I can’t believe it is the end of the year already! Where on earth did 2013 go?
As I mentioned on Sunday, I’m posting my end of the year favorites lists this week ahead of the Christmas holiday. If I happen to read any life-changing books before the end of the year, the plan is to just fold them into 2014’s favorites list. It’s not a perfect system, but it’ll do.
Because I read a mix of new releases and backlist books, this list of my favorite fiction for 2013 is not exclusive to books published in 2013, although it does lean that way. These are also in no particular order — I think it’d be impossible for me to rank them in any meaningful way. Please consider them all equally as well loved and highly recommended.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The moment I finished reading The Round House, I wanted to start it over again at the beginning. Louise Erdrich writes beautifully and the book tells an important story about the real life social and legal issues at stake on a reservation, particularly legal loopholes that can exist when it’s not clear where a crime happened.
Lexicon by Max Berry
Former book blogger and current Book Riot mastermind Rebecca Schinsky described Lexicon as “X-Men plus The Magicians with a side of Nick Harkaway” which is basically perfect. Lexicon a heck of a read, full of mystery and intrigue and love for the power of words and language. I loved it.
Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
If you like history, fantasy, and finicky but wonderful teenage narrators, grab this series! Alina Starkov thinks she’s an average girl, right up until the moment she discovers that she can control light. With that, she becomes part of an elite group of wizards, the Grisha, and discovers she may be the only person who can save her country from an encroaching, mystical darkness. I tore through these audiobooks and can’t wait for the trilogy to conclude this summer.
Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
I took a couple weeks off my regular reading schedule at the end of August to read straight through Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. With these books, Atwood again proved why she’s one of my favorite authors. I loved the way the world built through each of the stories, getting bigger and more diverse and more complicated. These were spectacular.
Night Film by Marisha Pessel
Night Film scared the heck out of me, but I loved it anyway. It’s a beautifully constructed book that uses documents (slideshows, reports, letters, newspaper clippings) to set a scene and make you, as the reader, feel as discombobulated as the main characters. I’m excited to read this one again.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is a very recent addition to this list — I just finished reading it yesterday! But boy, did I love it. It’s a book about growing up, becoming brave, holding on to the things that are important and learning to let go of the things that aren’t. Rowell’s writing about first love gave me all the feelings in the world… so many that I was deeply disappointed when the story ended. This is a delightful, warm, lovely book.
Honorable Mentions: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker for showing me a whole new type of dystopian novel to fall in love with; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for making me cry like a baby; and The Golem and the Jinni for reminding me that I love fantasy elements in my fiction.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with my favorite nonfiction of the year! What were some of your favorite fiction reads in 2013?