Books Read in 2013

Since 2003, I’ve posted a list of all the books I read that year. Previous lists can be found at the following links; the number in parentheses is the total number of books read: 2012 (66), 2011 (27), 2010 (47), 2009 (25), 2008 (34), 2007 (31), 2006 (110!), 2005 (45), 2004 (42), 2003 (41).

Total for 2013: 42

I divided the books into four categories: Highly Recommended (my favorites); Recommended (good but not must-reads); Okay (read only if interested in the subject matter); and Not Recommended.

I read mostly nonfiction. Fiction books are denoted with an asterisk (*) after them. I read more fiction than usual this year (six books out of the total 42), mostly because they were book club selections.

(Note: I also update my Goodreads account with each book and their rating as I finish them.)

Highly Recommended

1. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, Jon Krakauer

2. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, Jenna Miscavige Hill

3. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo

4. The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows, Brian Castner

5. Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran, Roxana Saberi

6. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World, Matthew Goodman

7. Loving Frank, Nancy Horan*


8. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Erik Larson

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

10. Yes, Chef: A Memoir, Marcus Samuelsson

11. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Jon Ronson

12. Them: Adventures with Extremists, Jon Ronson

13. The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jon Ronson

14. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright

15. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss

16. Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods, Christine Byl

17. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Anne Fadiman

18. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Kay Redfield Jamison

19. Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, Avi Steinberg

20. The Cure for Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness, Timothy Caulfield

21. Have Mother, Will Travel: A Mother and Daughter Discover Themselves, Each Other, and the World, Claire and Mia Fontaine

22. All That Is Bitter and Sweet, Ashley Judd

23. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death, Jean-Dominique Bauby

24. The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City, David Lebovitz

25. Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home, Sheri Booker

26. Bossypants, Tina Fey

27. Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way, Molly Birnbaum

28. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, Malcolm Gladwell

29. City of Light, Lauren Belfer*

30. Buffalo Lockjaw, Greg Ames*

31. The Day the Falls Stood Still, Cathy Marie Buchanan*

32. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn*


33. The Astronaut Wives Club, Lily Koppel

34. Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, Jeff Chu

35. Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine, Marco Pasanella

36. Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality, Jacob Tomsky

37. A Devil to Play: One Man’s Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument, Jasper Rees

38. Dinner: A Love Story, Jenny Rosenstrach

39. The Road to Santiago, Kathryn Harrison

40. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, Todd Burpo

41. Buffalo Steel, Lizz Schumer*

Not Recommended

42. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, Firoozeh Dumas

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