Best Books {from the First Half} of 2013

The first half of 2013 is over, which is a great time to look back at what have been the top books I’ve read so far this year. Through June, I’d read 126 books, so limiting this was a tough call! I’ve picked five each of my favorite nonfiction and fiction reads, although I do cheat a bit with the last fiction pick. ๐Ÿ™‚

Best Nonfiction:

Best books from the first half of 2013 - Nonfiction 2013_1 Best books first half 2013

Honorable mention pick:
Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites by Lynne Baab
Insightful look at fasting from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Includes ideas for other types of fasts besides food and water.

Best Fiction

Best books from the first half of 2013 - Fiction 2013_1 best books first half 2013

Honorable mention pick:
Out of The EasyOut of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys by Ruta Sepetys
Hard to read at times, but what a fabulous story. (My full review)

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s monthly Twitterature post – see more great bookish ideas there! And let me know, what have been your best books from the first half of 2013 – any ones you’re raving about that I need to read soon?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


  1. Bread and Wine is definitely on my Best of 2013 list. Rachel’s book might be if I hadn’t read it in 2012. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I missed hearing about Cinder and Scarlet (either that or the mentions went in one ear and out the other) but your review is compelling…

    • I’m certain Bread & Wine will be on my year end best-of list (although wouldn’t it be fun for me if it didn’t make the final cut – that would mean I have some astonishingly good books ahead of me the rest of the year.)

      They’re not great literature, but they are so much fun. Ideal reads if you’re looking for something light and entertaining.

  2. Just found your blog through Twitterature and am so glad I did! I think my TBR list just grew by a lot!!

    • Thank you! My TBR list always grows a lot through the other Twitterature posts I read each month. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The only one I’ve read is Wolf Hall, and I really liked it. Now to get my hands on Bring Up the Bodies.

    I see so many of these that I’ve added to my to-read list because of your recommendation, Sheila. I’m especially looking forward to A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea.

    • I started Bring Up the Bodies but didn’t get far – it needs focused reading time and I haven’t had it lately.

      I’d love to know what you think about A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea once you read it.

  4. So much good stuff here. I could be set for a few months. Several going on my to-read list.

  5. I love Cinder and Scarlet, too. I’m excited about reading the rest of the series and how it incorporates the other fairy tales. I’m wondering about your complaint that you mentioned, too. hmmm…

    I tried reading Wolf Hall not long ago, and I couldn’t get into it because I didn’t have the long periods of reading time at my disposal. I want to try it again, maybe on a long weekend sometime soon. I can’t bounce in and out of certain novels with my kiddos in tow.

    • I’ll email you about my complaint. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Wolf Hall needs uninterrupted reading time. I crawled through it, because I had to limit it to when my kids were occupied. Some books I can read for a few minutes, then do something else, then back to the book. Not this one, but it was so worth it.

  6. I think Wolf Hall is going to be on my Best of 2013 list, too. So, so good.

    And yes to Cinder and Scarlet, too! Definitely lots of fun. Though now I want to know what your issue was with the ending, too! We need to figure a way for you to put spoilers up so you only have to read them if you’ve read the book, lol.

    And now to go add some of these others to my list.

    • I’ve got an idea for how to share spoilers on the site where only those who want to read them will. But it’ll involve some testing to see if my idea will work, so it might be a bit before I can implement it. And that assumes it’ll work!

      I’ll send you an email too with my issue with the ending.

      • Thanks for the emails!

        I’m sure there’s something that you can work out. On other book discussion sites (I’m thinking mostly of the Harry Potter fan sites from before the last few books came out, ha), they would put spoilers in a font the same color as the background of the screen. You could highlight it with your mouse and read it or leave it hidden if you didn’t want to.

        Don’t know how that would work on mobile devices, though, or how possible it is with your system. But where there’s a will, there’s a way! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Yup, that’s what I want to try, but I figure I should probably test it first. And remind myself how to set up a CSS style for it so I can then add it to any post easily in the future without having to type it all out every time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can do it, I’m just rusty and therefore slow.


  1. […] Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons * […]

Leave a Comment