Best Books of 2013: more lists

December 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm (Best of 2013, books, Magazines and newspapers)

First: a bit of backtracking with regard to the Washington Post. In a previous post, I expressed dismay at the presence of Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs on their list of the year’s ten best books. On the other hand, Maureen Corrigan, the Post’s perceptive and eloquent crime fiction specialist, did select Louise Penny’s luminous novel How the Light Gets In for inclusion on that list, thereby, in my humble and extremely biased opinion, partially redeeming it.

And yet, I must again draw attention to another bit of end-of-the-year strangeness on the part of the Post. Their venerable critic Jonathan Yardley named his ten favorites for 2013 and managed not to include a single fiction title! Jonathan, you need to get out more. And what you really need in your reading life is some crime fiction. For years now I’ve been saying that’s where the great writing and terrific storytelling are currently to be found. This year has given me no reason to revise that opinion; if anything, it’s made me more firm in that view. Out of my own list of forty-six favorite titles for 2013, twenty-nine fall under the rubric of mystery/suspense.

At any rate – here are yet more lists:

From the Wall Street Journal: Best nonfiction, Best fiction (Yes I know – There’s The Woman Upstairs again!).

From The New Republic.

NPR tried a somewhat different approach to list making this year.

From The New Yorker. In Part One and Part Two, the editors asked their contributors to name their favorite reading of 2013.

Like The New Yorker, The Guardian asked a variety of writers and critics to name their favorites for 2013.

Library Journal staff named their Top Ten, and More.

Publishers Weekly made their selections, as did Kirkus Reviews. This link will take you to Kirkus’s choices for Best Fiction; in a column on the left, you’ll see links to other categories.

Finally – and I mention this with all due modesty, lowering my gaze, half closing my eyes, etc. – I’ve been “pinned” on Pinterest. I don’t really understand how that works, but I’m grateful anyway (I believe Yvette of In So Many Words is the responsible party!) and, along with innumerable worthy others, I’ve been aggregated – Thanks, Largehearted Boy!

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Next: best mysteries and crime fiction; stay tuned!

2 Comments

  1. Nan said,

    It is just SO much fun to read all these lists, from bloggers to newspapers to writers. I love them. I keep leaving the same comment everywhere – that what these lists do is hearten me about all the books in the world to read. There is something for every single reader. I’m amazed at how many nonfiction books there are that I’ve not even heard of. And fiction, too, of course. A wealth of reading.

    • Roberta Rood said,

      Hang on to your hat, Nan; there’s more coming!

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