Monday, January 13, 2014

My best books of 2013

This is a very arbitrary list, as what I read includes books I've acquired over the years, as well as new releases, and classics I've revisited.
I read 50 books in 2013, including 19 audiobooks. 
My quantity was down slightly from 2012, but I read or listened to several really long books (24 cds!)

Here are the memorable ones:
The Great Gatsby
The Quiet American, Graham Greene
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

top 10 (no particular order):
The Round House, Louise Erdrich
Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
Fall of Giants, Ken Follett
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
What is the What? Dave Eggers
Where Have you Gone, Bernadette? Semple
The Son, P Meyer
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson
Transatlantic, Colum McCann

also memorable:
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Just Kids, Patti Smith
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Dear Life, Alice Munro

Several of these books this year seemed to have plots and subject matter that spanned the first 3/4 of the twentieth century, particularly Fall of Giants, Transatlantic, Life after Life, The Son, even the Round House, and seem to explore linkages and causation from one generation to the next, call it karma, or reincarnation, or causation.  Worthy themes, and beautifully written explorations.

Another book that tried this, to less effect, was Paris, by Edward Rutherford, which I do not recommend.

I really liked Where Have You Gone Bernadette, because it was an artful comedy of contemporary manners, written as an epistolary novel (through emails and reports), with deft send-ups of the Microsoft & private school mom world. My book group will read this in March, so I hope they like it!
My thriller and spy reading including John Sandford, Lee Child, Carl Hiassen--always enjoyable bon bons!

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