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The Best of 2013

As 2013 came to a close, I took the time to look back at the books I’ve read last year. Overall I think I will not look back at 2013 as one of my best, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some absolutely amazing books that debuted. Here are books that made me love living a reader’s life:

10. Longbourn by Jo Baker

Cover of Longbourn

This book about the life of those who served Jane Austen’s Bennett family kept me reading from start to finish. Mrs. Hill easily became one of my favorite characters of 2013.

9. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

Cover of Looking For Me

I was admittedly nervous when I started Hoffman’s second novel. There was no reason to be worried. I loved every minute of it. Jenna Lamia sparkles as the narrator of this audiobook as well.

8. Murder As a Fine Art by David Morrell

Cover of Murder As a Fine Art

This book, which dealt with some pretty gruesome murders, was so much fun to read. I loved the characters and I hope that there will be a sequel some day. I know there has to be more to De Quincey and Emily’s story.

7. The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth

Cover of The Unknowns

I have worked with software developers almost all of my professional career. This book made me laugh and gave me an understanding of who these people are on the inside. Will Colyer’s narration was perfect for this audiobook.

6. The Good House by Ann Leary

Cover of The Good House

This book was so good. I loved the way it captured how an astute person with an eagle eye can turn a blind eye to her own faults. The truth about this small New England town and the lies Hidly Good told herself were fascinating. With Mary Beth Hurt’s narration it felt like Hildy telling me her story as I drove to and from work. See my Best of 2013 Audiobooks Blog Hop post for a chance to win this audiobook.

5. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Gaibraith

Cover of The Cuckoos Calling

This was the ARC I gave away to my book club before the revelation about the book’s true author was made. I was then lucky enough to get a review copy of the audiobook. I loved this book on every level. The writing was wonderful and Robert Glenister was fantastic as narrator. If you’re looking for a fun reading experience, pick up this audiobook.

4. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Cover of And The Mountains Echoed

While I did have a bit of trouble with one of the narrator’s thick accent, that didn’t stop me from absolutely falling into this novel. The writing was beautiful and the story touched on such important things. What hit me the most was what it had to say about living with guilt. This is a powerful book.

3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

 

Neil Gaiman can entrace with his writing and his narration. This audiobook was fantastic. I loved the story and I felt that was in the same beautiful places and perils as the characters. I’ve yet to read American Gods, but The Ocean at the End of the Lane may very well be my favorite of his novels.

2. Schroder by Amity Gaige

Cover of Schroder

Words cannot describe my love for Amity Gaige and narrator Will Collyer. This audiobook was an amazing experience in every sense. I loved how complex and charming Eric Schroder was and how Collyer fit into him like a perfect, finger print suppressing glove. Even though I listened to this book early in the year, I knew it would be in my top picks. So good. See my Best of 2013 Audiobooks Blog Hop post for a chance to win this audiobook.

1. Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois

Cover of CartwheelI went on tour with author Jennifer duBois for her debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, and I loved it. I was so excited to hear about her second novel. As soon as I was approved for an eGalley of Cartwheel I started reading. I barely stopped. This novel, which is loosely based on Amanda Knox, is all about persona and perception. It hit me in that same sweet spot as all of my favorite books. I bought a finished copy from Book Passage in California because she was there on tour and I could get my book signed. It’s a treasure.

That’s my list of the top 10 books I read last year. I hope you read some wonderful books as well. What were some of your favorites?

14 Comments

  • At 2014.01.03 09:04, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    I’ve read 4 of those books and 2 of them made my best of list as well. I’m making note of a few of the others.

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    • At 2014.01.03 09:44, Marie said:

      I haven’t read any of these but your enthusiasm makes me want to check them out! Great list!

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      • At 2014.01.03 10:56, Serena said:

        I loved Beth Hoffman’s book too. Wonderful list, and I have yet to read Longbourn!

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        • At 2014.01.03 11:13, Jennifer said:

          Longbourn is such a great comfort read. You’ll love it! :)

        • At 2014.01.03 11:00, Beth Hoffman said:

          Wow … what a terrific way to start the day. Thank you so much, Jennifer. I’m delighted and honored to see my novel on your list!

          Happy New Year to you and yours!

          • At 2014.01.03 11:12, Jennifer said:

            Thank you for the great book, Beth! :)

          • At 2014.01.03 11:08, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

            haha, I also gave away my ARC of A Cuckoo’s Calling before the reveal and mannn was I kicking myself. I still haven’t read it!

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            • At 2014.01.03 11:12, Jennifer said:

              I’m so glad I’m not alone. What really made me kick myself is that I pondered over it first. Ah well. You’ll enjoy it when you get to it, Amy. :)

            • At 2014.01.03 11:26, Sandy said:

              I would agree with quite a few of these! I really need to get my hands on Murder as a FIne Art, in audio if possible. And as soon as I finish “Native Son” on audio (highly recommend that one if you haven’t listened to it) I will be starting Schroder, thanks to you!

              • At 2014.01.03 11:59, Kailana said:

                Lots of good looking books on there. I just added a few to my wish list. I am thinking I need to listen to audiobooks faster because my audiobook list is getting overwhelming. :)

                • At 2014.01.03 12:23, Ti said:

                  Cartwheel would have made my list had it been more different from the real life case. I felt it was too similar.
                  But you have some amazing books on here.

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                  • At 2014.01.04 15:04, Laurie C said:

                    It’s always nice to get some specifically audiobook recommendations from you! I might have enjoyed Cartwheel more as an audiobook than I did in print. I meant to include The Good House on my favorite audiobooks of 2013 but I think I forgot it.

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                    • At 2014.01.04 18:52, Lu said:

                      It sounds like you had a great reading year! I decided to keep my copy of Schroder that I got at BEA last year because you’ve been singing its praises. I’m also adding The Cuckoo’s Calling to my audible wishlist!!!

                      Happy New Year!

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                      • At 2014.01.05 06:00, Cleo said:

                        Longbbourn and Cartwheel are already on my must get around to reading in 2014. I haven’t come across Murder as a Fine Art but I’m off to check it out now!

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