Monday, 30 December 2013

Best Reads of 2013

EDIT: Now linked up with Modern Mrs Darcy's Favorite Books of 2013 link-up!

Time to look back on this year. These are some of the best books I read in 2013. I decided to include only books that I read the first time this year - some of my re-reads were very good, too. 

Eric Metaxas: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy—A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich
This biography was quite a read. Long, but worth it. 


John Mullan: What Matters in Jane Austen
I love Jane Austen. This book delves into Austen's novels and points out her genius as a writer. There are lots of brilliant, telling details that easily escape the notice of a modern reader who is used to very different social conventions. 
If you want to read only one book about the background of Austen's novels, read this. 

Michael Meyer: 1989: The Year That Changed The World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The year 1989 was a memorable year for me personally: I did my matriculation exams and graduated from school, and then I went to England as an au pair. It's embarrassing, however, to recollect how little I knew and understood of the events in Europe at the time. Meyer is a journalist who was there at the time, witnessed the events himself and personally met and interviewed many of the key players, and his book gives a riveting account of what happened.

Lappalainen Elina: Syötäväksi kasvatetut: miten ruokasi eli elämänsä
The title means "Raised to be Eaten: How you food lived its life." Elina Lappalainen, a journalist, looks into how livestock are raised and butchered in Finland. She gives a matter-of-fact account of the processes, points out the problematic as well as the good, and leaves the readers to make their own ethical conclusions. She makes her own position clear (an omnivore who wants ethically produced meat and eggs) and gives a voice to all sides of the issue: the farmers, the animal rights activists, the industry. A good, thought-provoking read.

John Greene: The Fault in Our Stars
This novel was worth the recommendations. What an engaging story.

Pauliina Rauhala: Taivaslaulu
I've written about this novel here.


  1. Hi Tuija - the Jane Austen book looks great; just found it online in my library and have put a hold on it. I have also been hearing about The Fault in Our Stars EVERYWHERE so must check that one out too.

  2. I've been thinking about What Matters in Jane Austen, but haven't taken a good look at it yet. Thanks for the review!