Favorite Books I Read in 2013

My Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge saw me complete 46 books this year! Granted, many of these were graphic novels but there were also 16 novels, which is probably the most I’ve ever read in a single year. I’m a slow reader, give me a break.

Not counting books that I re-read this year (I’m always re-reading favorites), I’ve narrowed down my Top-5 Books that I discovered in 2013. Here goes:

Chronic CityCHRONIC CITY, by Jonathan Lethem

I’d been putting off reading Jonathan Lethem long enough so I decided to read three of his books this summer. First was Motherless Brooklyn. Next came Fortress of Solitude. And finally I read Chronic City. I was most excited to read ‘Fortress’ since this was the author’s seminal work. And I liked it. But I LOVED Chronic City. Maybe it was because it came unexpectedly. Maybe because it had the most polarizing reviews of the three. But probably because it’s just so very New Yorky, and more similar to my own writing. This is a very odd book with not too many likable characters, and it did lag a bit around the 3/4 mark, but in the end it struck me as the most special of Lethem’s “trilogy.” I even grabbed my own copy of Chronic City afterwards and I’m looking forward to reading this one again in the not too distant future. A very underrated novel.

Norwegian WoodNORWEGIAN WOOD, by Haruki Murakami

You can read my review HERE.

 

 

 

Worst. Person. Ever.

WORST. PERSON. EVER. by Douglas Coupland

You can read my review HERE.

 

 

 

Bright Lights Big CityBRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, by Jay McInerney

Billed as an American classic, this was a book I was always wanting to read but could never find a copy. Finally, after receiving a copy last Christmas, I immediately tore into it and I was certainly not disappointed. It is a little stuck in the Eighties, which is possibly the worst time period to be stuck in, but enjoyable nonetheless. McInerney’s writing is poignant and funny at the same time. I recommend this to anyone who loves contemporary fiction.

 

Uncanny Avengers 2UNCANNY AVENGERS VOL.2: THE APOCALYPSE TWINS, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna

I almost put Hawkeye: My Life As A Weapon here in my top-5 (which is brilliant, by the way), but opted for this book instead. I think the reason this volume really struck me was because the storyline is HUGE. It’s massive and far-reaching with so many implications on the Marvel Universe, and yet it was not marketed as such. Comics have the obscene ability to market the hell out their huge story lines, to the point where the end product never lives up to the expectations of the hype. Here, Remender is doing something big but he’s doing it quietly, and neither he nor Marvel are afraid of making a mess of things. A good mess, that is. Be aware that this storyline continues right into Volume 3 (“Ragnarok”), so the two are not really complete without each other. Check this one out; I have a feeling this will soon be headed into the must-read category of Marvel Comics history.

WORST. PERSON. EVER. [2013], by Douglas Coupland

Worst. Person. Ever.

R. Tim Morris’ Rating: 7/10

While there’s not too much of a story to speak of here (ie: plot, acts, character arcs), this was an extremely enjoyable book from one of my favorite authors.

As the back of the book reads:
This novel contains much talk of bodily functions, improbable sexual content, violent death, nuclear crisis and elaborately inventive profanity: Viewer Discretion is Advised.”
And the warning is definitely not kidding. This is a much different Douglas Coupland than we’re used to seeing/reading, without any true social commentary or any attempt whatsoever at achieving literary glory. But you can tell he’s having FUN. And that’s the point of it. There’s nothing to think about aside from how ridiculous the tale is. Our hapless protagonist – Raymond Gunt – lives through an endless stream of bad luck, but as the title implies, we’re not really rooting for Raymond anyway. It’s absurdly enjoyable to be witness to so much misfortune being dumped upon one individual.

Worst. Person. Ever. is crude, crass, vile, insulting, obnoxious and offensive. But it’s also funny. Very, very funny. If you can find laughter in reading 3+ pages of description of the incredibly obese man on the airplane then this book is for you. If you can find humor in Raymond’s endless but futile hunt for sex then this is for you. If you enjoyed Coupland’sJPod” but thought he simply wasn’t offending you enough then I’d definitely recommend this book. Just don’t leave it out on the table when your in-laws come over.