Sunday, December 15, 2013

100 Literary Favourites of 2013

THE YEAR 2013 has come to an end. This has been such a vintage year for fiction. It’s literally a bumper harvest of both fiction and nonfiction. What I have listed here are merely some of my favourite books that I have read this year, books that have resonated with me, books that have left an impression on me, books that I admire. It is almost impossible to do a Top 10. I could easily add another fifty books to the list if I wanted to. Like many serious readers, I buy far more books than I can possibly read.


Novels
1. Americanah (Fourth Estate/Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. Life After Life (Doubleday/Little, Brown, 2013) / Kate Atkinson
3. The Blind Man’s Garden (Faber & Faber/Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Nadeem Aslam
4. The Orenda (Hamish Hamilton Canada, 2013) / Joseph Boyden
5. Worthless Men (Sceptre, 2013) / Andrew Cowan
6. Harvest (Picador/Nan A. Talese, 2013) / Jim Crace
7. The Hired Man (Bloomsbury/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013) / Aminatta Forna
8. Schroder (Twelve/Faber & Faber, 2013) / Amity Gaige
9. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2013) / Neil Gaiman
10. & Sons (Random House, 2013) / David Gilbert

11. The Signature of All Things (Bloomsbury Publishing/Viking, 2013) / Elizabeth Gilbert
12. The End of the Point (Harper, 2013) / Elizabeth Graver
13. The River Swimmer (Grove Press, 2013) / Jim Harrison
14. Benediction (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Kent Haruf
15. A Dual Inheritance (Ballantine Books, 2013) / Joanna Hershon
16. Perfect (Doubleday, 2013) / Rachel Joyce
17. The Flamethrowers (Scribner/Harvill Secker, 2013) / Rachel Kushner
18. Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton, 2013) / Alison MacLeod
19. TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury, 2013) / Colum McCann
20. Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) / Alice McDermott

21. The Woman Upstairs (Alfred A. Knopf/Virago, 2013) / Claire Messud
22. The Son (Grove, 2013) / Philipp Meyer
23. Instructions for a Heatwave (Tinder Press, 2013) / Maggie O’Farrell
24. All That Is (Alfred A. Knopf/Picador, 2013) / James Salter
25. Mary Coin (Blue Rider Press, 2013) / Marisa Silver
26. Sisterland (Random House/Doubleday, 2013) / Curtis Sittenfeld
27. Brewster (W.W. Norton, 2013) / Mark Slouka
28. Secrecy (Granta Books, 2013) / Rupert Thomson
29. The Illusion of Separateness (Harper/Oneworld Publications, 2013) / Simon Van Booy
30. Goat Mountain (Harper/William Heinemann/Text Publishing, 2013) / David Vann

31. The Interestings (Riverhead, 2013) / Meg Wolitzer
32. The Maid’s Version (Little, Brown, 2013) / Daniel Woodrell
33. All the Birds, Singing (Jonathan Cape, 2013) / Evie Wyld
34. The Realm of Last Chances (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Steve Yarbrough

Translated Novels
35. Shantytown (trans. from the Spanish by Chris Andrews) (New Directions, 2013) / César Aira
36. Tirza (trans. from the Dutch by Sam Garrett) (Open Letter, 2013) / Arnon Grunberg
37. The Dinner (trans. from the Dutch by Sam Garrett) (Hogarth Press, 2013) / Herman Koch
38. The Infatuations (trans. from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa) (Hamish Hamilton/Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Javier Marías

First Novels
40. You Are One of Them (Penguin Press, 2013) / Elliott Holt
41. The Fields (Little, Brown, 2013) / Kevin Maher
42. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth, 2013) / Anthony Marra
43. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Hutchinson, 2013) / Ayana Mathis
44. In Times of Fading Light (trans. from the German by Anthea Bell) (Graywolf Press/Faber & Faber, 2013) / Eugen Ruge
45. The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland, 2013) / Donal Ryan
46. Marriage Material (William Heinemann, 2013) / Sathnam Sanghera
47. The People in the Trees (Doubleday, 2013) / Hanya Yanagihara

Stories
48. A Guide to Being Born (Riverhead, 2013) / Ramona Ausubel
49. A Permanent Member of the Family (Ecco/Clerkenwell Press, 2013) / Russell Banks
50. The Isle of Youth (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) / Laura van den Berg
51. Dirty Love (W.W. Norton, 2013) / Andre Dubus III
52. News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories (Harper, 2013) / Jennifer Haigh
53. The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories (trans. from the Russian by Richard Pevear) (Vintage Classics, 2013) / Nikolai Leskov
54. Collected Stories (Jonathan Cape, 2013) / Bernard MacLaverty
55. The Love Objects (Faber & Faber, 2013) / Edna O’Brien
56. Revenge (trans. from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder) (Harvill Secker, 2013) / Yoko Ogawa
57. The Weight of a Human Heart (St. Martin’s Press, 2013) / Ryan O’Neill
58. Vampires in the Lemon Grove (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Karen Russell
59. Tenth of December (Random House/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013) / George Saunders
60. Spectacle (Graywolf Press, 2013) / Susan Steinberg

Poetry
61. Glass Wings (Bloodaxe Books, 2013) / Fleur Adcock
62. Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) / Frank Bidart
63. Stay, Illusion (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Lucie Brock-Broido
64. Parallax (Carcanet Press, 2013) / Sinéad Morrissey
65. Division Street (Chatto & Windus, 2013) / Helen Mort
66. The Water Stealer (Faber & Faber, 2013) / Maurice Riordan
67. Drysalter (Jonathan Cape, 2013) / Michael Symmons Roberts
68. Hill of Doors (Picador, 2013) / Robin Robertson
69. Incarnadine (Graywolf Press, 2013) / Mary Szybist
70. F (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Franz Wright

Nonfiction
71. Deer Island (Little Toller Books, 2013) / Neil Ansell
72. Levels of Life (Jonathan Cape/Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Julian Barnes
73. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations (Profile Books, 2013) / Mary Beard
74. She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me (Faber & Faber, 2013) / Emma Brockes
75. The Undivided Past (Allen Lane/Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / David Cannadine
76. Calcutta: Two Years in the City (Union Books/Aurum Press, 2013) / Amit Chaudhuri
77. Telling Tales: Selected Writings, 1993-2013 (Union Books, 2013) / Amit Chaudhuri
78. George Orwell: English Rebel (Oxford University Press, 2013) / Robert Colls
79. Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure (New York Review Books, 2013) / Artemis Cooper
80. Jonathan Swift: His Life & His World (Yale University Press, 2013) / Leo Damrosch

81. Horace and Me: Lessons from an Ancient Poet (Bloomsbury UK, 2013) / Harry Eyres
82. The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos (John Murray, 2013) / Patrick Leigh Fermor
83. The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves (Chatto & Windus, 2013) / Stephen Grosz
84. Gandhi Before India (Allen Lane, 2013) / Ramachandra Guha
85. Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain (Jonathan Cape, 2013) / Charlotte Higgins
86. The Sea Inside (Fourth Estate, 2013) / Philip Hoare
87. The Science of Monsters (Constable, 2013) / Matt Kaplan
88. Is God Happy?: Selected Essays (Basic Books, 2013) / Leszek Kolakowski
89. Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life (Chatto & Windus, 2013) / Hermione Lee
90. Zibaldone (trans. from the Italian by Michael Caesar and Franco D’Intino) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) / Giacomo Leopardi

91. Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time (Fig Tree, 2013) / Penelope Lively
92. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) / George Packer
93. The Lives of the Novel: A History (Princeton University Press, 2013) / Thomas G. Pavel
94. The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (published in the U.S. as The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts) (Picador, 2013) / Graham Robb
95. How Literature Saved My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / David Shields
96. Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) / Andrea Stuart
97. The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga (trans. from the French by Linda Coverdale) (Allen Lane, 2013) / Sylvain Tesson
98. The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest (Yale University Press, 2013) / Nick Thorpe
99. Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs (Doubleday, 2013) / James Wolcott
100. The Fun Stuff and Other Essays (Jonathan Cape, 2013) / James Wood

2 Comments:

Blogger Happy Reader said...

Thank you Eric for this great list of books! What do the red highlights mean? best of the lot?

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

The red merely denotes the names of the authors whose photos I have used to go with the sections.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 3:21:00 PM  

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