Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sunday Salon & The Best Books of 2013

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's the day of the week we devote to talking books! So, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of Joe and get comfy! Let's talk books……

I hope everyone's Christmas was nice! Did you get bookish presents?! Being a voracious reader has it's drawbacks when receiving gifts. Sometimes people hesitate to buy you books because they think you already have every book in the store, but we always appreciate a book and we readers simply do not have every book published! (or not quite)…

It's also the end of the year! And what do you always find in the media at the end of the year? The Best of Lists! Some of these lists actually start to come out way before the end of the year, but how can they have the best of when there's still months of publishing to go!?! So, I scoured the Best Books of 2013 lists that have come out recently to see what some of the big names have to say… that is Goodreads, The New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Publisher's Weekly, and The Guardian, and found books that seem to be showing up on multiple lists. Here are some of the books that made the mark…

Some Notable Fiction:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
A Constellaton of Vital Phenomenon
The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Z A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Theresa Anne Fowler
Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey
                                Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang, a Graphic Novel

Some notable Memoirs & True Stories:
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
The Lost Girls: an unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Some notable Children's books:
Mr. Wuffles by David Weisner
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

What books are missing? What did you read that is on YOUR Best Books of 2013 list? Here are a few that I enjoyed, aren't on any "The Best of" list and I recommend…

Wild by Cheryl Strayed… Memoir. Twenty-something girl screws life up, divorces her best friend, gets into drugs and hits rock bottom. Decides to take a hike… literally, and the result is this amazing journey and memoir. I loved it!

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky… Romance. More than a romance, there's a  Perfect beach read. Wonderful story. I just fell in love with the characters and felt like I could feel the cool breeze off the lake on my skin as I read it!

The Last First Day by Carrie Brown… Fiction. Wonderful slow paced story of the life of a married couple. it will quietly hit you when your not expecting it at the end. The story stayed with me for some time afterwards.

Want to see what's on "The Lists"? Here is a sampling of the "Best Books 2013 Lists" and their links…..

Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 After 1,953,770 votes were cast, Goodreads put together this very comprehensive list, dividing the books up by genre, such as Best Horror, Best Historical Fiction and Best Food & Cookbooks. A great list!

The Atlantic Magazine serves us The Best Food Books 2013 This list is wonderful for the Foodie! I've heard of a few of the cookbooks, but I definitely will be checking out a few of these gems, such as the newly reissued Cooking for Crowds by Merry White and One Good Dish by David Tanis.

Publisher's Weekly Best Books 2013  shares their top 10 of the year.

NPR gives us their Guide to Best Reads 2013 The staff at NPR was tired of coming up with a list of Best Books, so they decided to reach out to their book critics and staff for recommendations of great reads. Their list comes from the 200 responses they received. Oops, sorry it's not a "list", it's a "book concierge". In any case, it's a great source with book descriptions if you hover your mouse over the title.

The New York Times lists their 10 Best Books of 2013 choices.

If you are a Kindle owner, Amazon has a Kindle Edition of their Best Books of 2013 selections, and it's free! Otherwise, here's the link to Amazon's Best Books of 2013 section of their website.

And if none of these satisfies your Best of Lists, you can always Google "Best Books of 2013" for pages and pages of what everyone else thinks. But what are these lists really for? Is it just a popularity list? Are these books the ones that got the most push from the publishers? Where as a name like J.K. Rowling means automatic success in selling a multitude of books, would her book be on a "best of list" if it weren't for that? My feelings on "The Best Books" list is that it's fun to see what everyone liked, and it's fun to see if the books you liked appear on any of the lists. Best Books lists are also great starting points in finding fresh reading for yourself.

The end of the year brings us "The Best of Lists" and the beginning of a new year brings us… resolutions! Or in the case of the reader… Challenges! So, next Sunday Salon, I'll be bringing you some reading Challenges hosted by some great reading blogs. All you need to participate in any of these challenges is the love of reading, and an internet connection, so you may want to join in on some of the fun! And starting January 2nd, I'll be posting what Challenges I'll be participating in! BTW, First one I've signed up for is The Chunkster Challenge, which is all about reading FAT books!

Hope you've found some interesting books here today! Share what is on YOUR Best Books of 2013 list! I'd love to hear about them! And I'll list them for everyone else to know too!

Happy reading… Suzanne


Carrie K. said...

I'm going to have to check out The Last First Day - sounds like something I would enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Life after Life was not one of my best reads at all - in fact I gave up on it after 100 pages, finding it repetitively tiresome. One of the best for me was Jim Crace's The Harvest which should have won the Booker since it knocked the socks off the other contenders.

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I love this time of year of BESTS. I've only read Boxers/Saints on your list but agree that it is very good.

2952236 li

Melissa Wiebe said...

I did have a bookish Christmas. I got Dear Life from my parents and got The Luminaries and Wolf Hall from my secret Santa through Books on the Nightstand.

Vasilly said...

You're adding more books to my tbr mountain! :-) I already have copies of both Life after Life and The Golem and the Jinni. I need to start reading them soon.Nice list.

FSB Media Book Blogger Directory
my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
First To Read
Reviews Published
Professional Reader
Challenge Participant