Top 13 books of 2013

  • The List
  • 12 December 2013
Top 13 books of 2013

The best books of the year, featuring Donna Tartt, Shaun Usher, Rodge Glass, Kate Atkinson and more

It’s been a great year for books – we’d pick 2,013 of our favourites if we could…

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
A woman relives her life, again and again, until she gets it right – but what is ‘right’?

The Hat-Stand Union – Caroline Bird
Playful, surreal and vulnerable poems from a wonderful performer.

LoveSexTravelMusik – Rodge Glass
Ever suffered through an easyJet flight? This short story collection understands your pain.

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
Northern Iceland, 1829: a young woman convicted of murder is sent to live with a farming family for her last days.

The Trip to Echo Spring – Olivia Laing
An examination of six well-known writers, exploring the link between creativity and alcohol.

A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
A complex novel about teenage joy, family heartbreak, and the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage – Ann Patchett
Personal essays from an award-winning American author – and a title that is not entirely ironic.

Play With Me – Michael Pedersen
Pedersen has long been one of our favourite poets, and his debut collection does not disappoint.

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
‘Tolstoy with antiques’: a haunted (and haunting) coming-of-age.

Letters of Note – Shaun Usher (editor)
Based on the popular website, the book collects over 100 letters of historical interest.

Goat Mountain – David Vann
A young boy is eager to make his first kill at a family deer hunt.

Dirty Work – Gabriel Weston
Surgeon/author Weston’s fast-paced novel raises questions of integrity, mortality and medical ethics.

The Park – Oscar Zarate
An intense and beautiful graphic novel that uses elements of slapstick and farce to explore a moral dilemma.

Kate Atkinson: A God In Ruins

The Yorkshire-born author discusses her work, including her most recent novel A God in Ruins, which picks up the story of Teddy Todd, the younger brother of Ursula Todd from her 2013 novel Life After Life. English author Kate Atkinson's debut novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum won the Whitbread (Costa) Book of the…