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winter 2013-14 075

My list has the best books that I READ this year though they may have been written many years ago.  I will also include lists of best books written in 2013.  Please list your favorites or comment on the lists.  Your favorites may have been published in any year not just 2013.  It is interesting, though, to know about books that came out this year and were a big hit.

I imagine you will notice some books you recommended to me on my list.  I do listen and buy so many books that my readers suggest.  Thank you!

My list of the best books that I read this year: (I have read 187 so far).


1.  Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry ed. Liu and Lo

2.   Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright

3.   My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

4.   Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard (about James Garfield)

5.   The Night Country by Loren Eisely (re-read)

6.   This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton

7.   One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman

8.   The Black Count by Tom Reiss, a bio of Alexander Dumas' father who was an awesome general until he ran afoul of Napoleon.

9.   The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings (he was imprisoned in France during WW I because he wanted to stay with a friend accused of writing unpatriotic letters home)

10.  With My Face to the Enemy: Perspectives on the Civil War ed. by Robert Cowley

I am assuming that I will finish these two best books by Dec. 31rst.

11.  The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner

12.  The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman  


General fiction:

1.   In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

2.   Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

3.   The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle

4.   On Bear Mountain by Deborah Smith  

5.   The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

6.   Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole


1.   Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton, mystery and scifi all in one great hunk of a book...but it is a stand alone which is good.

2.   Protector by C. J. Cherryh

3.   Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

4.   Blade Reforged by Kelly McCullough

5.   Redshirts by John Scalzi

6.   Wool by Hugh Howey

7.   River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay, set in China during the Song dynasty

8.   Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood, coming out in January, sequel to Jinx

9.   Down Below Station by C. J. Cherryh


1.   How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

2.   All of the books by Julia Spencer-Fleming  (yes, I did read the whole series in one year as I did Quinn’s and Cotterill’s below.)

    In the Bleak Midwinter
    A Fountain Filled with Blood
    Out of the Deep, I Cry
    To Darkness and to Death
    All Mortal Flesh
    I Shall Not Want
    One Was a Soldier
    Through the Evil Days

3.   All the books by Spencer Quinn with Chet the dog as narrator

  Dog On It
  Thereby Hangs a Tail
  To Fetch a Thief
  The Dog Who Knew Too Much
  A Fistful of Collars
  The Sound and the Furry

4.   Suspect by Robert Crais  

5.   All of Colin Cotterill’s (except his last one which I left off the list)

    The Coroner’s Lunch
    Thirty-three Teeth
    Disco for the Departed
    Curse of the Pogo Stick
    The Merry Misogynist  
    Love Songs from a Shallow Grave
    Slash and Burn  (the best one…very funny)

(I did not do well on the lists below.  In my defense, I do have a few on my wish list that I haven’t read, yet).  Mostly, the ones I did read are repeated on each list.  

Best New Books of 2013 by Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble’s Best Books List (Best Sellers)

Best books: 2013 offered a great ride for readers

The 10 Best Books of 2013 (NY Times Sunday Book Review)

Goodreads Best:

Best Books of 2013: NPR

Best Books of 2013 | Publishers Weekly

Dan Kois’ Favorite Books of 2013

Your turn.  What were your best reading experiences in 2013?  It is OK if you are not sure if you read them this year or not.  It is OK to guess.

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! Revision, again?
by SensibleShoes

Kos Katalogue Holiday Mothership Diary - HOTLIST THIS!
by Sara R

Belonging: A Memoir - The Oberlin Years
by Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller says:

Here is this week's Rowan Tree chapter update:

Short and sweet!

The Rowan Tree will be available for free on Kindle through Christmas:

Any interested readers should grab it now. Pass the word if you can.

My memoir Belonging, which is a companion piece for the novel, is currently available for free on Smashwords:

Belonging: A Memoir

Paperback – October 24, 2013
by Robert W. Fuller


"How did you make the leap from Physics to Dignity?" This question arises at every Robert Fuller talk. Belonging traces Fuller’s personal evolution and suggests that taking one’s questions seriously will lead to a life of meaning and purpose. Accompany Fuller as he meets with “somebodies” like Robert Oppenheimer, Indira Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, David Bowie, John Denver, and President Jimmy Carter, and share in the wisdom he finds in people whom the world writes off as “nobodies.” Belonging shows how transformative quests await anyone willing to learn from somebodies and nobodies alike.”

If people request a price match on Amazon, it should become free on Kindle as well.
There's a chance to get a free paperback of the memoir at Goodreads:


NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Yes, there will be a Bookflurries on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Two of my kids are celebrating with us on the weekend before and one on Christmas Eve Day.  I know most people will be busy those days, but if anyone wants to wander by, I will be here.  May all of you who celebrate Christmas have one of the best and may you make many good memories.   May the New Year be special for everyone and treat you well.  If Christmas will not be good or if you are worried about the New Year, {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}.

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


How many books have you read so far this year?

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| 69 votes | Vote | Results

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