Favorite Books of 2013


Favorite children’s book:
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Favorite thriller:
The Silent Wife by A. S. Harrison (thanks to Nadia for first bringing it to my attention!)
Favorite nonfiction:
Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Favorite translated books:
Swimming to Elba by Sylvia Avallone
and:
The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker (thanks to Stu and Gary for sharing about the IFFP for which this won!)
Favorite classic:
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (thanks to Arti for the shared read!)
Favorite reread:
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (thanks to Andi for hosting the read-along!)
Favorite fantasy:
 A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (thanks to Chris for helping me love this genre!)
Favorite series:
The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn
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36 thoughts on “Favorite Books of 2013”

  1. Such an eclectic selection – you've had a really interesting and diverse reading year. (And I love you, I assume, seasonal background – really lovely). All the best for a wonderful and peaceful Christmas, with lots of excellent books to make the New Year truly amazing

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  2. It's so true how eclectic my reading is: all over the place! But I found each of these books to be so fantastic. They made 2013 shine.

    As for my background, yes, it is seasonal. And lovely. But, as you probably know, things come and go so quickly here! 😉

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  3. I haven't read any of your books and see I'm missing a lot of great reads, The Silent Wife has me curious. Have read a few other books about wives but missed this one. Will keep them in mind.

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  4. What a GREAT post and a great way for remembering 2013 for yourself.

    I never did get to read The Boys In The Boat or The Silent Wife. I really want to read The Silent Wife.

    THANKS again for sharing, and have a wonderful Christmas week.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

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  5. Hi Bellezza thanks for the mention. My favourite translation would be
    The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov a great yet new to me Russian writer or Satantango by László Krasznahorkai or possibly Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. Favourite fantasy/horror would be the Crooked God Machine, top thriller would Alone in Berlin & nonfiction Library at Night, Alberto Manguel or The Rules by the Velominati, my classic would Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight, not reread anything this year apart from some poetry.
    Have a wonderful Christmas & an even better New Year.

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  6. I also really enjoyed The Silent Wife, and of course, Swann's Way is superb. I might need to reread that in the next while… thanks for sharing your top picks, there are a few I hadn't heard of.

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  7. Thank you for the list.
    I enjoyed Boys in the Boat and Swann's Way.I've not read the others. I will add Claire Massud's The Woman Upstairs and Ozeki's A Tale of the Time Being for my other favorite books.

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  8. The Silent Wife is sitting on my shelf – must read! Really enjoyed reading your list. It's dangerous to read these lists because I end up adding more books to my list 🙂

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  9. Wasn't it fabulous?! Even though I was interested in sports not at all, and rowing even less, every word absorbed me in this book. Daniel Brown did a magnificent job of portraying characters for which I cared deeply.

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  10. I didn't reach 100 as i'd originally planned, but I'm more content now with quality rather than quantity. I think it's too difficult to attain a certain number, and when I read too quickly, I forget half of what I've read. Not a good plan for this reader. 😉

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  11. Harvee, you would like The Silent Wife, especially as you particularly enjoy thrillers. This one has such an apt title as you will see if you do have a chance to read it.

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  12. Caroline, thanks for appreciating the diversity of my reading…never within one genre. I'm sorry i missed your German Lit month. Hopefully i'll prepare for it better next year!

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  13. So often I write a rather lengthy year end post. This year I simply cut to the chase and listed a few favorites off the top of my head. Thanks for reading, and I wish you a Merry Christmas week as well.

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  14. Gary, you always have such interesting books on your shelf, on your blog, in your mind. Not one of the titles you have listed here are familiar to me, but that is one of the very reasons I love to blog (with you). You bring me much refreshing information, many ways to expand my horizon.

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  15. Swann's Way is something i'd been meaning to get to, and Arti provided the impetus for that read. She went on ahead with Within A Budding Grove, so perhaps I'll continue all seven of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Some day.

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  16. I put Messud's The Woman Upstairs in my list of favorites under the top tab of my blog, but didn't mention it in this post. Though I loved it, there were some disturbing elements that perhaps were the reason I left it out here. Nevertheless, it is an incredibly powerful book which I will long remember. As for A Tale For The Time Being I can't wait to open that one!

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  17. I know! One ends up with more books on one's list, as well as the occasional feeling of, “Do I know of any literature out there at all?” So many titles are still new to me.

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  18. It's interesting to me how The Silent Wife seems to be the title which most sticks out to people. Well, who doesn't love a good thriller? And Gone Girl certainly wasn't. In my opinion.

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  19. JoAnn, Edward St. Aubyn did such a magnificent job with those stories. They have to be somewhat autobiographical in nature because he pinpoints so many feelings which I've not only read from his background but have experienced, to some degree, myself. Well, there are only a few months between our ages so perhaps that is one small reason they were so powerful to me. But, mostly they're just great writing. I hope you get to them some day.

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  20. I'm anxious to read Boys in the Boat. Thanks to you, I'll get to it sooner than later. That is, if my hubby reads it quickly. Thank you, so much, for sharing your copy with us! And, The Silent Wife is on my 2014 list. Everytime I pass it in the store, I remember how much you enjoyed it.

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  21. As per all the other comments, such a diverse list. Great reading for the year and a good choice with Gerbrand Bakker's “The Detour” – Parish mentions “Satantango” and it's one I'm yet to conquer, I can see the depth and love the style, the difficulty and complexity is what's getting me, but I will conquer it. Thanks for your posts during the year you have helped me to move in more diverse circles, although I may appear quite lost at the moment…any good book is a pleasure though!

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  22. I hope you, and Rod, enjoy The Boys in the Boat. I found the courage and determination in that book so inspirational. The Silent Wife was good because it didn't feel contrived, like so many thrillers can appear to me.

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  23. This year I hope to read all the finalists for the IFFP. It makes me smile that the only one I did read for 2013 was the one which won. Now that's time we'll spent! 😉

    Thank you for your kind words about “helping” you to move in more diverse circles. There's nothing that could thrill a reader, or teacher, more.

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