My Top 5 Reads for 2013

This has been one of the hardest ‘Best of the Year’ lists I have had to do. 2013 has been an outstanding year for books. No exaggeration.  I have literally agonized over this list from 1 to 10 (I always include an extra 5 in my Top 5). I called my book of the year early (January!) and it almost got pipped. I even did a reread to split the Top 2 which I have never done before. And it was still almost too close to decide!

Then I had to complete my Top 5. Books which would have easily made my Top 5 in previous years barely made the Top 10. Ranking them was even harder. So here it is My Top 5 (plus 5 more):

97817427543381. The Son by Philipp Meyer

I called this as my book of the year way back in January and have read it twice to make sure. Rather than an American epic that celebrates the American dream Meyer has written an American epic that confronts America’s dark past and roots. It’s time to stop comparing Philipp Meyer to the giants of American literature because he’s joined them. Read more…

97817810900532. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

In the tradition of The Kite Runner, Anthony Marra tells a story of love and war, horror and humour, the absurd and the profound that will make you laugh out loud and feel grief in the pit of your stomach. The novel centres on a small Chechen village and four of its residents as well as a doctor at a nearby hospital. They have all lost something in the wars. They are all clinging to something else. This is a book I will never forget. Read more…

97818470887653. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

A joy to read. This is richly detailed, yet highly readable, featuring a large cast of characters who are each flawed in all the many ways people can be. It is also an intricate mystery, a puzzle that each character (and you) are trying to get to the bottom of. Catton’s style and talent defy her years. This is totally absorbing and utterly original. Read more…

97814087049504. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt’s third novel in 20 years focuses on Theo Decker and a painting called The Goldfinch. Through traumatic circumstances the painting comes into his possession and becomes a talisman throughout his life. From start to finish this book is totally absorbing, compelling and majestic and totally worth the wait. Read more…

97817416667005. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan has written a tragic love story, a deconstruction of heroism and mateship, and captured a side of humanity I’ve never read before. This novel is not just about what happened on the Burma Death railway but also what happened after. This a masterwork by one of Australia’s best writers. Read more…

Honourable mentions go to TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (I can’t believe this wasn’t in my Top 5), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (this should have won numerous awards and would have made my Top 5 any other year), Me & Rory MacBeath by Richard Beasley (a great Australian novel even better than Jasper Jones), The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness (Just beautiful, would have made any other Top 5) and Lexicon by Max Barry (a cracking read that came out of left field).

Pages & Pages Books of the Month 2013:

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Our books of the month from 2013

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Pages & Pages Staff Picks of the Year 2013:

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and our staff picks books of the year

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What were your favourite reads of 2013?

My Top 5 for 2012

My Top 5 for 2011

My Top 5 for 2010

4 thoughts on “My Top 5 Reads for 2013

  1. In no particular order, all are great in their own rights – The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan, I am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes, Bone Ash Sky – Katerina Cosgrove, Questions of Travel – Michelle De Krester, Burial Rites – Hannah Kent, and I must include a 6th, Watching You – Michael Robotham.


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