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The Best of 2013

December 27, 2013

Another year has come and gone much too quickly and as I reflect on my reading it feels like I read less this year than last, but when I look at the numbers they’re almost exactly the same.  Putting together a list of favorites is always difficult but it seemed particularly hard this year.  After much agonizing, I came up with a list of favorites read (but not necessarily published) this year.  Here they are, in no particular order.

Favorite Fiction 2013Favorite Fiction:

News from Heaven by Jennifer Haigh

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson


Favorite Nonfiction 2013

Favorite Nonfiction:

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah


Favorite YA 2013

Favorite Young Adult:

Not Exactly a Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington


Favorite Picture Books 2013

Favorite Picture Books:

Lola Goes to Work by Marcia Goldman

Chick-O-Saurus Rex by Lenore Jennewein


Favorite Misc 2013

The Best of the Rest:

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich (short stories)

Relish by Lucy Knisley (graphic memoir)

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (play)

50 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2013 5:21 am

    The left column of your favorite fiction books are all on my list (set to post next week). It was a good year for fiction!

  2. December 27, 2013 6:10 am

    Haven’t read any of them. Making a note of this entire post!

  3. Patty permalink
    December 27, 2013 8:46 am

    Love your lists…we share quite a few!

  4. December 27, 2013 9:01 am

    great lists! There are several here I haven’t yet gotten to — perhaps they will appear on my 2014 best-of lists :))

  5. December 27, 2013 9:11 am

    There are several on your list that I really want to read. Two of your books made it on my best list too which I will be posting sometime soon.

  6. Beth Hoffman permalink
    December 27, 2013 10:07 am

    Oh my gosh! I am incredibly honored to see my novel on your Favorite Fiction list. Thank you so much, Kathy!

  7. December 27, 2013 10:31 am

    Excellent picks Kathy I see some that I loved as well – Fault In Our Stars, Me Before You, Looking For Me, Ordinary Grace and some.. now I need to look more closely at.

  8. December 27, 2013 10:41 am

    I’ve read 3 out of the group – Me Before You, Ordinary Grace, and Looking for Me. I definitely agree with JoJo Moyes and Beth Hoffman. I gave both of those a 4/4. I liked Willilam Kent Krueger’s book (3/4) but didn’t love it like so many others did. I was still glad I read it. Hosseini’s book has been physically in my TBR pile for most of the year. For some reason, even though I loved his first 2 books, I have never grabbed it off the shelf. I can’t explain why. Someday.
    Happy new year.

  9. December 27, 2013 1:07 pm

    I’ve only read three of these – yikes. But many are already on my tbr. I just downloaded The Boys in the Boat for my next audio.

  10. December 27, 2013 1:21 pm

    We had a lot of overlaps in our favorites this year! I’m really looking forward to reading (or listening to) Boys in the Boat.

  11. December 27, 2013 1:25 pm

    I am having a hard time coming up with a best of list, too, and I had a quiet reading year. It should be easy!

  12. December 27, 2013 1:25 pm

    Lots of great books I still need to catch up on! Though I loved Me Before You, The Fault in Our Stars, and Eleanor & Park. 2013 was a great year in books! Hope 2014 brings more bookish goodness your way!

  13. December 27, 2013 2:45 pm

    I have definitely read less this year than last – and I haven’t even read any that are on your list. I don’t know if I’ll make a “Best of” list or not.

  14. December 27, 2013 2:55 pm

    Ah, no poetry on your list. But I do like that we both had Beth Hoffman’s book on our lists. I have read News from Heaven, which I enjoyed too.

  15. December 27, 2013 3:04 pm

    I have to keep these in mind, I only read one of them.

  16. December 27, 2013 3:12 pm

    I hope to post my favorites next week, but I see several of mine on your list, like Looking for Me, Me Before You, and Someone Else’s Love Story. Enjoy the New Year!

  17. December 27, 2013 4:27 pm

    I so need the new Hoffman 🙂

  18. December 27, 2013 5:58 pm

    Great choices! I am hoping to compile my list in the next week! I know it will be tough to narrow it down!

  19. December 27, 2013 6:21 pm

    looks like a fantastic list of quality books! I still want to read one of Beth Hoffman’s novels ~ I see her around the blogosphere and she seems sooooo nice! She’s definitely on the top of my TBR pile to start the year off right. Happy New Year dear Kathy!

  20. December 27, 2013 7:12 pm

    (2) of your YA favorites are also on my list — I love when readers share their favorites.

  21. December 27, 2013 7:47 pm

    I’m hoping to make Eleanor and Park my first book of 2014 – if I can finish my current read in time! 🙂

  22. lab1990 permalink
    December 27, 2013 8:00 pm

    I think it’s difficult to pick favorites! I really want to read Me Before You and Eleanor & Park.

    lauren from

  23. December 27, 2013 8:31 pm

    We have quite a few of the same favorites for 2013! Happy New Year.

  24. December 28, 2013 7:35 am

    I love annual “Best of” lists! I also have Me Before You, The Goldfinch, and The Boys in the Boat on my 2013 list. Can’t say I agree with And the Mountains Echoed…I wasn’t a fan of that one.

  25. sandynawrot permalink
    December 28, 2013 7:38 am

    I would agree with so many of them here! I don’t know if you have read Fangirl (I can’t remember) but that author is something close to perfect.

  26. December 28, 2013 8:48 am

    Me Before You and Eleanor and Park will be on my list too! And I really feel like I need to read The Goldfinch!!

  27. December 28, 2013 10:04 am

    Great list, I am a fan of JoJo Moyes and want to read all her work eventually. I also have The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor & Park on my wishlist. Happy New Year!

  28. December 28, 2013 1:45 pm

    Great lists. I’ve read 2 of the fiction (Looking for Me and SELS) and Lola Goes to Work. Gage still loves it. We read it a few times a week and he thinks it’s fun since he has the whole thing memorized – thanks for sharing!

  29. December 28, 2013 7:38 pm

    I haven’t read any of your favorite non-fiction for the year, so hopefully I’ll get to them next year. It looks like a great list!

  30. December 29, 2013 6:44 am

    Thanks for including CHICK! ❤

  31. December 29, 2013 8:02 am

    I really liked Me Before You too. I can’t remember if you’ve read The Girl You Left Behind, but I think you’d like it as well. Excited to see Goldfinch on your list. I need to read it sooner than later! Hope 2014 is spectacular for you!

  32. December 29, 2013 8:17 am

    Looks like a great list. Happy New Year!

  33. December 29, 2013 12:08 pm

    I’m with you on Me Before You and Eleanor & Park. Both were so good! I’m reading Goldfinch now.

  34. December 29, 2013 10:01 pm

    Looking For Me also made my list and I enjoyed And the Mountains Echoed. The Goldfinch, Me Before You, and Someone Else’s Love Story are in my to-read-soon pile. There were a lot of good books to choose from this year.

  35. December 30, 2013 12:01 am

    Great lists! Thanks for sharing them… there are a few I’d like to read. All best wishes for the New Year!

  36. talesofwhimsy permalink
    December 30, 2013 8:33 am

    I’m so off to add News From Heaven to my TBR.

  37. December 30, 2013 3:23 pm

    A great list of books Kathy. We share a couple of favorites. You’ve also given me some books to add to my To Read list.

  38. December 30, 2013 8:59 pm

    So many great choices here, and so many books I enjoyed myself. Here’s hoping 2014 is as good to us in the reading department!

  39. December 30, 2013 10:39 pm

    The Fault in Our Stars made my “best of” this year, too. I’m happy to report that I’ve already got a lot of your favorites lurking on my TBR mountain, so maybe they’ll be some of my favorites *next* year.

  40. December 31, 2013 1:13 pm

    Wow, I’m very honored to be on this great list of books! Merci! Happy New Year!



  41. December 31, 2013 3:03 pm

    I have some of your favorite fictions are waiting to be read on my shelf (wood and virtual) – I’m glad to see that you liked them. I’ll be sure to get to them in 2014. Happy New Year!!

  42. December 31, 2013 9:32 pm

    E&P, This is What Happy Looks Like and Relish were all some of my favorite reads this year. This is What Happy Looks Like was PERFECT for the readathon! I can’t wait to get to some of the other books on your list, like The Goldfinch and Me Before You.

  43. January 1, 2014 8:20 pm

    I have several of your favorites on my iPod waiting their turn. 🙂

  44. January 2, 2014 9:32 pm

    Glad to see Looking for Me on your list, too. I’m determined to read Jojo Moyes this year!

  45. January 3, 2014 9:51 am

    If I haven’t already loved your fiction picks, they are on my TBR. I really need to read Ordinary Graces and The Goldfinch. Great list, Kathy.

  46. Literary Feline permalink
    January 3, 2014 10:16 pm

    I don’t think there’s a book on your list I don’t want to read. 🙂 What a wonderful list, Kathy!

  47. bookingmama permalink
    January 4, 2014 9:04 am

    I have to agree with many of your fiction choices!!!! There were some great books in 2013.

  48. January 4, 2014 3:12 pm

    I really need to read Me Before You and Looking For Me, I’m seeing them on so many lists! The Good House and The Goldfinch were so good! I loved all of Jennifer Haigh’s books and don’t know why I haven’t gotten to News from Heaven yet!

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