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Reading Roundup 2013

2013 December 30


2013 has been…a year. And I’m ready for it to be over. But just because I don’t have the best personal memories of the year doesn’t meant that I didn’t do a lot of good reading. Here are my favorite books of 2013, by month:


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Battleborn by Clare Vaye Watkins


The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (reread)


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  (reread)


Tenth of December by George Saunders


The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton


The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman


Life after Life by Kate Atkinson


Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Of my favorite books of the year, seven were written by women, five were published in 2013, two were short story collections, five were written by international writers, four were classics, and two were re-reads. I read a lot more great books in 2013, among them:

  • White Noise by Don DeLillo,
  • Arcadia by Lauren Groff
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Color Master by Aimee Bender
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Sea by John Banville


Many of these books are reminders of where I was when I read them, and what I was going through at the time. I can remember reading People of the Book on a park bench in Union Square, White Noise on the beach in the Outer Banks, finishing The Goldfinch in bed late one night when I couldn’t sleep. For me, books are a marker in time, and the above books are part of what 2013 has been for me.

What have your favorite reads been this year?

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

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One Response Post a comment
  1. kyley permalink
    December 30, 2013

    I read 3/4 of The Satanic Verses in college, and in the rush of the semester never finished it. But, damn if those 3/4 didn’t stay with me! It’s perpetually on my to-read list; thanks for the reminder.

    Speaking of books that took me forever to read: I finally read Kavlier & Clay this summer, and I couldn’t put it down. I sometimes wanted more from/about Rosa, but it was definitely one of my top books for 2013. And I devoured Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings. It gave me a great deal of comfort; it was the first book of poetry I fell for in years.

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