my favorite SK books outside of the Dark Tower series. I initially wanted to compare it to The Shining, but found early on that the story was completely different. Yes, it follows Dan, but this time, he’s trying to save a little girl, all while battling with his own deep character flaws. I didn’t want King to follow up any of his classic books, but after reading this, I’d love to see more of them.