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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

2013 in lists

2013 was a good year with a lot of ups and very few downs. I have a lot to be grateful for – personal achievements, working with enthusiastic people, making new friends, and a lot of incredible memories. It was a mad rush of a year, but also a very fulfilling one (sometimes even a dream come true one.)

It almost calls for a long retrospective blog post. But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to make lists.

My highlights of the year
1. Sharp Edges was published by Human and Rousseau
2. I met Anthony Horowitz while he was in Cape Town
3. I signed with the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency
4. Open Book hosted my young adult fiction masterclass
5. I started reviewing for the Sunday Times
6. I was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize
7. I did my first publicity tour of Johannesburg

I say highlights, but these were the achievements I’m most proud of. There are so many more personal highlights I could have added – road trips with friends, romantic getaways, seeing a friend’s son grow up before my eyes. I wish I could fill a jar with my favourite memories and shake it up whenever I want to relive them. But I guess that’s what lists are for.

Now on to the books.

A lot of people are posting their Best Books of the Year lists. I’d like to do something a little different. My lists are really an honest look at my reading habits.

The Best Books I Read This Year
1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
2. Water Music by Margie Orford
3. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
4. Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson
5. The New Girl by S.L. Grey
6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Books I Started But Put Down Again Shortly After
1. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
2. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

As much as I was enjoying these reads, the problem is time. If I’m not reading something to review or writing, I’m working. Then again it’s nearly holidays. Maybe I’ll finish these books yet!

I smell a New Year’s resolution coming along…

Books I Wanted To Read But Didn’t Get Around To Picking Up
1. Z by Therese Anne Fowler
2. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tart
4. The Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman
5. The New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
6. House of Sand and Secrets by Cat Hellisen
7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
8. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

It’s embarrassing really. No matter how hard I try, this last list is always longer than the others. People need to stop writing such good books. Next year is going to be even worse, or better, whichever way you look at it.

This leads me to my next list.

Books I Can’t Wait To Read in 2014
1. Dark Windows by Louis Greenberg
2. Invisible Others by Karina Magdalena Szczurek
3. The Three by Sarah Lotz
4. Devilskein and Dearheart by Alex Smith
5. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
6. One Shot by Amanda Coetzee

And many more besides! Please add yours so I know what to keep an eye open for.

Happy holidays everyone.


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