A Morose Bookshelf

Let’s Discuss — Our Favorite “Morose” Reads of 2013

Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year — Horace Mann, American Education Reformist

My readings for 2013 are complete. That’s to say I won’t be finishing any more books this year…You may notice in the right sidebar it says I’m currently reading Camus’ The Fall — I’m not. That graphic is usually truthful, but not right now. I thought I would try (re)reading it after I was disenchanted with American Gods less than 100 pages in (I was supposed to love that book!)

Anyways so it’s December, the last month of the year, and almost the end of the year. And with the end of the year comes all those end-of-year lists. I’m going to conform and do one of my own: Our Favorite “Morose”* Reads of 2013. Nothing Fancy. A shortlist of books that really impressed me…Okay, onto aforementioned list:

In third place — Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Briefly–Why I loved this book and why you should read it:

  • Successful combination of a historical and psychological narrative.
  • Very candid and humorous storytelling.
  • Eugenides can write his ass off.
  • Unique parallels of an “American” journey.
  • Fascinating look into Hermaphroditism.
  • Intangibles and a “wildcard” factor.

Fun facts: (1) Published in 2002 (2) Won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Runner-up**The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

I loved this book and why you should read it too:

  • Seamlessly connected short stories. Seamless I tell you!
  • O’Brien tells you the truth.
  • If I believed in book abuse, I would have highlighted and dog-eared 97.2% of this book. The passages are that artful.
  • It will familiarize war.
  • O’Brien can write his ass off.
  • It’s my kind of sad***.

Fun facts: (1) Published in 1990 (2) Semi-autobiographical

Top Spot goes to — On the Beach by Nevil Shute

You should read it:

  • Raises important questions.
  • Existential, realistic and literary but not melodramatic.
  • Post/apocalyptic done right.
  • Short and sweet science-fiction.
  • Might be the most morose book I read all year.
  • You guessed it–Shute can write his ass off!

Fun facts: (1) Published in 1957 (2) A sweet 296 pages long.

*As in “A Morose Bookshelf” …not all are literally morose…well….yeah…

**This was so tough–I wish the Shute and O’Brien could share the #1 spot…maybe they can…why am I using rankings? Maybe it’s enough they get another notable post….the point is they are both amazing books.

***My kind of sad–not the kind of sad found in hmm…let’s say — Vinegar Hill or Hunger or The Dead


All in all, it was a good year for reading. I’m looking forward to next year. Although I don’t post nearly enough, I’m quite fond of this blog and I’m always looking for ways to make it better. Please feel free to share your thoughts anytime–I talk back.


Cheers to 2014!