Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Second Annual Duckett Reader Choice Awards

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope you find the success you are looking for in 2014! More on that in a future post...

Last year, I was challenged to read 100 books in a year. My final count: 105!

Like last year, I'm going to share my favorite books/series of the year, thus commences the 2013 Second Annual Duckett Reader Choice Awards. It's completely unscientific, totally based on my bias, in no particular order, and not necessarily published in 2013--I just read them in 2013. No 1st place, 2nd place thing--they all tie.

If you are interested, here was last year's post: 2012 Duckett Reader Choice Awards

If you purchase a book (or anything for that matter) by clicking on the links below, a percentage of the sales will benefit Ben Wolverton. I've mentioned him before, he is the kid who suffered severe head trauma, went into a comma, and almost died. To learn more about him and download a free book on the importance of wearing helmets, visit I've updated the links to last year's awards so those also benefit Ben.

If you're looking for a good read, I suggest the following:


by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
I know, they won last year, but the series wasn't complete. Now it is. Epic fantasy and magic systems at its finest!
by Brandon Mull
This was the series that inspired Brandon Mull to become a writer. If you liked Fablehaven, this is a grown up version of those books. Epic fantasy that isn't as epic as The Wheel of Time, but is every bit as entertaining.

The Kingkiller Chronicles
by Patrick Rothfuss
I stumbled across this book as a recommendation from a friend of mine, and I've loved every single word of it. It is a book shy of being complete, so this has potential for winning again in a future year. Epic fantasy with an interesting magic system. What appeals to me most is the voice used throughout this book.


(This was hard whittling it down to 3. I read more books this year, so I'm going to do one more.)

The Hollow City
by Dan Wells
This one blew my mind, since the point of view character suffers from mental illness, you actually experience what life is like when you are a little on the crazy side. This is a book that has helped me to better understand people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia. He made a very different and alien character relatable and likable.
Fault in our Stars
by John Green
This book hit me right in the emotional heart strings. When deciding to read 100 books, one of the things I wanted to do was read outside my usual genre of choice. This is one of the books that made me really glad I decided to branch out. These characters are awesome with witty dialogue and an incredible struggle that felt very real.
by Joe Hill
I read Horns by Joe Hill because horror is one of my favorite genres and I usually like to read the books that are being turned into movies. I liked it and wanted to read more of his work, which is why I picked up NOS4A2. Horns was good, but NOS4A2 was fantastic! I loved the characters, the plot, the setting, the... everything. Joe Hill has the potential to be one of my favorite authors if he keeps this up!
Dr. Sleep
by Stephen King
I picked up my first Stephen King book when I was 12 and have been a loyal reader since. However, a lot of his recent books have not thrilled me like his earlier ones. Dr. Sleep is the sequel to The Shining--one of my favorites of Stephen King--which follows little Danny Torrence into adulthood for an adventure of his own. I loved it and reminds me why I love reading Stephen King. I hope he keeps writing stories like this. If you love classic King, I highly suggest giving this one a shot. Oh, and The Shining is still a roller-coaster of a read to this day.


Character Arc and The Plot Thickens
by Jordan McCollum
I'm going to cheat here a bit because I enjoyed both these books, and her blog is one of my favorite blogs to visit when it comes to finding writing advice. The first link allows you to purchase it on Kindle, which benefits Ben (see above). However, both books--and more--are available for free if you go to the second link.
Structuring Your Novel
by K.M. Weiland
Speaking of favorite blogs, Weiland's is another favorite at Helping Writers Become Authors. After finishing off her book for structuring novels (which also gives advice on structuring scenes and sentences), I can't wait to dive into her other nonfiction book, Outlining Your Novel, which should be a natural extension to this one.
The Write it Right Series
by Tristi Pinkston
This is a link that shows the entire series, though I've only read two in the series so far (Dialogue and Creating Characters). I believe more are on the way. These are educational, witty, and quick reads that will get you pointed in the right direction in regards to certain topics. Her blog is another favorite of mine--and I'm now starting to catch a pattern. It also doesn't hurt that Tristi is a really fantastic Star Wars fan person.

Thank you, to the eleven of you, for writing amazing works and for entertaining and educating me. I'm looking forward to the books I can read in 2014!