Home > e-phemera > A Year in Reading: Around the Web

Tenth of December2013 was another year filled with great books, new and old, in Canada and abroad. As usual, literary blogs and websites from around the world have collected lists of the best books of the year. Here’s a list of 2013’s best reading lists—a good way to get book recommendations for Christmas gifts or your own holiday reading!

1) The Millions
Apparently, The Millions is the first literary blog to have started the “Year in Reading” tradition. As always, this year, an impressive number of writers and cultural commentators offer their best books read this year on the popular online literary magazines. One of the most interesting details about The Millions Year in Reading is that contributors don’t limit themselves to books that were published in 2013, which means that recommendations offer an interesting mix of classics, rediscoveries, and new titles. Our very own Joseph Boyden, the judge for this year’s PRISM fiction contest, received a laudatory mention from Michael Bourne on his list.

2) The New Yorker
On the New Yorker blog, contributors to the magazine like Junot Diaz and D.T. Max reveal their favourite books of the year in two posts.

3) The Guardian
On the other side of the pond, The Guardian’s books section has asked writers—Hilary Mantel, Eleanor Catton, Colm Toibin and many others—to name their favourite books of the year. The suggested titles veer towards the erudite; Jonathan Franzen recommends Command and Control by Eric Schlosser, a non-fiction book about the management of nuclear missiles.

4) Goodreads
On the more democratic side, Goodreads, aka Facebook for readers, is asking members to vote on their favourite books from 2013. Khaled  Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed is currently standing in first place with nearly 25,000 votes.

5) The Daily Beast
The clever webmasters at The Daily Beast have kept their heads  above the melee by collating the suggestions from best-of lists around the web and publishing the results. In the fiction category, the most recommended titles of 2013 are George Saunders’ Tenth of December, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers.

Let’s also remember that in 2013 we lost a great Nobel laureate, the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, and won another, the incomparable Canadian short story writer Alice Munro. Both certainly deserve a mention for their majestic oeuvres, as well as a good read this holiday season.

Please share your favourite books of 2013 in the comments section below!

3 Comments, RSS

  • csylvan13

    says on:
    December 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Michael Crummy’s Galore. What an awesome land is Newfoundland.

  • William Green

    says on:
    December 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I spent three months this summer taking a harrowing trip through Roberto Bolaro’s “2666”. Reading posthumous works can be a risk, often the book feels not quite ready. 2666, both exhausting and rewarding, is one of those great reading experiences I’ll always remember.

  • Marypeace

    says on:
    December 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Reading is the best thing someone that has no television can do. I stepped right into Portuguese Brazilian authors and I can assure you all was dream come true. The interesting thing is you can read or listen poetry with melody: ie. Chico Buarque de Holanda. Jose Trigueirinho Neto, (he has some books in English too), to read again poets like Castro Alves, Augusto dos Anjos, Cecilia Meireles and an author like Monteiro Lobato (who wrote amazing children’s books); it was a delight.
    If anyone reading the comments have the opportunity to read any of these authors, surprise yourself. It was an incredible delight!