Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Top Books of 2013

It wouldn't be overstatement to say I got lost in December. I got busy doing things I needed to do instead of things I want to do, like this mess of a blog. However, since there have been inquiries as to my whereabouts and to my top book recommendations for the past year, well, here goes:

Tenth of December by George Saunders
Battleborn by Clare Vaye Watkins
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
NW by Zadie Smith
Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I Shudder by Paul Rudnick
Ready, Steady, Go by Shawn Levy
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Answer to the Riddle is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia by David McLean

Three striking fiction debuts (Watkins, Marra, Miller), two brilliant YA novels (Green & Zusak), Saunders at what could be the peak of his career (though I hope not), and Smith making certain I don't forget how great she is. 

In non-fiction, Rudnick made me roar with laughter, Hillenbrand made me feel despair and triumph, Levy thoroughly entertained me, and McLean scared the shit out of me (the book pubs January 14th so go buy it). 

In all, I finished 35 books and read some or most of another 15. There were some books I read that I never posted about--some were good enough and others were disappointments. A few made me angry for wasting my time and others I'd re-read if I could find the time because they gave me such joy. Looking over my blog and my master list, it was a fiction-heavy year and my choices lean just a little more heavily that way. 

You can read more about all these titles on the blog. I hope you manage to avoid the post-holiday doldrums but if you don't, the titles here may help get you through. 

As always, special thanks to friends in the book biz who still keep me in the pipeline, to authors who have been kind enough to contact me after reading my posts, and to you, my regular readers. Happy new year. 

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