Thursday, December 19, 2013

My 2013 Favorites: Fiction

Late December is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the blogging year. I love year-end lists... both reading yours and compiling my own. Typically, I wait until after Christmas to post my lists but, in anticipation of a short blogging break, I'm trying to wrap things up a little early. Here is my favorite fiction of 2013, listed in the order read. Click on the title for my review.

by Hilary Jordan
…my book club loved it, too


by Elizabeth Strout
…a favorite author tackles sibling relationships


by Khaled Hosseini
…another winner from one of today's best storytellers


by Thomas Hardy
…redefined my idea of a tragedy



by Claire Messud
…readers seem to either love or hate this one


by Beatriz Williams
…an utterly perfect summer read and my favorite cover of the year


by Edith Wharton
…the last chapter turns this really good novel into a great one


by John Williams
…my favorite book read in 2013


by Carol Rifka Brunt
…hard to believe this is a debut novel

I will post my favorite audiobook fiction tomorrow, and will turn the focus to nonfiction on Sunday. Stay tuned...

41 comments:

  1. I love these lists too, but my list becomes enormous after I read them. I've only read 1 book on your list and it will be on my best of list too.

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  2. I love seeing the lists as well - and yes, they usually add to my reading stacks! I'm mulling over mine, and now you've given me an idea about breaking it down. I'm looking forward to parts 2 & 3.

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    1. Lisa - I usually end up making a list from all the lists! I'll be on the lookout for yours :)

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  3. Thanks for your list. I've only read one book on your list, A Hundred Summers and enjoyed it as well. I will keep the others in mind.

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    1. Pat - I really enjoyed your wrap-up post today, too. Have added quite a few of your choices to my wish list!

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  4. Hooray for BEST OF lists. I adore them as well :) We don't have any fiction overlap (my list comes out tomorrow) but I really enjoyed Mudbound!

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    1. Jennifer - Can't wait to see your list!!

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  5. I loved Mudbound, Tell the Wolves I'm Home and The Woman Upstairs, but I'm afraid I wasn't a fan of And the Mountains Echoed. I haven't read the others, but keep thinking I should try Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Great list! Thanks for writing such a great blog :-)

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    1. Jackie - I just saw your post mentioned And the Mountains Echoed and know several readers echoed your complaint. Tess was sooo tragic, but so wonderful!

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  6. I love seeing these lists, though I haven't had time to compile my own for this year yet. I'm pleased to see Tess of the d'Urbervilles and And the Mountains Echoed on your list as I loved both of those too. The Age of Innocence is on my Classics Club list and I'm hoping to read it next year!

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    1. Helen - You have a treat ahead in The Age of Innocence. I really liked the book, but was simply blown away by the impact of the last chapter.

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  7. I love this time of the year for the exact same reasons! I haven't read anything on your list yet but I do have a copy of The Woman Upstairs.

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    1. Vasilly - It will be interesting to see if your on the love or hate side with The Woman Upstairs… seems to be no middle ground.

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  8. Stoner is at the top of my wish list!

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    1. Jill - Cant wait to hear what you think. BTW, I'm glad your review convinced me to read Tell the Wolves I'm Home… wow!

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  9. I'm salivating over your faves. You know I LOVED Mudbound (might be my fave read of 2013). I totally want to read Stoner, and I'm intrigued by your comments about Tess redefining your idea of tragedy. I have it on my list for 2014 and I can't wait now!

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    1. Andi - Mudbound was my #1 until Stoner came along. Mudbound has the more compelling story but the writing in Stoner is just so gorgeous… almost achingly so.

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  10. I read 4 of your favorites and also enjoyed them.

    Love the header and the changes over the lake.

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  11. I am on the love side for The Woman Upstairs. It might make my own list, though I am having trouble narrowing it down. I am so glad that you chose Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The Age of Innocence for your favorites - I love both of these quite fiercely.

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    1. Anbolyn - I was actually on the fence about reading The Woman Upstairs, but your review convinced me to give it a try. Thanks!

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    1. Weekend-Windup - Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. I suck at the classics...one day I'm going to come to you and maybe Melissa Avid Reader and get a list to start on. I loved Wolves, but The Woman Upstairs was probably one of my most hated books and was disappointed with Hosseini. I mean, Hosseini was good but didn't live up to his other books which is I guess a testament to him. I can't wait to see your audiobook list!

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    1. Sandy - I know you hated The Woman Upstairs… just no middle ground with that one, lol! Seems like reactions were a little mixed with Hosseini's new book, too, but I love the way he tells a story.

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  14. That's a nice mix of classic and contemporary - I really must read Stoner (I may already be the last person in the world not to!)

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    1. Vicki - I think you would really like Stoner.

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  15. I love reading everyone's lists too. The only one I've read is Tess and you're right about tragedy.

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    1. Stacybuckeye - Tess has got to be the most tragic book ever!

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  16. And the Mountains Echoed and The Age of Innocence is high on my list of books to read.

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    1. Melinda - Hope you enjoy them in 2014!

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  17. I keep hearing such great things about Stoner -- I've had a copy for a couple of years now. I think I really have to read it in 2014!

    I'm a big fan of Wharton but The Age of Innocence didn't do much for me. It was my first Wharton, maybe I should read it again.

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    1. Karen K. - I was enjoying The Age of Innocence, but the last chapter just blew me away… so effective! Hope you get to read Stoner next year,

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  18. Hi JoAnn, I'm really enjoying reading your favourites posts! I loved Tell the Wolves, Mudbound, and am a big Hardy fan, so I'm really pleased you liked these books too. And the Mountains Echoed, and Stoner, and on my to read pile. And there's some others here for me to investigate further. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :) Lindsay x

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  19. Linsday - I'm glad you enjoyed my lists. They're so much fun to put together. You've got some great reading ahead with Stoner and And the Mountains Echoed. Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  20. I'm not sure I would ever have thought to pick up "Stoner" if it weren't for your review. Now it's a must-read!

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    1. Lisa - Be sure to choose the right moment for Stoner. It's a very quiet, contemplative book… and the writing is beautiful. Almost achingly so, at times.

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  21. There are a couple on here I know I would love, but I just never got to them. :(

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  22. Mudbound was one of my favorites of the year, too...and my book club loved it as well! I've passed up Tell the Wolves I'm Home so many times and now I'm kicking myself!! I hope that 2014 is a wonderful reading year for you.

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  23. Tell the Wolves was so good! I need to read Tess, Hardy always breaks my heart.

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