It's time for Ye Olde Yearly List. Unlike others you'll find coming out right about now, books that made my list weren't necessarily published in 2013. I also leaned heavily toward nonfiction this year, at least in my favorite reads. Nor do I cover some genres, since there are plenty of genres I go years without reading... All that said, here goes:
BEST OVERALL READ of 2013:
Just like all the Oscar contenders come out in December, my favorite read of 2013 happens to be the last book I read.
I would recommend this book for sports fans, Laura Hillenbrand fans, UW alums, rowers and their parents. If you're looking in particular for BOY books, go with this one or Ready Player One (below). The Boys in the Boat features classic boy-book elements like father-son issues, proving oneself, lumberjacking, and making friends.
BEST BOOK FOR THE PERSON WHO WOULD RATHER PLAY VIDEO GAMES THAN READ:
BEST NARRATIVE NONFICTION
I'm going to proclaim two winners in this category, since I read a lot of great narrative nonfiction this year. (And this category is not counting The Boys in the Boat!)
If you're sick of Nazi villains, however, try North Korea's leaders for a change of pace:
BEST BOOK TO MAKE YOU NICER TO YOUR HUSBAND
From North Korea to amnesiac housewives. If you like lighter reading fare, or have a friend who does (and you've already read/given all my books--har har), try this one on for size:
BEST LITERARY FICTION
For the wannabe higher-brow fiction readers among us, I loved this one:
BEST DEATH-AND-ADVENTURE BOOK
BEST NEW-ADULT FICTION
BEST ENVIRONMENTAL BOOK
For the greenie in your life. I spouted facts constantly while reading this, and even inspired my 10YO daughter to do her class presentation on plastic trash.
BEST HISTORICAL FICTION
Betsy-Tacy and the Literary Dream Tour I took my girls on in April. But I'd never tried any of her other fiction before this one, set in the early, early days of St. Paul and Fort Snelling. The days of Indians and fur trappers and soldiers. It was wonderful! A gutsy, thoughtful protagonist, cultural clashes, and conflicts galore. Plus, this being MHL we're talking about, a good love story. Sigh. You may have a little more trouble locating this book than the others, but it's worth it.
There you have it! The List for 2013. Knock out your whole Christmas list, or just get a little goodie for yourself. Happy holidays.