First, let's look at the books themselves - all 218 of them (I actually read 223 if you count re-reads):
My goal for the year was to read 200 books, so I'm happy to say my goal was once again met. One thing that helped me achieve my goal was the fact that I embraced audiobooks this year in full force. Do you have any idea how much more palatable doing dishes and folding laundry is when you can listen to a book at the same time??
I really jumped on the new adult bandwagon on 2013 with abandon. I just adore this genre and will read almost anything that carries the label. I also discovered a love of YA sci-fi. I never would've guessed that I'd love this genre as much as I do.
I'm getting a little tired of dystopian books. I read quite a few in 2013, and it's getting harder and harder for me to give them five stars.
I don't think I'll ever get tired of paranormal books. Vampires, werewolves, faeries - you name it, I'll read it.
I discovered a ton of authors that were new to me in 2013. And, I read a lot of books by authors that were already one-click favorites before January 1, 2013. Including re-reads, my top five authors in 2013 were:
Jennifer L. Armentrout - 12 books
Abbi Glines - 10 books
Jeaniene Frost - 9 books
Samantha Young - 5 books
Darynda Jones - 5 books
Without a doubt, the high point of 2013 for me was my trip to NYC to attend the Book Expo of America. It was something I had been looking forward to for months, and all the planning and anticipation were nothing compared to the real thing. I met so many of my favorite authors and came home with so many new books - it was overwhelming.
In addition to BEA, I helped organize an event in my home town that brought nine YA authors together for an all-day event. Celebrate the Book was in October and benefited my local library organization. I had no idea the amount of time and planning involved in putting together an event like this, so it was definitely a learning experience for me.
Finally, I attended an event in November with Jennifer Armentrout, Wendy Higgins and Brigid Kemmerer where they talked about their latest and upcoming releases. I've actually met each of these ladies several times now (all three were at the event I helped organize in October too), and hanging out with them absolutely never gets old. They are so much fun and such accomplished authors. I just love these ladies to pieces.
New Friends and Old Ones
By putting myself out there on my blog, on Goodreads and at events, I've discovered that the world is full of super talented people and some even bigger book fans than me! My blog is better and my life is more rich because of them.
Hannah from The Irish Banana - Hannah doesn't live too far from me, so I've seen her at local events, but her help with my BEA planning proved invaluable. Plus, she's just a really cool chick who is always willing to come to my rescue. I appreciate her so much.
Jessica from A Midsummer Night's Read - I met Jessica in line at BEA. We'll be getting a lot closer in 2014 since we're rooming together this time. Dude - we're going to have a BLAST.
Anna from Annaberry Reads - Anna has been a good friend for awhile now, but her blog is new. I'm so proud of her for putting herself out there and achieving that goal. Even though she lives so far away, we text each other daily to stay in touch. We share the same taste in books and we're both wives and moms. I think Anna is my soul sister.
Jen from At Random - Without a doubt, Jen is one of the best friends I have. We've taken road trips, met for lunches, gone on double dates, and just hung out watching movies and eating junk. We share an infinite love of books and never seem to run out of things to talk about. You might be pretty thin, but you have a fat heart, my friend.
Publicists - I was always afraid to put myself out there to my favorite authors' publicists because my blog isn't all that big in the grand scheme of things, and I was afraid of making an idiot of myself. And, one day I decided I didn't give a crap anymore. The worst they can do is say no to my ARC and tour requests, right? And, an amazing thing happened. They said YES. I've made some contacts with some amazing publicists this year. Suffice to say, they have one of the coolest jobs EVER. And, in addition to interacting with authors and working down the hall from the ARC closet (how they resist that temptation, I'll never know), they really do pull out the stops to make our blogs better. And, I thank them so very much for that. Some of the amazing people I've met this year include Vida Engstrand from Kensington Publishing, Cassie McGinty from Disney Worldwide Publishing, Jessie Edwards from HarperCollins, Abigail Tyson from William Morrow and Lisa Wray from HarlequinTeen.
One thing is for sure - 2013 was a big year for me. Bring it on, 2014. I'm ready for you.