Book Reviews, Books
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Which Were Your Favourite Books of 2013?

 The year’s winding up, and as usual, I want to find out which of the books you read in 2013 had the most effect on you, and why. Please share your favourite fiction book, and your favourite non-fiction book. You can reply in the comments’ section and you can take the conversation to Twitter/Facebook with the hashtag #abookIreadin2013.

 I’ll go first.

 Favourite Fiction Book of 2013: This was a difficult choice because I read so many fantastic books this year. But Khaled Hosseini’s “And The Mountains Echoed” wins, beating “Children of the Jacaranda Tree” and “Burma Boy”. I love how Khaled writes, I love his stories, I love the sense of kinship I feel with Afghans after reading his books. I totally recommend this book.

Favourite Non-Fiction Book of 2013: This was an easy choice. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (labelled the “Feminist Bible” in some circles) is a thought-provoking book for women who have careers outside of their homes. I don’t agree with all of Sheryl’s ideas (e.g. I don’t think it’s as easy as she makes it look to balance home/work) but I took away some very important lessons: “Done” is better than “Perfect” and the importance of female professionals speaking up at male dominated meetings/conferences instead of just being wall flowers. I can personally testify that it helped me make an impression with bosses/managers who would otherwise never have known I existed. I recommend it for all women.

 Your turn. What were your favourite books of 2013, fiction and non-fiction?



  1. FICTION: Season of Migration To The North – (Tayeb Salih) . . . A Haunting Book. . Totally Awesome!
    NON-FICTION: Long Walk To Freedom – (Author known by all. . lol). . yes, I work with LASTMA, I know. .:). . I still haven’t finished it yet sef. . I wish I did before he died 🙁

    • I shall find this Salih’s book, heard only good things about it. I haven’t read LWTF. Lol. I’m the real LASTMA here.

      • Oh wow, you haven’t read LWTF. . okay, I shan’t be mad at myself anymore. . If you haven’t read it, who am I? Lol. . But as far non-fiction that i actually DID complete. .THERE WAS A COUNTRY. . Quite personal and detailed. Yes you should totally get Season of Migration. . Totally!

  2. my favourite fiction book would be “From Rum To Roots” by Lloyd G Francis
    non fiction is “The Measure of a Man” by Sidney Poitier.
    There’s a full list here

  3. I read just a few new books this year. The rest were all books I had read before. It didn’t quite feel like I had duly squeezed out all the juices the first time. And I don’t know if it’s a sad thing, but none of the new books were good enough to be my favourite or the most impactful for the year 2013.

    For fiction, it was “Things Fall Apart”, a story of tragedy but of great significance, by one of the most proficient writer I will ever know – Chinua Achebe. The book, besides the profound perspective it carries of our history and of how things got messed up in light of the occupying Europeans, I must say the style of writing and delivery “killed it for me”. As an example, an excerpt from the fourth chapter :

    “But it was really not true that Okonkwo’s palm-kernels had been cracked for him by a benevolent spirit. He had cracked them himself. Anyone who knew his grim struggle against poverty and misfortune could not say he had been lucky. If ever a man deserved his success, that man was Okonkwo. At an early age he had achieved fame as the greatest wrestler in all the land. That was not luck. At the most one could say that his chi or personal god was good. But the Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also. Okonkwo said yes very strongly; so his chi agreed.”

    I am sure “Things Fall Apart”, will always be for me a front-runner.

    In the realm of non-fiction, “Think Big” by Ben Carson came out on top. Being a fanatical lover of great inspirational true-life stories, it wasn’t a hard choice, at all. It is a literal and uncomplicated book about the “how” and the “what-needs-to-be-done” in achieving our full potential. In a beat, I will recommend this book to anyone out there who needs a valid reassurance that it is possible to achieve outstanding excellence in whatever we do, regardless of the odds. With very insightful and interesting anecdotes I am sure you’d find it a very practical and relevant volume.

    So here they are, the two books that had the most effect on me in 2013.

  4. FICTION: This year I read lots of classics, but Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One hundred Years of Solitude” is my favorite, beating “To kill a mocking bird” and “1Q84” by a small margin.

    NON FICTION: Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” has to be my favorite, I read three of his books this year and although there are many things you can claim to be wrong about his books, you have to admire his ability to make seemingly banal things interesting to the average reader.

    • Interesting. I started reading OHYOS in 2011 but I haven’t been able to finish it. Will restart in 2014, maybe.
      I love Gladwell. I’ve read all his books. He tells amazing stories and leaves his readers feeling rather clever, doesn’t he? Lol.

  5. Double M says

    Favorite fiction I read is the 5th book of the song of Ice and fire series popularly called Game of thrones book by George Martin as for non fiction haba wetin wan carry me read non fiction.

  6. The alchemist says

    I read quite a lot of good books this year, not a single one of them being non-fiction so we’ll stick to fiction and I’ll take the liberty of mentioning the two I loved most.

    1. Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”. A bit dated but I had to read this classic and its better late than never. Ray Bradbury is credited with giving science fiction its ‘soul’, insisting on writing science fiction at the same standard that was expected of literary powerhouses in the other, more ‘serious’ genres focused on human drama. Bradbury is a poet, who does excellent things with words. The Martian Chronicles has probably been the most influential on my own writing of all the things I read this year. It is not enough to have a good idea, a good story must have a soul.

    2. Max Brooks’s “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War”
    I will never tire of recommending this book. (P.S. It is nothing like the movie. Nothing at all). Part Alternate History Text, Part Documentary, Part Scathing Social Critique, Part Thriller and All Awesome, WWZ is something unique. Even if you do not care for Zombies or Dystopian stories, this book is still a good read. It is a brilliant work of fiction.

  7. mchukwuma says

    Not an avid reader but, There Was A Country – Chinua Achebe, for the insight and The Middle East – Don Peretz, even though I’m still reading that. Lol.

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