As the end of the year dictates, I have compiled my top reads of 2013. Before we dive into the list, I feel it’s necessary to remind readers about the process as denoted last year.
1. Yes, evaluating the best in a given year is subjective so if you disagree, great!
2. I rate fiction and nonfiction differently. To me, fiction requires an element of creativity and entertainment; I want to read art. Nonfiction, on the other hand, is evaluated on its educational qualities. Did I learn and apply the principles found in the book? Therefore, I have split lists between fiction and nonfiction.
3. Reading a book is a linear process. It takes time. Thus, I read old and new books equally. Most lists deal with books published in 2013. I have split the fiction list into books published in 2013 and books from the back catalog.
2013: The Best in Fiction
10. A Thousand Pardons: A Novel by Jonathan Dee
9. MaddAddam: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra
7. Middle Men: Stories by Jim Gavin
6. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
5. Snow Hunters: A Novel by Paul Yoon
4. Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
3. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
2. The Humanity Project: A Novel by Jean Thompson
1. The Son: A Novel by Philipp Meyer
2013: The Best of the Back Catalog
10. Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Chabon
9. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
8. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
7. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
6. The Flame Alphabet: A Novel by Ben Marcus
5. Infinite Jest: A Novel by David Foster Wallace
4. Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale by Herman Melville
3. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
2. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
2013: The Best in Nonfiction
5. Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution by Nathaniel Philibrick
4. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore
3. The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman
2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
1. Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan