Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Five Favorite Best Books of 2013

When you sit back and review 2013, there was a lot going on.  In wrapping up the year, I decided to share the top 5 books I read.  Granted there were a lot of candidates and narrowing the field to a “Best of” list was difficult, but here at a glance are the books I feel safe in recommending:

I’m just a sucker for rereading books that have brought some great moments to life, and the adventure of Bilbo Baggins and a group of dwarves in Middle Earth is still a great read.  The best part is that it is not a long story, full of twists and turns, and one very tragic ending.  Maybe it’s all the hoopla surround the films and maybe it’s something else, but something about visiting with J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Hobbit” has a real familiar feel that lands it a spot on my top five.

While I admit to not being a longtime fan of Dan Brown, “Inferno” brought a certain mystique back to the world of Robert Langdon.  The book manages an epic feel with a few great locations, and pulls everything together nicely.  Anytime there is a different storyline with Langdon, I get worried that Brown will get tangled up in all the mythology and fiction that he ties the source material to.  I’m glad to say that this book restored my faith in the author.

You could make an argument that “The Lucifer Code” by Charles Brokaw is the same book as “Inferno” and you would not be too far from being accurate.  Thomas Lourds (not the song “Royals”) is every bit as interesting as Langdon (IMHO) but the book suffered from a lack of media attention.  It is two years old, but was one of the more interesting reads of the year.  If you like a good mystery in the style of Dan Brown, give this one a chance.

Hey books are supposed to fun, and for televisions “Castle” to inspire the Nikki Heat series is a pretty cool marketing tie-in, but “Deadly Heat” was a lot of fun.  The adventures of Jameson Rook and Nikki Heat mirror the adventures that are seen on the small screen every week with a few embellishments here and there.  Some might be embarrassed to be fans of this kind of story, but this is exactly what reading should be:  a fast ride, just complicated enough, intriguing characters, and a stellar story.  Particularly, if you are a “Castle” fan, you should pick this up and give it a shot.

When news broke that Robert Galbraith was a pen name for J.K. Rowling sales of “The Cuckoo's Calling” went a little nuts, and I was snapped up in the web.  The question of whether or not the Harry Potter author could write a mystery novel was answered:  and I was pleasantly surprised.  Cormoran Strike might not be your typical private detective, but he answers the bell in this book, and made it easily my favorite read of the year.  JK is proving there are plenty of stories in her mind that don’t involve Hogwarts, which is refreshing.

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