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Top Ten books to read in 2013

books to read 2013

The Broke and the Bookish

Books screaming to be read

My house is littered with books, my shelves cluttered with more books, and all are begging to be read. Does that sound familiar? I’m sure you have a few books stacked here and there that speak to you, always urging you to pick them up, open their pages, and read their words. I’m no different. In order to reduce the noise level around here, I’ve committed to reading the following rather loud books:

10 Books I resolve to read in 2013

Moby Dick Big Read online reading eventMoby Dick  – Yes, I am firmly resolved to finish the Moby Dick Big Read. I’ve fallen off the reading couch for a bit but promise to renew the big read starting today, January 1st, 2013.

The Hobbit – Another book I’ve resolved to read, although it definitely qualifies as a reread. Like so many of my generation, I fell in love with Tolkein’s work. With all the movie talk in the air, I decided it was time to revisit Tolkein’s wondrous landscape.

The Lord of the Rings If I’m going to read The Hobbit, then it’s only right that I follow with Tolkein’s trilogy. It’s been a few decades since my last reading, and I’m looking forward to reading all the Tolkein books from Bilbo’s adventures through Frodo’s.

She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories – Ron Hansen is a writer I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. In fact, several of his books grace my shelves. I’m going to start with the short stories because short story collections often reveal the range of a writer and because it will fit in with the Short Story Challenge project I’m continuing through 2013.

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity – This is an annual read. I love Ray Bradbury but even more I think every writer should make reading this book an annual ritual, particularly the essay The Joy of Reading.

Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds – Harold Bloom’s book on creativity and the creative mind is one that has been waiting rather stoically for my attention for a long time. I’ve read the introduction and now it’s time to dive into the heart of the book. It’s an interesting book that is structured for an easy read with short pieces about the various creative minds he’s covering.

The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present –  Another rather large book that has been staring at me for more years than I care to say. The introduction is fabulous and I’ve read it many times over and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to write an essay, but I’ve yet to make it through the entire collection. So this year, 2013, I commit to starting anew.

Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare – One goal of mine is also part of my Classics Club Challenge and that is to revisit Shakespeare. I have several nonfiction works about the Bard and this is one that I’ve been wanting to read for some time and particularly before I read any of Shakespeare’s plays.

The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works 2nd Edition – No, I don’t expect to read through all the plays, but I have committed to several through The Classics Club and do want to read at least one play in 2013. Currently, it’s a toss-up between  HamletMacbethKing Lear or, a personal favorite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

And for the tenth book, I first bring you a quote:

…the most difficult of all tasks for a writer was learning to counteract his own inertia and cowardice. – Dorathea Brande

Wake Up and Live – This is an old text dating back to the mid-1930s and written by Dorathea Brande during the Great Depression, a self-confessed failure as a writer who somehow managed to find the secret to success that enabled her to turn her writing life around. As she said, “I knew very well that there was more work that I should be doing, and better work, and work more demonstrably my own.”

Act as if it were impossible to fail - Dorothea BrandeI think most writers would identify with that statement. Brande had managed to get out of deadlock. She stumbled across the idea that set her free and ultimately shared her thoughts on the formula and the process within these pages. Truths are truths no matter how dated the material. Her book  Becoming a Writer is a classic, so why not see what she has to share? After all, the book sold two million copies. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Why not tell share your comments and suggestions below? (Happy New Year everyone!)


Go here for more on the Short Story Challenge and for The Classics Club. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish here.

  • IMAGE & AFFILIATE CREDITS: Book covers below and titles via affiliate.

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  • danicapage

    Moby Dick is on my to-read list as well. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are good as well. Definitely recommend them.

    Happy New Years and happy reading.

    Here’s the books I resolve to read

    ~Danica Page

    Taking it One Page at a Time

  • Kate

    Wow! That’s a hefty list. Good luck and enjoy :-)

    Check out my (somewhat lightweight list!) here

  • Vikk Simmons

    Thanks, Kate! I’m looking forward to all the reading this year.

  • Vikk Simmons

    Thanks, Danica, I’m sure we’ll both be happy readers this year. We definitely have some similar choices. Happy New Year!

  • Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    Every book reader should have to read The Lord of the Rings. :) Great choices.

    Check out my TTT.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  • Vikk Simmons

    Thanks, Sandy. I agree about The Lord of the Rings. I loved it when I first read the trilogy back in my teens in the 70s. Now I’m looking forward to it for a whole host of new reasons. Thanks for stopping by and commenting; it’s always appreciated.

  • Lauren

    I’ve heard such wonderful things about Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. I should add that to my shelf of writing/motivational books. And I love Bradbury too :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and happy reading in the new year!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

  • Vikk Simmons

    Love, love, love Bradbury and especially his book on writing. He has such a way with words, they crackle with energy, pop, and zing.

    Thanks for coming by, Lauren.

  • Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Happy New Years! I’m also looking forward to re-reading “The Hobbit” before I see the movie.

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday list.

  • Vikk Simmons

    Hi, Angelica, Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. Yep, must read first. I see you have Marley & Me on your list today. With six dogs I hate to say it, but I have yet to read the book or even see the movie; however, it’s been on TBR for, well, years. Maybe this year.

  • Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Vikk can you believe, I too have 3 dogs of my own and haven’t read it! What breed are your furbabies? I’ve got an AM Staff, English Staff and a Maltese Terrier.

  • Angelica @ Paperback Princess

    Thanks for visiting back 😉

  • Vikk Simmons

    Love them dogs. I have a Great Pyrenees who is the size of Irish Wolfhound named Samwise Samchild, an American Cocker named Riley, a Pug named Charlie, a Shih Tsu named Teddy (Theodore Roosevelt Simmons), a Maltese named Freddie, and a little 3.5 lb Mi-Ki called HoneyBunn. They are quite a crew.

    You see photos and more about my dogs here. Sam’s been here since Sept as Waco, my other Pyr passed away suddenly in August.

  • Silver’s Reviews

    You are wonderfully organized for the year!! I have about 8 books in a list…I hope I can get all mine done.

    Happy New Year!!


    Silver’s Reviews