Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Top 13 Books of 2013

I'm fighting against the constraints of a top 10 list and instead going for the baker's dozen (amazing on so many levels). When I consult my list it seems that I read 79 books in 2013. I'm pretty happy with that number. I have nothing to compare it to having failed to take note of my progress in previous years, but I think it is a very respectable number. I have read some amazing books this year - classics, debuts, non-fiction, memoirs - and had such a great time writing about them. Long may it continue!

Here we go, in no particular order:

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

My first foray into Russian Literature went rather well. So well, in fact, that I'm participating in O's Russian Literature Challenge in 2014.

2. May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

The Women Prize for Fiction winner did not disappoint. Dark, humorous and full of life lessons.

3. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Even if you've had little more than a cursory glance at this blog, you will notice that I have a particular enthusiasm for Wilkie. November and #readWilkie was probably one of the highlights of my entire year (THANK YOU, AWESOME PEOPLE).

4. Where D'You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Hilarious and heartwarming.

5. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

A late favourite as I only read it in December. It's humour, wit and general 'aw'-ness made me love it.

6. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

Brilliantly written, brilliant story.

7. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

You just can't go wrong with a book that gives you a case of the Deep Thoughts. I can still remember the ending of this novel, 12 months down the line. Powerful and so very hopeful.

8. The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber

A novel in verse? The Shakespeare authorship question? Oh, go on then.

9. 50 Shades of Feminism 

The best non-fiction I have read this year.

10. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Another late favourite and such a brilliant piece of sci-fi (even if I was left with questions).

11. Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

This running memoir helped me rediscover my enthusiasm for running. Funny, honest and so true.

12. The Pre-War House by Alison Moore

A spine-tingling collection of short stories. I read these in the summer but I think they would benefit from a winter re-read (for extra atmosphere).

13. Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam

At times an uncomfortable read but wonderfully written and such a brilliantly complex story.

Do any of these crop up in your top reads of the year? What was your favourite read this year?



  1. I'm so happy to see Anna Karenina on this list, I love that book!

  2. Ok this must be the first TOPanything list from where I've read more than 2-3 books :) I read Anna K and The Day of the Triffids in the past (love both) and also this year I read The Moonstone (go Wilkster), Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (so good!), The Sisters Brothers (so good!), and May We Be Forgiven. I am happy that we both appreciated May We Be Forgiven because it truly was an enjoyable (and different!) kind of a book and it sounds weird but I think that the winner of the Women's Prize is very much in the shadows of the more hyped books from the shortlist. I wish more people read it.

    I only made TOP 5 this year, it wasn't even that difficult to choose favourites because there were some books that just clicked miles more than others for me :)

  3. I love the variety in your list Ellie. I've never read Anna Karenina, though I've always meant to. Happy New Year and hope you have a wonderful year of lovely reads ahead.

  4. I'm so excited to read more of the books on your list in 2014. Namely, Day of the Triffids and The Elegance of the Hedgehog!

  5. Great list! I should have put The Elegance of the Hedgehog on my TBR Pile Challenge list, but didn't think of it! I've been meaning to try The Sisters Brothers and May We Be Forgiven, along with a few others on your list. I listened to Where'd You Go, Bernadette? on audio, and liked it a lot, but didn't love it for some reason. Expectations too high by the time I got to it, maybe?


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