Listen carefully… Do you hear that…? It’s the sound of pages turning.
I have a love/hate relationship with the “Best Of” Books lists that come out this time of year. I love that I get to see the literary year in review, but I hate that there are so many books I somehow missed during the course of the year. I love it when one or two of my personal favorites ends up on the lists, but I hate that so many of the “Best” authors are the same names we see every year… Often men, often writing about middle-aged male concerns. This year I was very pleased to see a bit of a shift away from that trend. This year I saw a lot of new authors on the “Best Of” lists, and a lot of women authors. Hooray!
Of course I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and share my own lists. So if you will indulge me (and please keep in mind that one or two on these lists are from 2012, but because I read them in 2013 I’m including them here)…
My “Best Of” List
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Golem & The Jinni by Helene Wecker
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
You can see where my head was for much of the year–ALL of my “Best Of” list are written by women, and more than half of my “Notables” list. Was there not much great fiction by men this year, or was I simply in a place in my life where I was more attracted to the writing of women? I’m not sure. But as you can see from the paragraphs below, I intend to do some research into the matter…
A side-effect of the “Best Books Lists” time of year is that they serve to remind me of all the great books I haven‘t gotten around to reading. Inevitably (and purposefully, I’m sure) a large portion of the “Best Books of 2013” lists become the beginning of my “TBR in 2014” list.
Bkwurm’s To Be Read in 2014 (in no particular order)*
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle
- Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
- Longbourn by Jo Baker
- Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- Drinking With Men: A Memoir by Rosie Schaap
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
- The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin
I’m sure there are plenty of other GREAT books from 2013 that I’ve missed. Please comment and let me know what other books I should add to my list. What were YOUR favorites of 2013? Let’s all get reading!
*If you need some ideas for your own TBR list, my list above was influenced by: