Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 books that rocked my ‘13


Now that 2013 is tossing out its final ticks and tocks, I’m sure many bibliophiles out there are fondly looking back and picking out the books that made their year extra-special.

May I admit to a guilty conscience? Aside from being completely MIA online, I failed to give my bookscapades the size of slice they deserve on my time pie graph, as other things squeezed in and snagged spaces. (It’s that, or I’m just not good at time management at all. Could be the latter.) Be that as it may, my readings yielded a lit trove that still  includes the usual goodies: the unputdownables, the sensory overloaders, the page-by-page punchers,  the potential Nobel Peace Prize for Awesomeness winners, and the notorious ones that bring a promise of dried-out tear ducts, among others.

Well, tempus has fugited for my blabbering. Here's a baker’s dozen of my lit favorites, in no particular order:
  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  4. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  5. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  6. Dune by Frank Herbert*
  7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz*
  8. Room by Emma Donoghue*
  9. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  10. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  11. Steampunk! by various authors
  12. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  13. How They Met & Other Stories by David Levithan
Check out my “best books” lists for the previous years:
*full reviews to follow

Adieu, 2013.

This year, I learned there are still so many things to learn.

This year, I learned to acknowledge the fact that holding on desperately to things that occupy a vast space of my heart isn’t necessarily good—at least not always. I learned there are some things you have to sacrifice for the time being, things you have to let go so you can face the other way…so you can take one step toward closer your coveted destination.

This year, I learned to embrace the truth about betrayal, how being in possession of its knowledge doesn’t really prepare you for the pain it accompanies when it finally stares down at your nose. I learned to let people in and let them go when they no longer want to be there; I learned to let people in and let them go when I no longer want them to be there.

This year, I learned to forgive more. This year, I learned to become stronger.


This year, I learned that friendship can be platinum-like and that it can be extremely brittle.  This year, I learned to take responsibilities for my actions before and after I do them. This year, I learned to be happier.
This year, I learned to be more patient.

This year, I learned—again and again—how no one can catch their dreams overnight, and if they do, it will only be a low-hanging fruit that can vanish in a blink of an eye. Achievements are more worth celebrating when you toiled for it, not when it’s handed to you like a cheap trophy you didn’t work for.

This year, I learned that not everyone will be happy about your little successes. I learned to laugh freely and think less of other people’s judgments, to shrug them off when they cast a dark cloud above my head. This year, I learned to filter the things that will build me up or break me down.

This year, I learned to appreciate little things more. I learned to embed good memories in my head and heart, to pull inspiration from them when I'm low on motivational fuel. I learned to rely on my loved ones' love for me, and I learned to let them rely on my love for them. I learned to treasure every moment I have with them.

This year, I learned that there’s so much to learn about learning.

This year, I learned, and I will continue to learn in the next.