The Best Books I Read in 2013

I had a lot more time to read this year than I have done before. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed the most:

Random and Interesting

Auto/Biography

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X – I loved this book. I didn’t know much about Malcolm X before I read it. It’s definitely worth reading.
  • Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama – This traces Obama’s journey to the White House. I didn’t know much about the man beforehand and found it interesting. He’s an inspiring guy!
  • An Ordinary Man: The True Story Behind Hotel Rwanda by Paul Rusesabagina – I read this while we were travelling through Rwanda after visiting the actual Hotel Rwanda. It’s an amazing story about a very courageous man.
  • Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harper – I read this when we were in Tibet and was mesmerised by it.
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – This book is amazingly written. It’s about the Everest 1996 tragedy. I read it just before our journey to Everest Base Camp (although we didn’t make it due to a recent avalanche) and trekking the Annapurna Sanctuary trail.  Anyone who is interested in hiking/climbing/mountaineering should read it.
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela – A great book about a great life. I read this while in South Africa and when we visited Robben Island.
  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood – I found this story really inspiring.
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I’ve always been interested in Steve. It’s hard to know how accurate it is but worth reading if you’re at all interested in him.
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac – This book is beautifully written.
  • Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein – I didn’t know much about Buffett before reading this book. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s worth reading if you’re at all interested in one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Health

  • Younger Next Year: Turn Back Your Biological Clock by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge – I didn’t realise that this was aimed at men until I started reading about what happens to a man’s penis as he gets older…. It was pretty interesting at least! Some of it can be applied to either sex thankfully – those parts were useful.
  • The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss – I’m a huge Tim Ferriss fan but I was initially unsure about this book. I’m glad I bought it though. I learnt a lot and found the parts about minimum effective dosing, sleep and sex interesting. I’ve also lost a bit of weight following the slow-carb diet.
  • 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil – This is worth reading if you’re interested in improving your health.

Self Improvement

Business

Fiction

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I started reading this for a book club that never materialised. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it and it wouldn’t have been my first choice of book to read but I absolutely loved it. It’s wonderfully written and I liked the story.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This book is excellent although full on – I remember crying while reading it. It’s very moving. I preferred it to Khaled’s Kite Runner, which is also very good.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie – This is a great story and well written. I read it while travelling through Africa which aided my enjoyment of it.
  • The Interpretation of Murder by Jeb Rubenfeld – Entertaining especially if you like crime thrillers.
  • Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin – I read this while we were travelling through Rwanda. It’s an entertaining read.
  • Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom – I didn’t know much about life in Spain after the civil war. This was an interesting and enjoyable read.

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