Best Books Read in 2013: Part 2

Without further ado, here is the second part of 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 1 has already been published.
  • 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.

Happy City coverhundredsummers

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design – Charles Montgomery

Urban design sounds boring, but as a person who lives in an urban area, I found Montgomery’s book fascinating. Well worth the read.

The City of Devi – Manil Suri

On reflection, I wish I’d given this amazing work of fiction 5 stars instead of 4.5. It’s an excellent read.

A Hundred Summers – Beatriz Williams

The quintessential beach read. Smart and gripping, I lost my heart to this one.



The River of No Return – Bee Ridgway

So. Much. Fun. Loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza Aslan

GASP – a book I haven’t reviewed yet! But in a nutshell, I found Aslan’s separation of Jesus the man from Jesus the Christ to be an eye-opening and intriguing read.

The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell

Talk about an unreliable narrator and a psychological thriller. I couldn’t put this book down.


Queen's Gambit coverBig Brother cover

Queen’s Gambit – Elizabeth Fremantle

I wasn’t much into historical fiction in 2013, but I did enjoy the literary turn the novels took. I couldn’t put Fremantle’s account of the life of Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, down.

And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

I doubt it’s much of a surprise to see this book on the list. Hosseini’s latest novel is perfectly devastating.

Big Brother – Lionel Shriver

Quite possibly the most thought-provoking book I read in 2013. And wow, what an ending!


The Vatican DairiesThe Lowland coverCartwheel cover

The Vatican Diaries: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church – John Thavis

This is a revealing look at the inner workings of the modern day Catholic church – a must-read if you’re at all interested in the institution.

The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri’s luminous novel didn’t disappoint; it has her trademark gorgeous writing and is about family, in all its forms.

Cartwheel – Jennifer duBois

Based on the Amanda Knox trial, duBois’s novel provokes questions of motivations and identity.


  1. I recently discovered your blog and am looking forward to following it in 2014. This list looks great and has such a variety of books… thank you!

  2. Man, nothing I have read. I was really out of the loop in 2013. I would like to keep up with the times a bit better in 2014… And add a few of these to my ‘read’ pile because they sound good!

  3. Some great book on your list. I’ve been recommending your blog to friends looking to read more in 2014.

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