Best Books of 2013


I was going to make a best of list per genre but finally opted against that and tried to pick one or two favourite books per month. I could have included many more but I did something I haven’t done before – I tried to make the list before going through the blog, which means that all the books on my list were not only books I loved while reading them, but books I still remember.


Amanda Eyre Ward – How To Be Lost (2005)


Hjalmar Söderberg – Doctor Glas (1905)


Anna Raverat – Signs of Life (2012


Karen Thompson Walker – The Age of Miracles (2012)


Klaus Modick – Sunset (2011)

Elizabeth Haynes – Into the Darkest Corner (2011)


Harriet Lane – Alys, Always (2012)

Lisa Moore – February (2010)

Michelle Paver – Dark Matter (2010)


Alexis M. Smith – Glaciers (2012)


J. G. Ballard – The Drwoned World (1962)

Philippe Claudel – Grey Souls (2003)


Jane Austen – Mansfield Park (1814)


S.J. Bolton – Now You See Me (2011)


Sarah Kirsch – Die Regenkatze (2007)

Eduard von Keyserling – Schwüle Tage (1916)


Alice McDermott – Someone (2013)

42 thoughts on “Best Books of 2013

    • Enviably comfy. 🙂 It’s funny that they seem to like a pillow as well. He always puts the head on the rim of his basket.
      I wasn’t sure at first whther I should pick Persuasion or Mansfield park but I’d say Mansfield Park made a bigger impression.
      You’ve still got Emma, right? And then you’ve read them all. I think we just cross visited. 🙂

      • Miles loves to sleep under the bed covers with his head on a pillow. It’s so cute, but he snores! And then he kicks me in the ribs to get more room. I’m always amazed that such a small dog can take over the whole bed.

        I really struggled with Persuasion. I ended up liking it, but it took me forever to get into it. In my opinion Mansfield is far superior–almost as high as P&P, but not quite. I finally finished all of them, but won’t review Persuasion until the new year.

        • I mixed that up. I thought you’d reviewed Persuasion but not Emma but now I remember.
          My female cat is a tiny cat, half of him and she’s the one who steals 50% of the bed and gets nasty when you push her. I managed to train her a bit but it’s still a struggle. It’s funny.

  1. Love your cat, Caroline. I had a black cat when I was much younger.
    Great list here. I read Alys, Always and liked it very much. Looking forward to reading more of your picks as I like your taste in books.

    • Thanks, Carole, I’ll tell him. 🙂
      I guess we do have a similar taste, yes. I think there are others you’d like on the list.
      I just finished Sarah Moss’ Cold Earth. Not bad at all.

  2. Wonderful list, Caroline! I have read only one book from your list – Alexis Smith’s ‘Glaciers’ – and loved it. I want to read Philippe Claudel’s ‘Grey Souls’ sometime. Nice to see Jane Austen on your list 🙂 Love the picture of your cat too.

  3. I think the books we most remember, the ones that come to mind without searching through one’s blog posts, are the ones that fully deserve a spot on such a list. I like how you organized yours by month rather than genre. I’m not sure how I’ll do mine, but probably it will be the later method. We’ll see what comes to mind before I scour my Books Read page. 😉

  4. I am embarrassed to say that I have read NONE of those books. I need to get a grip I think!

    Have a great Christmas, you and yours. Tom

  5. I love seeing end of year lists although of course I always end up adding more books to my wishlist. I’ve only read a couple of books from your list so I’m looking forward to checking out some of these others you’ve mentioned!

  6. Philippe Claudel and The Age of Miracles are the two that I really must get to next year. What an intriguing list (and lovely to see how many good books we shared in 2013)! I’m glad you found so many as I remember you saying you weren’t sure how good a reading year it had been. Oh and I really enjoyed Elizabeth Haynes’ Revenge of the Tide which I read last spring, and you remind me I must read the one you have read.

    • I did read quite a few books I discovered on your blog and still want to read Petite Mort and The Cutting Season.
      I still think it wasn’t that good a year, which seems weird now looking at the list.
      I really enjoyed Hayes. I’d be interested to read what you think of Claudel and The Age of Innocence.

  7. Love the kitty pic! Mine had circular beds like that and would sleep in just the same way! 🙂 I see several books on your list that I’ve read and liked, too (Dr Glas, Dark Matter, Grey Souls and Now You see Me–by the way I decided not to wait and have requested Lost-her newest but the US title is different than the UK–from the library). I have Someone waiting for me, but I will start it in the new year as I try and finish two other books before the end of this one. I will make my list finally on the last day of the year. Hope you are having a great holiday! 🙂

    • Thanks, Danielle. It’s funny, I bought that bed for him and he seems to know it. She doesn’t really use it, she has a smaller one. I think they like to feel the rim and since she’s half his size, she chooses another basket. But don’t think he’s not going to squeeze into the tiny one. Wouldn’t be such a nice picture though. 🙂
      I love Dead Scared. It’s the best so far. I might try and get the next one early too.

  8. I like the way you’ve done your list by month. I loved Doctor Gals when I read it a few years ago, and, of course, you can’t go wrong with Austen. Above all, I’m a huge fan of Philippe Claudel – glad to see someone else has read Grey Souls!

    • Thanks, 1streading. I was quite impressed with Claudel’s writing. I didn’t expect his writing to be that good. I’ll certainly read another one. Glad to hear you like Dr Glas as well.

  9. I remembered the Soderberg and Modick reviews straight off – they sound great, and they obviously made a big impression on you. Pity the Modick isn’t translated, but I’ll get Doctor Glas in Feb when my new year buying embargo is lifted.

    Anyway, happy new year Caroline, and thanks for all the posts and discussions in 2013!

    • Thank you for visting and joining the discussions. A happy new year to you as well.
      I hop you’ll let me know how you liked Dr Glas. A wish they would translate Modick.

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