Amazon Unveils Best Books of 2013 List, Naming Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch the Best Book of the Year
Amazon book editors announce the 100 best books of the year, as well as top books in more than two dozen categories
Amazon.com today announced its selections for the Best Books of 2013. The annual feature includes the editors’ picks for the Top 100 Books of the Year as well as Top 20 lists in over two dozen categories, from Children’s & Teen to Cookbooks to Celebrity Picks. To see all of the Best Books of 2013, and buy the print or Kindle editions, visit www.amazon.com/bestbooks2013.
“This year offered a stellar list of books to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction,” said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at Amazon.com. “Our top choice, The Goldfinch, is an emotionally trenchant masterpiece and was hands down our team’s favorite book of the year.”
The top picks in the Children’s categories are The Day the Crayons Quit (Picture Books), Counting by 7s (Middle Grade – ages 9-12) and Eleanor & Park (Teen and Young Adult). Topping the list in Lifestyle categories are Manresa: An Edible Reflection (Cookbooks) and Remodelista (Home Improvement & Design).
Celebrity top picks include Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, chosen by George R.R. Martin, Life After Life, selected by Helene Wecker (debut author of The Golem and the Jinni), and The Sound of Things Falling, which is one of Khaled Hosseini’s favorites.
Here’s a look at the Top 10 editors’ picks for the year:
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 Frontier by 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 day Middle 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 1800s Comanche 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.
For a taste of what these books have to offer, Amazon has compiled a Best Books of 2013: Reader’s Guide, a free Kindle book featuring a variety of interviews, essays and excerpts, including a piece from Donna Tartt about her writing process, an essay about touring around the country with Khaled Hosseini, an interview with David Finkel about his research, and more. The guide is available for all U.S. customers at www.amazon.com/bestbooksguide.
The Amazon Books team will also be sponsoring a Best of the Year sweepstakes. Ten winners will be selected, and each will receive a new Kindle Paperwhite 3G and the Top 10 Best Books of the Year. There is no purchase necessary to enter and the sweepstakes ends November 18. To view the rules and to enter, visit www.amazon.com/bestbooks-sweeps.
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