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Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books in 2013

This is it: the obligatory list of my favorite books of 2013. Thanks, as always, to the folks at The Broke and the Bookish for the best bookish meme ever. Top Ten Tuesday is easy and fun! It's a list, and everyone likes a list. You can go to this page for a list of Top Ten Tuesday topics, past, present, and future.

I read 66 books in 2013, and most of the books that really stayed with me were classics.

All the Pretty Horses
The Crossing
Cities of the Plain

Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy consists of three novels that are loosely linked by theme, character, and setting. McCarthy's hermit-like dedication to his writing pays off with gorgeously crafted sentences and finely wrought novels. McCarthy's three novels are a marvel, and I know I will be reading each one of them again.



Anything Bonnie Jo Campbell writes is bound to end up on my list of favorites. Once Upon a River is still my favorite Campbell novel, but Q Road was excellent too. Set in Michigan, Campbell's novel has vulnerability, love, and inexplicable violence. Engrossing and unputdownable.






I love, love, love David Rhodes and everything he has written or will write. Jewelweed is his long-awaited follow-up to Rock Island Line and Driftless.









The Known World is the only novel that short story writer Edward P. Jones has written, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. This brilliant novel is just amazing...and Jones began writing in without setting down a word on paper. For years he worked on it in his head.






Helene Wecker's novel The Golem and the Jinni was unlike anything else, and the feeling and emotion of this novel have really stayed with me.








Lionel Shriver's Big Brother was intriguing and disturbing. I will definitely be reading more books by this very original and striking writer.








Orphan Train is an absorbing novel with wide appeal.









The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola kept me in its grip I finished this novel in a couple of days---because I just couldn't put it down.









What were your favorite books of 2013?

14 comments:

Andi said...

I posted my list today as well. I'm excited to see that you chose The Known World for your own favorites because it's on my list to read in 2013. It's staring at me from my shelves right now, actually. Cheers to more great reading (and blogging!) in 2014!

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read a single one of those books but they all sound good to me.

Rummanah Aasi said...

The Golem and the Jinni was a magical read. I'm really curious to see what she writes next.

Leah @ Books Speak Volumes said...

I haven't read any of these books, but a few of them are on my shelf!

Iliana said...

Loved reading your best of list. I read All the Pretty Horses years ago but I haven't read any of these others. Big is on my list though! Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

I just read an essay by Ann Patchett in which she said she walks around writing a novel in her head for a long time (months perhaps, not years) before she commits a word to the page. I had never heard of such a thing before but apparently it's not her own aberration.

bibliophiliac said...

@Andi-Can't wait to read your list! Cheers to great reading in 2014!

bibliophiliac said...

@bermudaonion-I'm trying to get those classics in, so my list doesn't have so many 2013 releases....

bibliophiliac said...

@Rummanah--Yes, magical is just the right word for The Golem and the Jinni! I will definitely be reading Helene Wecker's next book.

bibliophiliac said...

@Leah-my bookshelves are lined with books that sound good (which I also haven't read!)...

bibliophiliac said...

@Iliana-Happy New Year, and happy reading in 2014!

bibliophiliac said...

@Lisa-I think writing in your head is more common than you might think. I know that I often compose this way...not an entire novel, but lines, sentences, and paragraphs, definitely.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

My top choice for 2013 was The Goldfinch, which I thought was masterful.

I love that you read the Border trilogy in 2013. McCarthy is an incredibly fine writer, I think. And now you've made me wonder about Jewelweed. The pub sent me a 100-page advance excerpt which I read maybe a year ago but then totally put out of my mind. His writing is great, too, and I need to track down the full book to read!

bibliophiliac said...

@Emily-Sometimes I think I could spend all my time reading Cormac McCarthy.... but that would get a little too dark, in the end. But I absolutely love his sentences, and I think he captures something about the American psyche that we are perhaps reluctant to face. Blood Meridian is probably one of the finest books I've ever read, and The Border Trilogy is pretty high on my list too.