I won’t try to rank them, so here are the 11 best books I read in 2013:
- Geraldine Brooks: March: Published in 2005, this story explores how the civil war impacted people who tried to make a difference.
- Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue: If you love exquisite writing, you’ll love Chabon’s latest.
- Pat Conroy, South of Broad: Conroy fans love him because his stories probe so deeply into the culture and people of the New South.
- Samuel R. Delaney: Dhalgren: This was my second attempt to read this 1970s sci-fi cutting edge novel. Despite the lack of resolution at the end, the story, which is about what happens to people when you cut away social conventions, works.
- Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: Life in San Francisco at the beginning of WWII for Chinese- and Japanese-Americans. Not all readers loved it, but he gets to the essence of how prejudice can destroy lives.
- Chad Harbach: Art of Fielding: A debut novel that is about growing up in a world where it’s not easy to figure out what’s truly important.
- Ron Irwin: Fat Water Tuesday: Another debut novel, like Art of Fielding, Fat Water Tuesday, gets at the role of competition plays in growing up in modern America.
- Hillary Jordan, Mudbound: An award-winning exploration of life in the Mississippi Delta in the years after WW II.
- Douglas Richards: Amped: The second of Richards’ political suspense series. A rising star in the making.
- Kim Stanley Robinson, Years of Rice and Salt: The scope of Robinson’s mastery of history, religion and philosophy are only matched by that of his imagination.
- Ellen Ullman: By Blood: An experimental novel that looks at how the past impinges on the present from an unique perspective.
Some of the books I look forward to reading in 2014:
- Danielle Trussoni: Angelology: Trussoni will be leading the workshop I’m participating in at the 2014 Eckerd College Writers Conference
- Daniel Silva: The Fallen Angel and The English Girl: I’m falling behind Mr. Silva’s annual contributions to righting wrongs in the global ecology.
- T. Eric Bakutis: Glyphbinder: Eric is a member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society critique group where I workshop my writing.
- Edward Whittemore: The Jerusalem Quartet: How the bible was really written.
- Sergio De La Pava: A Naked Singularity: Award nominee for a debut novel.
- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: With a title like that it has to be good.
If you’re on Goodreads, you can follow not only what I’m planning to read, but what I think of each book as I finish it. I try to make my reviews informative and not just my opinion.
No time to waste. I’d better get started.