My 5 Favorite Books of 2013

Hyperbole and a Half author Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half author Allie Brosh

I’m pretty sure I read more than the 14 books I recorded on my spreadsheet, but that’s what I have to work with today. Thus these are my 5 favorite books of 2013.

5. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie: My agent gave me this as a reading assignment for my Kickstarter book, and I loved it. Mycoswkie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, uses anecdotes to teach you how to run a generous and profitable business. It’s a really easy read, like you’re just having a casual conversation with him.

4. Room by Emma Donoghue: I know I’m a few years behind on this one, but wow…this was intense. I couldn’t put it down. The book is told from the perspective of a boy who has spent his entire life locked in a single room with his mother, and that’s what he thinks the world is. It sounds depressing, and parts of it are sad, but you will never root for characters more than you’ll root for those two.

3. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: Pictured on the right because she’s cute is one of the most brilliant bloggers (and now authors) out there. Brosh combines whimsical drawings with laugh-out-loud stories, many of which touch upon what makes us human and alive. If I could give out Pulitzer prizes, I would give one to Brosh.

2. Leviathan Wakes/Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey: This series of books was recommended to me by fellow game designer Grant Rodiek. For some reason I was in the mood for space-adventure sci-fi, and these two books completely satisfied me and left me wanting more (which is good, because there’s another book out and another on the way next year). 

1. The Art of Fielding by Carl Harbach: The book that I’ve thought about the most this year by far is The Art of Fielding. Earlier this year I was craving a campus novel…I don’t know why, but I wanted to be a part of a college campus for a few hundred pages (a literally college campus where it’s always autumn and classes are held outside, not a real college campus). The Art of Fielding has some of that, but it’s much more about…well, honestly, I bet it’s about something different to everyone. There’s baseball in the book, but it’s not a book about baseball. There are relationships (romantic and friendly) in the book, but it’s not just about relationships. To me it was about what happens when we overthink something instead of going with your gut, especially in sports, but also in life. This is a book that I’d love to read again someday–I hardly ever do that, so that says something. Highly recommended.

What were a few of your favorite books from the past year? I love a good book recommendation.