Top Ten of 2013

It wouldn't be the end of December without a list of the top ten books I read this year (I'm anticipating 62 to be my final number). So, in no particular order, I give you my 2013 favorites (please note that rereads, like The Handmaid's Tale, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Macbeth won't appear despite my appreciation of them all):

1. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann- This book is the perfect example of achieving the perfect trifecta- exemplary writing, characters, and plot.

2. The Interestings by Meg Wollitzer- A group of summer camp friends grow up and see how their lives change and intertwine.

3. Blindness by Jose Sarramago- The world is overcome with an epidemic of blindness.

4. Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple- A young girl must deal with her eccentric mother. It's just plain well-written fun.

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot- A nonfiction story of how Lacks' cells changed the medical industry.

6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller- The funniest, most absurd satire I've ever read.

7. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri- A beautiful written story dealing with traditional thematic concepts involving family, honor, death, independence, and age.

8. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- A brilliant commentary on what it means to be an African living in the United States.

9. Night Film by Marisha Pessl- This book was definitely not perfect, but I love Pessl and appreciated her inclusion of multimedia aspects into her text.

10. The Circle by Dave Eggars- While there were a few parts I rolled my eyes at, the message it sends about social media is incredibly powerful. The novel kept me interested from beginning to end.

A few that came oh-so-close:

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
Fathermucker by Greg Olear
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

A few to stay away from:

Lord of Misrule by Jaime Gordon
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky 
Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain


  1. I love your taste in books! It's so varied, and I like that.

    I have to admit, I never really gave Let the Great World Spin much consideration, but now I'm curious to give it a try.

    Also, I totally agree with your opinion on The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I never saw what the big deal was.

  2. Nice list! :) have to check them out! :) ;)

  3. Yay, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. That was a good book, I'm glad it had such a surge in popularity.

  4. I haven't read The Interestings, but I read a similar book long ago by acclaimed South African author Marita van der Vyver, Breathing Space. I loved it although it was probably a bit too mature for me at the time. You might enjoy it, or I might be way off.
    Henrietta Lacks was probably one of my bests of the year too. I read it from the library and loved it so much that I actually bought a copy the other day.

  5. I've seen Bernadette on so many top 10 lists (including my own). Henrietta Lacks and The Interestings are two books I keep eyeing up. I think I will have to read them both soonish as I have read such excellent reviews of both. Great list and so handy to know which to stay away from too!

  6. Great list! You mentioned a lot of titles I hope to get around to in the near future, lol. I remember seeing your review for Necessary Errors but thanks for the heads up about it!

  7. Oh I JUST read The Bell Jar the other day! It was awesome! :D

  8. I loved Adichie's earlier books so much that Americanah was a bit of a disappointment to me. I just didn't like the blog posts in the book. They seemed a little too preachy. Maybe just me....

  9. I love Catch-22, it's one of my favorites left over from required reading in High School. I like that you also added books to stay away from. Great list, and Happy New Year!

    My Top Ten Tuesday

  10. Blindness sucked me in also, great picks.

  11. I've read Bernadette and Catch-22 and want to read a lot of the others. Happy reading :)