The Best Books of 2013
There’s a theme to my favorite 2013 books I adored this year – many of them are set in New York City. Coincidence? Maybe. But there aren’t many places that offer as many settings, locations and slices of life. From a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue to a Greenwich Village brownstone to Alphabet City, there are a million different lives to examine.
My list takes you around the world, too. Kabul, Amsterdam, Tahiti and Argentina – just a few of the cities visited in this roundup of the year’s best books.
Characters young and old, male and female, kind and evil, beautiful and ugly – they’re all here. And that’s the magic of books – in just a few well-written sentences you will slip away, sometimes for hours on end, to another world – and not a minute of it wasted. No one has ever regretted the time they took to read a good book.
The books I loved the most in 2013
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My pick for the best book of the year, this 21st century Dickensian novel is one not to be missed. At 800 plus pages it will take time to finish, but when you’re finished you’ll wish the story wasn’t over.
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Epic and lush, this story of a wealthy botanist and her search for love will teach you about things you never thought you would interest you in and make them fascinating (moss? rocks?). Set around the globe with roots in Philadelphia during the 19th century, this is a book you’ll savor.
Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine
A modern-day take on Auntie Mame, Fin & Lady is the story of an orphaned boy who goes to live with his irresponsible but kind sister in New York City in the early 1960’s.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Though not as compelling as The Namesake and a little slow in the beginning, you will find yourself heartbroken for the characters in this book and want to reach through the pages and shake them until they come to their senses.
And Sons by David Gilbert
A Salinger-esque author calls his estranged sons home as he approaches the end of his life. The twists and turns of their relationships will surprise you. A book of regrets.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
When the daughter of an iconic filmmaker, known for horror stories, is found dead, a journalist takes it upon himself to investigate what happened. A mystery wrapped in a horror story, this book will keep you up long after you should be asleep.
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
This book is a treatise on how not to be single and over 40. A fascinating look at the life of a lonely, angry woman.
The View From Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman
If you’ve never read any of Elinor Lipman’s books, you should. She writes chick lit for midlife women. This book about two sisters who share an apartment after a host of calamities in their lives is a bubbly mix of fun.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Do not miss this book. Hosseini is a genius. A brother and sister are separated as young children, and then their stories begin.
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
If you are a writer or blogger, this book will inspire you. Each time I read a few pages I had to put it down so I could write a few pages. Because of that it took time to get through, but it was worth it!
The books I still need to read in 2013
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson