2013 was an interesting year reading-wise. I became more interested in biographies and I read more than I had initially planned on reading; there’s something about reading about the life of great people that really appeals to me and inspires me. Additionally, I decided to apply to graduate school back in May, got accepted and began my programme in September. This means I will probably be reading more non-fiction in the coming months for research purposes.
As always, it’s really difficult to choose the best books I read this year. Here’s a list of 10 that I particularly loved, in no particular order (I’ve hyperlinked my original reviews in the book titles):
Rowena’s Top Reads of 2013
1.Americanah– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A book that I wasn’t even planning to read but that proved to be inspirational to me for more than a few reasons. A young African woman writing fiction with important social commentary. I’m a fan. (Thank you to Vern and Claire for recommending this book to me).
2. The Colour Purple– Alice Walker
This book was inspiring as it showed me the resilience of the human spirit, as well as how powerful sisterhood can be.
3. The Waves– Virginia Woolf
This is probably my favourite Woolf so far, so poetic and filled with beautiful language.
4. Swann’s Way– Marcel Proust
Proust is one of the most observant and sensitive writers I have ever come across. I’m now halfway through “In Search of Lost Time.”
5. The First Man– Albert Camus
Seeing Camus’ thought-process throughout this book was special.
6. Jane Eyre– Charlotte Bronte
The best English classic I’ve read so far. My copy is heavily highlighted for a reason!
7. Les Liaisions Dangereuses– Pierre Choderlos de LaClos
Lots of intrigue in this one!
8. A Long Walk to Freedom– Nelson Mandela
Everyone should read this book, plain and simple.
10. The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume 3 (1939-1944)
There is so much I admire about Nin, especially her sensitive nature and her advocacy of the arts.
In 2013 I managed to read over 260 books. After some quick math, I realized that only 34% of the books I read this year were written by female authors. The figure hasn’t changed much from 2012. This leads me to my list of reading goals for 2014:
Rowena’s Reading Goals for 2014
- Read more female authors (at least 50% of my reading total)
- Read more African literature (both fiction and non-fiction)
- Read more Chinese literature to prepare for my research
- Read more Canadian literature
- Continue reading biographies
Thank you so much to everyone who reads and comments on my blog. I appreciate you all! Wishing you all the best in 2014:)