Hello, fellow Filipino readers!
It’s the last day of the year, and before we bid 2013 goodbye, awesome year for books and reading that it is, we wanted to feature the best reads of some of our Filipino ReaderCon 2013 speakers. In fact, making year-end best books or best reads lists is one of the beloved activities of many of the ReaderCon volunteers and friends.
Let’s start one of Filipino ReaderCon 2013’s facilitators, former speakers, and two-time winner of the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards in the Chick Lit category, Mina Esguerra!
My 2013 Best Reads
Mina Esguerra’s Ten Best Reads for 2013
Here are my ten favorite reads of the year. Arranged mostly in the order that I read them:
1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Starts off “normal,” until that turn (and you know what I mean if you’ve read it), and just becomes more fun and crazy from that point on. There apparently is a debate about how it ended, but I happen to think that certain people deserve what/who they get.
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This pop hit needs no validation from me. I did connect more though to the parents and how it must have felt for them, so to me this isn’t just a YA romance.
3. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
I’m surprised that I even picked this up, and that I enjoyed it so much. (Baseball? Really?) But yes, it all works.
4. The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
It starts off as a guilty-pleasure read (girl responds to ad of hot guy wanting to kiss and nothing more), but then pulls a bait-and-switch and before you know it, you’re invested, and also possibly in tears.
5. Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
One of the novels first associated with the growing “new adult” category, but also the one that does NOT contain the category’s supposed sex requirement. It is, actually, a sweet and lovely (and mostly clean) story of a girl who’s starting college under strange circumstances, that get even stranger. Readers will solve the mystery long before the main character does, but you actually don’t want to ruin things for her.
6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
Mysteries just like this are usually part of my yearly reading list, but rarely do I crave for a sequel, or series. I’d follow Cormoran and Robin around for however many books Ms. Rowling can squeeze out.
7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
A controversial close to a series that I enjoyed. Not saying I agree with it, just that it is what it is. The Divergent series to me has been about catharsis (many things about the “Dauntless” make no sense unless you see it as “we do this so you won’t have to”) and at least in the end one character gets to experience it too.
8. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
A book that just slayed me, even if I knew it would, and tried to prepare myself for it.
9. Asking For Trouble by Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey is IMO the queen of the alpha hero romance, and it’s probably because she understands the power relationship there and doesn’t confuse dominance play with cruelty. Asking For Trouble is her latest, and I think her best.
Best of the year:
10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Oh dear, I want to squeeze this book to pieces. It is sweet and sensitive, and just gets so many things right if you happen to be a fanfic writer, a writer, in a fandom, or just…human. With feelings. No contest, my best of the year, and have been calling it my best of the year as soon as I finished reading it.
Mina V. Esguerra
Thank you, Mina, for sharing! As for the rest of you, feel free to share your best reads for the year in the comments below!