Best Books Read in 2013: Part 1

Without further ado, here is my best of list for 2013 books! A few things to note:

  • This list consists of books I read in 2013, not just books published in 2013.
  • It’s a two-parter, with 12 books on each list. Part 2 is coming soon.
  • These aren’t necessarily all the 5-star reviews I’ve given; these are books that have stuck with me and that I find myself recommending over and over again.

Five Days at Memorial coverNight Film coverLexicon cover

Five Days at Memorial – Sheri Fink

This should surprise no one. I’ve been talking about this book to anyone who will listen, and that will continue for a long time to come. It’s just THAT good.

Night Film – Marisha Pessl


Lexicon – Max Barry

This is a book I picked up as almost an afterthought, and was delighted by it. It’s smart, witty, and completely gripping.


The Promise of Stardust – Priscille Sibley

Gut-wrenching. Difficult. Thought-provoking. But it will hook you from the first page, and you won’t be able to stop reading for a second.

Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked – James Lasdun

Did James Lasdun betray the confidences of his student-turned-stalker by writing this memoir? Probably. But it’s a fascinating account of what it’s like to be stalked, and though it sometimes devolves a little too much into the philosophical, it’s absolutely worth the read.

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

Yes, everyone talks about Gone Girl, but this debut novel from the bestselling author is, in my opinion, even more disturbing and more gripping.


Shutter Island cover

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy – Emily Bazelon

A sharp, insightful, and often difficult look at bullying culture that’s a must-read for parents of teenagers (but also for anyone interested in societal issues.)

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

I cry when I even think about this book. So, so, so good.

Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

My first Dennis Lehane novel was in no way a disappointment. I loved every second I spent reading this book.


The Siege coverThe Circle

The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel – Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy

Harrowing, but absolutely worth the read. I traveled to India and stayed at a Taj hotel (not THE Taj, but a Taj) a few weeks after reading this and didn’t complain once about the metal detectors and bag screenings every time I entered.

Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberly McCreight

Billed as the Gone Girl of 2013. I don’t love the comparison, but I did love the book.

The Circle – Dave Eggers

Oh holy moly. I had a lot of problems with this book, but it’s also a book that made me think. And think. And think. In the end, I have to say I loved it.


  1. Night Film is the only one on here I have read but there are so many on my TBR!

  2. I have almost all of these books on my to-read list, I need to get to them soon! I adored Reconstructing Amelia, I thought it was one of the best books I read all year!

  3. I got Lexicon after seeing it on another Best of List… Not sure who it was now. I was such a stranger around the blogosphere that I had no idea it existed and it sounds like something I would like. I seriously have to read Jojo Moyes. I have a couple of her books, I think maybe this one, and I never read her. I look forward to part two!

  4. I loved Night Film and Reconstructing Amelia — and a bunch of the other selections are on my to-do list! Looking forward to Part 2 of your list.

  5. I missed several of these — though I had every intention of reading or listening to them. I don’t know when I’ll ever catch up!

  6. Such a great list! I read a few of these but need to look at the ones you are really raving about!


  1. […] a two-parter, with 12 books on each list. Part 1 has already been […]

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->