The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith
This is going to be made into a movie with Jennifer Lawrence producing and starring in it. (I'm pretty sure that is the definition of "making it" in memoir writing world.)
Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle
I got to meet Melanie Shankle this fall at the Allume conference and she is just as adorable and down to earth in person as she is in her book. Her second book, The Antelope in the Living Room - a memoir about marriage - is due out in 2014. I can't wait.
Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson
Sweet story of a beautiful family. I'd call this one a "feel good and stop making excuses for not living a full life" book.
Carry on Warrior by Glennon Melton
Glennon and I have a love-hate relationship. (Ok, actually, it is totally one-sided. She doesn't even know I exist.) I agree with and lover her about 75% of the time; but, this book is right on the money. This is a book to mail to your mom, your sister, your best friend. (Also going to be a movie I think? I'm a little confused about how.)
*** Read my (more detailed) reviews of the first four books here. ***
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My favorite of the year bar none! Another one with a movie on the horizonYou can read my complete review here.
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
A powerful memoir about psychosis and its effect on the brain, body, and soul. Very good, but hard to read at times.
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
On autism, motherhood, friendship, courage, and perseverance. Good, but considering that I can hardly remember anything about it six months after I finished it, not life changing.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (audio)
An unexpected favorite. It covers the scientific, neurological, and psychological basis behind how habits are created and how individuals, companies, and the advertising industries use them. This isn't typical of my reading choices at all, but it reads more like a story and is SO interesting that I found myself looking forward to the next chapter and being sad when it was over.
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton (audio)
I can't remember which one, but a blogger I follow recommended this one and I immediately downloaded it. It is one part mystery about a horrible case of arson in an elementary school and one part love story about a mother and her child at the crossroads between life and death. It is beautifully written and full of surprising twists. This would be a great book club choice!
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sarah Corbett (audio)
This is the memoir of Amanda Lindhout - a Canadian reporter who was held captive for more than 400 days in Muslim Somali in 2008. The story is powerful and intense at times, but also one of hope and courage. I especially recommend the audio book because it is read by Lindhout herself which gives it a very personal feel.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene
Another one due to be turned in to a movie this year (although my expectation is low - think what Hollywood did to My Sister's Keeper), I read this one at the request of several of my female students who could not stop talking about it this fall. It is a sweet love story and the characters are well-developed; but, don't read it if you are looking for a happy ending.
On my list for 2014...
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
... and maybe the Divergent series
What about you? What was the best book you read in 2013? What's in the queue for 2014?