The OF Blog: Best of 2013: Top 25 Books Released in 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013: Top 25 Books Released in 2013

2013 has been a good, if not exactly great, reading year.  There were several books published in multiple genres that I felt were at least very good, if not excellent, works of fiction or non-fiction.  I read a little over 100 of these 2013 releases and having a "success rate" (or at least works that engaged me on some level) of over 50% is very good (helps that I am very careful when selecting books to read, I suppose).  It is difficult to come up with a list of great works that does not exclude at least a handful of others that are very near in quality to those that make such a list, even an expanded one as my Top 25.  In fact, the difference between #25 and #6, to use semi-arbitrary numbers is often minute enough that if I were re-list the books I chose for this list six months later, the ordering might be very different.  But such is the nature of the list beast, I suppose.  Here are the 25 titles over which you can debate their merits, if you so choose (those for which I had already written formal review will contain links to said reviews):

25.  Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
24Leena Krohn, Datura 

23.  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Arthur 

22.  Kate Atkinson, Life After Life

21.  Helene Welker,  The Golem and the Jinni  

20.  James McBride, The Good Lord Bird 
19.  Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries  

18.  Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer 

17.  Matt Bell, In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods  

16.  Cynthia Kadohata, The Thing About Luck 

15.  NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names 

14.  Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove 

13.  Jean-Marie Blas de Robles, Where Tigers are at Home 

12.  Matt Rassmussen, Black Aperture 

11.  Umberto Eco, Storia delle Terre e dei Luoghi Leggendari 

10.  William H. Gass, Middle C 

 9.  Gene Yuen Yang, Boxers/Saints 

 8.  John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, March:  Book One 

 7.  Karen Joy Fowler, We are all Completely Beside Ourselves 

 6.  Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch 

 5.  George Packer, The Unwinding 

 4.  Philipp Meyer, The Son 

 3.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah 

 2.  George Saunders, Tenth of December 

 1.  László Krasznahorkai, Seiobo There Below

1 comment:

James said...

A Tale for the Time Being, Life After Life, and The Tenth of December all appear on my list, as well. Vampires in the Lemon Grove was good, but not good enough and I have a hard time summoning up any enthusiasm for the collection. I left it off the list for that reason, though I have a feeling I'd be more positive toward it if I read it again.

I began reading The Golem and the Jinni, We Need New Names, We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, Americanah, and Bell's debut, but never finished them. They were all good, mind you, just cases where my mood doesn't suit the book and I don't push my luck when it comes to that.

I have The Golem and the Jinni and The Goldfinch, but haven't read them yet.

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