I had this crazy notion that I would read 100 books this past year. I have no idea what I was thinking. Who do I think I am? In reality, I read only 24 books, which is about 1 book every couple weeks. Life is busy. What can I say?
Here are the books I read (yes, I actually keep a running list, in alphabetical order):
The Age of Grief — Jane Smiley
The Art of Time in Fiction — Joan Silber
And Now You Can Go — Vendela Vida
Autobiography of Us — Aria Beth Sloss
Blame — Michelle Huneven
Book of Joe — Jonathan Topper
Brick Lane — Monica Ali
The Circle — Dave Eggers
Her — Christa Parravani
Letting Loose the Hounds — Brady Udall
Like Life — Lorrie Moore
Lit — Mary Karr
The Lonely Polygamist — Brady Udall
Love and Shame and Love — Peter Orner
Making Toast — Roger Rosenblatt
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint — Brady Udall
Search Party — Valerie Trueblood
Tenth of December — George Saunders
Things the Grandchildren Should Know — Mark Oliver Everett
Truth in Advertising — John Kenney
The Uncoupling — Meg Wolitzer
Why We Write — Meredith Maran
Wild — Cheryl Strayed
The Wishbones — Tom Perrotta
And now for some awards for 2013:
Best nonfiction book: Her by Christa Parravani
This memoir absolutely captivated me. It tells the story of Christa’s life before and after losing her identical twin sister to a drug overdose. Her prose reads like poetry and the emotion is just so powerful. Amazing.
Best fiction book: The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall
Charming, charming, charming. The storytelling and the characters reminded me of one of my favorites–John Irving. I’d recommend any of Udall’s books.
Best book on writing: Why We Write by Meredith Maran
This was very inspiring. It made me feel less alone in the fears and anxieties I have as a writer. Funny, thoughtful, honest.
Best thought-provoker: The Circle by Dave Eggers
This book has made me consider the way technology is changing us and affecting our privacy. I’ve been thinking about quitting Facebook entirely. That’s something.
Best short story collection: The Age of Grief by Jane Smiley
A little dark, very human–just my style.
These are the only books I wouldn’t add to your Amazon cart:
- Brick Lane by Monica Ali (yes, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, but it is BOR-ING)
- Tenth of December by George Saunders (very strange, very overrated)
Granted, both of these are very well-received, so maybe I’m just weird.
What books did you read in 2013? What were the best and worst?