2013 Bookish wrap-up

Happy New Year’s everyone, whether your time zone is ahead or not (it’s about 9 hours til midnight where I am).

I have been incredibly busy this past year, with a new job and a new place to live (including a renovation). Hence the silence on this blog [crickets chirp] but I intend to become more active again! I only just made my reading goal of 52 books this year, finishing book 53 just now, but admittedly I cheated a little here and there. Lots of short books and two short stories by Murakami that were published in the New Yorker. According to Goodreads I read 12.717 pages this year, versus 17.100 last year (my wrap-up for 2012 is here!).

Goodreads 2013
(I don’t know why it says ’52’ when there’s 53 books in the image… oh Goodreads…)

If I compare my ratings of this year to last year’s, I gave a lot less 4 stars and more 3 stars, implying I read more books I found average. I did read plenty of books that stood out though and even added five of them to my list of favourites! Those were:

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • Vaslav by Arthur Japin
  • The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox

All of these I love for very different reasons. The Murakami novels I loved because Murakami always leaves me feeling amazed, speechless and a little lost and these two were definitely my favourite works of his I read so far. I regret waiting so long to read them, but now I’m sad I will never again have the experience of reading them for the first time haha.
Seraphina was just highly addicting. I crave the next volume like there’s no tomorrow, but alas… 2015. Such torture. I’m a bit afraid my enthusiasm about this book might dwindle if I have to wait this long.
Vaslav is a historical novel about the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (-the- Nijinsky) and Japin is an artist when it comes to writing historical novels. Just… read it.
Then, my absolute favourite book of this year is one of the last I read: The Vintner’s Luck. It’s absolutely gorgeous and perfect and I don’t think I will forget it for a long time. I ran into the book on Goodreads, and someone was offering a give-away for the book in a review (do check out her review!). I feel so fortunate she sent me the book and after reading the book I both understand why she gave it away and feel like I should pass it on too. It’s that kind of book. So keep your eyes on this blog 😉

Unfortunately I was far too busy to participate in more events this year, so the only event I participated in was January in Japan in, well, January. My posts for the event can be found here. I really enjoyed the event and will definitely participate again this January!

Biggest surprise
Difficult to say. I didn’t really do much adventurous reading this year. All the books I ended up enjoying, I already expected I would enjoy. Even among the books I only gave 2 stars nothing really surprised me.

Most read author
Murakami, who else. I read three full novels, two short-stories-converted-into-books (The Bakery Attacks and Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht) and two short stories (A Shinagawa Monkey and the 2013 Samsa in Love). I read three books by John Green, which, frankly, surprises me. His books entertain me just enough but I’m never blown away by them (although The Fault in Our Stars is pretty good). I guess I just pick them up for a quick read?

Other bookish things
I am building a library! I moved and have an unused spare bedroom and I’m building a library and holy crap I’m excited! I also am quite proud of myself for not buying too many books in 2013. By which I mean, not as excessively as the previous years. Although I have plenty of space now so I doubt I’ll be able to hold back in 2014 haha.

In 2014…
…more books *grabby hands*, more reading, more activity on this blog! Also looking forward to Tony’s reading event January in Japan, and the Murakami Festival in Amsterdam on January 11th.

All books I read in 2013, per month:


  1. Confessions of Love by Chiyo Uno
  2. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. De Broodjesroofverhalen by Haruki Murakami
  4. Rashomon And Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  5. The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami
  6. The Sound of the Wind: Life and Works of Uno Chiyo by Rebecca L. Copeland
  7. February

  8. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  10. Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht by Haruki Murakami
  11. The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
  12. March

  13. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  14. Kokoro by Natsumi Sōseki
  15. April

  16. I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim
  17. Tao van Poeh by Benjamin Hoff
  18. May

  19. The Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3) by Agatha Christie
  20. De Kraai by Kader Abdolah
  21. Anderland: een Brandaan mythe by Paul Biegel
  22. De liefde tussen mens en kat by Willem Frederik Hermans
  23. June

  24. No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai
  25. The Penelopiad (Canongate Myths) by Margaret Atwood
  26. July

  27. The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P by Rieko Matsuura
  28. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  29. Gala by Ronald Giphart
  30. Vaslav by Arthur Japin
  31. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
  32. August

  33. Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #5) by Gyles Brandreth
  34. Mile 81 by Stephen King
  35. Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) by Gail Carriger
  36. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  37. The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
  38. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  39. Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker’s Guide, #3) by Douglas Adams
  40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  41. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  42. Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman
  43. The Audition (Seraphina, #0.5) by Rachel Hartman
  44. The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yōko Ogawa
  45. September

  46. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (didn’t finish)
  47. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker’s Guide, #4) by Douglas Adams
  48. October

  49. Paper Towns by John Green
  50. Samsa in Love by Haruki Murakami
  51. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  52. November

  53. Stir Fry by Emma Donoghue
  54. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  55. Kappa by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  56. December

  57. Vier Vingers by Robert van Gulik
  58. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  59. De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren by Haruki Murakami
  60. Let it Snow by John Green
  61. The Watcher In The Shadows (Mist, #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  62. The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
  63. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  64. A Shinagawa Monkey by Haruki Murakami

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