Best Reads of 2013
When the New York Times put out its list of 100 Notable Books of 2013 last week, it got me thinking about all of the great books I've read this year. Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes--I'd probably spend all day with a good book if I could get away with it. Here's a few I couldn't put down in 2013:
1. Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman After obsessively watching the entire first season of the Netflix series of the same name in one day (sad, but true), I figured I had to read the real-life story that the show is adapted from. While Kerman's memoir isn't as scandalous or sexual as the show dramatizes it to be, it still offers a rare glimpse into the often unjust American prison system and humanizes the entire prison process to remind us that people can always surprise you.
2. An Object of Beautyby Steve Martin I found my copy of this novel in a quirky used bookstore in Wicker Park and was excited to discover printed-out pieces of art stuffed between the pages, most likely a remnant from the book's previous owner. It made reading it all that much better knowing that someone else's art was being shared with me while I was learning about the highs and lows of the sometimes cunning and cut-throat art world that exists today.
3. The Night Circusby Erin Morgenstern Always one to introduce me to noteworthy reads, my aunt sent me this beautiful book full of wonder and mystique knowing that I would love to get lost in the magical world Morgenstern creates within the black-and-white striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêves. Her eloquent descriptions conjure up insane imagery, while still allowing the imagination to run free with ideas of what it would be like to attend this fascinating circus of her dreams.
4. Smile When You're Lyingby Chuck Thompson As an aspiring travel writer, I regarded this book as a sort of bible for understanding the ins and outs of the not-as-glam-as-it-seems profession. Fed up with censoring his stories to fit the mold of travel publications across the globe, Thompson talks travel like it really is--the good, the bad and the ugly. His stories provide an unparalleled insight into the travel industry that at times shocked and appalled me, but mostly had me non-stop laughing through all of the crazy adventures he's had along the way.
5. Gods Behaving Badlyby Marie Phillips Another pick by my aunt: Gods Behaving Badly is a laugh-out-loud funny story about the Greek Gods living in modern-day London and trying to cope with their no-longer-relevant status in society. I've always been interested in Greek mythology so I connected with this book on a geekier level, but I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, easy read.