Favorite Reads of 2013

by @AnnieDaylon


Do you love to read? I do. Mostly fiction.  Some nonfiction, mostly related to the art of writing. (See past post: Writing Resources: Current Favorites .)

Here, from my 2013 Reading List, are the books (fiction/memoir) that I found inspiring, compelling, challenging, or truly entertaining:


  • The Lighthouse by Allison Moore (Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize)

    • Melancholic and mesmerizing story of a recently separated man ‘heading for a restorative walking holiday.’
  • A Patchwork Planet;  Ladder Of YearsThe Amateur MarriageEarthly Possessions  by Pulitzer Prize winner, Anne Tyler

    • Unmatched characters: everyday people, everyday journeys. I got so caught up in her stories that, in 2013, I read all thirteen of her novels. In an interview posted at the back of one of her novels, Anne Tyler recommended the work of Lisa Moore, the next author on my list.
  • February and Caught , by Lisa Moore

    • February is the heart-wrenching story of a woman whose husband dies on an oil rig.   Caught (short-listed for 2013 Giller Prize) is the story of a man who escapes prison and heads off on a pot-smuggling adventure. Both books display a mastery of details;  images leap from the page.
  • Dream with Little Angels by Michael Hiebert

    • Indelible coming-of-age story in a voice that has the clarity of a mountain lake.
  • Unless by Carol Shields

    • Masterful story of a woman whose ‘eldest daughter disappears and ends up mute and begging on a Toronto street corner.’ Lyrical and philosophical.
  • Smouldering Incense, Hammered Brass by Heather Burles

    • An enlightening memoir of a Canadian woman’s visit to Syria in a peaceful time (Aptly, beautifully subtitled: A Syrian Interlude
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

    • Confusing and amazing tale of a woman who repeatedly dies and returns. Gritty. Lyrical. Unmatched ability to put the reader in the moment with the reality of war and its effect on the innocent.
  • Tropic of Night  by Michael Gruber

    • A thrilling murder mystery set around a dark subject: sorcery. Stunning voice. Seamless transition between past and present.

My absolute favorite book of the year? The above-mentioned Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It was so challenging, so compelling, that I still think about it, months after having read it. (I am currently on a Kate Atkinson reading binge.)

What was your favorite read of 2013? Any suggestions for my 2014 ‘To Read’ List?shutterstock_119202028

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

2 thoughts on “Favorite Reads of 2013
  1. Haven’t read many of these, but loved The Lighthouse – Alison Moore was kind enough to be the guinea pig for my website series on debut novelists. http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/alison-moore.html
    Also love the novels of Anne Tyler, my favourite is The Accidental Tourist. and lovely to be reminded of Carol Shield’s Unless, which I think was her last novel before she died.
    Interesting that most of these are books by women, as my reading tends to be, although not intentionally so.
    Hurrah for fiction!

    • Have checked your site and will add a few of your favorites to my “To Read” List. Loved your interview with Alison Moore; insightful questions that mirrored some of my own thoughts about “The Lighthouse.” I love books about characters who are not traditional heroes; Moore’s use of echoing and foreshadowing was superb.
      I keep an anecdotal list of everything I read; I never intentionally choose female authors over male, but, as with you, the women writers outnumber the men. I just look for a great story. Hurrah for fiction indeed!

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