de Grom’s Top Ten Reads of 2013

de Grom’s Top Ten Reads of 2013
Book Reviews
by – Sheri de Grom

Sheri de Grom’s Top Nine Fiction Novels and a Memoir 

Please note that not all of the novels listed in my top ten for the year 2013 were published in 2013.

The number one criteria I look for in any read is purpose. If the purpose of the book is absent or weak, I’ll not read beyond the first fifty pages.

My top ten picks aren’t listed in any particular order. I selected them from the 57 fiction novels, 9 memoirs and 28 non-fiction books I read in 2013.

I did not include non-fiction in the top ten list as reading interests are individualized. Each book contributed equally to my passion for excellence in storytelling.


The Comfort of Lies – Randy Susan Meyers                                   

Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier – Lisa Dale

Calling Me Home – Julie Kibler

The Promise of Stardust – Pricille Shibley

The Pieces We Keep – Kristina McMorris

The Meryl Streep Movie Club – Mia March

The Wedding Dress – Rachel Hauck bOOK - tHREE SISTERS books - Life and death at bellevue

Three Sisters – Susan Mallery

Life and Death at Bellevue HospitalEric Manheimer, MD **

Margaret From Maine – Joseph Monninger

** annotate memoir

Note: Kristina McMorris is the one author that has made my top ten lists two consecutive years. In 2012, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves was the most requested novel from all long-term care Veteran’s Reading Groups. The Pieces We Keep holds the same title for 2013.

Each Veteran’s Reading Group is facilitated by volunteers consisting of military wives whose husbands are deployed.

If interested, you’ll find my 2012 Top Ten at: . . ovels-for-2012/

Thank you for reading with me.


About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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34 Responses to de Grom’s Top Ten Reads of 2013

  1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Denise Hisey says:

    Wow!!! First of all, I am impressed with how many books you read, Sheri!
    I haven’t read any on this list, but I like to push myself to read new authors and genres, so I’ll likely add some of these to my “to read” list.
    Thank you!

  3. Sheri, sorry but I posted a comment two days ago and I guess it didn’t go through. Agree 100% about Kristina’s books. This is a great list and gives me much TBR for a while. Thanks 🙂

    • Florence – Never fear and certainly no need to apologize. I often make it to blogs (including yours) late and have 2 or 3 to read at one time. However, you take me away to another place and time and often that’s exactly what I need. You are a delightful soul in any day I gather with you to read.
      I’ve had problems with internet service for over a week. Our local carrier owns the monopoly and the only other choice is Dish and we don’t want to go that direction as our current provider is almost instant speed. We are rarely down – so – guess I shouldn’t complain.
      Kristina has grown so much as a writer. Each novel has greater character depth, more intrigue, and never a lose end that’s not left hanging. Her research is as impeccable as Jodi Picoult.

  4. What a great list! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Patty B says:

    Interesting titles, I am saving this to check out something new for my summer reading.

    • Patty: It’s good to see you here. I know you are an avid reader. I think you’ll certainly like ‘The Wedding Dress.” Don’t tell but I broke all my rules and bought the book because of it’s beautiful cover. It reminded me of a wedding dress I once made for a friend, many years ago. The book is classified as Historical Christan Romance. Other books on the list are equally compelling – but I could not put that book now. It broke every rule I’ve ever set for myself about which books I buy. I want to do a review but now I can’t find the novel. I read it several months ago and now piles have been moved around and I’ve looked and looked. Maybe someday I’ll find it. This novel could have easily been marketed as women’s fiction and I’m happy it was on a table with other new titles recently released and not in the romance section of the bookstore or I would never have found it. Hugs to you, my friend. Sheri

  6. timelesslady says:

    Thanks for the list! It’s always good to have a recommended book at the ready when there is a moment to read. I also “read” quite a bit by audio book…it sure makes my cleaning and other chores go faster. Kathy

    • Hello, Kathy: I’ve never gotten into the swing of audio books. My mind wants to drift and it doesn’t do that when I’m reading the printed word. I’m a traditional reader in that I want a ‘real book’ to hold in my hands. However, the bottom line for me is to keep reading whenever and however I can. I hope you enjoy some of the authors I’ve listed – I so enjoyed each and every one. Sheri

  7. ksbeth says:

    thanks for the suggestions, i always love book ideas from people who i respect, and so many of them sound intriguing.

  8. atempleton says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I would like to read some of them–now just to find the time!

  9. Thanks for the list, Sheri. The only one I’ve read is Susan Mallery’s book and I’ve read a ton of her novels. I enjoy them, especially the series.

    • Patti – I even shocked myself with some of the novels I read this year. I had no idea Susan Mallery was a prolific romance writer as ‘Three Sisters’ definitely reads women’s fiction to me. ‘The Wedding’ also reads women’s fiction and it’s classified as romance. After examining my list, it told me that much of today’s writing is really a toss-up where it’s classified and writers should never narrow themselves to one genre at the submissions stage.

  10. Not only do I have books holding up my house, but I have started the electronic collection. Now your intriguing list, Sheri. I must give up sleeping or something to read all the wonderful authors out there. So little time…Less these days as stupid as that sounds because I’m r.e.t.i.r.e.d. ;-).

    • Tess – How well I understand about having less time after retiring. Now that you have your exciting trip coming up, I can imagine you dancing on tippy toes every where you go with complete and total joy. I try to go through my books at least 3 times a year and pass them on to a small library in rural Kansas – but I don’t always succeed.

      • I have a terrible time giving up any books. Went to a yearly book exchange for “Grandmothers in Africa”.You make a donation of $20.00, bring six books and take home seven. As well, you can help yourself to free coffee, tea, sandwiches, wraps, and a sweet table. You have no idea how I hemmed and hawed to wiggle out six books. I had some duplicates that were easy but they were the only ones (easy).

  11. gpcox says:

    I call reading – going on an adventure. Your group is going on many adventures!

    • G.P. – Let’s call that GROUPS. Last I checked we have 32 Veteran’s Reading Groups in Arkansas alone. The military wives have really gotten behind this program and the educational system of North Little Rock contacted my liaison individual to inquire about high school juniors and seniors participating in these groups (along with the facilitator). I love the idea because this means we might be able to get some of the veterans to area parks when spring does decide to arrive. This group of veterans often doesn’t see the outside world for months on end.
      I’ll forever remember the occasion of our first night out. A 94 year old veteran, still spry and walking a minimum of 2 miles each day in the halls of the VA hospital for exercise. I’ve grown to love this Veteran, but as you know, they are all special to me. On that first night we went out, I asked for a wheelchair for him and he refused. He told me it was the first time he was breathing fresh air in 9 years and he wasn’t going to do it from a wheelchair! Sheri

      • gpcox says:

        Oh Sheri what a remarkable story(s); I absolutely love hearing about the vets! The wives should also be commended for all their involvement and concern. As always, give my best to Tom and a big Thank You out to the vets.

  12. sharechair says:

    Thank you for sharing this list!! I read a LOT …. and I’ve not ready any of the books on your list. That’s exciting for me, more books to explore! I’m bookmarking this post, so I can refer back to it when I’m looking for something to read.
    🙂 Kathy

  13. Skye says:

    Thank you for sharing!!

  14. Wow, I hadn’t read a single one of those, and I read a lot. Thanks for the share. Sheri

  15. I’m always a big Susan Mallery fan, so I’ll have to check out Three Sisters. The Wedding Dress and The Meryl Streep Movie Club also intrigue me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hello, Kitt – It’s nice to see you here. I’d never read anything by Susan Mallery and it was blind luck when I bought her novel. I loved it so much, I’m buying the novel that comes before Three Sisters and the one that comes after. I plan to review ‘The Wedding Dress,’ just as soon as I can find it. In a fit of cleaning one day, I moved stacks around and I’ve been looking for several books ever since! It was a magnificent read and among the thousands of books I’ve bought over my lifetime, I can honestly tell you, it’s the first book I ever picked up and purchased simply because I loved the cover. Don’t tell, ok? The pages of The Meryl Streep Movie Club flew by all too fast. The author is masterful in developing each character. Thanks for stopping by. Sheri

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