Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The New Dork Review Top 10 of 2013

What a great year in reading! Here's the New Dork Review Best of 2013 (links are to my own reviews):

1. Want Not, by Jonathan Miles — Bar none, my favorite of the year. It's the one book I read this year for which I want to tell you, "Just read it. You won't be sorry."

2. Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — This'll make you think! It's an honest novel about race in America, but also a love story, an indictment of our poor treatment of immigrants, and joke at the expense of we silly Americans and many of our silly foibles.

3. The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman — This book absolutely slayed me. It's one of the crazier, funnier, romp-ier things I've ever read.

4. The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri — This was favorite book of the year from strictly a prose perspective, but it's sure not a bad story, either.

5. & Sons, by David Gilbert — This ultra-literary, New York-set novel about an aging novelist (and with crazy twist!) and his failed relationship with his sons is right in my bookish wheelhouse. I loved it!

6. Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, by Ron Currie, Jr. — This postmodern tale of a bad breakup and how it inspired a novel was the first great book I read in 2013. It's the kind of novel I wish I could write.

7. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra — This is the one novel I read this year that totally knocked me on my ass — it's a difficult read about love and war in Chechnya.

8. Going Clear, by Lawrence Wright — The only non-fiction I read this year (whoops!), this in-depth examination of Scientology will scare the crap out of you. The church's reach and influence are just crazy.

9. Tenth of December, by George Saunders — As you may have noticed, I read a ton of short story collections this year. This was the first one I read, and it's still my favorite. And the story "Escape from Spiderland" from this collection is my favorite short story of the year.

10. All That Is, by James Salter — This was my second favorite novel of the year from strictly a prose perspective. Could this be the last novel from one of the greatest American writer?

12 comments:

  1. Fantastic list Greg :) I've read a handful of those and wholeheartedly agree. Now, to read the rest! (One of these days)

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    1. Thank ya - so many good books this year!

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  2. Really loved several of these (Constellation, Going Clear, Want Not) and I'm really starting to wish I had gotten to Americanah, it keeps popping up on so many lists and sounds wonderful.

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    1. Maybe give Americanah another look when it comes out in paperback? It's really worth it! :)

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  3. I've never read any James Salter, so I've already added All That Is to my list. Teleportation Accident has been begging me to read it for a while. Also I've never heard of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, but i think I'm going to have to read it. Great list!

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    1. I'm kind of surprised (and a little sad) Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles didn't find a wider readership - but it's really, really good. Highly recommended!

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  4. Loved 2 (times a million), 4 and 6!

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  5. Nice list. I'm interested mostly in reading #2 Adichie. But maybe I'll get #1 as well though it sounds a bit weird. Cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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  6. Author Jonathan Miles has a gift for language, plays with language, creates his own words, and displays a riotous sense of humor.

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  7. Wow, what a great list! I've only read "Tenth of December" off here, but I have "Constellation" and "Flimsy" on my to-read list. :)

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  8. Love the best of lists at the end of the year - great for reminding me of books I'd forgotten about or somehow missed how great they are.

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  9. I have read exactly... zero of these. And they all sound excellent. And now my already-too-long TBR list is EVEN LONGER. Thanks, Greg.

    (No, really, that wasn't a sarcastic thanks, because you've reminded me of the excellent titles I missed this year.)

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