Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Treasures of 2013

Yesterday, I shared with you The Books of 2013, where I outlined the details of all the books I read last year.  Today, I share with you the tops of the year, including my favorite reads, the popular posts here at Tif Talks Books as well as in my Instagram feed, and even the life highlights.  Without further ado, I present The Treasures of 2013 . . .


There were a number of books that impacted me in 2013.  I have broken them up into a number of different categories.


I have re-read this book a number of times, but this time I started the year off with introducing it to my son for the first time.  Then, I ended the year with seeing Peter Jackson's image of the classic.  This story only gets better and better every single time.

I re-read this book after a very long time, and this time it was for a read-along that I hosted with my partner, Cheap Thrills.  When I first read it, I did not completely understand the complexity and the development of the characters.  This time, I did!

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
I had previously read this book probably about two decades ago.  This time around, I listened to the book on audio, and connections were made that I was unable to make the first time around.  When the book ended, I had such a powerful AHA moment that I was almost knocked off my feet.  (Review coming in the near future!)


Fables:  The Graphic Novel Series by Bill Willingham
I caught up on this long series and adored every volume (though the volume pictured is the one that stands out the most for me).  It didn't make my favorites list, but it is definitely still a series worth mentioning as a treasure in 2013!


These books did not make my favorites list, but they were still outstanding reads that I could not leave out of this list of treasures.  You can click the titles for review links.


And, finally, my favorite reads of the year!!  I could not decide which one was the best between these two because they both impacted me in different, but very powerful ways.  I cannot rave enough about these books, and if you have not yet read them, I recommend you make them a priority in 2014!  (Reviews are linked up for more information.)


The treasured posts can actually be broken down into two different categories.  Let's start with the posts that received the most hits according to my Google stats tracker.
  1. Monday Maunder:  August 19, 2013
  2. Monday Maunder:  July 15, 2013 (On The Road Edition)
  3. Guest Article:  Controversial Children's Books by Maria L Hughes
Even though these posts seemed to gather the most visits, I also like to take a look at those that actually generated the most discussion.  Here are the posts that have the greatest amount of comments . . . 


I also wanted to share my most liked pictures from Instagram.  Please note that all pictures are taken and edited with my smartphone.  I do not consider these to be high quality, but rather for candid enjoyment.

The Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree

Kicking Off The Doctor Sleep Read-along

The Book House At My Local Library


Last, but not least, I thought I would also share the top three personal highlights of my year, this time in no particular order . . .

  1. Moving yet AGAIN!  This latest move was #3 since the birth of this blog in 2007, resulting in Tif Talks Books being written from my home in 3 different states!
  2. ROAD TRIP!!  I took a 27 day road trip with my kids this last summer, landing in a total of 6 different states and traveling more than 4000 miles.
  3. SELLING our house!  This was a bitter sweet moment because I loved my old home, but it also was a huge weight off my shoulders last month when we finally signed those closing papers!

Whew!  Though 2013 brought us some difficult and challenging times, it also was quite a year, filled with lots of treasures!

What were some of your favorites, tops, and treasures of 2013?  Did you write a year-end wrap-up post that you would like to share here?


  1. I love rereading! It's like visiting favorite friends again. And I always catch something I missed before. I guess I need to try Diana Wynne Jones again. I just can't seem to get into her. I have this roadblock in my mind I need to break down. Ugh.

    Hope you're through with moving for a bit. I would find that so nerve-wracking!

    1. Heather .. Me too! I really tend to re-read those books that I consider my comfort reads because they are just like old friends! As for DWJ, I have only read a few of her books, but Howl's Moving Castle just hit me. I loved it!

      I've got another move coming up this summer, but that should be the last big move in a LONG time ... or it had better be!! :)

  2. I am the Messenger is one of your very favorites? Awesome! And now FOR SURE I must read Howl's! Just for you! :) And... are you sure about those Stephen King books? Totally sure? They scare me. But... I'm curious.

    1. Suey ... It totally was!! I just loved it!! It was funny and genuine and powerful. How could I not love it?!? :)

      Definitely read Howl's and let me know what you think! And, not all King books are scary! The Shining is probably the scariest of them all, but The Eyes is more fantasy-ish and Doctor Sleep is just different in general!!

  3. I am SO tickled to see Howl's Moving Castle on your faves list. I've had it languishing on my e-reader and 2014 is the year!

    1. Andi ... Yeah! Let me know when you get to it! I got the sequel for Christmas and will be reading it in the near future!

  4. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still haven't read The Hobbit! I have a lovely LOTR box set, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Some day!

    Suey, Stephen King scares me too! Think his books are much scarier than the movies because he leaves things up to your imagination! I have Doctor Sleep, but am a little afraid to actually read it! *L*

    1. Alexia561 ... To be honest, I had a REALLY hard time getting into LOTR. The Hobbit is much easier to read in my opinion. I've read it multiple times and it only gets better each time!

      Doctor Sleep is not as scary as some of King's other novels. I definitely recommend that one!!

    2. Think I might give The Hobbit a try, especially since the second movie is already out.

      Also wanted to let you know that the free countdown timer I picked was at Changed the alarm to the Doctor Who theme (youtube), which makes me smile every time it goes off. :)

    3. Alexia561 ... Yay for The Hobbit!! Thanks for the link, too! I'm off to check it out!

  5. Congrats on selling your house! I can relate to the bitter-sweetness. As much as we wanted our recent move, it was still hard to leave our old house. We wished we could have moved the house to our new town. Good luck with the next move!

    I'm another one who hasn't read The Hobbit. I tried once when I was a tween and should probably try it again. I did read the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and enjoyed that, but I hear that is much different from The Hobbit.

    The Shining is one of my all time favorites and I enjoyed The Help, too.

    1. Chris Wolak ... Thank you! For a while, I began to wonder if it would ever sell!! :)

      I think LOTR is much more detailed and harder to read. If you can get past the birthday party in the first one, you can definitely get through The Hobbit! It is much more action-packed and doesn't take forever to get to the point!! :)

  6. Yay for The Hobbit! I really want to read your favorite books of the year!

    1. Heather ... I definitely recommend them! Let me know if you do!!


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