2013 Book List

The rainy day yesterday reminded me that I’m almost a month over-due for my annual book list. Thre of the books listed were recommendations from friends. Please share any books you’ve loved. Highlights from the last year in chronological order:

The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life
I’m flying on Monday and should re-read the chapter on flying. It’s amazing how many people actually survive plane crashes. This book explains how. One thing it mentions is that people stand around like zombies when they’re really scared, and the book says if you have to, climb over your seat to get out.

Brian and I have really enjoyed everything that J.R. Moehringer has written, including Sutton. It’s a biography about a career bank robber in the 20’s and 30’s.

The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
I was in the mood for some classic Stephen King and this book really delivered. We rented the movie shortly after which was surprisingly good.

Still Alice
I loved this book. It’s a story of a woman with Alzheimers told from her perspective.

A Time to Kill
We saw the first 5 minutes of this movie in a hotel room and it was so interesting, but it seemed really dated so we turned off the TV and I got the book. It was riveting.

From the book’s description “The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos–and herself–from a violent coup.” I loved it.

The Round House
The story of a Native American boy who’s mother was attacked and his quest to solve the mystery. A good read.

The Secretary
Written by a half Dutch and half Lebanese woman who was in Hillary Clinton’s press corp, this book goes behind the scenes of Clinton’s life when she was Secretary of State. It was fascinating, I wish we could know more about the day to day happenings as they happen rather than years later.

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health
This book changed how we eat.

And the Mountains Echoed
From the author of the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I enjoyed this book, though some of the themes reminded me of his previous books.

The Light Between Oceans
I had a few false starts with this one, but finally got into it and really enjoyed the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who keep a baby that they find in a boat that washes up to their shore rather than reporting it to the authorities.

The Storyteller
Amanda recommended this to me. It’s a riveting story of a woman who is approached by an old man who claims he was a Nazi SS officer and he wants her to assist him in his death. I thought about this book a lot when I wasn’t reading it, it was really interesting.

Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks
This is what I’m currently reading. It reminds me of Brian’s stories of being a EMT in LA, it just takes place in National Parks.

Brian read a few of the books above, but he also read these:

The Dark Tower Boxed Set
Bri read these back to back and really loved them. He said I wouldn’t.

The Devil’s Highway: A True Story
Our friend Adam gave Brian this to read. It’s about immigrants crossing the border from Mexico to the US through Arizona. Brian loved this book, from what he’s told me it was pretty graphic.

Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing
My cousin sent us this book. I was in the middle of something when it arrived, so Brian picked it up and found it so interesting that he couldn’t resist reading it out loud to me, where by the time he finished he read so much of it to me there wasn’t any point for me to read it!

Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
This is what Brian is currently reading. He seems to like it, he’s regularly sharing bear trivia.

Dinner Last Night:
It’s so appropriate that I cooked from a book last night. I bought The Great Vegan Bean Book after trying some of the recipes she shared on her blog tour. Remember Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce? Anyway, I made her homemade veggie bullion and chickpea and rice soup. The soup was phenomenal. I’ve tried other similar recipes online, but the bullion plus her perfect ingredient list made for a winner. We both had seconds and Brian wanted thirds.

2013 Cost of Camping:
96 nights paid camping
175 nights free camping
271 days this year
Total spent on camping this year: $2,659.12
Daily average cost of camping: $9.81

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  • Reply Jen September 28, 2013 at 7:03 am

    There are a few on here that I remember you telling me about & I’m definitely going to check them out (with all my free time – lol.) I recently read “The Silent WIfe” by A.S.A. Harrison. It was pretty good, a quick read & dark.

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      I love dark. xo

  • Reply robin September 28, 2013 at 7:05 am

    hey pretty!
    only one on your list that I read, also loved-and the mountains echoed
    not sure I am current but here are a few:

    the fault in our stars-need a box of kleenex
    dear life-alice munro short stories
    gone girl-hated the ending
    in one person-big big fan of john irving
    lisey’s story-weirdo stephen king, but fun
    I feel bad about my neck-norah ephron
    steve jobs book but can’t remember the name or author. the authorized version

    do keep in mind I am listening to audio books.
    the reader makes a huge difference.
    but it helps mitigate road rage on my commute.

    still following you leigh.
    but still fully into butter, cheese and cream….
    kisses, robin

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Hey Robin,

      I read a bunch of those – but will definitely check out the ones I haven’t. Nothing wrong with audio books or you eating dairy! xoxo

      • Reply robin September 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        xo back

  • Reply Jessica September 28, 2013 at 7:23 am

    If you liked The Light Between Oceans and are in the mood for a similar tone, The Snow Child is just lovely (with 20s Alaska homesteaders in place of lighthouse keepers).

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Jessica, I feel like I read The Snow Child this year, I guess it was last year since it didn’t show up on my export list from Kindle. I agree, it was lovely!

  • Reply Tim Lavalli September 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

    We read not from the same tree.

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Still reading sexy paperbacks?

      • Reply Tim Lavalli September 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Deep, dense psychology journals, metaphysical philosophy tomes. At least those are the ones I keep on the coffee table, the horny harlequin novels are under the bed.

  • Reply amanda September 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Thanks! Your list just added a few to my “must read” list. By the way, I am really enjoying Farmacology.

    I can’t remember if I told you about these or not, but since you liked ‘The Storyteller’ so much you should try ‘The Sandcastle Girls’ and ‘Skeletons at the Feast’ by Chris Bohjalian.

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Yours are on my list now. 🙂

  • Reply Lin September 28, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I have seen several recipes on different blogs from The Great Vegan Bean Book and they all seem like things we would enjoy. I plan on buying it soon. Thank you for reminding me about it. Have a great weekend and give Curtis a pat for me please.

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I think the Vegan Bean Book is totally worth it. Sooo good! C says hi.

  • Reply Elizabeth September 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you for the book ideas! I love reading. I checked some of these out on my Kindle from the library right away! Here are some of the books I read in the last year or so that you might like, in no particular order:

    *Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
    *The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    *Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
    *The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
    *The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
    *Little Bee by Chris Cleave
    *The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    *The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    *Very Far Away from Anywhere Else by Ursula K. Le Guin (much shorter than novel length and NOT sci-fi like her other stuff)
    *The Passage by Justin Cronin (Brian might like if he likes Stephen King; this has a lot in common with The Stand but I liked The Passage more)
    *Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World, both by Nick Harkaway (Brian might like)
    *I also love everything by David Mitchell

    *The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
    *Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
    *Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
    *Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath
    *Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
    *I also found Seth Godin books to be pretty interesting
    *Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
    *Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

    • Reply Leigh September 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Wow, thanks for the great list. I’ve read a few. I’ll have to look into the others. Your kitchen looks awesome btw!

      • Reply Elizabeth September 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Thanks! The kitchen is coming along and is pretty usable now!

        Are you or Brian on Goodreads? I track most of the 150ish or so books I read per year on there and get a lot of good ideas from friends that way.

        • Reply Leigh September 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

          I never heard of Goodreads, I just signed up! WOW you read a lot!

          • Elizabeth September 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

            Awesome! I am looking forward to getting more book ideas from you. 🙂 I love Goodreads, but I changed my settings to get weekly updates because it drove me crazy to get daily updates from so many people.

  • Reply FerryTrails October 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    ANYTHING by Ivan Doig. I know of no other nfiction author who wears the West like a glove. He is a magician of the English language.

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