Need help figuring out what to read next? Amazon released their list of Best Books of 2013, a selection of 100 “editors’ picks” as well as Top 20 lists in over two dozen categories, from Children’s & Teen to Cookbooks to Celebrity Picks. And nothing says “fill up your Kindle with all of these books” better than the helpful (free) guide Amazon has made available for all U.S. customers.
Here are the top 10 books of 2013, according to Amazon:
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: A decade after her last novel, Tartt has written a wide-ranging, emotionally trenchant masterpiece that follows the life of Theo, a 14-year-old Manhattanite, who loses his mother, steals a painting and sets off on a journey worthy of Dickens.
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: A father gives away his daughter to a wealthy man in Kabul, setting into motion a novel that moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit and love. On the heels of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini has proven that lightning can strike thrice.
3. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good Soldiers comes a mesmerizing nonfiction account of the day-to-day hope and pain that soldiers carry upon returning home. As Finkel writes: “While the truth of war is that it’s always about loving the guy next to you, the truth of the after-war is that you’re on your own.”
4. Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson: What if you could be born again and again? This brilliant, multi-layered novel answers that question as Atkinson’s protagonist moves through multiple lives, each one an iteration on the last, flirting with the balance between choice and fate.
5. Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontierby Tom Kizzia: When the “Pilgrim” family rolled into the old mining outpost of McCarthy, Alaska, they were a sight to behold: Robert “Papa Pilgrim” Hale, his wife Country Rose, and their 15 children. But dark secrets lurked behind their congenial faces, ones that shocked a frontier community.
6. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson: During World War I, the course of the modern dayMiddle East was set by a handful of young, low-ranking actors who exerted oversized influence on the region. Anderson focuses our attention on four men: a minor German diplomat and spy, an American oilman descended from the Yale family, a Romanian-born agronomist, and T.E. Lawrence himself.
7. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders: Saunders’ first collection of short stories in six years introduces his ironic, absurd, profound and funny style to an army of new readers.
8. The Son by Philipp Meyer: A multigenerational Western spanning the 1800sComanche raids in Texas to the 20th century oil boom, The Son is a towering achievement.
9. A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout: Written with uncommon sensitivity, Lindhout’s account of the 460 days she spent as a captive in Somalia is a moving testament to human resilience in the midst of profound darkness.
10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: This young adult novel about two kids who fall in love on a bus is sweet without being saccharine. And it’s a story adults can love, too.
I tend to prioritize my reading list by books that are in the process of being adapted to the big or small screen. It keeps me current for Cinema Blend purposes and helps me justify spending time away from the computer. Admittedly, I haven’t read any of the top ten books on Amazon’s list yet, but I did find one in the top 20! Veronica Roth’s new release Allegiant — the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy — is #19 on the big list. So I feel like I’ve at least accomplished one small feat. And now I’m inspired to find at least one book from the above list and read it — once I finish Outlander, of course, which may be a while.
How to narrow it down to make my choice? Well, the list above offers a brief description, which helps. And I just grabbed the free Best Books Guide for Kindle. Between those two things, I’m sure I’ll find something I like.
Of course, a list like this serves Amazon’s interests, as it promotes these books and encourages people to drop some money on good reading. But if the incentive of good literature isn’t enough, try winning one of 10 Kindle Paperwhite 3GS through Amazon’s “Best of the Year” Sweepstakes. As I’m still using an “old” Kindle Touch, I may just have to enter.
In the meantime, maybe you can help me pick a book off the Top 10 to read…
Which book from Amazon's Top 10 would you recommend?