Blog Hops and Other Memes / Highly Recommended

Countdown to 2014 #3: Best Books of 2013

ImageIt’s Top Ten Tuesday AND the last day of the year! Happy New Year’s everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today’s topic is the best books of 2013, and before I give you my top ten list, here’s a round-up of other good “Best Of” lists:

Looking at these lists, I didn’t see a lot of repetition.  2013 may be noteworthy for its lack of an “it” book, or at least greater diversity in the books these editors are identifying.  I didn’t calculate but here are some titles that seemed to come up repeatedly:   The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud, The Son by Phillipp Meyer,  A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, and The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner.  I think the most frequently cited was Tenth of December by George Saunders.  Less traditional picks NOS4A2, The Golem and the Jinni, and Vampires in the Lemon Grove also saw some love.

Maybe it’s me but it seems 2013 was a good year for women writers.  Or maybe these books stood out to me because I gravitate to women writers.  Thoughts?

I’m sorry to to say I haven’t read any of these books.

Here’s my Top Ten (not necessarily released in 2013):

  1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  2. The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
  3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  5. Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell
  6. Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
  7. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  10. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

If I added one more it would be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Normally, I read very few new releases.  This year, an unusual number of the books I read were actually published in 2013.  So my Top Ten Books Published in 2013 looks pretty similar to the other list:

  1. The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
  2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  4. Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell
  5. Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
  6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  7. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  8. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  9. Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende
  10. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

And the other that almost made the list:The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord.

Happy New Year’s everyone!

5 thoughts on “Countdown to 2014 #3: Best Books of 2013

  1. I read a decent mix of new and old books this year, but it seems like most of the older titles made it to my own faves list. A few newbies made it in, but I’m relishing the backlist reading that I’ve done in the latter half of 2013.

    You have a great list here. I enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette far more than I thought I would, and my review of it will post next week. I also loved E&P and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. And several more of these are on my TBR (hello, Panopticon!). 😀

    Happy new year and cheers to a wonderful year of reading and blogging in 2014!

  2. Thanks for compiling those lists and offering your own too. I feel lucky that I’ll be reading Tenth of December, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and Life After Life with my book group this year. I’ve got A Tale for the Time Being, Eleanor and Park, and The Goldfinch on my TBR now too, thanks to you!

  3. That’s a great list. I’m still working on mine, so it should be up next week.

    I think I’m going to read A Monster Calls this year, but having read the Chaos Walking series, I know some emotional preparation will be in order!

    I hope your New Year is off to a great start!

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