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BEST OF THE BEST-OFS: Books 2013
December 11, 2013
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As the year winds down, people are starting to look back over the books, movies and music that have stood out over the last 12 months. Worried that you might have missed something great? We're rounding up the Best of the Best of lists, starting today with books. (And don't worry, we'll add more lists to the post as they're published.)

Several of the authors from the lists below appeared in the red chair this year. Here are George's interviews with Joseph Boyden, Helen Fielding and Malcolm Gladwell. And tune into CBC TV at 7:00 p.m. on December 13 to catch George's interview with Marisha Pessl.

New York Times 10 Best Books of 2013

Fiction

  • Americanah —  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Flamethrowers — Rachel Kushner
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt
  • Life After Life — Kate Atkinson
  • Tenth Of December — George Saunders

Non-fiction

  • After The Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead — Alan S. Blinder
  • Days Of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House — Peter Baker
  • Five Days At Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital — Sheri Fink
  • The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 — Christopher Clark
  • Wave — Sonali Deraniyagala

The Globe and Mail Top 10 Books of 2013

Fiction

  • The Orenda — Joseph Boyden
  • The Luminaries — Eleanor Catton
  • Hellgoing — Lynn Coady
  • The Son — Philipp Meyer
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt

Non-fiction

  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants — Malcolm Gladwell
  • The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 — Margaret MacMillan
  • The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America — George Packer
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead — Sheryl Sandberg
  • The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan — Graeme Smith

Maureen Corrigan of NPR's Favorite Books of 2013

  • Someone — Alice McDermott
  • The Woman Upstairs — Claire Messud
  • The Lowland — Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. — Adelle Waldman
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove — Karen Russell
  • Tenth of December — George Saunders
  • Book of Ages — Jill Lepore
  • Shocked — Patricia Volk
  • The Boy Detective — Roger Rosenblatt
  • The Dinosaur Feather — S.J. Gazan

The Guardian's Best Fiction of 2013

  • The Luminaries — Eleanor Catton
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt
  • A Man in Love — Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • The Son — Philipp Meyer
  • The Flamethrowers — Rachel Kushner
  • Bleeding Edge — Thomas Pynchon
  • The Circle — Dave Eggers
  • Americanah — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Solo — William Boyd
  • Jeeves and the Wedding Bells — Sebastian Faulks
  • Sense and Sensibility — Joanna Trollope
  • Longbourn — Jo Baker
  • Mad About the Boy — Helen Fielding
  • Doctor Sleep — Stephen King
  • The Guts — Roddy Doyle
  • All Change — Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • The Quarry — Iain Banks
  • Strange Bodies — Marcel Theroux
  • The Infatuations — Javier Marías
  • Quesadillas (And Other Stories) — Juan Pablo Villalobos
  • Chasing the King of Hearts — Hanna Krall
  • Harvest — Jim Crace
  • Ocean at the End of the Lane — Neil Gaiman
  • Life After Life — Kate Atkinson

Quill & Quire Books of the Year 2013

Fiction

  • The Orenda — Joseph Boyden
  • The Luminaries — Eleanor Catton
  • Savage Love — Douglas Glover
  • The Silent Wife — A.S.A. Harrison
  • Caught — Lisa Moore
  • 1996 — Sara Peters

Non-fiction

  • Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life — James Daschuk
  • A House in the Sky — Amanda Lindhout & Sara Corbett
  • Christopher Pratt: Six Decades — Tom Smart
  • Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother — Priscila Uppal

The Seattle Times 31 of the best titles of 2013

Fiction

  • Americanah — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Maya’s Notebook — Isabel Allende
  • Life After Life — Kate Atkinson
  • Longbourn — Jo Baker
  • All the Land to Hold Us — Rick Bass
  • Sweet Thunder — Ivan Doig
  • The Signature of All Things — Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Hild — Nicola Griffith
  • Benediction — Kent Haruf
  • Someone — Alice McDermott
  • The Fountain at St. James Court — Sena Jeter Naslund
  • Life Form — Amélie Nothomb, translated by Alice Anderson
  • A Tale for the Time Being — Ruth Ozeki
  • Bleeding Edge — Thomas Pynchon
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt

Non-fiction

  • Lawrence in Arabia — Scott Anderson
  • The Boy Who Shot the Sheriff: The Redemption of Herbert Niccolls Jr. — Nancy Bartley
  • The Boys in the Boat — Daniel James Brown
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital — Sheri Fink
  • Thank You for Your Service — David Finkel
  • Like Dreamers — Yossi Klein Halevi
  • Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez — Aaron Hirsh
  • Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection — edited by Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop
  • Exploding the Phone — Phil Lapsley
  • The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century — David Laskin
  • Dallas 1963 — Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
  • The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America — George Packer
  • Gulp — Mary Roach
  • Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City — Russell Shorto
  • The Downfall of Money — Frederick Taylor
  • Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II — Mitchell Zuckoff

Georgia Straight's Our critics wrap up their favourite books of 2013

  • The Orenda — Joseph Boyden
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914 — Margaret MacMillan
  • The Unwinding: An Inner History Of The New America — George Packer
  • The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit — Dmitry Orlov
  • Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance — Denise Chong
  • Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind — Ajit Varki and Danny Brower
  • Tampa — Alissa Nutting
  • The Circle — Dave Eggers
  • The Residue Years — Mitchell S. Jackson
  • Night Film — Marisha Pessl
  • The Flamethrowers — Rachel Kushner
  • The Goldfinch — Donna Tartt
  • Charles Edenshaw — Edited by Robin K. Wright, Daina Augaitis, and Jim Hart
  • Vegetable Literacy — Deborah Madison
  • The Stone Thrower — Adam Marek
  • Hellgoing — Lynn Coady
  • We Live in Water — Jess Walter

Bill Gates's The Best Books I Read in 2013

  • The Box — by Marc Levinson
  • The Most Powerful Idea in the World — William Rosen
  • Harvesting the Biosphere — Vaclav Smil
  • The World Until Yesterday — Jared Diamond
  • Poor Numbers — Morten Jerven
  • Why Does College Cost So Much? — Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman
  • The Bet — Paul Sabin
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