Must-Read books for 2013?

by Erika Torres

I used to read A LOT. I love reading. I love getting soaked up in a good book that I simply cannot put down. I love when I decide that I simply must skip an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because my book is just too damn good and I need to find out what happens next.

However, this rarely happens. In the past few years since I’ve been married, there have only been a handful of books that have really captivated me.

Books that I’ve read that I really enjoyed include:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Lucky by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

These are the only ones I can really think of at the moment. I really, really want to read more, but I need some more books that will keep me reading.

With that being said,  what books do you recommend? Any couldn’t-put-it-down books that you’ve read lately?


  • I like fiction
  • I couldn’t even get halfway through 50 Shades of Grey so don’t even go there

Please help me find more books to read!


Aloysa @ My Broken Coin January 5, 2013 - 4:49 pm

I’ve read them all except Committed. I’ve heard it is quite boring sequel. Other than that I loved all the books you listed. A few recs from me: 11/22/63, The Passage and its sequel The twelve. 🙂

Tabitha January 4, 2013 - 4:21 pm

I second some other people’s suggestions:

Gone Girl
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Night Circus
The Fault in Our Stars (prepare to cry)
The Green Mile
…and Jodi Picoult’s books are a guilty pleasure, though they start to feel a bit repetitive in my opinion (after having read 4-5 of them)

Personally, I really hated Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. Never saw the movie or read the other two in the trilogy.

Amy January 1, 2013 - 2:20 pm

Hi! I just found your blog and I’m slightly obsessed. I personally love reading more than most people… I mean… things on this planet. And I think I love you more because you clearly don’t like 50 Shades. Anyway, the books I would recommend are:

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts (it’s the first book in a series)
Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham – It’s written all like email exchanges and read it in a day. I was obsessed.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I will definitely post if I remember anything else!

Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals January 1, 2013 - 11:50 am

I know you said you like fiction, and I do too (I’ve read all but ONE of the books you listed above, if you want proof!). BUT the last book my book club read was “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. It’s about the real-life woman whose battle with cancer in the 1950s lead to the HELA cells and some of the most interesting ethical questions of medical research of the past 100 years. I didn’t think it would be as readable as it was, but my entire book club LOVED it (and only one of them is a doctor). Let me know if you ever pick it up!

A Super Girl January 1, 2013 - 10:51 am

I loved:

-The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
-The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain
-Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles

I just finished Night Circus and I was kinda meh on it. Happy reading in 2013!

Emily December 31, 2012 - 8:08 am

I recommend http://www.goodreads.com if you want an easy way to keep track of future books to read or what you’ve already read.
some of my favorites are:
-The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas (long, but I could not stop)
-The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
-The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (quick and will remind you how much you love your dog!)

Kim December 31, 2012 - 6:24 am

I’ll second the Gone Girl recommendations!!! This book was amazing, I could not put it down.

I’m working my way through the 5th Game of Thrones book. They are loooooooong but so good.

I’ve also read the first of the Maze Runner trilogy. So good and a quick easy read. It’s along the Hunger Games type books.

One more good trilogy is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.

Happy Reading!

Tori December 30, 2012 - 6:34 pm

We have similar tastes. I think you’d really enjoy The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and anything by Jennifer Wiener. Emily Giffin’s a really good light read too.

Kathleen, FrugalPortland December 30, 2012 - 2:30 pm

Not a new one, but goodness gracious the Age of Innocence was so beautiful. Fun fact: it’s the novel that won the Pulitzer for a woman for the first time ever.

Mom to 3 Sweet Babies December 30, 2012 - 1:29 pm

I too loved The Help and went out to seek books equally well written after reading it. If you loved The Help I would recommend:

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom…excellent read could not put it down! This was a great read after finishing The Help. Time period was set in late 1800’s early 1900’s.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd…another excellent read. Similar time period as The Help

I would also recommend the site http://www.goodreads.com You can type in the books you have read to find ones that might fit that type of read and it will recommend to you another book of similar quality. It’s how I found The Kitchen House. It has been a very good resource for finding my next great book.


Cassi December 30, 2012 - 12:01 pm

I’ve personally been reading a lot of older books lately, so you might have read these, butI recommend

– Ender’s Game
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower
– Brave New World
– Anthem
– Looking for Alaska
– The Fault in Our Stars
– One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
-The Green Mile

Taylor December 29, 2012 - 10:04 pm

I could not put down The Time Travellers Wife. Cried for the last 2 or 3 chapters – like big, ugly crocodile tears. Awesome
I would also recommend
“A tree grows in Brooklyn”
“Her Fearful Symmetry”
and any of Stieg Larsen’s trilogy “The girl with the dragon tattoo/played with fire/kicked the hornets nest.
I recently read the entire “Game of Thrones” series (all that is available, anyway), and LOVED it, but I really dig historical fiction. If you like that, try reading Eragon (there are 2 other books by the same author).. it will make you want to own a dragon or be an elf.

Teacher Girl December 29, 2012 - 9:52 pm

I loved The Help, Eat Pray Love, and The Hunger Games too! I would also recommend the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series and also anything by Jennifer Weiner if you want an easy but good read. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series starts VERY slow but it picks up so much that it is totally worth it. I devoured those books.

B. (Below Her Means) December 29, 2012 - 8:15 pm

Check out http://whatshouldIreadnext.com

I love it!

Lea December 29, 2012 - 7:16 pm

The Room is amazing! It’s an easy read, but impactful. Or if you want something light and fun, anything by Jane Green is awesome! Or Marian Keyes (both are British authors – think Bridget Jones’ Diary).

And here’s my own list of books to read. I haven’t read them yet, but I’ve either read a good review or been told to read it:

ß London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave
ß The Birth of Venus by Sarah Donant
ß Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan
ß The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
ß The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan
ß The God of Animals: A Novel by Aryn Kyle
ß The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
ß The Outcast by Sadie Jones
ß The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
ß One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
ß The Heretic’s Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
ß Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger

Marina December 29, 2012 - 5:42 pm

I’m going to third the suggestion for the Night Circus. One of my favorite books ever.

Heather December 29, 2012 - 1:46 pm

I love Nicholas Sparks’ books! There is a new movie coming out in February based on one of his books, “Safe Haven”. I really enjoy his books because they are easy, quick reads that have great stories!

jp December 29, 2012 - 1:02 pm

I’m always looking for good books as well. My favorite is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. It’s a very quick, captivating read and quite creative.

jobo December 29, 2012 - 11:08 am

Any book by Jodi Piccoult! LOVE her books!!

Budget & the Beach December 29, 2012 - 9:50 am

I couldn’t finish 50 shades either…so awful! I read a lot of non-fiction..especially personal finance books this year. And blogs. 🙂

Jenn December 28, 2012 - 7:44 pm

Definitely Gone Girl! And I could lend you some of the Emily Giffin books if you have a kindle.

NoTrustFund December 28, 2012 - 5:27 pm

I also really liked “Gone Girl”. And “Cutting For Stone”.

Two of my co-workers have been raving about “Night Circus” but I haven’t read it yet.

Stevie December 28, 2012 - 3:50 pm

Gone Girl was great. A dark story with lots of suspense and twists and turns.

I’m on book 3 of the Game of Thrones series, which is fantastic.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was incredibly touching and a quick read.

I also loved The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s newest book. It’s about a small town in England and the politics which surround it. It’s been getting mixed reviews, but I thought it was great.

Mo' Money Mo' Houses December 28, 2012 - 3:23 pm

Eat Pray Love and Hunger Games are amazing! Love those books!

Katy December 28, 2012 - 2:49 pm

Right now I’m on pg 600 of 1000 in Gone With the Wind and am LOVING IT! Cannot put down finally after a slow slow start. Work cutting into my reading time type of book. The only other (recent) series I liked as much was the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larsen. LOVED. Disclaimer: to me the 1st book is the best by far. My cousin recommended Gone Girl–she said she couldn’t put it down.

Ally December 29, 2012 - 1:10 am

I read Gone With the Wind over the summer and it is now one of my favorites! Just be prepared for an abrupt ending. I kept thinking that my Nook had to have cut some pages off because that just can’t be the end. After I took a few weeks to think about it and after watching the movie, I realized that it is the perfect ending. I heard there is a sequel but there are bad reviews about it so I don’t know if I want to bother reading it.

I also read Pride and Prejudice this year which was good but the first couple chapters were really boring. The book was confusing at times and I had to re-read a few chapters to figure out what was going on but overall, I would recommend reading it because it is a classic. And it has a happy ending! 🙂

I’m also trying to come up with a list of books to read in 2013 so these suggestions are very helpful.

Lea December 29, 2012 - 7:13 pm

I’m also reading GWTW and loving it!

SavvyFinancialLatina December 28, 2012 - 2:06 pm

I haven’t read a fiction book in ages. Most of my reading consist of journal articles, textbooks, or daily financial news. I miss reading too.

My husband read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. He couldn’t put it down.

newlywedsonabudget December 28, 2012 - 3:08 pm

I’ve seen the movies and they were pretty decent but very complicated. I always like to read the book before the movie, and unfortunately I didn’t make it to those ones before I saw the movie.

Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 28, 2012 - 1:59 pm

I totally second the suggestion for the Night Circus. That was a fun one.

If you liked Eat Pray Love, have you tried other memoirs? I’m just finishing up The Journal Of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband. Long title, but good book.

In preparation for movie watching, did you ever read Life of Pi? It’s excellent and quick read. Or The Great Gatsby? A classic that I reread recently and enjoyed much more than when I skimmed it for English class ages ago.

Susan R December 28, 2012 - 1:47 pm

The Divergent series!! by Veronica Roth

Remy @MLISunderstanding December 28, 2012 - 1:36 pm

I’ve read a bunch of new-to-me stuff this year (full list is linked), but I’d only recommend a few.

For you:
The Kitchen Daughter, by Jael McHenry
The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
Cage of Stars, by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Grace, by T. Greenwood
The Angel Makers, by Jessica Gregson

Emily December 28, 2012 - 1:31 pm

The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten! Probably my favorite book I’ve read all year!

If you are looking for things along The Hunger Games you can try eith the Matched Series (Ally Condie), Beautiful Creatures Series (Kami Garcia), Delirium Series (Lauren Oliver) The Maze Runner Series (James Dashner) or Divergent Series (Veronica Roth). All very good, fluffy, teen-ish dystopian fiction.

Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) was good. The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein) was very good, but emotional as it probably would be for a dog person. The Time Keeper (Mitch Album) was a super fast but good read. I actually really enjoyed The Tiger’s Wife (Tea Obreht) as well

Army Amy* December 28, 2012 - 1:15 pm

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I could not put it down, and I’m a fairly picky reader. This was seriously one of the best books I read this year. I’m currently working on a review for my blog.*

jp December 29, 2012 - 12:57 pm

I really liked Still Alice too! I just read Left Neglected by the same author – very good as well!

Micah December 28, 2012 - 1:14 pm

My favorite reads of 2012 were — “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, “Where We Belong” by Emily Giffin and “Flat Out Love” by Jessica Park.

I also need to put in a shameless plug for my book, “Riffs of Regret.”

P.S. You are currently a no-reply commenter. When you comment on my blog, I can’t reply to you via email and that makes me sad. Here’s a blog post that tells you how to fix it if you are so inclined — http://happyhourprojects.com/2012/02/blog-tips-are-you-noreply-commentblogger-com.html


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